What to do if your pipes freeze
Frozen pipes can be messy--Know How To Handle Them
There are lots of things you can do to reduce the winter-related losses such as frozen pipes. However, if temperatures are extremely cold and you turn on your tap to find a trickle or nothing instead of a steady flow, you probably have frozen pipes somewhere in your home. Water expands when frozen, but pipes do not, which can cause a pipe to burst. If you discover you have frozen pipes, act quickly...don't wait for them to burst.
- Turn off the water supply. If pipes are frozen and in danger of bursting, you want to stop the flow of additional water into the pipes to reduce the potential for additional damage.
- Protect your possessions. Move any possessions near the frozen pipe to a safe area to prevent damage if it bursts.
- Locate the frozen pipe. Check water flow at faucets to determine if the frozen pipe is isolated in one area, more extensive, or close to where water comes into the home. Feeling along pipes can help to locate the frozen area. Look for bulging.
- Take action to thaw pipes immediately. Be attentive as you thaw pipes because sometimes pinholes or cracks can occur from freezing and then upon thawing leaks become evident. There are lots of do-it-yourself tips on the internet on how to thaw pipes...search "thawing frozen pipes". You may want to do some advance reading just in case. Be sure to open faucets near the frozen pipe to let steam escape and water flow out. We recommend calling a licensed plumber for assistance.
- Turn off the water supply to stop the flow of water. Immediate action can be key to reducing additional damage. If it's an emergency and you don't know what to do, call the fire department. After the water is off, you can clean up the spill and work to reduce further damage. If a burst pipe is near any electrical switches or fuses, turn the power off at the panel. Never touch anything electrical if it's wet.
- Clean up, make temporary repairs and take steps to prevent further damage. An insurance adjuster doesn’t need to see the actual water spill before you start cleaning up. However, the adjuster will want to inspect any damaged items. Documenting damage with pictures and/or video can be helpful to the process. If the leak involves ceilings being saturated with water, be extra careful of weakened construction that could collapse and cause injury.
- Get professional help. Most of us aren't skilled enough to make proper repairs especially if the damage is major and/or within walls. A licensed plumber (and perhaps an electrician if electrical is involved) can help you make repairs.SERVPRO of Kendall County will remove water from your home and ensure that walls are dry to prevent a mold problem. Remember, mold cannot survive without moisture. You want to be sure repairs are done properly to prevent additional damage in the future.
Tips for Preventing Home Storm Damage
Be Pro-Active When it Comes to Preventing Storm Damage to Your Home This Spring
There are steps you can take to prevent damage to your home before storms strike. Consider the following:
Put Away Patio Furniture. You may have been spending more time at home this year and invested in patio furniture to enjoy your outdoor living space. A storm with gusty winds is likely to upend any objects that are not anchored down or stored. If you store items in your garage, don’t forget to secure the door. High winds can blow through the door and damage the contents inside.
Trim Trees and Clean Gutters. A simple exterior assessment can help you determine if you need to clean your gutters or remove loose tree branches vulnerable to wind gusts that could damage your home. Heavy rains can weigh down gutters, so firmly secure any loose gutters.
Create Home Safety Kit. To keep your home healthy and safe, you’ll want to make sure you have basic household items to last for a few days in case of an emergency. A disaster supplies kit should include water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, and a flashlight. In the wake of COVID-19, FEMA suggests adding face coverings, soap/hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes to help prevent the spread of coronavirus or other viruses and the flu.
Repair Loose Roof Shingles. Roof damage makes your home susceptible to rain/water leaks if strong winds blow shingles off the top of your home. Make sure all shingles are secured properly. An experienced roofer will be able to make recommendations to remove and replace any loose shingles.
Prepare For A Winter Storm
Winter is upon us know how to prepare for a winter storm
How To Prepare For A Winter Storm
If you are prudent enough, you can prevent most of the eventual winter storm damage. Here are several common-sense tricks on how to prepare your home to effectively withstand snowstorms, freezing rain, and chilly winds:
- Shoveling snow is good for your physical development and for your property.
