How To Deal With Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes que cause damage to your Geneva, IL home
Winter weather can cause a lot of damage to your home. Prepping for winter means making sure there are no weak areas in your roof, around your windows or in your foundation to let cold air or water in. Other hazards to look out for are frozen pipes. While the best protection is prevention, there are things you can do to salvage pipes before they wreak havoc on your home.
A pipe freeze will often show up as a faucet that produces little to no water flow. If that happens, start by inspecting pipes in the following areas:
- Near exterior walls
- In the attic or basement
- In crawlspaces
If there is frozen water in a pipe, it may have already expanded enough to crack. If that is the case, turn off the water main and call a plumber. Warming the pipe up before it's fixed may result in water damage that can only be resolved by water restoration specialists.
Sometimes, frozen pipes won't show any signs of stress or breakage. When this happens, you can fix the problem by simply warming the pipe. Keeping faucets open to keep warm water moving through the pipes can accomplish this goal. You can also use a hair dryer to warm up pipes or, if the pipe is metal, a heat gun. Directing warm air from your HVAC unit into the walls can also unfreeze the water in the pipes.
To prevent a pipe freeze, you want to make sure the pipes and the air around them stay warm. Insulate pipes that are particularly vulnerable. Keep the heater on in your home, and circulate the air so that it reaches the pipes. Opening cabinets and closet doors can help facilitate this circulation.
Frozen pipes can cause damage to your home in Geneva, IL, but dealing with this issue is fairly simple. By warming pipes and keeping them that way, you can prevent a lot of water damage.
Mold Remediation: Why Hiring a Professional Is Often Necessary
Mold damage in a ceiling after water damage.
Is It Necessary To Hire A Professional?
Mold removal may sound like a simple job, but nothing could be further from the truth, especially when dealing with an infestation. Mold spores spread quickly and easily, which means that in a contaminated home it is necessary to seal off registers and doorways to prevent the movement and cross-contamination of the mold species. However, beyond taking the appropriate precautions, hiring a professional for removal has other perks.
Reputable remediation experts will perform what is known as pretesting. This involves taking samples of all contaminated surface areas of the home as well as air quality tests. These tests allow experts to determine the mold species and the level of contamination. This determination then informs the remediation team on how to best move forward.
Mold removal is not only about removing contaminated items and materials, but it is also about preventing the spread of the mold spores to other areas of the home. While spores are everywhere and virtually impossible to remove 100 percent, they can be reduced and controlled to prevent further and future damage to your home.
While some molds can be removed using cautious DIY techniques, black mold removal is not one of those species. In fact, some states and insurers require professional remediation for a black mold infestation to ensure the safety of you and others.
A bonus to hiring a disaster restoration specialist in the St. Charles, IL, area for your remediation needs is the restoration part. These companies are a one-stop shop for remediation and restoration, meaning that your home will be free of mold and repairs when you get it back.
Mold removal can be a complicated job, one requiring professional assistance. Don't think that because a problem appears small and manageable than it actually is. Hire a professional to perform pretesting and learn about what you are dealing with, and then, if the problem is bigger than expected, hire a remediation and restoration team to take on the work. Stay safe and think of your health.
St. Charles Home Health: The Key to Mold Control is Moisture Control
Moldy Kitchen Cabinets.
Have you scrubbed, scoured, and cleaned moldy spots in your home only to find the pesky mold growing back or growing in another area of your home? The problem may be high moisture levels. Mold spores are a natural part of the environment and are always present in your home, but when humidity levels are high, or there’s a water source, such as a leak, mold begins to grow. The key to controlling mold infestations is controlling moisture in your home. SERVPRO of St. Charles are mold remediation experts, and we would like to share with you the best moisture control tips to help prevent mold growth in your home.
The Key to Mold Control
Check humidity levels indoors.
Mold thrives in high humidity environments, and the best way to know the moisture level is to measure it. Hygrometers are hand-held devices that measure moisture levels in the air. They can be used both indoors and out, and are found at hardware stores often near the thermometers. Hygrometers can be built into other appliances such as humidifiers and dehumidifiers. If the humidity level is more than 50%, take extra measures, such as those described below, to reduce moisture levels and reduce the chance of mold growth.
Use a humidistat to control humidity levels indoors.
