Winter Storm Damage: Preparation, Mitigation and Renovation
Prepare your building and exposed pipes for the coming winter.
Winter Storm Damage: Preparation, Mitigation And Renovation
When business owners hear the phrase storm damage, they likely think of hurricanes, tornadoes or other warm climate weather, but the winter months can be just as devastating. The frigid temperatures and ice and snow storms can lead to all types of property damage, but the costliest problem is likely a burst pipe. For that reason, it is key to prepare your building and exposed pipes for the coming winter.
A frozen pipe is building pressure from the inside that may eventually force a break in the seal or explode out through cracking and breaking the line. To prevent a line break, you need to keep areas where exposed pipes are located warm. This means adding extra insulation to attics, crawl spaces and basements is likely best.
Another excellent way to protect exposed pipes from becoming a burst pipe is to add insulation or other heating elements directly to the pipe. You can purchase pipe sleeves or even UL-listed heat tape and install it over the pipe to help prevent freezing.
A more expensive approach is to relocate exposed and exterior pipes to a warmer and interior location. You will likely have to hire a professional as this job may require special permits and a level of expertise beyond your skillset.
While preparation and mitigation are effective solutions, you should find and resolve current plumbing issues before they become a problem. Established leaks only make exposed pipes more vulnerable. Consistent leaking can weaken the pipe and its seal while making the pipe more prone to freezing. Check your property for standing water as one common sign of leaking, and call a disaster remediation specialist in the Temple, TX area to help you resolve the issue.
A burst pipe can be detrimental for a business, possibly causing temporary shutdown for cleanup and restoration work. To prevent freezing during a winter storm, follow the above tips, and rest assured that your business is protected through the long winter months.
What to Expect During Fire Restoration
Fire damage at a Belton,TX home
Restoring Your Home After A Fire Damage
If you have experienced a fire in your home in Belton, TX, then it is likely you will need fire restoration. Restoring your home can take a while and there are several steps that will need to be followed.
1. Inspecting the Damage
The first thing that you will need is a fire damage assessment. A professional will determine the amount of the damage so that they can create the best damage cleaning plan for restoring your home.
2. Mitigation to Prevent Further Damage
Before fire restoration can begin, it is important for mitigation to be performed on your home. During mitigation, steps are taken to prevent any further damage. Depending on the damage that your home has suffered, this can include boarding up missing walls or windows as well covering damaged roofs with tarps.
3. Removing Water From Your Home
If the fire was big enough that firefighters were involved, you will likely have water damage as well as damage caused by the fire. Before any repairs can be made, any remaining water will need to be removed from the home. Air movers and dehumidifiers might be used to dry everything more quickly.
4. Cleaning Your Home and Belongings
Once mitigation has been performed and all of the water has been removed, the specialists will begin cleaning any remaining soot and smoke damage. Any structures and belongings that can be restored will be cleaned and smoke odors will be removed.
5. Restoration of Your Home
The last step is restoring your home to the condition it was in prior to the fire. This includes reconstruction of any areas that have been severely damaged as well as smaller repairs such as installing carpets or repainting walls.
After an emergency, it is important to call a fire restoration service as soon as you can. Because there are many steps to take in restoring your home, you shouldn’t wait too long to begin the process.
You Must Worry About All Types of Mold
Severe mold infestation at a Temple, TX home
If you read newspapers or watch news coverage, you have probably heard about black mold. The substance has developed a negative reputation in recent years, as homeowners learn about the negative effects of this type of mold growth. You may not know, however, that other types of mold can be just as bad as black mold. By understanding how to keep mold in check, you can keep your Temple, TX, home in excellent shape.
Water Damage Is a Problem
As you probably know, water is essential inside your home. When water stays where it should, you likely do not have to worry about mold growing. If you have a leak, though, mold can spread quickly. When inspecting your house for signs of mold, look in the following areas where water damage is common:
Humidity Is Not Your Friend
While increasing the humidity in your home may make breathing easier, it could encourage mold to grow. If you suspect you have high humidity in your house, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier. You also may want to buy a hygrometer to help you measure the humidity in your living spaces.
