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4 Ways To Prevent Water Damage During a Vacation

8/6/2020 (Permalink)

Image of main water valve and green letters stating "Vacation Tip" Remember to shut off your water at the main shut off valve to your home before going on vacation

Some of the most severe water damage takes place while property owners are away from home. It may be days or weeks before a broken pipe or leak is noticed and homeowners can arrange for water pipe repair. During this time, clean water can degrade into contaminated black water and mold may grow. Here are four ways to prevent water damage during extended periods away from home.

4 Tips to Prevent Water Damage

  1. Check for Leaks

Inspect appliance hoses and plumbing for signs of condensation, corrosion or wear. You should also look for signs of roof damage. Homeowners can schedule professional inspections prior to a trip.

  1. Shut Off the Water

Homeowners can shut off valves for appliances or the main water supply. If the plumbing is unreliable or temperatures are expected to drop below freezing while you are away, shutting off the water can be the best way to avoid water pipe repair. Be sure to drain pipes by running faucets and flushing toilets.

  1. Check the Sump Pump

Ensure that the sump pump in the basement operates properly before you leave. Clean out the intake screen, discharge pipe, pit and vent hole. Fill the pit with water to make sure the pump works. A battery backup should also be available in case of power failure.

  1. Control the Interior Temperature

Keep interior temperatures at or above 55 degrees Fahrenheit during winter trips. Avoid allowing the temperature to rise more than four degrees above the typical occupied setting during the warmer months. High temperatures and moisture support rapid mold growth.

Homeowners may want to arrange for friends, family members or neighbors to check in on a property. This can reduce the amount of time between an incident, water pipe repair and mitigation. Whether a minor leak starts or a residence becomes flooded, rely on professionals for residential damage cleanup and restoration in Layton, UT.

Should You Worry About Water in Your Crawl Space?

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a snake The crawl space of your home is a magnet for mice, rats and snakes.

A wet crawl space may seem harmless, but it’s not. Leave it unattended, and your problem can grow — literally — to affect every floor of your Layton, UT, home. If you’re met with water the next time you take a trip to the crawl space to stash those holiday decorations, here are three reasons why it’s time to call a local water damage restoration company.

3 Reasons Why You Should Worry About Water in Your Crawl Space

1. Mold

A dark, damp crawl space is essentially a luxury resort for mold spores. They need precisely those two conditions — water and darkness — to thrive. What’s more, your crawl space may also contain some of mold’s favorite foods, such as cardboard boxes, wooden furniture, stacks of paper and dead bugs.
There are several ways that water can infiltrate your crawl space and lead to mold growth, from flooding to air vents. Once mold takes hold, if left unchecked, its spores can eventually move throughout the rest of your home. That’s bad news for both your property’s residents and its value.

2. Rodents, Bugs and Snakes

You know those dead bugs mentioned above? Before they went to the great plants and crumbs buffet in the sky, they were likely attracted to the damp of your wet crawl space. In addition to bountiful bugs and spiders, crawl space water is also a magnet for mice, rats and snakes.
Two of these invaders are especially problematic: termites, which chow down on building materials central to your home; and dust mites, which can take up residence in your bedding, furniture, carpet and other home fabrics faster than you can shriek “Wait — dust mites are parasites?!”

3. Ballooning Energy Bills

It’s harder to heat and cool damp air than it is to heat and cool dry air. If your crawl space takes on water after a flood, you may start seeing the effects in your monthly power bills. A water mitigation company like SERVPRO can dry the space out safely and save your budget.
“Out of sight, out of mind” should never apply to a wet crawl space. If you find water, don’t hesitate to contact a disaster response company to assess the problem and make recovery a cinch.

What’s the Difference Between Storm Damage and Flooding?

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a person walking on the street while holding shoes, behind him we can see a flooded street. There are differences between a storm damage and flood damage.

When disaster strikes Layton, UT, all water damage isn’t created equal. Most notably, flood damage is a distinct water issue that requires its own restoration approach. As you survey a storm’s aftermath, there are three differences between storm damage and flooding that you should keep in mind.

3 Differences Between Storm Damage and Flooding

1. The Water's Source

From a leaky roof to a broken window, there are a variety of ways that water can enter your commercial property during a storm. There’s only one way that flood water can besiege your building, though, and that’s by rising up from the ground and entering your building from below. This is the main distinction between flood water and all other types of water your property may take on.
It doesn’t matter how much water there is, either. True flooding is defined by the route that the water takes into the structure, not by its quantity or the amount of flood damage incurred.

