Avoiding Frozen Pipes to Prevent A Water Damage Disaster
A frozen water pipe can cause extreme damage!
As a partner with the American Red Cross, here is some great information on freezing pipes that they have on their website! Check it out!
Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.
Pipes that freeze most frequently are:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
- Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
- Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing
Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
- Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
SERVPRO Is Here In Your Time Of Need
When life happens we are here to help!
SERVPRO of Ashland and Richland County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (419) 526-2701
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Ashland and Richland County has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
Your name and contact information
Your insurance information (if applicable)
The street address of the water-damaged home or business
When did the flooding or water damage occur?
What caused the water damage (if known)?
Is there electricity available (on-site)?
About SERVPRO of Ashland and Richland County.
SERVPRO of Ashland and Richland County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Common Causes of Fires In Commercial Buildings
Did you know that more than 100,000 commercial fires were reported in 2016 alone?
These fires caused great amounts of both emotional and financial stress to business owners. In addition, the hassle of dealing with insurance claims and other paperwork proved to be a daunting task for them.
But how did these fires break out in commercial buildings in the first place?
There are so many reasons why a fire may break out. Here are some of the most common reasons of commercial fires in Mansfield.
3 Most Common Causes of Commercial Fires in Mansfield
These are fires started deliberately by people with bad intentions. Sadly, this is one of the leading causes of commercial fires, and it has led to a lot of injuries and damages.
There are so many reasons of arson attacks, including vandalism, disgruntled employees, and the desire to collect insurance money. Install an automatic sprinkler system in your business premise to help minimize fire damage.
2. Human Error
Many commercial fires are also caused by simple human mistakes which are often not meant to be malicious. For instance, misusing equipment, failing to completely extinguish a cigarette butt, or accidentally leaving an electric coffee maker on.
To prevent such causes of fire, make sure that all your employees know how to properly operate all electrical equipment of your business and provide them with designated smoking zones. Alternatively, you can prohibit smoking at work.
3. Furnaces, Water Heaters, and Boilers
For effective functioning of many commercial buildings, these pieces of equipment must work efficiently. When they are incorrectly maintained or improperly installed, the risk of a fire breakout can be great.
Most of the time, these fire by these items are also due to human negligence. For example, when highly combustible materials are stored closely to boilers, furnaces, and water heaters. Always ensure that your business premise has a fire safety plan to help enhance safety and minimize damage in case of a fire.
Get Professional Commercial Fire Restoration in Richland County
In the unfortunate event you are a victim of commercial fires, ensure that you seek the services of an expert commercial fire restoration company.
At SERVPRO, we offer top-notch commercial restoration services in North Richland County. We have a fast response team of professionals that will ensure your business is back to its normal operations in the shortest time possible.
Tips on Cleaning and Organizing Work spaces
Divide Your Work space Into Zones:
Determine how you want and need to use the space and set up zones for your daily functions. You may require a work space for your computer, a library area for your research, a storage area for supplies and a filing area for your archives. This will provide a foundation for a more efficient use of space.
Keep Only What You Need at Arm’s Length:
Boxes of pens, stacks of papers and old coffee cups need to go. Rid your desk of visual clutter by paring down the items on top to the essentials only. Supplies, paperwork and personal items should be kept in the zones you’ve established for them.
Sort Your Catch-All Drawer:
Use drawer dividers to give everything a place, like compartments for paperclips and rubber bands. Go through the drawer every six weeks and clear out anything that is out of place or isn’t being used.
Eliminate Digital Clutter:
Digital clutter can be just as stressful as physical clutter. Organize digital files and your e-mail inbox just as you would paper files – with a system of logical and clearly labeled folders. Also, keep the icons on your desktop to a bare minimum, and trade in sticky notes on your monitor of calendar reminders.
Create A Daily Paper System:
Consider creating hanging files or baskets labeled “To Read,” “To Do,” and “To File.” Establish set days for each, so that you don’t get behind or feel the overwhelming need to do everything at once.
Prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, food stains and fingerprints. Wipe down your desk, phone, keyboard, and monitor once a week with disinfecting wipes.
Tips provided by Forbes, The Dangers of a Messy Desk.