While the hygrometer measures the moisture levels in the air, a humidistat controls it. Commonly built into other appliances like air conditioners and dehumidifiers, humidistats regulate indoor moisture to your preferred preset level. Appliances with humidistats often come with a higher price tag, but they are often worth the additional cost since the average humidity levels are about 60% in the St. Charles, Batavia, and Geneva area.
Use your air conditioner to reduce humidity.
If you don’t have a humidistat, you can use your air conditioner to help dry out the air. Instead of running cold air all day, program your a/c to run at 72 degrees for about 2 hours before sunrise and at 85 degrees the rest of the day. Opening windows and using fans are also helpful, however if humidity is already high outdoors, it’s best to use your air conditioner for air circulation and moisture control.
Use your exhaust fans.
Moisture levels can rise quickly in your kitchen and bathroom. Make sure that the exhaust fans are in good working order and clean. Range hoods can get clogged with grease that prevents optimum ventilation so be sure to clean it often.
Correct leaks quickly…even small ones.
It may be tempting to place a bucket under a slow leak and tend to it later, but any excess moisture in the home invites mold growth. Buckets overflow, leaks are forgotten or get worse, and before you realize it, you have water damage and mold growing in your home. As soon as you find a leak, fix it and promptly dry any wet areas. If water damage is extensive, hire a trusted water damage restoration company, such as St. Charles SERVPRO, to do the clean up and repairs for you.
Controlling moisture levels in the home takes effort, but it’s worth it. Mold infestations inside the home can negatively affect health and cause costly damages−damages that can be avoided or lessened if moisture control measures are taken. For a thorough inspection of Batavia water damage and possible mold growth, call us at St. Charles SERVPRO. Also servicing the Geneva area, St. Charles SERVPRO is the mold remediation expert, and we look forward to helping you achieve a clean and mold-free home.
Regional Disasters Require a National Response
Contact the cleaning and restoration company that is faster to any size disaster
Regional disasters occur more often than we would like. Damage is usually extensive, and the region cannot recover without outside help. Even before the disaster is complete, the road fills with response teams from:
- Fire and rescue departments and agencies
- Power companies
- Cable TV and internet service providers
- Grocery and restaurant chains
- Medical facilities
- The cleaning and restoration company that is faster to any size disaster
There Are Many Different Ways To Respond to Disasters
The listed companies each respond to in their own way. Power, cable and emergency services have reciprocal agreements to send crews when needed. Grocery stores, restaurants and hotels take care of their own. Large hospitals and medical facilities assemble, equip and deliver teams of medical professionals.
One Company Takes a Unique Approach
The cleaning and restoration company takes a different approach. On a typical day, it looks like a group of over 1,700 independently owned and operated franchises. They deal with damage of all types including fire, water and storm. They perform cleanups and restorations in the nearby cities and towns. For the employees, it’s a peaceful day-to-day job.
Looks Are Deceiving
When disaster strikes, this company stands tall. Faster to any size disaster is not just a catchy phrase. Those home town franchises are part of a tightly connected network of providers. The central office of this network regulates all activity in the disaster area.
It begins with franchisees transferring teams and equipment to the disaster area. The company’s central office logs each insurance claim and assigns it to an appropriate team. In a disaster situation, the number and density of claims are high. Teams may find themselves working on multiple claims at the same time.
Make it Look “Like it never even happened.”
This is the ultimate goal of all cleaning and restoration projects. If you need this done in the North Aurora, IL, area, getting help is easy. Contact the cleaning and restoration company that is faster to any size disaster.
Flood or Storm Damage: When is a Flood a Flood
Flood Damage in Batavia, IL.
Definition of Flood And Stormwater Damage
Flooding is one of those issues that causes a lot of controversy around the idea of insurance coverage. While flood damage requires individual riders and sometimes special policies, storm damage is often covered under a typical business policy. Why is that, and what exactly is the difference between flood and stormwater damage? The critical issue is in the definition of flood and stormwater.
1. Flood Water
Flood water is defined by territory and natural formation. Therefore, overflowing rivers, lakes, creeks, watercourses and dams are considered floods. Water overflowing from these areas and into your building will require coverage from an individual insurance rider or policy.
Stormwater refers to water overflowing from drains due to backups or rainwater. This type of flood damage is considered damage from a storm or other humanmade issue. However, while most policies will cover this type of damage, you may require special insurance coverage for your surrounding property or possible business interruption.