Cleanup Requires Equipment and Skill
Removing mold is not necessarily easy. In fact, you may seemingly wipe away mold only to realize that you did not effectively kill it. If you want to stop mold growth, consider contracting with a reputable mold remediation service. Expert technicians know where to find mold. They also have the expertise and equipment to stop mold in its tracks.
To keep your home in tip-top shape, you simply cannot ignore mold growth. While finding mold in your house can be challenging, the task is likely worth your time and energy. If you notice the signs of mold, you must work diligently to remove the substance. With some information and the right team, though, you can likely ensure your house stays comfortable.
Commercial Insurance Coverage Limits Determine If the Fire Loss Is Partial
Ozone machines neutralize the smoke residue that has settled on surfaces everywhere
Simply put, the insurer will determine the loss to be partial if the policy limits are high enough to pay the cost of restoration. Damage inflicted by partial loss fires generally fall into three categories:
Water Cleanup Is the Top Priority After a Fire
When extinguishing the fire, water was a friend. Now, it is an enemy. It seeps into every porous material it encounters and continues inflicting damage in your building.
After the fire, aggressively remove the water as quickly as possible to minimize the fire loss. Any delay would be like sending mold an invitation to dinner. Water removal will require:
- Elimination of standing water using pumps and wet-vacs
- Removal of restorable wet fabrics, carpets and furniture
- Disposal of unrestorable wet fabrics and carpets
- Removal of everything not damaged by water
- Removal and disposal of damaged wallboard and other construction materials
- Deployment of high-volume fans to help dry out everything that remains
Smoke Damage Mitigation Is a Complex Process
While the water cleanup is underway, it would be a good idea to begin treating the damage caused by smoke. Smoke cleanup is usually a three-step process.
- Install air filtration equipment to remove residual smoke residue from the air
- Use ozone machines to neutralize smoke residue that has settled on surfaces everywhere
- Deodorize your building by thermal fogging
Ozone and thermal fog are both dangerous to humans. Therefore, the structure should be unoccupied while those tasks are taking place.
Fire Damage Is Often the Simplest Cleanup of All
Damage caused by flames is easily identifiable. Anything touched by fire needs to be removed, painted or sent out for restoration. Complete the treatment of fire damage before completing the air filtration step.
All the tasks associated with fire loss and cleanup require specialized skills and equipment. A team of fire restoration specialists is in the Temple, TX, area. They are ready to get started and are waiting for the call.
Protect Your Home From Water Damage While You Are on Vacation
Remember to shut off your water at the main shut off valve to your home before going on vacation
The second most common cause for claims made against homeowners insurance in Belton, TX, is water damage, causing damage in the millions of dollars every year. You may not need to do a water pipe repair, but you can help prevent such a disaster from happening in your home while you are away on vacation by taking stock of a few things and performing a few preventive measures.
Steps To Prevent Leaks While on Vacation
- Check all exposed pipes, including under sinks, for leaks and wetness
- Look at connection tubes and supply lines on washing machines, dishwasher, ice maker and so on
- Make sure any exposed pipes are insulated or have heat tape to prevent a pipe burst
- If you plan to turn the heat down while you are away, leave it high enough to keep pipes warm. Leave cabinet doors open under sinks.
After relaxing on vacation, the last thing you want to come home to is a frozen pipe or leak of some kind that has been causing damage since you left. Wet carpets and flooring left to sit can also damage subflooring and can grow bacteria and mold. Broken pipes inside of walls can produce enough water to disintegrate sheetrock, warp and weaken studs, and ruin electrical wiring. Even furnishings and other belongings can suffer water damage if left to sit in wet or damp circumstances.
Water pipe repair can be expensive in Belton, TX, as can reclamation of your home and belongings. You may feel helpless and not know where to start. Get some help with your water damage repair process from professionals who understand what is needed and have the proper equipment for water removal and dehumidification. They can help check all sources of water in your home and make sure any necessary water pipe repair is done.
Fortunately, much of this damage can be prevented simply by taking the precautions listed above. You can take your next vacation worry-free and come home relaxed to a home where everything is intact.
