3 Steps for Restoring Your Home to Its Pre-Fire Condition
This Layton, UT home suffered from smoke and fire damage
No homeowner wants to watch his or her Layton, UT, home go up in flames. Whether your house has survived a minor, moderate, or severe fire, you likely want to begin cleanup as soon as possible. As part of a complete cleaning process, restoring your home involves dealing with fire, soot, and smoke damage.
Three Steps For Fire Damage Restoration
- 1. Overall Structure
Fires often weaken studs and floor joists. They may also ruin drywall and tile. The first step in any fire-cleanup process is to evaluate the safety and habitability of the home. Once a professional deems the house is safe to occupy, cleanup can begin. Technicians have the skill, equipment, and knowledge to remove fire marks and other remnants from surfaces throughout the home.
- Accumulated Soot
Soot can be as bad or worse than fire or smoke damage. Not only does accumulated suit discolor walls and carpeting, but it can also ruin furniture and personal keepsakes. Unfortunately, you may have to throw away uncleanable items. Some, however, are probably salvageable. Since you are not an expert, you likely can’t know which items to preserve and which ones to toss. As part of the cleaning process, restoration technicians do the analysis for you.
- Smoke Infiltration
As you probably know, smoke can work its way into small places throughout your home. Even if you haven’t sustained much fire damage, you may have a tremendous amount of smoke infiltration. To effectively remove smoke, professional restorers use a variety of smoke-cleaning techniques. In addition to replacing HVAC filters and scrubbing walls, technicians often rely on ozone machines to remove smoke odors.
Fire damage, soot damage and smoke damage can destroy the comfort, value and appearance of any home in Layton, UT. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with the negative effects of fires. By working with the right restoration service, you can likely return your home to its pre-value condition.
Steps To Take When Your Toilet Leaks
A leaking toilet is usually a simple problem to solve.
There are several signs you have a leaking toilet. It may take longer to fill up or you may see water on the floor after flushing. There are three basic things you need to do to fix the problem.
3 Steps You Need To Follow To Fix A Toilet Leak
- Locate the Source
The first step is figuring out where the issue lies. There are several places where leaks can originate:
- Inside the pipes
- Inside the tank
- From the supply line
- Under the base
A good test to help you discover the source of the leak is simply to flush the toilet. If water rises swiftly in the bowl and it threatens to overflow, you probably have a clogged pipe. If the water won't stop running, you may have a faulty gasket inside the tank. Water on the floor can either be from a leaky supply line or a broken seal in the base. Finding the source informs the steps you must take to get rid of the leak.
- Fix the Problem
Once you know the cause of the leaking toilet, you can probably find sufficient tools at your local hardware store to take care of the problem. It may be as simple as tightening the bolts at the base of the toilet. If you don't have any experience fixing plumbing issues or you cannot locate the source of the leak, however, it's best to call a plumber in Layton, UT, to fix it.
- Repair the Damage
Any type of bathroom leak can cause hidden water damage. This is especially true if the problem goes undetected for a long time or if there are delays in getting it fixed. After the leak is repaired, water restoration experts can assess the damage it caused to your walls, floors or even the ceiling of the floor below the bathroom. Fixing the damage quickly is the key to avoiding additional problems.
A leaking toilet is usually a simple problem to solve. To keep the problem from getting out of hand, fix the toilet and any damage it causes in a timely manner.
4 Steps To Protect Your Home From Water Damage
Bursting pipes can cause severe water damage.
Bursting pipes have many causes, and this increases the difficulty of addressing the problem appropriately. It's one thing to fix broken pipe systems; it's another to make sure you don't have further water damage and, possibly, mold. If you want to avoid serious damage, you need to know exactly which steps you need to take as soon as a pipe bursts.
4 Steps You Need To Take For a Bursting Pipe
- Shut Off the Water
You'll have to address a few questions at this point:
- Can you identify the point of the burst?
- Can you access the burst?
- Is there a quick way to shut water off at the point of trouble?
It's important that you stop water from gushing into your home as quickly as possible. Your best course of action may be shutting everything off at the water main. This may be located in the basement or on the outside of your home.
- Open Windows and Doors To Increase Ventilation
You need to begin the drying process as quickly as possible. This will make it easier for water damage cleanup and restoration professionals to save your home from more damage. It will also keep your costs and frustration down.
- Remove Water Quickly
It doesn’t take long for bursting pipes to send inches of water into the rooms of your home. Use towels, mops, wet/dry vacuums, and anything else that will pick up water. The faster you remove water from the area, the better you can avoid hidden pockets of moisture that cause trouble later on. Make sure you check the surrounding rooms for increased humidity or evidence of seeping water.
