Winter Water Tips
Winter weather brings icy winds and dipping temperatures which can do a lot of damage to your home by freezing pipes and leaving you without flowing water.
Before Freezing Weather:
- Disconnect and drain hoses from outside faucets. If your home has a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, then use it to shut the water off to your outside faucets. Then go outside and turn on the faucets to drain water from the line. If your home does not have a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, then wrap each outside faucets with insulation or newspaper.
-Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas such as the garage, crawl space, or/and attic. Check with your local home improvement store for which materials to use to insulate your pipes.
-Turn off and drain irrigation systems and backflow devices. Wrap backflow devices with insulating material.
-Cover foundation vents with foam blocks, thickly folded newspaper or cardboard.
-Show household members how to turn off water to the house in case of emergencies. The main shut-off valve is often located near the water heater or washing machine. If a pip burst anywhere in the house - kitchen, bath, basement, or crawl space - this valve turns it off.
During Freezing Weather
There are many precautions you can take to help you avoid the expense and inconvience of frozen pipes during an extended cold spell.
1. Leave the heat on at least 55 degrees and open cupboard doors under sinks, especially where plumbing is in outside walls, to let interior heat warm the pipes.
2. Temporarily, keep a steady drip of cold water at an inside faucet farthest from the meter. This keeps water moving, making it less likely to freeze.
3. If you are away for any length of time, you may consider shutting off your home’s water to reduce the chances of frozen or broken pipes. Contact your water provider for more information on how to do this.
4. Have your plumber and water provider’s telephone number handy. During an extended cold spell, your pipes might freeze despite the best precautions.
If Your Pipes Freeze
1. Determine which pipe(s) are frozen. If some faucets work but others don’t, that means pipes inside your home are likely frozen. If none of your faucets work, there may be a problem at the street - contact your water provider.
2. Find the frozen pipe(s) and attempt to thaw them with a hair dryer using a low setting. Wave the hair dryer back and forth along the frozen area. NEVER thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame.
3. Shut off water and power (or gas) to the water heater if you have a leak or a broken pipe. Contact your water provider if you are unable to find the shut-off valve or the valve doesn’t work.
After the Fire
Surrounded by your soot-covered and flame-damaged possessions, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture: Everyone got out safe!
From the get-go, it’s imperative to stay organized amidst the chaos of your scorched surroundings. A three-ring binder with pockets is your new best friend. Take notes on every conversation and online correspondence with your insurance company and restoration professionals, because in any stressful situation, miscommunication can happen. Save all receipts and original documents; only give photocopies upon request. Binder in hand, your first call should be to your insurance agent. Here are a few tips on what NOT to do before the pros arrive:
- Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residue from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces
- Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris
- Do not use food items or canned goods exposed to heat
- Do not turn on computers, televisions, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked
What to do after a storm
Severe weather like hail, thunderstorms, and tornadoes can spell disaster for your home or business. If your building has been damaged by severe weather, it’s important to act quickly to repair the damage and keep yourself, your family, and your employees safe.
If your home/business has been damaged in a storm, follow these steps to keep safe:
- Evacuate severely damaged areas of the house.
- Check for injuries and seek medical assistance if needed.
- Keep children and pets away from any damaged areas.
- Use caution when inspecting damage: wear gloves and heavy shoes, and stay away from downed power lines and other hazards.
- Monitor a battery-powered radio for emergency information.
- Call your insurance company to see if you are covered.
- Contact us to begin the cleanup process
Once you give us a call, we will send a team to assess the damage and sart the repair process. Even if the damage appears minor, like shingles that are torn or bent, it can cause serious damage over time.
How to remove mold & the smell from clothing
A very unusual approach would be to use vinegar in removing mold stains and its smell. Vinegar is very useful and effective in removing the ‘moldy’ smell from clothes. Add 3/4 cup white vinegar to a load of wash.
The vinegar will remove any moldy smell from clothing. Repeat this process until all traces of mold and its smell are gone. Use detergent afterwards to thoroughly clean your clothes.
What’s so interesting about this process is that vinegar itself is made through fermentation with the help of a certain type of mold.