Tips for Cleaning a Clogged Drain
A clog drain can lead to a sink overflow in your Temple, TX home
Finding a clogged drain in your Temple, TX, home isn’t something most people look forward to. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to handle a situation like this. From clog prevention ideas to using a drain snake, here are a few things you may want to know.
How To Prevent Clogs
One of the first places to start is doing what you can to prevent clogs in the first place. Some steps you can take to avoid a stopped-up drain include:
- Use a sink strainer to prevent large debris from getting in the drain
- Use a hair trap for shower or bathroom sink drains
- Keep fats and grease out of your drains
- Don’t pour hardening materials, like plaster, down your drains
- Run cold water into the garbage disposal while in use
How To Use a Drain Snake
One useful tool for clearing a clogged drain is the drain snake. A drain snake is fairly straightforward to use. Simply insert the snake into the drain and turn the handle until you feel resistance which should indicate you’ve found the clog. Keep turning until you feel the clog loosen. Pull the snake out of the drain. The clog may be pulled out as well, or it may have been broken down. It’s best to run water into the drain for a few minutes to help finish flushing the system.
How To Take Care of a Broken Pipe
Sometimes a clog can lead to a sink overflow or a pipe break. When this is the case, you could end up with water damage in your home as well. A water damage professional can assess the situation, help you find the source of the problem, and help conduct repairs.
If you have a clogged drain, you may be able to clear it with a drain snake. Once clear you can prevent future problems by using a sink strainer. In the event the clog does lead to any water damage problems, a professional may be able to help.
Why Does Smoke Damage Electronics?
Electrical fire in a Belton, TX home
The intense heat caused by a fire is likely to destroy electronics. Even exposure to smoke can cause irreparable damage. Find out more about why smoke damage affects appliances and devices and how this damage may be restored as part of a professional fire cleanup.
What Is In Smoke?
Smoke is a visible suspension of small particles. The composition of smoke may include:
- Water vapor
- Carbon monoxide
- Carbon dioxide
- Nitrogen oxide
- Volatile organic compounds
The acidity of smoke causes metals to corrode or disintegrate. It is necessary to ensure that circuit boards and other electronic components function properly after exposure to heat or smoke.
What Does Smoke Do To Electronics?
Smoke damage can cause a black film to develop over internal electronic components. This residue may cause malfunctions, such as:
- Electrical fires
Black film is formed when smoke adheres to any dirt or dust that is already present in electronics. An owner can attempt to clean out corrosion or film, but this effort is more likely to be successful when attempted by fire cleanup professionals.
How Do Experts Clean Up Damage?
Restoration specialists will remove electronics from the scene of a fire for cleanup off-site in a dedicated facility. This may involve:
- Removing corrosion or residues
- Attempting to retrieve data
- Providing proof of loss
Even if a device is no longer functional, it may still be possible to retrieve data stored on a hard drive or memory card. Experts may also be able to completely restore devices that have only suffered slight damage.
Exposure to smoke can cause corrosion or residues to form on the internal components of electronic appliances and devices. While a non-professional may attempt to clean contents after a house fire in Belton, TX, trained fire cleanup professionals working in controlled environments are likely to achieve the best results with delicate components inside electronics.
How To Prevent Common Small Business Claims
Hallway with water damage in Marlin, TX
5 Maintenance Measures That May Prevent the Need to File an Insurance Claim
Nearly half of small businesses end up filing insurance claims within 10 years of operation. It may be possible to avoid filing a business claim by performing regular maintenance at a commercial structure in Marlin, TX. Here are five maintenance measures that may prevent the need to file an insurance claim.
1. Prevent Pipes From Freezing
Pipes exposed to frigid temperatures run the risk of freezing. If this occurs, pressure buildup may result in a pipe break and water damage. Insulate pipes that are likely to freeze and heat a building during cold weather.
2. Schedule Preventative Plumbing Maintenance
Preventative maintenance may enable building owners to avoid filing a business claim. It is a good idea to have a licensed plumbing inspector check pipes every year or two. A building owner or manager should be aware of the age, condition, and pipe material in a structure.
