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Tips for Preventing Water Damage in Your Absence

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a bathroom and shower with flood cuts Water Damage in a Layton, UT home.

Everyone deserves to get away once in a while, but coming back to your home in Layton, UT, after a relaxing trip or holiday to find water damage can ruin the end of a good time. To avoid the need for water pipe repair when you return from your vacation, here are a few tips to follow before you leave.

3 Tips to Prevent Water Damage

1. Inspect

You should be checking your home for potential problems that lead to water damage on a regular basis anyway, but it is especially important before you plan to be away for a while. Make sure none of the hoses or supply lines are leaking. Check for broken shingles on the roof and clogged rain gutters. Test the sump pump in your basement by pouring water in and seeing if it kicks into gear.

2. Maintain

If you find any problems during your inspection, you will want to fix them. Water remediation specialists can mitigate any existing water damage and perform water pipe repair so that secondary problems such as mold growth don't develop in your absence. Clean your gutters, and insulate exposed pipes, especially if your trip takes place during the winter months. Set your thermostat so that your home remains warm so that your pipes don't freeze while you're gone.

3. Drain

Ideally, you have a neighbor, friend or family member who can check on your house periodically. If that's not the case, however, you can still protect your home by cutting off water flow altogether. One way to avoid a broken pipe is to drain all the water out of it before you go. You can also turn off the main water valve to the house. If water isn't flowing to your pipes, your home is less likely to be flooded.

No one wants to come back from vacation to discover that water pipe repair and water mitigation is necessary. By taking these precautions, however, you can relax fully during your trip, knowing your home is safe from water damage.

What Goes Into Estimating the Cost of Commercial Fire Restoration?

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

 Image of a building burned down. Only left with debris and burned materials Commercial fire damage.

Watching your Layton, UT, commercial building go up in flames can send your mind into a tailspin. What happens when the flames are finally out? You’ll most likely need to hire fire damage restoration professionals to make sure the job is done as quickly and thoroughly as possible. After all, the sooner restoration is completed, the sooner business can return to normal.

5 Elements Considered To Calculate the Cost of Fire Restoration 

There are a few elements that restoration professionals take into consideration when calculating the cost of a fire estimate:

1. Debris Removal

One of the first parts of the commercial fire restoration process is removing debris from the affected area. The debris can be the main cause of the smoke smell. All unsalvageable materials will be inventoried and then disposed of. After the inventory is complete, it’ll be given to your insurance adjuster so they can determine replacement costs.

2. Board Up

Board up services are necessary to begin immediately to prevent secondary damage, vandalism and theft. If the fire department is called, you’ll probably have water damage, in addition to the burned materials, smoke and soot. Fire damage restoration professionals will remove water from the building before boarding up the doors, windows and damaged walls.

3. Roof Replacement

If the roof has been damaged in the fire, emergency roof tarping will be necessary to protect the building from the elements until a permanent roof can be installed.

4. Damage Restoration and Reconstruction

Property damaged by fire and water will need to be cleaned, deodorized and possibly rebuilt.

5. Content Cleaning and Restoration

All salvageable items will be packed up to be cleaned at a cleaning facility. They’ll be cleaned, sanitized, deodorized and then stored until you’re ready to move them back into your building.

If your business goes up in flames, call fire damage professionals to get a fire estimate as quickly as possible. They can return your building to its pre-fire condition so you can continue with business as usual.

4 Fabulous Flameless Alternatives to Candles

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a jar with string lights String lights can give a magical look and can avoid fire damage.

Candles are great for setting the right mood, both indoors and out. Open flames aren't always practical, though. You must closely monitor them, but sometimes you're not going to be free to attend them. Several good candle alternatives can give off the same effect but much safer.

4 Alternatives to Candles 

1. Electric Candles

Electric candles (aka flameless candles) have a lighting effect similar to traditional candles; some even have a flicker feature that appears very close to the real thing. You can choose between electricity- or battery-powered versions and shapes and colors to match your decor. You can also place them anywhere and leave them "lit" while you're away since they don't have the risk of catching fire. Most of these devices don't give off a fragrance, but you can find some that are aroma-infused.

2. Illuminated Table Decor

It's easy to create your own candle alternatives by filling a transparent object such as a vase or wine bottle with LED string lights. This option provides a pleasing lighting effect. They're battery-operated, so there's no need to worry about power cords.

3. String Light Curtain

If you want a very unique, magical look, consider an illuminated curtain. These curtains have built-in string lights. You can place these curtains on various areas such as windows, doorways, bed canopies or walls.