Take all clothing that have mold or have been exposed to mold, outside and one by one, brush off any loose mold growth. By doing this outside you prevent mold spores from spreading inside the house.
Always remember to wear a protective mask and gloves when dealing with mold contamination. Remember that if you choose to use a mildicide to remove mold and its odor from your clothes, always read the label for proper techniques. Mildicides are still chemicals and can be harmful to your health if not used properly.
Mold Warning Signs: How to Tell if You Have Mold
Discovering that you have mold within your home can cause you to feel many things. Therefore, its important to be aware of what the signs are that you may be sharing your home with more than just your family.
A strange odor: Mold has a pungent smell. When it is confined to one area of your home, you may notice an unpleasant odor when you are in that area.
The appearance of mold: In your shower stall or bathtub, its easy to distinguish normal soap scum from mold. However, in the basement or cellar you may have to investigate a little further to find the mold.
Health symptoms: Because mold is not always visible, it can be difficult realizing that you do indeed have a mold problem. If you feel listless, congested and experience watering eyes while in your home, these can all be signs of the presence of mold.Its not uncommon for a person who lives in a home that has mold to feel better while at work or out shopping.
Water Mitigation & Your Business
Water mitigation requires highly specialized processes and procedures to minimize both short- and long-term damage. By using the latest drying techniques, we can dry wallboard, paneling, ceiling tiles, insulation, masonry, wood and metal studs, plaster walls, and other structural components. This minimizes the amount of total reconstruction required which means your business will be back up and running in no time. Dealing with an office full of standing water isn’t just frustrating; it can be incredibly costly to your business. Water damage can start small and all of a sudden turn into a disastrous mess, destroying everything in its path. If you can keep an eye out for the signs of a premature water damage, you could save yourself a lot of trouble. Taking the right preventative measures such as fixing any faulty plumbing early on and redirecting rainwater can save you from the headache of a disastrous water damage.
What causes attic mold?
With warmer temps here for the summer, more homeowners have discovered black mold in their attic. Here are some ways to help you make sure it does not happen to you:
- The right temperature- mold spores like warmer, ambient temperatures, but hate the cold
- Food- Black mold eats anything that is high in cellulose. Unfortunately for homeowners that pretty much anything in your attic like plywood, wood joists, roof decking, etc.
- Elevated moisture- Many homeowners do not realize that moisture is found in every surface of their home. If those serfaces were completely devoided of moisture they wouldn't perform their duties properly.
By regulating these things, keeping the right balance in your home you can prevent mold. Getting rid of the visible, fuzzy spores and disposing of the evidence of mold by wiping it off or with a chemical cleaner, such as bleach, will not completely solve your problem.
Why does black mold growth occure?
It is important to explain the reasons black mold forms in the first place. But first a surprising fact: every home has black mold. There are trace amounts in virtually any indoor environment. That isn’t meant to scare you. At low levels it is entirely benign. The right conditions to become a hazard to your health.
- Food- Mold can eat any organic substance such as the wood in your walls, cabinets, subfloors, etc.
- Warm dark places- mold cannot survive in areas that are exposed to UV light. It also cannot survive in very cold conditions.
- Moisture- Like us, mold needs water; every surface in your home has moisture in it. If those levels get elevated that is when things can get worst.
- Time- and not much of it. Some people think mold is a very slow threat. The reality is that it is an extremely aggressive and fast threat.
Way too much water
Heavy rainfalls and sudden downpours often overwhelm sump pumps. Cracks in the walls or foundation allow the water to seep in. But even a seemingly "watertight" home can have problems when the water that has seeped into the ground in the area surrounding the home becomes saturated. The pressure of this water on the concrete walls and floors of the basement become too much, and the water begins to seep into the basement through these barriers. Water that gets into the basement or any other area of a home can often be traced back to clogged gutters.
But water has a way of discreetly finding its way into the tiniest cracks and oftentimes, goes completely unnoticed. Small leaks also tend to be inconspicuous. These small but steady water intrusions can cause serious damage. No one wants to have to deal with a wet basement or water leaking into any area of a home.