- Turn on Fans and Dehumidifiers
Borrow fans and dehumidifiers from your Layton, UT, neighbors if you have to or get some from an equipment rental agency. Use fans in the rooms with open windows and use dehumidifiers in enclosed spaces. Remember to empty the water out of the dehumidifiers whenever the tanks fill up.
These important steps can protect you from expensive damage, and contacting professionals is the best way to avoid secondary damage, such as mold in areas that you can't see. When you have bursting pipes, take these four steps and then call your insurance agent and the water cleanup pros.
5 Tips To Create a Business Fire Escape Plan
A fire escape plan for a commercial building.
It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 commercial fires every year. While a fire damage and restoration company may be able to restore the property, business owners in Layton, UT, need to ensure the safety of everyone inside. Establishing a fire escape plan is essential for that to happen.
Essential Parts of an Emergency Escape Plan
Every business may be different, but there are key ingredients to an emergency plan regardless of the size or type of business.
1. Identify Potential Hazards
While not all fires are preventable, many of them are. The first step in creating a plan requires determining what hazards your business may face. Inspect every part of the property to determine what may be a fire threat. Things to look for include overloaded electrical outlets, equipment near water, employees using space heaters and storage closets with flammable chemicals. If your business has a kitchen, it is ideal to establish rules to ensure that any equipment is being properly used.
2. Assign Key Roles
When a fire breaks out, it is often a chaotic situation. To help ensure your fire escape plan works, it is important to establish a chain of command and assign key roles to specific individuals. Along with a chief warden, who will take the lead during an event, other assignments should include an assistant warden, route guides and floor monitors. The route guides will work to help people calmly evacuate and keep the path clear while the floor monitors will ensure everyone is safely out of the area.
3. Establish Designated Escape Routes
Successfully evacuating requires knowing the best path out. Every plan should have both a primary and secondary escape route. These routes should also be kept clear of objects that may slow down the escape. A map should be created, especially if your business has multiple floors, that clearly shows the route and fire extinguisher locations. Along with getting out of the building, ensure that everyone knows where to meet up after exiting the building. This location should be a safe distance away from the property.
4. Have a Communication Plan
Communication is always important, especially in an emergency situation. It is important that one of the key roles established in the plan is in charge of calling emergency responders, as well as communicating with customers, employees and other business-related people. This is an important role to not only ensure that everyone on-site has up-to-date information but also to ensure that business operations will get back on track faster after the situation is over.
5. Practice the Plan
Practice makes perfect applies perfectly to being prepared for emergency situations. Just like kids in school, adults also need to regularly go through the fire plan and conduct drills. Doing so helps reaffirm that everyone knows what they should be doing as well as serves as an opportunity to make the plan as efficient as possible.
Every business should have a fire escape plan. Whether the business is small or large, ensuring that everyone knows where to go and what to do may help ensure everyone's safety.
How To Save Your Wet Wood Floor
Water can damage your wood flooring.
Wood flooring is beautiful and can enhance the look of your building. However, wood floors can easily be damaged by water from a pipe burst, spill or another source. Quick action is required to prevent permanent damage.
How To Save Your Wet Floor
Waxes and sealants provide you with more time to clean up spills and other water damage before it is absorbed into the wood. However, quick action is still required to save your wood floor from permanent damage:
1. Remove Wet Objects
Anything wet that is lying on your floor will continue to leach water into the floor. Additionally, mold and mildew may grow which can infiltrate the seams and pores of your floor. Remove wet rugs, carpets, clothing, toys, furniture and other items as soon as possible. Throw out items that can not be salvaged and move the rest to a location where they can dry without damaging your floor.
2. Remove As Much Water As You Can
Use mops, towels and clean rags to absorb as much liquid as you can. If you are dealing with a pipe burst, make sure the water supply to the pipe is shut off so that additional water isn't leaking onto your flooring. You can remove larger amounts of water with a wet vacuum. Continue to vacuum even after there is no longer visible water on the surface of the floor. This will remove some of the water that is in the plank seams and wood pores. Keep vacuuming until you are no longer seeing any new water in the vacuum canister. If you are dealing with damage from a flood or a large amount of water from a plumbing issue, consider contacting a water restoration service in Layton, UT, to assist you with removing the water from the flooring.
3. Dry the Floor
Once you finish removing as much water as you can with the wet vacuum, finish drying the wood. Position a dehumidifier in the center of the room and run it on its highest setting for a minimum of 24 hours. Position fans around the room and run them at high speed. If the damage is on an upper floor, place fans on the level below and aim them toward the ceiling to help dry the subfloor and underside of the flooring. If it is not raining, you can open some windows to increase air circulation.
4. Check for Mold
Moisture promotes mold growth. Look for signs of mold in the pores of your wood floor. If you find any, clean the floor with baking soda and water or contact a mold restoration service.
