3 Ways to Keep Pipes from Freezing in the Winter
Frozen pipes can present you with a serious cleanup scenario if they result in a pipe burst. If you own property in a relatively warm climate, you may be surprised to learn that your pipes may suffer especially from a cold snap, since pipes in warm climates are unlikely to be fully insulated. Regardless of the location of your home, there are a few ways you can help reduce your likelihood of having a pipe burst:
1. Keep the Water Running
In order for water to freeze, it needs to be moving slowly or standing still. This is why the ocean is less likely to freeze than a lake. An easy way to keep your water temperature above freezing is to keep faucets running at least at a drip. Doing this also relieves pressure in your pipes so freezing pipes don't result in a burst.
2. Use Heating Elements
Heating your home is an easy way to prevent issues caused by extreme cold. In some cases, however, conditions outside can be so cold that they affect surfaces on the periphery of your building. This is why you should open doors, cabinets, or other blockages between warm air and potential frozen pipes. If your home loses power, you should use more direct heating elements, such as space heaters, just be careful not to put them too close to your pipes.
3. Invest in New Insulation
If you have had one pipe freeze, it is likely that you will experience the same problem in the future. In order to prevent this from happening, you should purchase insulation specifically designed for protecting pipes. A restoration company that has dealt with your burst can help direct your purchase.
As a homeowner, having frozen pipes can be a a stressful problem. As always, prevention is easier than restoration. If you require a cleanup in Schaumburg,IL, you should contact an experienced restoration professional who can prevent further damage to your home.
Why Mold Keeps Coming Back and How To Stop It
Have you ever opened your door to discover a musty smell in your home in Schaumburg,IL? That damp odor might make you question whether or not you have black mold and how you are going to handle it.
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that finds a warm, moist place to settle in your home and multiplies rapidly. Mold spores travel through the air, landing on you, your pets and other objects that act as “spreading agents” until they find the perfect place to grow.
Many types of mold can grow in homes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of the more common types found in houses are Aspergillus, Penicillium, Cladosporium and Stachybotrys chartarum, or “black mold.”
Why Does It Seem Unstoppable?
On the surface, mold cleanup might seem like an easy process, but it takes more than a bottle of heavy-duty cleaner and elbow grease. Here are a few reasons that mold keeps coming back no matter how hard you scrub:
- The original cause of moisture in your home (a leaky pipe) is not resolved.
- The affected area is still moist enough to promote mold growth.
- The mold has penetrated the surface it was growing on and cannot be scrubbed out.
- Poor ventilation is creating humidity and allowing missed spores to multiply.
Even if the spot is gone, the mold might still be growing.
When To Hire a Professional?
If you can see or smell mold in your home, you should contact an expert. A mold remediation specialist can set your mind at ease because they are trained to deal with many types of mold and have a thorough process that includes identification, containment, air filtration, removal, cleaning and restoration.
Any mold issue is scary for a homeowner, especially black mold, but with the proper diagnosis and mold remediation process you can get through it.
How To Make Effective Escape Routes For an Office Fire Safety Plan
By having a thought-out and communicated evacuation map, your workplace will be better prepared for a fire
Prepare A Fire Escape Plan For Your Business
Experiencing an office fire in Bloomingdale, IL may seem unlikely. However, it's essential to plan for in case of an emergency. An office holds far more people than a home, so its fire escape plan requires detail and precision. One aspect of this plan that demands thorough inspection is the escape routes. By having a thought-out and communicated evacuation map, your workplace will be better prepared for a fire.
Creating a Map
Utter chaos is not an environment you want during an office fire. In order to avoid this, you need to create an intricate map of escape routes. First, walk through your workspace and locate the following:
- Smoke alarms
Next, find or create a map of your building's layout. Keep in mind that it may not be entirely up-to-date, so the walk-through is still necessary. Plan two escape routes for each room in the office. If two doors or windows aren't available, plan the path employees can take to the nearest one. Try to ensure that each exit isn't overcrowded. The last step in creating your fire escape plan routes is finding a meeting place. Once employees have evacuated the building, there needs to be a designated spot to find. This will allow for a precise head count. If someone isn't there, first responders can enter the building and locate the missing individual.