Provide quality insulation for your home – make sure that the roof and the walls are in good condition. You may install storm windows or even weather-strip doors and provide additional layers of insulation wherever possible. Your fortress should be properly insulated before winter arrives;
- Provide alternative heating methods – electricity or gas supply could be cut off during a blizzard, so be sure to have an alternative heat source – a fireplace or coal stoves, etc. Store sufficient fuel and keep it safe and dry;
- Install smoke alarms and ensure proper ventilation – take precautions, because fire hazards increase drastically with the flames burning in the fireplaces and the power systems overloaded by all the heaters turned on;
- Keep pipes from freezing – wrap pipes in newspapers or rags to provide some protection and let faucets drip a little. Hairdryers are very useful and can provide a solution if the pipes are frozen;
- Ensure proper drainage – keep downspouts and catch basins clear of debris and maintain the plumbing system in perfect condition so that the water from the melting ice and snow can easily find its way out and away of your property;
- Trim bushes and trees – if you have a yard, make sure no branches spread dangerously near the house. You may also want to consider snow fences to prevent snow from drifting too much and blocking access to your house;
- Clear snow away – use any chance to remove snow and ice from the roof and eavesdrops to prevent collapsing and clear accumulated snow away from the foundations of the house to lower the risk of flooding;
- Plan for a storm – supply whatever you need to survive at least a week without deliveries: medicines, non-perishable food and bottled water, warm clothes and extra blankets, batteries and candles, etc.
Effective Methods of Dealing with Residential Water Damage
When water damage hits: Know What To Do.
Water damage can cause angst to homeowners as they have to spend a lot of money to repair the problems and also deal with safety and health issues. Many people panic when they see a burst pipe or a leaking drain gate. The best action to take at these times is to call SERVPRO of Kendall County to take care of the problem right from the source.
Here are a few ways to ensure that your home is safe and not excessively damaged when such situations occur:
- Shut off the water line from the mains when you notice a water heater not working or if a pool of water suddenly collects in the kitchen or bathroom.
- If there is a flood, make sure to cut off the gas and electricity power
- Do not keep electrical appliances and gadgets in the basement
- Do not stand in water without shutting off the main electricity
- Call SERVPRO of Kendall County and let them know your immediate problems
Regular inspection is necessary when you have to take care of your home. Water can seep in through the floor, from the attic, and generally comes in from the flashing where the roof and wall meet. If you notice any curled shingles or cracked ones, make sure to take prompt remedial action.
When you are out in the garden, check the gutters and remove all leaves and residue to ensure that it does not overflow. You can prevent leaves from clogging your gutters by installing a screen to trap the leaves.
Check the drains in your bathrooms to see if they are clogged. Grease and dirt generally collect, and the best way to wash it away is to pour hot water down the drain. Another good tip is to mix half a cup of vinegar with an equal amount of baking soda and pour it down the drain. Use boiling hot water to rinse the drain after a few minutes.
SERVPRO of Kendall County will be able to provide complete service that includes not only floors and carpets but also upholstery air vent and drywall cleaning. They should take care of restoring the air quality and restore the wood floors, hardwood floors and guide you through the process to get your insurance claims honored.
SERVPRO of Kendall County uses advanced technology for water restoration and cleanup. They offer reasonable rates to homeowners when they sign a contract with them for inspection and restoration.
SERVPRO of Kendall County is specialized in water damage and remediation especially when mold is detected.
Hazards of Smoke and Soot
There are many Hazards of Smoke and Soot damage
You’ve suffered a fire, and finances aren’t looking so great… Your idea: Save a few bucks on fire restoration by handling some of the cleanings yourself. Good plan, right? Maybe not. Smoke and soot are more than a dirty little reminder of the disastrous fire that took its toll on your home.
Smoke and soot can be dangerous.
Leftover smoke and soot following a fire are more than just smelly and unsightly. Exposure during fire restoration efforts can adversely affect your health.
What makes smoke and soot so dangerous?
When combustion occurs during a fire, not all materials burn cleanly, resulting in smoke and soot. These waste products - solids, liquids, and gases - may be composed of various chemicals that are harmful to your health. Today’s modern structures hold an array of chemicals not found in early homes, including plastics, foams, fabrics, carpets, wood products, synthetic fabrics, wool, and asbestos-containing materials, which could result in health hazards that make fire restoration a dangerous and difficult task.