3. Water Damage Overlap
There are instances where both rainwater and overflowing rivers cause flooding. In these instances, it is up to your insurer what items are covered or not, likely anything explicitly caused by rainwater and damaging your property will be covered, but this can be hard to prove.
4. Water Coverage and Recovery
The most practical thing to do is to get a flood insurance rider if you are in a moderate to high-risk flood zone. By covering multiple possibilities, you can ensure a better outcome. Call your insurer or a flood remediation specialist in the Batavia,IL, area to discuss your options further.
Flood damage is unique in that its causes vary wildly from natural occurrences to humanmade crisis but that it is not as broadly covered by insurance policies. Insurers define flood water and stormwater in different ways which may result in the necessity of multiple policies or riders.
Watch Out for the Top 3 Leading Causes of a Home Fire
A fire place is an example of a possible source of a heating fire
Watch Out for the Top 3 Leading Causes of a Home Fire
For most people, their house is much more than just a building that they live in; it is a home where they make precious memories and feel the most secure. Going through a home fire that damages your home and destroys sentimental belongings can be extremely devastating. Although a fire restoration company can help reconstruct your home in St. Charles, IL, and deal with the fire cleaning, you will likely still experience some loss. It is important to be educated on how house fires often happen so you can prevent this terrible situation from every happening to you. Here are the top three leading causes to watch out for.
1. Cooking Equipment
Between oil spill, electrical appliances, open flames, and extremely hot temperatures, your kitchen is just a fire waiting to happen if you’re not careful. Keep your family and your home safe by making sure you keep the following tips in mind:
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Keep flammable objects off your stovetop
- Check the wires on your appliances
- Keep oil splatter to a minimum
- Keep a metal lid or pan close by when frying
2. Smoking Indoors
While many people choose to smoke outdoors to keep smells and lingering smoke out of their homes, preventing a home fire is another good reason to add to the list. In fact, smoking in bedrooms is the top cause of house fire fatalities. Leftover cigarette butts and embers that accidentally fall onto the ground or furniture can quickly catch flame.
Portable space heaters, furnaces, boilers, and fire places are all examples of possible sources of a heating fire. Make sure to keep up on maintenance tasks for all of these types of equipment, and always keep flammable objects at a safe distance away.
Fortunately, there are many steps and precautions you can take to prevent a home fire. Start by focusing on these three top fire causes to help keep your family and home safe all year long!
The Truth About What You Need To Do With Belongings Affected by Mold Damage
Since mold likes to attach itself to a large number of different types of surfaces, your personal belongings may be affected as well.
The Truth About What You Need To Do With Belongings Affected by Mold Damage
If you’ve recently discovered mold in your home in St. Charles, IL you might be devastated to discover that the extent of the damage goes beyond the structure of your home. Since mold likes to attach itself to a large number of different types of surfaces, your personal belongings may be affected as well. The good news is that mold cleaning is possible for many different types of items around your home!
The Inspection Process
When a mold remediation specialist surveys the damage caused by mold to your home, they will inspect all the items affected. Often, the first step involves identifying whether items are porous, semi-porous, or non-porous. Porous surfaces have holes that quickly absorb water or other particles. Here are some examples of porous items:
- Stuffed animals
Porous items that have experienced mold damage require a more extensive cleaning process, so they are often thrown out if they are not of any value. However, items of sentimental value or important documents can be restored using special mold cleaning methods. It is important to consider the cost of cleaning particular items when determining whether you should keep them or throw them away.
Once the items you want to have restored are identified, the restoration specialist will identify the best cleaning method depending on type of object affected. While non-porous surfaces can often be washed using dry and wet cleaning, spray and wipe cleaning, or abrasive and immersion cleaning, some items require special handling. For example, electronics, documents, photographs, and upholstery fabrics will go through a specialized mold cleaning process that will prevent further damage or corrosion from occurring.
While there is no guarantee that all of your items can be salvaged, it is certainly a relief to learn that you don’t need to throw out everything you own that has been affected by mold! With the help of a mold remediation specialist, you will be able to restore many of your most valuable belongings.
3 Potential Reasons You Have Noisy Pipes
Copper pipes tend to expand when hot water passes through them.
Noisy Pipes In Your Home
Your home in St. Charles,IL , should be a comfortable and quiet place. If you have a noisy plumbing system, though, knocks and creaks could keep you up at night. While avoiding a pipe break is likely your primary concern, you may want to quiet your loud pipes. Here are three potential reasons you have noisy pipes in your home.