4. Fairy Lights

Fairy lights are strands of small light bulbs. You can choose between ones powered by electricity or batteries. They also come in different varieties of bulb, color and length of the strand. Fairy lights can give a gentle, relaxing feel to a room.
Most lighted candle alternatives don't give off a fragrance. Still, if you want the additional aroma with your lights, there are several flameless options such as wax warmers, plug-in scented oil fresheners and essential oil diffusers. If your home in Layton, UT, suffers a candle fire, fire damage restoration experts can return your home to its preloss condition.

4 Vital Steps of the Fire Restoration Process

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

Image of ceiling, light fixture and walls damaged with fire and smoke. Fire damage in Layton, UT.

When fire has affected a Layton, UT, property and the firefighters have pulled away, there's plenty of work left for fire restoration technicians. These professionals address fire and smoke damage, as well as the water damage that results from the use of water from pressurized hoses. Fortunately, SERVPRO technicians have the supplies and training to make the building damage look "Like it Never Even Happened." Technicians generally work through several important steps before calling the cleanup complete:

4 Important Steps to Follow Before Calling Cleanup Professionals

1. Immediate Emergency Response

Specialists are available at the Customer Care Center all hours of every day. Fire disasters don't often happen when it's convenient. Even when emergencies occur at night, on weekends, or during holidays, an immediate response is necessary to ensure that further damage doesn’t occur. The specialist on the phone will send the right professionals to the affected property.

2. Damage Prevention

Before rebuilding services begin, technicians work through the property to assess the extent of the damage and determine whether board-up services are necessary. These services may include putting tarps over holes in the roof or walls, as well as surrounding the property with security fencing. With this work complete, a plan of action is drawn up to build the rest of the work.

3. Comprehensive Water Removal

It isn't unusual for a fire rebuild project to include water removal including the use of dehumidifiers and fans to be sure the air and surfaces are completely dry. Although fire damage is most visible, the chance of moisture extending behind walls and under carpeting must be addressed.

4. Cleanup and Sanitization

Technicians bring specialized training and powerful supplies to remove any lingering smoke and soot from surfaces throughout the property. This fire restoration work goes much further, however; technicians use a variety of techniques to return furnishings, curtains, carpets, and other belongings to their pre-fire condition.

As soon as the flames have been put out, SERVPRO technicians arrive Faster to Any Size Disaster and bring professionalism to the rest of the cleanup and fire restoration services. The right disaster recovery team can help you feel confident about the restoration process.

Water Mitigation Procedures for Pipe Burst and Supply Line Failures

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a bursting pipe Bursting pipes can lead to severe water damage.

Water damage in commercial facilities is often a concern because of the inventory and cost of business interruption. While a restoration service in Layton, UT, can help with a pipe burst cleanup or supply line leak, the company must understand how long the site will be out of service. The timeline depends on several factors, but the primary consideration is how long each step in the restoration process will take.

  • Excavate the water
  • Repair the leak
  • Dry the interior
  • Restore the building

Steps For Water Mitigation 

Excavate the Water

A supply line leaking may not take that long to recover from because there is limited and controlled flooding. However, a complete break or burst often floods the premises, requiring a significant amount of pumping and problem-solving.

Repair the Leak

The critical first step of any mitigation process is finding the damage to the supply line, and that search can often come before the pipe burst cleanup. The time it takes to find and repair the leak depends on the extent of the damage. In some instances, the break is obvious, but more often, the leak and water damage stems from several pipes, some of which may be hidden behind walls.

Dry the Interior

With the water shutoff and problems addressed, the restoration service can begin the water cleanup, which involves the drying of the facility. The company will use multiple tools, such as dehumidifiers, fans, and air movers. Drying the interior can take several days, depending on the level of flooding.

Restore the Building

Once the space is dry, the restoration service can move on to repairing the building. When the team finishes the project, all plumbing should be in working order, and it should be challenging to tell the difference when compared to pre-disaster conditions.

A pipe burst cleanup can devastate a business, but problems can resolve quickly when companies prepare for the risks. Ensure that you have an emergency plan and understand the necessary steps for mitigation and restoration should disaster strike.

How To Restore Your Flooded Basement

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a basement with flood cuts on walls Water damage caused by storm in a Layton, UT home.

No homeowner in Layton, UT, wants to face a flooded basement. However, knowing how to address flood damage and what equipment can expediate your work can help you efficiently restore the lowest level of your home.

Steps to Restore Your Flooded Basement

Avoid Electric Shock

Water and electricity are a deadly combination. To eliminate the risk of electric shock, you need to ensure that the electricity is turned off before commencing your cleanup efforts.

Drain Water

The first step in the cleanup process is to drain standing water. To accomplish this, you need four pieces of equipment:

  • Submersible sump pump or trash pump, if there is debris such as mud, leaves or sticks
  • Extension cord
  • Long hose to drain water away from the house
  • Generator to power the pump

To expediate drainage, use multiple sump pumps. Once the pumps have extracted most of the water, you can also use a wet vac to suction additional moisture.