5. Test for Remaining Moisture
Use a moisture testing meter to check for moisture remaining in the wood of your floors. It may take several weeks for the floors to completely dry. Keep running your fans and dehumidifier until the meter shows no moisture remaining in the flooring.
Water from a pipe burst, flood or spill can severely damage wood flooring. However, taking quick action to remove water and dry the flooring can reduce the amount of damage that occurs.
What You Need To Know About Flooding, Flood Insurance, and FEMA
Flooding can cause severe damage.
Floods are some of the most common types of natural disasters throughout the United States, and there are several sources of natural flooding:
- Prolonged rainfall
- Heavy snowmelt
- Powerful storms
- Broken dams
- Lack of drainage
Unfortunately, even homes that aren’t situated on a flood plane can be vulnerable to these disasters.
What Is the Importance of Flood Insurance?
Whether the risk to your home in Layton, UT, is obvious or not, it’s important to add flood insurance to your policy. This additional coverage is the best way to protect your home and family from significant loss.
What You Need To Know About Urban Flooding
Urban flooding happens when a community’s infrastructure isn’t prepared to handle heavy rainfall. In this case, water flows from roads, sidewalks, parking lots, and other surfaces into storm drains, ultimately overflowing into yards or up through residential sewer systems. Communities that aren’t located in flood zones are experiencing more risk of street flooding, overwhelmed sewer systems, and flooded neighborhoods because of heavy or prolonged rainstorms. This means that even if you haven’t had a problem with rainfall flooding in the past, you could be caught in a disaster situation in the future.
What To Do if You Don’t Have the Right Insurance
What if you don’t have coverage for flooding? You may still have some recourse through the federal government. The Small Business Administration offers loans, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency offers grants to cover some related expenses.
Loans for home repairs through the SBA are classified as disaster loans. You will have to pay back the money you receive, but you can count on low-interest rates with extended repayment periods, often up to 30 years. The specific repayment terms for your loan are determined by your specific circumstances. An SBA disaster loan can be used to repair and replace your home and your personal property, including cars. You won’t be allowed to use the funds for additions or upgrades to your home, but they may cover any work done by water damage cleanup and repair professionals. Even if you don’t think you’ll use the loan, it’s a good idea to apply because this could also help you qualify for other funds.
FEMA provides grants for families located in federally recognized disaster areas. These grants are available through the Individuals and Households Program and are generally meant to cover expenses that aren’t covered by your existing insurance policy. Unlike the broad coverage allowed by the SBA loan, the funds you receive through this grant are strictly controlled. For example, you can only use these funds to return your home to a habitable state, not to return it to its original condition.
What You Can Do Now
If you live in a flood zone, you should immediately contact your insurance provider and add flood insurance to your existing coverage. If you don’t live in a flood zone, it’s still worth discussing the risk with your insurance provider. Insurance companies are often an excellent resource for ideas about floodproofing your home and landscape. The steps you take now are much easier than the work required to recover from flooding.
Top 5 Causes of Residential Fires
Cooking fires are the leading cause of fire damage in Layton, UT.
A property owner's worst fear is a residential disaster, like a home fire. Unfortunately, even with vigilant homeowners, some fire disasters are unavoidable. However, don't call in the fire cleaning specialists from Layton, UT, just yet. Being aware of the five leading causes of home fires can reduce your risks.
The 5 Leading Causes of Home Fires
- Faulty wiring
Cooking can quickly lead to fire damage, especially when working with grease. A grease fire can get out of control if you don't smother it immediately. While you can allow the pan fire to burn itself out if it is small and away from flammable materials, it is best to put a lid on it and remove it from the heat source.
- Faulty Wiring
Older homes may have wiring issues. First, the codes today do not match those from a decade or more ago. Second, if you recently purchased the property, you do not know who performed past wiring work or upgrades. It is wise to have an electrical inspection done to ensure everything is up to code and safe.
Smoking in bed or relaxing in the living room can cause a home fire. If you fall asleep with the lit cigarette in your hand, it is possible the embers or the cigarette will ignite furniture or carpeting around you.
Every appliance in your home likely has a maintenance schedule and cleaning instructions. Be sure to obey the guides provided by the manufacturer. It is also a good idea to unplug appliances not in use.
Many homeowners like candles, especially those with a pleasant fragrance. However, if you have children or pets, make sure you do not leave a lit candle unattended. Children are curious, and pets can be reckless.
While a home fire is a concern for many homeowners, knowing the common causes of house fires can limit your risks. If you wish to discuss or assess issues regarding your property, contact a fire prevention expert.
Hail can leave a lot of damage that we need to look for to avoid further loss in the future.