Communicating the Plan
Creating a detailed map of escape routes is useless without an effective method of communication. Each employee should know exactly where to go during a fire. Once the emergency escape plan has been created, send it out to everyone in your workplace. If you have a weekly updates e-mail, put an escape route reminder in it. Make sure that the map is displayed in multiple areas. Have plainly marked signs on each exit.
Knowing exactly what to do during an emergency can save lives. This is why having a fire escape plan is a priority for any business owner. Making a detailed plan and locating a fire restoration company can assist in ensuring the safety of your employees.
3 Types of Secondary Water Damage You May Find in Your Commercial Building
Mold damage after a pipe break in Hanover Park, IL
Types Of Secondary Damage
If your Hanover Park, IL, business has experienced a leak or flooding, then you might be looking at some problems aside from the primary damage initially caused by the water. No matter the source, water can cause a number of issues, including various types of secondary damage. In some cases, these can be even more difficult to take care of. The following are some things that you should look out for.
1. Mold Growth
When it is not removed right away, water can contribute to the growth of black mold, along with other varieties of the fungus. It can begin to form in as little as 24 hours and can spread easily throughout the building. To prevent this from happening, the building should be dried as quickly as possible. Using a dehumidifier may be a good idea as well since high humidity levels can also contribute to mold.
2. Weakened Building Materials
Along with black mold growth, there can also be extensive damage to the materials that make up your building. Absorbent materials, such as insulation and drywall, might need to be removed and replaced. This may also be the case in areas with carpeting. Water can cause wood to warp as well.
3. Rust Formation
Another problem caused by water is the formation of rust on metal objects. This can be a big issue if you have expensive equipment that has been affected. It can also weaken pipes and other parts of the plumbing system. If this happens, broken pipes can lead to even more damage.
If you have black mold or other types of damage in your building, you should contact a water damage remediation company as soon as possible. They can perform an inspection to locate both primary and secondary types of damage. These professionals can then make necessary repairs to the building and many damaged items. Having this work done quickly is important to minimize further damage.
5 Tips for Commercial Roof Maintenance
Commercial roof inspection in Bloomingdale, IL
Tips To Help Prevent Roof Damage In Your Building
Business owners have plenty of issues to worry about without having to add a leaky roof into the mix. Proper roof maintenance can help extend your roof's lifespan and save you hundreds in unnecessary repair expenses. Take a look at some of the following tips to help prevent unwanted roof damage for your building in Bloomingdale, IL.
1. Hire a High-Quality Contractor.
Take the time to hire a great contractor and build a strong relationship with them. Damage can occur at any time, so you want to make sure that you have someone on standby that you can count on to help mitigate the issue.
2. Have Your Roof Professionally Inspected Bi-Annually.
In some cases, you might not even realize that you have roof damage until the problem spirals out of control. Having a licensed contractor inspect your roof at least twice each year can help you catch these small repairs before they evolve into larger expenses.
3. Inspect Your Roof After Severe Storms.
You should take the time to personally inspect your roof if your building has recently weathered a severe storm. Check for rain and wind damage in the form of broken or missing shingles, cracks or water spots.
4. Clean Your Gutters Regularly.
Your building's gutters are supposed to collect water that runs off of the roof and redirect it away from your building. When they become obstructed, that water can build up and run down the side of your building, resulting in water damage. In extreme cases, it can even begin to pool on the roof itself, weighing down the structure.
5. Avoid Pressure Washing.
Pressure washing seems like a good idea in theory, but it actually has the same effect as a severe storm. The heavy bursts of water can damage and tear away roofing materials. Additionally, it can push debris and water underneath the shingles, resulting in unwanted mold growth.
Taking the time to perform necessary maintenance checks can help you avoid having to deal with unnecessary roof damage in the future, and possibly even a complete roof rebuild. For more information or assistance, contact storm remediation professionals.