3. Maintain the Building Envelope
The envelope of a commercial structure shields the interior from exterior elements. Maintaining this protective layer can limit condensation, prevent leaks, and keep cooled or heated air from escaping.
4. Keep Drainage Clear
It is a good idea to clear the drainage system twice a year and check every component for functionality. Downspouts, gutters, and roof drains can keep water from collecting and undermining roofing materials or causing problems around the base of a structure.
5. Inspect Critical Systems and Appliances
Malfunctioning systems such as the HVAC, electrical wiring, or plumbing can cause problems at a commercial building. Owners or managers should schedule regular inspections of systems and appliances that pose any risk of fire or water damage.
These measures may prevent the need to file a business claim. Regular maintenance can resolve most issues before major damage occurs. Rely on commercial maintenance services and, if worst comes to worst, a mitigation and restoration company located in Marlin, TX.
A Guide to the Mold Remediation Process
Mold caused by water damage in a Rosebud,TX property
Mold Remediation Process
If your Rosebud, TX, property has sustained water damage, there is a possibility that mold growth has occurred. If moisture is present for a long period of time, mold has a chance to proliferate, causing even more damage and posing a possible health hazard if pathogens such as black mold are present. You may wish to consult a professional mold remediation company. Following the steps outlined below, a mold cleanup professional can make sure any problem is eradicated safely and completely.
Once on the scene, the mold professionals can make a careful inspection of the property, assess the areas of damage, test to see what types of mold they are dealing with, and see if more toxic forms, such as black mold, are involved. Using specialized techniques, they are able to find any moisture sources that might otherwise remain hidden.
Once the sources of the problem are identified, they can contain the mold to keep it from spreading. First, all cooling, heating and ventilation systems are turned off. Then the technicians utilize advanced containment procedures such as negative air chambers and negative pressure. Using HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers, the mold specialists are able to isolate any microscopic mold spores that might otherwise escape.
3. Mold Removal
Depending on how much mold growth has occurred and whether more dangerous molds such as black mold are found, a variety of treatments can be used to contain and disinfect, such as antimicrobial and antifungal agents. Any mold-infested materials, such as carpeting and drywall, are removed at this time.
4. Contents Cleaning and Sanitization
All salvageable items, such as furniture, clothing and other belongings, are removed from the area to be cleaned and sanitized using various advanced cleaning techniques. Fogging equipment may be used to eliminate odors.
Once the mold has been removed and the affected areas cleaned and sanitized, any needed restoration can begin. This can range from replacing carpeting and drywall to rebuilding entire rooms.
A mold remediation company has the skills and equipment to tackle any type of mold damage. If you're experiencing a problem in your building, these experts can make sure the job is done right.
Tips for Estimating Fire Damage Repairs
Fire damage in Belton,TX
If a fire affects your Belton,TX, commercial building, you may have a major repair in your near future. How much will this work cost you? There are a lot of factors that can affect the cost of repairs. When you get an estimate, you may need to keep the following in mind:
- What fueled the flames
- How long the fire burned
- How hot the fire got
As you try to figure out the cost of repairs, you can work with a professional to get a better quote. Keep the following tips in mind as well.
Consider the Extent of the Damage
How much fire damage was there? If the flames affected the roofing, siding and structure of your commercial building, you may be looking at a bigger repair bill than if the fire had only affected the carpeting and furnishings in your building. You may also need to consider how much of your building was engulfed in the fire. For example, some fires may spread over an entire building while others may be confined to one or two rooms.
Find Out How the Fire Was Put Out
Did firefighters have to put the flames out? Did your building's sprinkler system dampen the fire? Was a fire extinguisher enough to stop the spread of the fire? The tools used to put out a commercial fire may affect the damage done to your building.
Get the Right Help
There are a lot of factors that effect the cost of repairs after a fire. Working with the right professionals can help you get a better estimate for the overall costs. You should work with your insurance provider. This will help you understand how much of the costs you will be responsible for out of pocket. You also need to find the right fire restoration team. You can get quotes on cost and schedule to find the best fit for your situation.
If you want to get an accurate estimate for damage repairs, you need to consider every factor. Getting an accurate quote can help you plan for the repair and cleanup process.