Commercial Water Removal Equipment
Commercial Water Removal
There are many instances where water possibly floods your business. Sometimes a pipe breaks or sprinkler systems default and go off overnight causing water to spill into the building all night long. In other scenarios, severe weather possibly causes unwanted, indoor moisture.
The extraction process is a vital step in mitigating moisture damage. SERVPRO's of North Richland and Ashland counties commercial water removal technicians always use the industry's best equipment during extraction. We implement the best procedures to complete the job in a way that does not negatively affect your nightclub.
When first arriving at an emergency water situation our team ensures the work area is safe for our technicians, your employees, and customers. We fix as many hazards in the area possible. Areas that are not safe to access are blocked off, and danger signs get posted.
Then the source of the problem gets repaired so that water is no longer pouring into the building. If the issue results from faulty sprinklers or a pipe break, a plumber gets calls and fixes the problem. If rainwater enters due to a broken or exterior wall, we board up the hole in the structure so that no more moisture enters.
Next, we begin the extraction process with either a portable or truck-mounted extractor. Portable extractors get used for places that are awkward to get into or if parking a van at your business is not possible. Portable extractors weigh 40 to 90 lbs., hold 5 to 12 gallons of wastewater, and it vacuum power has 140 inches of water lift.
Truck-mounted extractors get used for severe projects that contain much water. The van that has the extractor gets parked close to an entrance to your bar, and the vacuum hose gets pulled in for extraction. Truck-mounted extractors weigh 500 to 1,100 pounds and have storage tanks that hold from 60 to over 100 gallons of waste. The vacuum lift capabilities for these extractors are more powerful and have between 185.71 to 198.98 inches of water lift.
Sometimes we complete our extraction work during hours when your nightclub is not open so that extraction does not hinder your business operations. We sometimes extract the water one small section at a time, so part of your bar stays open. For professional help removing moisture from your place of business
Home Safety: Rodents are a fire hazard too
We are pleased to share an article written by Greg Geilman, President and CEO of South Bay Residential.
Home Safety: Rodents are a Fire Hazard, Too
Rodents may be labeled as pests, but they actually have the power to be more destructive than some may believe. They chew up wires, create the perfect kindling in the form of their nests, and can be the root cause of a truly terrible fire. The worst part is that homeowners may not realize just how much damage they're causing to the home until it's too late. Learn more about the habits of rodents and why they're not a threat to be taken lightly.
A rodent is going to chew on anything around them when their teeth are coming in. If they don't chew then their teeth will actually get too long and they won't be able to eat. And because their teeth are always coming in, they tend to chew on a lot of things. A squirrel, mouse, or rat will even gnaw on hard elements of the home, such as metal pipes. So when a homeowner starts to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet, they need to be aware that those feet are attached to some very active teeth.
An Electrical Disaster
When a rat cuts through the plastic insulation that protects the electrical wiring, it exposes nearby objects to the heat of the electricity. Fires aren't just destructive because of the evident flame damage, but also because of the smoke damage. The smell of smoke is notoriously difficult to remove, which means that even a fire that's put out quickly may cause more damage than homeowners realize that may not be covered by a home insurance policy.
The Nature of the Fire
The fire is caused when the wire shorts out or when the heat of the electricity causes some else to catch flame. Insulation, nests, or other types of trash inside the walls of the home are the most common culprits behind the origin story of the fire, but there are times when a wire can spark close to a wooden beam and cause the whole home to catch flame. Experts believe that up a quarter of all fires with undetermined causes may have actually been due to a rodent infestation.
Attention and Prevention
While there are plenty of traps and repellents to be found at the store, consulting an expert is usually the best way to go in the case of rodent prevention or elimination. An owner certainly can go through their home to determine where the holes are so they can seal them up, but the chances they'll miss at least a few of the openings are rather high. And of course, homeowners should have plenty of smoke detectors to get the warning they need to exit the home in time.
Rodents may be small, but they can wreak some major havoc on the lives of property owners. To keep them out of the house, call a pro to either exterminate the pests or to prevent them from entering the home entirely.