How to Clean Sewage Backup in Your Bathtub
Sewage backup in a bathtub
Sewage Backup In Your Bathtub? Use The Following Steps
Your bathtub is supposed to be a safe haven where you can relax, unwind and clean yourself up after a long day. Unfortunately, sewer backup can invade your tub when you least expect it, dashing your hopes for a calm evening. If your bathtub in Schaumburg, IL, has fallen victim to sewage back flow, just use the following steps.
1. Protect Yourself and Your Household.
Sewage floods are considered Category 3 floods, as they contain a plethora of harmful biohazards. Protect your household by removing all children and pets from the area until the mess is cleaned up. Make sure you don the correct protective gear before tackling the mess as well.
2. Turn Off the Main Water Supply.
Prevent the flood from getting any worse by immediately shutting off your main water supply. You can usually find this valve in your basement.
3. Inspect Your Vent Pipe.
It is possible that the flood causing bathtub backup is a result of a blocked vent pipe. The vent pipe is typically located on the roof of your home, just above your bathroom. Use a flashlight to check for obstructions and remove any that you discover.
4. Snake the Bathtub Drain.
If the vent pipe isn't causing the flooding, then head back to your bathroom and attempt to snake the drain for clogs. Feed the snake down the drain, carefully, and twist counterclockwise as you slowly pull it out. If this method is successful, the sewer backup should begin to drain.
5. Thoroughly Disinfect the Area.
The biohazards present in black water are hazardous, so you absolutely need to make sure that you thoroughly clean and disinfect any surfaces that the flood water came into contact with.
Sewer backup can be messy, but the clogs are typically easy to fix, even if you don't have any prior plumbing experience. If the techniques described above did not fix the problem, then you need to contact flood remediation experts as soon as you can.
What Is Black Mold?
Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold
Of the many varieties of mold that occur in households, none is more dreaded than the species referred to colloquially as black mold. While black mold is not the only variety of mold you need to concern yourself with, it is hazardous and should be dealt with carefully. Before attempting to remove mold, it is important to understand what it is and why care should be exercised when removing it.
Which Molds Are Bad?
Molds are tiny, naturally occurring fungi that are present in almost every environment. Like many fungi, they reproduce by distributing microscopic, airborne spores that can cling to objects. Mold generally appears as blotchy, discolored patches that live on porous materials. Before considering an extensive mold cleanup, look for:
- A distinct, musty odor
- White, colored, or dark patches on wet surfaces
- Slimy, fuzzy, or rough material
As there are over 100,000 types of mold, it is not possible to concisely list the traits of those that should be most diligently avoided. While many types of mold are harmless, it is generally a good idea to keep your home free of an infestation whenever possible. Stachybotrys chartarum, known as black mold, is particularly reviled but is far from the only infestation you should avoid.
How Do You Get Rid of Mold?
Because mold remediation can be tricky, you should not attempt to remove an infestation on your own. Restoration experts often use special chemical fungicides and have experience removing mold from surfaces so that it does not spread to other areas of your home. To ensure that your home is truly cleared of mold, a professional may want to dehumidify certain spaces or filter the flow of air to an affected area.
If you have located black mold or any other troubling infestation in your Roselle, IL, home, leave the restoration to the experts. By properly restoring your home, you give yourself the best chance of avoiding further costs in the future.
5 Strategies to Help Prevent Water Damage
Remember to shut off your water at the main shut off valve to your home before going on vacations over three days
Tips To Protect Your Home From Water Damage
Water damage is one of the biggest headaches that residential homeowners have to deal with. On top of the initial accident, floods and leaks can cause a lot of subsequent costs in secondary damages. The best way to avoid these types of problems is to prevent the incident from happening in the first place. Follow the tips below to help protect your home in Bartlett, IL.
1. Check Pipes Regularly for Leaks.
It's important to perform regular home inspections for leaky or broken pipes. These types of incidents are easy to overlook, which can cause a lot of damage over time. Inspect any exposed pipes in your basement and underneath all of your sinks.
2. Monitor Your Home's Water Pressure.
If your water pressure is too high, you run the risk of putting undue wear and tear on your pipes. You can obtain a water pressure gauge from your local hardware store that you can use to manually monitor the pressure.