The dreaded sound of ice pellets hitting your office window tells you that the storm has become more than just wind and water. When you experience a hailstorm in Kaysville, Utah, it can cause extensive storm damage to your commercial property. You can hire professionals to take care of roof damage so that you avoid bigger problems in the future. Here are some other problems to check for after hail.
2 Problems to Check for After Hail
- Cracked or Missing Shingles. Hail damage to the roof can break your shingles.
Some shingles may even come loose or detach completely. A roofing company is generally required to fix the roof, but luckily most building insurance packages have provisions to cover at least part of the cost.
- Leaks. Roof damage can lead to leaks, which in turn can lead to a whole slew of other problems.
A wet attic that goes unnoticed can foster mold growth, turning a water problem into a mold remediation problem. It can also cause insulation to get wet, which renders it ineffective. If that happens, it needs to be replaced. Flood mitigation specialists can test areas with water damage to make sure they are remediated properly.
Prevent Water Damage
Water damage can be caused by a leaking pipe.
A small puddle of water in the home can turn into a big problem in a short amount of time. Your best bet is preventing any event that could cause the puddle to form. Here are four tips for preventing water damage to your home in Layton, UT.
4 Ways to Prevent Water Damage
- Maintain Appliances
A common cause of water damage in homes is a leaking appliance. There are several items in your home that can leak if they're broken:
- Washing machine
- Water heater
Each of these appliances should be maintained regularly to ensure that they are in good working condition. Water cleanup experts recommend frequent checks to save your home from water damage.
- Check Pipes
A small pipe leak can wreak a lot of havoc, particularly if it goes undetected for a long time. Make pipe checks a regular part of your maintenance schedule. Watch your water bill for unexplained spikes, and inspect the pipes under sinks frequently. Pipe cleanup under one cabinet is better than having to replace walls and flooring because you were not aware of an issue.
- Update Exterior Drainage
Water outside the home can easily become water in the home if you aren't careful. Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris so that precipitation can drain properly rather than pooling on the roof. Your exterior drainage plan should direct runoff away from your home rather than toward your foundation.
- Install a Sump Pump
Despite your best efforts to prevent it, a flood from a broken pipe may occur. You can limit the amount of water damage by installing a sump pump. When this device detects flooding, it kicks into gear to pump the water out so that it doesn't seep into your floors and walls.
Damage from water in the home can take a lot of time and money to repair. Protective measures and preventative maintenance can lower your risk.
Safer Candle Alternatives
Avoid Candle Fires by following our Tips.
Their pleasing scents and warm glows make candles a popular addition to many people's home decor. Candles can also be useful for times when the power is out. However, they can pose a fire risk. Consider these safer candle alternatives.
Avoid a Candle Fire
The holidays are the most common time of year for candle fires to occur, but they can happen at any time. Using one of these popular candle alternatives can help you avoid this risk:
1. Essential Oil Diffusers
If you are burning candles for the scent, rather than the light, consider using an essential oil diffuser. These diffusers are either battery operated or plug into a wall outlet and you can use many different scents with them including popular holiday choices, such as pine trees and pumpkin spice.
2. Flameless Candles
If you want the experience of candlelight without the fire risk, try a flameless candle. These are usually battery-operated, so you can still use them during a power outage. They don't give off a scent or generate any heat, which may make them a good alternative for summer months and for people who have scent sensitivities.
3. Wax Warmers
Wax warmers melt scented wax cubes to create the smell of burning a candle without the open flame. You can adjust the strength of the scent by increasing or decreasing the amount of wax you melt at one time. Because these items generate heat, they are not completely risk-free, but the fire risk is much lower than with an open flame.
4. Reed Diffusers
Reed diffusers aren't as powerful as electronically powered diffusers, but you don't have to change batteries or plug them in and they consistently dispense scents for weeks at a time. This is a good option if you want to use a diffuser in an out of sight area, such as a cabinet, or a location without easy access to an electrical outlet.
5. Room Sprays
Another flameless way to make your home smell nice is to use a room spray. Some of your favorite candle brands produce sprays and you can purchase automatic dispensers to keep your home smelling fresh all day.
Candle Safety Tips
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 8,200 house fires are started by candles every year. These fires can cause significant damage that requires restoration services in Kaysville, UT.
If you decide to use candles, use them safely. Never leave a burning candle unattended. If you must leave the room, blow out the candle first and make sure it is out. Do not place candles near flammable objects, such as curtains, furniture, carpets, paper, books, bedding and flammable decorations. Avoid touching open flames with your hair or clothing.
Do not put burning candles where pets or children can access them or where they can easily be accidentally knocked over. Avoid placing candles near vents or drafts. Don't move a candle while it is still lit or while any melted wax is liquified. Keep all candles at least three inches apart.
Candle fires can cause a significant amount of property damage. To avoid this risk, use candles safely and consider using candle alternatives.