2. The Category of Water

Water is typically sorted into three categories. Rainwater, for example, is Category 1 water. It’s clean and unlikely to cause harm to anyone who comes in contact with it. Because it rises from the ground, where it has the chance to mix with a variety of materials, including sewage and other bacteria-bearing matter, flood water is often Category 3 water. This class of water holds the greatest chance of contamination, so water damage restoration professionals should handle the cleanup.

3. Your Insurance Coverage

Most commercial insurance coverage protects against water damage. Destruction from a flood, on the other hand, is often covered by a special policy. If floods are frequent in your corner of Layton, UT, it may be wise to purchase separate flood coverage.

When unwanted water hits your commercial property, the distinction between storm damage and flooding may not be at the top of your list of concerns. Knowing the difference between storm and flood damage, however, can expedite the cleanup process and minimize stress.

Commercial Property Coverage Basics

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a person holding a paper with a header saying "insurance" It's important to have insurance coverage for your commercial property in Layton, UT.

Owning a business comes with certain expenses. While premiums for commercial insurance policies may seem steep, particularly if your business in Layton, UT, is just getting off the ground, they provide a necessary safety net. In addition to general liability, most basic packages include property insurance. Here are some of the protections your property policy likely includes.

Property Essentials

A business is more than the building that houses it. Your insurance can cover additional aspects of the property:

  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Office equipment
  • Inventory
  • Important documents
  • Signs
  • Fences
  • Landscaping

Most property policies protect these basics, even if you rent them rather than own them. Property insurance covers fire damage, natural disaster perils and theft. Your policy is designed to cover the cost of certified mitigation services when these situations occur.

Premium Costs

Not all properties are alike, so it logically follows that the premiums business owners pay for commercial insurance would vary as well. The cost of your premium depends on several factors. If your building has superior fire safety features in place or is constructed of fire-resistant materials, you are likely to pay lower premiums than business owners with buildings that simply meet minimum fire code standards. Businesses in cities with excellent fire protection are also less expensive to insure. The closer your building is to a fire station, the cheaper your policy is likely to be. Finally, providers look at the type of business you run. For example, a business with low risk for damage, such as an accounting office in its own separate building, will probably enjoy lower premiums than a restaurant or an office in a strip mall next to higher risk establishments.

Your business budget needs to include room for a good commercial insurance package. Rather than balk at the cost, consider what kind of risk you run if you end up needing coverage that you don't have.

Hail Damage

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

Image of hail found on top of roof after a storm. Hail can leave a lot of damage that we need to look for to avoid further loss in the future.

Types of Damage Hail Can Cause

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 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

3 Tips for Protecting Your Business from Storm Winds

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Emergency kit and a person with a checklist Create an emergency preparedness checklist to protect your company.

Tips Storm Damage Restoration Professionals Recommend for Protecting Your Company

For a business in Layton, UT, being prepared for hurricane damage can help save you valuable time and money. In many cases storm damage can obstruct the normal business flow, meaning that the better prepared you are beforehand, the quicker you can get back up and running. Here's some tips many storm damage restoration professionals recommend for protecting your company.

  1. Create a Storm Task List

One thing you can do to help prepare your company for a storm is to create a task list ahead of time of things you may require. This list may include gathering storm supplies such as blankets, extra food, batteries, radios, flashlights, and other gear, as well as tasks to help prepare your company buildings against inclement weather.

  1. Storm Prep Any Company Property

You may also want to prepare your property against hurricane damage ahead of time by investing in shutters, storm windows and doors, or a backup server for any electronic files. It's also recommended to have your roof inspected on a regular basis if you're located in an area with heavy weather. When you know a storm is coming you may want to sandbag areas prone to flooding, turn off electricity, and secure any exterior items against the weather.

  1. Keep Your Documentation Safe

During a storm high winds may occur that can cause debris to be thrown into your company property. This can cause damage both to the exterior and interior of your building. Such damage could lead to the loss of any files or documentation you may have. One prevention measure against this is to secure your files away from areas that are more prone to damage. You may choose to backup any electronic files onto our server as well.

If you're concerned about hurricane damage occurring to your business, then following these preparedness tips may help. Create a list of everything you'll need to do in the event of the storm, and be ready to storm prep any company property. You may also want to ensure that all your documentation is secured. If you have any questions or professional might be able to help.

3 Reasons Mold May Come Back After Remediation

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growing in kitchen white wall Mold may return after remediation

While black mold often jumps to the mind of any homeowner dealing with a mold infestation, they likely do not have to worry about toxic mold. However, what many homeowners may need to worry about is the resurgence of an outbreak after a mold cleanup. Do not blame the mitigation company in Layton, UT. Sometimes mold comes back, and it doesn't mean the company failed. 

Three reasons for the return of your home's infestation.