Greg Geilman is a Los Angeles native of over 40 years and owner of South Bay Residential. Greg believes knowledge is power when it comes to staying safe at home, and that the "little" issues can snowball over time if left unchecked.
Drying out Water Damage
Drying out water damage in customer's home
When Water Damage happens in your house the first things we all think about is to grab towels and mop up the water and finish with placing our house fans to dry up the area. Did you know that there is a Science of Drying and restoring your property?
With all the factors that go into what can happen with water damage its time that matters the most to help prevent other problems to arise. When you call SERVPRO of North Richland & Ashland Counties we have the state-of-art equipment to speed up Mother Nature. When a property is wet it can naturally dry itself but also takes too long and with this process other damage such as mold and a weaken structure can happen creating more damage than if it was taken care of faster.
Here at SERVPRO we have the knowledge of psychrometrics which is essential to restoring water damage to its preloss condition. Our Team has been trained on all of the drying techniques that we use every day and are knowledgeable on how to dry your home the fasted way possible. SERVPRO of North Richland and Ashland Counties has equipment to help dry your hard wood floors and carpets, hard to reach spaces in your walls and many more.
SERVPRO has tools to monitor the drying process allowing us to take pictures and different readings to track the restoration progress. With the readings that we get we use our program SERVPRO Dry book to record information to ensure your restoration is done properly and efficiently every time.
We are here for any size Water Damage situation 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!
A disaster plan for your pets?
Most people know they should have a disaster plan in place for their families. But if you are faced with a national disaster, do you have a disaster plan for your pet? Storms, wildfires and floods happen around the world every day and affect thousands of people and their pets. That’s why everyone should have a plan, not only for yourself, but for your pets. To help you plan for the unthinkable, here are our 9 essentials of disaster prepping for your pet.
- Proper ID. The most important thing you can do for your pet before a disaster occurs is to make sure they have proper ID. This means having a physical tag containing your current info on their collar which they wear at all times, and having them microchipped and registered in a national registry such as the free Found Animals Microchip Registry.
- Keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date to reduce their risk of sickness and disease. There are so many unknowns in a disaster. If you are evacuated, your pet may not be able to come with you to shelter and may be held in boarding with other animals whose health status is unknown. If your home is destroyed, your pet may be lost and living outside for a time and subjected to the elements, dirty water supply or worse. Be safe, not sorry, and vaccinate.
- Display a Pet Rescue Sticker. Make sure you have a pet rescue window decal in a place visible to rescue workers.
- Identify Pet-Friendly Emergency Shelters. Not all emergency shelters or hotels allow pets. Before a disaster hits, call your local emergency management office or animal shelter to see if there are places planned for people and pets to stay together in the event of an emergency. Research pet-friendly hotels away from typical disaster zones, or arrange to stay with family or friends outside of your area. Prepare a few options in a range of distances from your home in case of either local or region-wide emergencies.
- Assemble a Pet Emergency Kit. You can buy a compact kit that fits under your seat, a larger bag you can carry on your shoulder, a grab and go bucket with everything your pet could need or and add pet-related items to your family’s existing emergency supplies. Your kit should include the following items:
Plan to have at least five days of food, water and portable bowls. Dry food should be in re-sealable plastic bags. If your pet eats wet food, make sure to buy easy open cans so you don’t need a can opener. Prepare a written feeding schedule.
- Medication and Medical Records
Keep an extra supply of your pet’s regular medication in a waterproof zip lock bag. Also include a copy of your pet’s vaccination record and microchip number.
For cats, include kitty litter and disposable litter boxes. For dogs, pack plastic waste bags and an extra leash and harness. Beds, blankets, toys and clothing are also useful to keep your pet calm and cozy in an emergency situation.
- Store Supplies for a Speedy Exit. Place all of your emergency supplies in a safe, dry, convenient place near your escape route in case you need to leave in a hurry. The safest way to transport a pet in an emergency or disaster is in a carrier or crate, so keep one close to your emergency kit. Frightened pets can be difficult to manage with only a leash and collar.
- When a Disaster Strikes, Don’t Hesitate; Evacuate. Not all disasters come with warning, but if they do, follow emergency response recommendations and evacuate as quickly as possible. Disasters are very stressful on both pets and people, and no one can predict how bad things will get. Don’t wait until the last minute to leave. Use your emergency plan as a tool to supplement first responder instructions.