Remove Saturated Materials

Removing saturated materials is the next step. This includes both personal belongings and wet building materials, such as carpets and drywall. These items are porous and can become breeding grounds for mold.

To remove water-damaged drywall, make a flood cut 12-18 inches above the highest water level. Once you remove the saturated drywall, promptly discard any wet insulation. Because insulation loses its R-value when wet, you will not be able to salvage this material.

Dry the Area

Quickly drying your basement is another crucial step. You can use fans and a dehumidifier to expediate the process and minimize the risk of mold damage.

Completing repairs while the basement is still wet could also result in extensive mold growth. For this reason, it is important to ensure that the room is completely dry before replacing drywall, insulation and flooring. To verify the absence of moisture, use a moisture meter.

Seek Assistance

Repairing your flood-damaged basement can be a dauting project, especially if there is significant water damage. Local cleanup and restoration specialists have equipment and expertise readily available to help you efficiently complete the process and return your basement to its original condition.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a wall and window frame damaged with smoke and soot due to a fire. Smoke and soot damage can cause pervasive odor in your Layton, UT home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

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. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Layton/Kaysville will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are 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 pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

4 Steps To Protect Your Home From Water Damage

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a bursting pipe 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

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

How To Assess Mold Damage in Your Home

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a person testing mold spores Prompt mold assessment and professional removal is important to keep your home safe.

If you’re like most homeowners in Layton, UT, when you see small, dark spots or suddenly get a whiff of something musty in your basement, you fear the worst: black mold. The good news is that with a thorough mold assessment, you can pinpoint the source of any mildew or mold-related issue and combat it quickly.

2 Types of Testing For Mold Damage

Mold Testing Kits

The EPA refuses to endorse any home testing kit. Instead, it strongly encourages you to have your home tested by professionals if you suspect you have mold on the premises.
Still, some homeowners choose to go the retail testing kit route. Kits are sold at most home improvement stores, as well as online, and are typically straightforward to use:

  • Expect the assessment process to take several days.
  • If your home tests positive for mold, be prepared to send your test to a lab to uncover what type of mold you have.
  • Tests range in price from $25 to $45.
    Specimen analysis, when necessary, will cost another $40 to $75.

Professional Testing

When you contact your local mold remediation company for a mold assessment, it will send a team of technicians to your home to determine the following:

  • The source of the mold
  • The type of mold involved
  • How much of your home has been impacted, including any airborne spread
  • Whether structural materials have been affected
  • How to best remove the mold from you home given the above factors

After the inspection, you can expect a written report that states the specialists' findings and proposed remediation plan.

Once you sign off on a mold removal strategy, work should begin right away. The exact scope of the job varies based on the specific materials and areas of your home affected, but generally speaking, mold removal professionals will contain the contaminated area, remove the mold, scrub the air and clean and sanitize the premises.

Mold is a homeowner’s nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be. With a prompt mold assessment and professional removal, your home can safely return to its comfortable, spore-free state.

Beyond Sandbagging: Tips for Flood Control

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

Image of sand bags placed in front of a blue door. Sand bags used as a barrier.

A flood in Layton, UT, can leave your building in shambles. You probably know the tried-and-true flood prevention measures that can deter water for a little while, but are you aware of newer methods on the market? If you want to think beyond the sand bag, here are some other options that may help you protect your business better.

2 Other Options For Flood Control

Reusable Dams

You probably have trusted local flood restoration experts on speed dial, but everyone knows it's better to avoid flood damage in the first place. Sand bags are handy, but it can take a long time to fill them or put them in place. A makeshift dam may be a faster option. There are several reusable dams on the market:

  • QuickDam- expands to block flooding as it absorbs it.
  • AquaDam- fills with water to provide a 4-foot barrier.
  • HydraBarrier- replaces multiple sand bags when you fill the tube with water.

A sand bag is only one small barrier to water that threatens to seep into your building during a storm. Reusable dams are faster to use, allowing you to protect a larger area than just your doors and windows.

Instant Levees

Why stop at just protecting the building itself? You can purchase a larger apparatus that completely surrounds your building, providing an instant levee when you fill it or assemble it. This may be especially appealing to property owners who want to protect the grounds or other structures on the land in which they have invested a lot of money. Flood cleanup typically goes more quickly outside, but putting up an instant levee when you know a storm is on its way can keep problems at bay altogether.
Sandbagging can be marginally effective, but it's time consuming to fill and place each sand bag.

Other barrier options let you protect more of your property in a shorter amount of time.