  • Water issue not resolved
  • Mold remediation incomplete
  • Spores spread

Water Issue Not Resolved

The primary reason mold will continue to grow after remediation is that the underlying water issue was not resolved. The company you chose may have fixed a plumbing issue, but depending on the age of your house, there may be several small leaks that went undetected. Have the company back out to the site to inspect your property for more leaks.

Mold Remediation Incomplete

The problem with black mold, or any mold, is that it is resilient. While a remediation company may believe that they have removed every last spore from the affected room, it is nearly impossible to tell, which is why many companies recommend purchasing dehumidifiers and fans to help control moisture levels in the room.

Spores Spread

It is also possible that the initial mold remediation fails because the mold spores spread farther than the mitigation crew anticipated. If your home has central cooling, it is possible for the spores to be sucked through air vents, making infestations seem sporadic, which is hard to identify without a thorough assessment of the property and its vital mechanics.

While a homeowner may not need to worry about toxic black mold, it is still necessary to be vigilant about mold growth. Even when a house is cleaned of an infestation, development can reoccur. Contact a mitigation company to discuss your concerns.

4 Ways To Prevent Water Damage

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

Image of leaking water heater. Water damage can be caused by a leaking appliance.

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.

Prevent Water Damage

1. 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
  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

How To Stay Open During a Pandemic

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Image of commercial office Keep your business open safely in Layton, UT.

Businesses, schools, and organizations around the world have closed their doors to limit coronavirus exposure and to thoroughly clean their buildings before employees and customers return. However, it isn't possible for all businesses to survive shutting down. Additionally, as things begin opening up, any company that remains closed could lose valuable business to their competitors.

How To Keep Your Business Open Safely

Instead of closing their doors, many business owners have taken some or all of the following steps to prevent spreading the virus:

  • Training employees to use proper handwashing techniques
  • Improving housekeeping habits
  • Appropriately disinfecting and cleaning all surfaces
  • Encouraging social distancing

These efforts can go a long way toward slowing the spread of the virus, but they don't encompass all of the necessary coronavirus cleanup steps.

What To Do If Your Business Is Exposed

There's still a lot that researchers and scientists don't know about the virus. For example, it is known that the virus exists on surfaces, but it isn't known how long it survives. Additionally, there are many variables that affect the virus's ability to survive and pass from one person to another. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend taking decisive action when an ill person enters your business. The CDC recommends identifying all areas used by the ill person and keeping those areas clear for at least 24 hours. After this amount of time, professional cleaning and disinfecting technicians can begin to do their work.

Why It's Important To Hire Professionals

There are some suggestions for completing covid-19 cleanup efforts on your own, but it's best to hire professionals for this job. This is because professionals have access to FDA-approved disinfectants, personal protective equipment, and the specialized training needed to avoid tracking the virus outside of the affected area. Without these resources and education, it's possible to increase coronavirus exposure instead of preventing it.

When To Turn Cleanup Over to Professionals

There are plenty of messes that could be handled by a company's in-house custodial staff. When it comes to coronavirus cleanup, however, it's best to work with qualified professionals. As a business owner or manager in Layton, UT, your top priorities should include those steps recommended by the CDC.

What Is Secondary Damage?

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed in room with water damage. Air movers used for water damage in a Kaysville, UT home.

Secondary damage is caused by primary damage. This additional damage may happen quickly as long as the conditions that caused primary damage persist or may develop over time. For instance, if water damage goes untreated or high humidity levels persist, black mold may develop. The water damage is the primary damage, and the mold growth is secondary. Take timely measures to restore primary damage and fix the source of the problem to prevent conditions from worsening.

What Are the Major Types of Damage?

There are several secondary types of damage that can affect your home following water damage. These include

  • Additional damage to contents or building materials
  • Corrosion
  • Electrical damage
  • Mold growth, including black mold
  • Wood rot

These are just a few of the types of damage that can follow water damage.

How Can You Prevent Secondary Damage?

Resolve primary damage as soon as possible to stop secondary factors from developing. Fix the source of a leak or other water damage and remove all water. Depending on the type of water, you may also need to clean and disinfect the affected area. Category One water is clean, but Category Two or Three water may contain bacteria or solid waste. Thoroughly dry the affected area and lower high humidity levels.

When Does Primary Damage Turn Into Secondary?

Primary damage and secondary consequences can emerge at the same time, or secondary issues can develop over time. The best way to stop this damage from becoming severe is to handle the primary source, assess the secondary factors, and take preventative measures as soon as possible.

If you are dealing with water damage in a commercial property in Kaysville, UT, take action immediately to limit the extent of damage from primary or secondary sources. A quick response and the assistance of skilled restoration professionals can keep black mold or other secondary issues from developing.