- Leave with Your Pets. If the area is not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets. It may not be possible to return for your pets, so take them with you from the start.
- If Your Pet Gets Lost, Check for Found Pet Alerts. If your pets are separated from you, check your cell phone and email for Found Pet Alerts. When a rescue worker finds your lost pet and starts an alert in the Found Animals Registry, you will be contacted via phone calls, text messages, and emails based on your pet’s microchip registrations. These alerts will provide information on your pet’s location. If you cannot access your phone or email, or are unable to retrieve your pets, your emergency contacts and vet will also be notified.
Mold in your Mansfield basement
What’s the Difference?
Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Many restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy. We understand mold and mold growth. SERVPRO of North Richland And Ashland Counties has the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business.
Signs of Mold? Call Today –
The Mold Remediation Process
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our “typical” process:
Emergency Contact - (419)207-8449
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask a series of questions to help us determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel.
- Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
We carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. We use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.
- Mold Containment
Our professionals use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. We may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. All fans and heating and cooling systems will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold.
- Air Filtration
Our specialized filtration equipment allows our Professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. We utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.
- Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. We’ll use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. It may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to remediate heavy mold growth.
- Cleaning Contents and Belongings
We clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and disinfect your belongings. We’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may have been removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. The restoration step gets your home or business back to normal.
Can my home have a Mold Problem?
Yes. Molds will grow where conditions allow. Molds require two things to grow – a food source and moisture. Food sources can be anything from dry wall and insulation to carpeting or mattresses. Moisture can come from many sources, including high humidity levels, leaky pipes or appliance hoses, neglected or inadequately repaired roofs, improperly maintained air conditioners, landscape and drainage problems, etc.
Should I be Concerned About Mold in My Home?
Yes. Indoor mold growth is unsanitary and undesirable. If you can see or smell mold inside your home, you should take steps to eliminate the cause and clean up and remove the mold. If left unchecked mold growth can cause health effects and structural damage to your home.
What is "Black Mold"?
You may have seen sensational news reports that warn about the dangers of “black mold” or “toxic mold”. These reports can be alarming and confusing so it’s beneficial to get the facts to better understand mold.
Are Molds a Health Concern?
Quite possibly. According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure to mold does not necessarily result in a health problem.
While many people seldom experience ill effects from mold exposure, it can cause health effects in others.
What Can I Do to Prevent Mold From Growing in My Home?
Since mold needs a food source and moisture to grow, the best thing you can do is to prevent moisture problems that allow mold to grow.
- Maintain lower levels of humidity in your home (preferably between 30-50%) by: venting bathrooms and dryers to the outside; using air conditioners and
- de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation by adding crawlspace and attic vents; using exhaust fans when cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning, etc.
- Add insulation to reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces such as windows, pipes, exterior walls, roofs, or floors.
- Inspect your home regularly for indications and sources of indoor moisture such as leaking pipes, appliance hoses, showers, tubs, sinks and toilets. Replace plastic hoses with steel-reinforced hoses. Check windows, doors, attics and ceilings for leaks or evidence of water stains or odors, particularly after rains. Fix plumbing, flashing, and roof leaks right away.
- Don't carpet bathrooms, basements, kitchens or other areas prone to moisture. Clean bathrooms often and keep surfaces dry.
- Cover dirt in crawlspaces with a moisture barrier plastic sheeting.
- Prevent water from entering basements and crawlspaces by repairing holes and cracks in walls and foundation. Use landscaping to direct water away from your foundation.
- Clean and maintain your gutters and make sure drainpipes carry water several feet away from your home.
- Watch your utility bills. An abnormally high water bill could signal a water leak.
- Before you travel, turn off the water at the main valve. Have a trusted friend or neighbor check the inside and outside of your home periodically while you're away.
If you think you may have a mold issue or signs of mold growth in your home call SERVPRO of North Richland and Ashland Counties at
**This information is intended for educational purposes only. If you have any health concerns regarding mold contact your doctor immediately**