1. You Have Copper Pipes
Copper pipes tend to expand when hot water passes through them. When you switch to cold water, copper pipes quickly contract. This expansion and contraction can make your plumbing system noisy. While you probably don’t have to worry about a pipe burst, the noise may annoy you. By lowering the temperature on your water heater, you may be able to effectively stop the creaks and pops.
2. A Water Hammer Hits Your Valve
A water hammer occurs when pressured water hits the shut-off valve. Unlike noises from copper pipes, a water hammer may cause a pipe break. You may be able to fix the problem by tinkering with the air chamber in your plumbing system. If the water hammer causes a break, you must fix the broken pipe. Then, work with a water cleanup service to be sure you successfully control flood damage.
3. Water Pressure Plagues Your Plumbing System
Finally, you may have too much water pressure surging through your pipes. While high pressure is good for washing dishes, filling water bottles and showering, it can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. If you think water pressure is the source of your noisy pipes, adjust the pressure regulator.
Noisy pipes can be unbelievably annoying. Depending on the cause of pipe noise, your loud pipes could be a sign of a bigger problem with your plumbing system. By understanding what causes pipes to creak, moan and snap, you can develop a plan for protecting your home’s plumbing.
Mitigation Companies vs. Restoration Companies What’s the Difference?
Board up commercial building in St. Charles, IL
Mitigation or restoration - these are common terms to come across when handling fire damage cleanup, and for the novice, it may not seem like there’s much of a difference. But the fact is, there are significant differences which can have major financial impacts: Some insurance plans cover mitigation services after a disaster and others only cover restoration services. Not knowing the difference can cost you big. Learn more about the difference between these two services and how they can help your St. Charles,IL, business in the wake of fire damage.
Many companies advertise themselves as fire mitigation specialists. Mitigation generally refers to reducing the severity of something, in this case, the impact of fire damage. Mitigation companies try to limit ongoing damage and stave off continued losses using tools and methods like:
- boarding up windows
- Adding roof tarps
- Removing water from firefighting efforts
- Securing the structure against collapse
It’s important to understand that they do not repair or replace, but rather, ensure the disaster doesn’t continue to have consequences.
What’s Fire Restoration?
After mitigation, it’s time for restoration. Restoration experts aim to rebuild and repair your property. They may replace walls damaged by fire or floors and carpets damaged by standing water. They can combat mold, odors and infestations, while making your property livable again. The key difference between restoration and mitigation is how it enables you to move forward. Mitigation sets the stage for fire cleanup. Restoration allows your business to get back to normal.
Fire restoration efforts pair naturally with mitigation and it’s not a question of one being better than the other, rather, which one you need at the time. The fact is, you’ll probably need both, but you may need to figure out which one insurance covers and which one you’ll need to finance. Talk to your insurance adjuster to learn about your options.
5 Steps To Stop Constant Flushing
A toilet that flushes repeatedly can cause a lot of problems in your commercial building. It can result in toilet overflow, and it can significantly increase your utility bill. The flushometer is designed to flush a commercial toilet efficiently, but if it malfunctions, it keeps flushing, even when it doesn't need to do so. Here are five steps to fix the problem.
1. Turn Off Water
When you look at your manual flushometer, you should see the slot where the screwdriver head goes. Insert the screwdriver and turn until the water source is shut off. This will help prevent a toilet flood while you are working on it.
2. Take Off Lid
Remove the lid of the flushometer. You may have to use a wrench to get it started, but after that you should be able to unscrew it by hand.
3. Reveal the Gasket
When you remove the flange, you should see the gasket. The most cause of flushometer malfunction is a clogged gasket. Right away, you can tell if there is a problem because the gasket and possibly the weep hold will be full of sediment.
4. Clean the Gasket
Remove the gasket and clean it thoroughly to prevent further toilet overflow that has to be mitigated by water restoration professionals. Wash the gasket and, using a small tool such as a pin, clear out the weep hole port.
5. Reassemble the Flushometer
Place the cleaned gasket back into the flushometer. Screw the lid back on, tightening it with a wrench if necessary. Turn the water back on see if the problem is resolved. If not, you may have to call a plumber in Batavia,IL, who can stop a toilet from running.
It's important to make sure the plumbing in your commercial building is working properly. To prevent toilet overflow, clean the gasket on your flushometers regularly.