How can I be exposed?
Exposure to smoke and soot during fire restoration may occur via the skin and eyes, inhalation, and ingestion. Because airborne soot particulate is invisible, you may unknowingly be affected.
Smoke and soot must be professionally addressed to ensure safe, successful fire restoration results.
Unfortunately, safety risks from the fire do not end once the flames are extinguished. Fire damage can linger for years unless properly addressed. Adequate safety equipment (respiratory, skin, and eye protection) are essential in reducing possible exposure to dangerous smoke and soot, and quite possibly water and mold-related health issues resulting from firefighting efforts. Proper ventilation practices are also necessary to protect and restore indoor air quality following a fire, including HEPA filtration and adsorption (activated carbon) to preserve air quality. A bottle of degreaser and a dust mask is not enough! Professional tools, knowledge, and expertise are at the heart of thorough and safe fire restoration.
10 Steps to Protect Your Home from Storm Damage
Protect Your Home from Storm Damage
1. REPLACE MISSING OR DAMAGED SHINGLES
If a shingle is damaged, it’s more likely to break free. If it’s missing, well then you’ve got a gap for the wind to get under and do even more damage.
Note that when you’re installing or replacing shingles, they must be nailed properly — NOT above the nail line.
In terms of how roofing materials – shingles vs. metal – hold up to hail, it doesn’t really matter. After a hailstorm, our crews will end up replacing just as many shingle roofs as metal ones.
2. REPAIR LOOSE SIDING
The same rules as roofing apply to siding: it’s important to ensure your siding isn’t damaged.
3. KEEP YOUR GUTTERS CLEAR
Make sure your gutters are free-flowing and your downspouts flow away from your foundation.
Water damage or flooding is one of the quickest ways to devalue your home. So ensuring your gutters are clear is the first line of defense in helping water to flow away from your home. This leads to another important preventative measure …
4. ENSURE WATER CAN FLOW AWAY FROM YOUR HOME
The grade of your lot should keep water flowing away from your home and into a ditch, drain, or some other proper retention area.
5. KEEP YOUR SUMP PUMP IN WORKING ORDER
Before Spring rains startup, we suggest checking whether your sump pump is in working order. If you want to feel extra-secure, having a backup sump pump is a sure-fire way to prevent basement flooding.
6. ENSURE PROPER SEALING OF DOORS AND WINDOWS
Wind only needs a small opening to get underneath something like shingle or siding and rip it off. And in the event of tornadic winds, a small opening in your windows or doors could enlarge (read: break) and allow enough wind inside to compromise your home’s roof.
7. CHECK FOR LOOSE FENCE POSTS
Wind will surprise you. Anything that’s not nailed down is a liability, and that includes fence posts, which are often forgotten or ignored in homeowner’s storm-prep.
Checking your fence’s footing is as easy as giving each post a strong shake to check for loose ones.
8. REGULARLY TRIM YOUR TREES
Problem tree limbs can damage your home, a vehicle, or even your neighbor’s property. Regularly trimming the trees on your property is an excellent way to protect your roof and windows.
9. WALK AROUND YOUR PROPERTY
A lot of people don’t have the time or skills to check and/or repair everything on their property before storm season kicks up. But, if you know a storm is coming, there are some very basic steps you can take to minimize its impact.
Like identifying the items around your property that could become projectiles. That means lawn furniture, tools, flower pots, or other yard debris. Do yourself a favor and move those items to a garage, a shed, or indoors.
10. KEEP A GENERATOR ON HAND
A bad storm could potentially knock out power to your home for a couple of hours — or days. Having a generator on standby could go a long way towards ensuring you don’t lose your food, or the livability of your home until power is restored.
Protect Your Business From Scary Commercial Water Damage
Protect your business from potental water disasters
Your family depends on your business. So do your employees, as well as your customers and community. So the thought of commercial water damage caused by extreme weather or plumbing failure is scary. But you don’t have to be scared. A little planning and a few precautions will help you breathe a little easier, knowing you’re ready for any commercial water damage contingency,
Commercial Water Damage Tip: Think it Through
Start by asking yourself, “What if?”