3. Regularly Check Home Appliances.
Any home appliances that use water, such as your washing machine or dishwasher, need to be checked regularly for leaks or other forms of damage. Floods that originate from these appliances can cause gray water damage.
4. Clean Out Your Gutters and Downspouts.
Your gutters are intended to collect and redirect water that runs off of your roof. However, they can often become clogged with dead leaves, branches, and other forms of debris. When this happens, water can pool and collect in your gutters, eventually running down the sides of your house and causing damage.
5. Shut Off Your Water Main Before Leaving for Extended Periods.
If you plan to go on vacation or some other form of an extended trip, make sure you turn off your water main before you go. This significantly reduces the chances of you having to deal with a water cleanup issue when you return.
Water damage can be devastating to residential properties, so it's important that you learn how to protect your home. Contact water remediation experts for more information, or assistance resolving a water-related mishap.
Home Fires Not Covered by Insurance
Home fire in Glendale Heights, IL
A home fire can be a devastating event. Along with likely needed a fire damage and restoration professional to restore your home, there is a chance that some personal items may not be salvageable. It also means filing a claim and working with your insurer to get cover the costs of restoring your Glendale Heights, IL, property. Understanding your policy beforehand can help make the process a little smoother and give you better insight into what to expect.
Standard Home Insurance Fire Coverage
The typical home fire is caused by accident, from a cooking mishap to an unattended candle burning and even electrical surges, as well as Mother Nature. In most cases, unless it is arson, your insurance will cover the financial losses incurred from a fire. A standard policy will usually cover the following:
Dwelling – Repairs to burned portions of the structure.
Personal Property – The items in your home, such as clothing, furniture, and electronics.
Liability – If the fire spreads to a neighboring property, it will protect the homeowner from lawsuits and damages caused.
Living Expenses – Depending on the severity, temporary lodging, and food costs may be incurred. Although each policy is different, many cover 10 to 30% of the determined dwelling limit.
Extra Protection for Unoccupied Property
If the property is not being currently lived in, a vacant home fire may not be covered. For insurers, an empty dwelling is a higher risk since that may see increased vandalism. If a fire breaks out, it may go unnoticed for longer since there would be no inhabitants to report it. Whether in the midst of moving, own a vacation home or having an empty rental, if a structure will be vacant more than 30 days, getting an additional line of fire coverage can provide peace of mind.
While we all hope a home fire won’t happen, it’s still better to plan for the unexpected. Stay up to date on insurance policies and get extra coverage if a property will be vacant.
3 Tips for Resolving Smoke Damage Claims
When your property is damaged by smoke from a neighboring building, the insurance claim process may be anything but clear. Fortunately, there are some things you can do as you work with your insurance company to improve the results of a smoke damage claim.
Keep Thorough Records
Written records and photographic evidence of smoke and soot damage is crucial to the successful resolution of a claim. Your records should include a lot of information:
- The date of the fire
- The type of damage and any related losses
- Names and contact information of the involved parties
- A description of all affected contents
- Estimates for the cost of repairs and corrective action
- Reports from the police and fire department
Contact your insurance agent to find out if you need any other information. Keep these records in a safe place, so you can provide copies as needed by various authorities.
Hire Professionals for Repairs
As smoke damage spreads throughout your building, soot settles on carpets, equipment, and furnishings. Professional smoke cleaning companies can help you avoid further damages, and they are likely to work with your insurance company. If you try to attempt repairs on your own, you could do additional damage and reduce the amount you could get from your insurance provider.
Call a Public Adjuster
Even if you are confident in your insurance company, a public adjuster provides an unbiased estimate of the cost of the damage. This information can help you develop a realistic understanding of how much money you may get from the claim. The participation of a public adjuster could influence your insurance company, particularly if the company is likely to minimize their estimate of damages.
Smoke damage losses are generally covered by insurance companies. Use these three tips to improve your chances of getting sufficient reimbursement when your Bartlett, IL, business has been affected by fires in adjacent buildings.