That’s a powerful question when it comes to reducing commercial water damage risk. For instance, what if a water main bursts and floods your office? This always leads to more questions, such as how will you ensure the safety of your employees and customers? Or how will you prevent or eliminate business disruptions that might result in cash flow problems? How will you communicate with employees during emergencies or periods of disruption (say, when a pipe bursts and requires the main power to be shut off during repairs)? Make notes of your answers to all your questions, because organizing this information is the basis for the next key step in preventing and minimizing commercial water damage: making a plan.
Commercial Water Damage Tip: Make a Plan
While thinking through possible commercial water damage scenarios for your business, you made notes of the solutions you came up with for your “what if?” questions. Now put your thinking into action to craft an emergency plan for your business. A good emergency plan should provide for the safety of all people who could enter your business, as well as set forth processes and procedures for carrying on with business during a variety of challenges.
It should include, at the very least:
- an emergency contact list (accessible from off-site)
- emergency procedures
- emergency staffing instructions
- vendor lists and contact info
- data backup plans and other resources to support business operations in case you have to temporarily or permanently relocate your business operations.
You should note that this plan is never finished. You should always be updating and improving it with lessons you learn during any business disruption.
Commercial Water Damage Tip: Inspect, Repair, Repeat
Stuff gets old. It breaks. It fails. When plumbing or water-management equipment in your commercial facility fails, the resulting water damage restoration costs can stack up fast. So the operative word for commercial water damage prevention is maintenance.
Routinely inspect all visible plumbing, test basement sump pumps, check exterior gutters and downspouts, muck out drainage ditches and storm drains, and ensure roof structures are in good repair. Commercial property managers generally agree that a water leak on a commercial property is the most costly problem you can have, often costing thousands of dollars to mitigate, once the problem develops. Good property maintenance can lop off a big chunk of commercial water damage risk, so don’t cut corners on repairs.
Smoke Alone Can Do a lot of Damage To Your Business
Smoke damage can happen throughout your business when there's a fire.
Fire, smoke, and soot can affect anything in your business or home, from the structure to personal belongings. After a fire, contacting a cleaning professional may be the best decision you can make.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke:
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire.
- Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs can be more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
- Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme foul odor.
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Storm Damage
When the storm hits, know what to do
Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.
Take Safety Precautions
Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls, or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health effects. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact SERVPRO of Kendall County tohelp do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living conditions.
Photograph the Damage
If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjuster to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.
Ways to Protect Your Property from a Storm Surge
Protect your home from storms that produce high winds
Storms can cause heavy rain and power breakouts, which causes many more problems for homeowners. Hence, residents of Kendall County must know the necessary tips to prevent storm damage to their homes.
If proper precautions are not taken when necessary, the damage done by these natural disasters can be devastating. So, instead of ignoring the signs, it’s better to take the right preventive measures beforehand.
Here are a few tips you can follow to protect your property from a storm surge.
• Trim Your Trees
Storm damage prevention doesn’t just mean that you need to secure your house. You also need to make sure that others don’t get hurt because of the trees on your property. Those tall, beautiful trees might add to the aesthetics of your house but stormy winds can make them a danger for everyone. So, make sure you trim them so that they don’t hurt anyone.
• Keep a Standby Power Source
High winds can disrupt the power lines of your area, and a heavy storm can even blow up the transformers. This is why you need to have a standby power system in your home as a backup. You can either buy a home generator or a power inverter device to keep the power on in the event of power outages.
• Pack Up All Your Outdoor Decorations and Furniture
Your chairs, tables, and couches might look great on your porch but during a storm, all these things can be hazardous for your property. Your outdoor furniture items can wreak havoc if they get picked up by high winds. Therefore, it is essential to pack away all your outdoor decorations to prevent your property from damage.
• Install Storm Shutters
You need to protect your house windows as soon as possible. This is because the turbulent winds of a storm can damage your windows quickly. Therefore, you need to install storm shutters on your windows to prevent them from shattering.
We hope these tips will help you prevent your house from storm damage.