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Protecting your home from common water damage

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Protecting your home from common water damage Protect your home from water damages caused by common household appliances

Water damage can happen from many different appliances in your home. Here are some tips from SERVPRO of Linn County on how to make sure your appliances are working properly and the water supply lines are in good condition. As a good rule of thumb, check behind your appliances once per year. This is a good way to address problems before they happen.

Washers

Small leaks stemming from a washing machine may appear to be a minor issue, but the problem should not be ignored. Even a pinhole leak in a water supply line can subsequently break out into a household flood. In fact, a burst supply line is a key cause of significant water damage involving washers. A good way to prevent water damage is to check your hoses leading to your washing machine a couple times per year.

Also consider installing an automatic shutoff valve. When water pools on the floor, the sensor detects it and closes the water valve.

Refrigerators with Ice Makers Hooked up to plumbing

We appreciate the convenience of an automatic ice maker, but it can also be the culprit of household floods. The copper or plastic water line that supplies an ice maker can leak or worse yet, become unattached if it’s not installed properly. Again, you should inspect the line periodically for crimps and make sure the valve connection is secure. Leaving a four inch gap between the refrigerator and wall also helps to prevent crimping in your water line.

Dish Washers

Dishwashers are another common appliance that can cause problems. If a dishwasher has a supply line burst it can fill your kitchen with water during a wash and rinse cycle.

Another source of household floods is when a dishwasher backs up soaking the floor with sudsy water. The problem could be the wrong detergent, a faulty float, the buildup of food and other debris in the drain gate or a clog in the discharge hose under the sink.

Routine inspection of the hoses and connections can save you major repair costs in the future. In addition, check the drain gate frequently and remove food particles and debris.

Common Fire Hazards

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Common Fire Hazards Electrical outlets are a huge cause of fire. They should not be overloaded with more than one or two plugs.

While there are many reasons why a fire can start, many business fires start as a result of not paying attention to many different fire hazards in the workplace. 

While every workplace is different, there are some common fire hazards to watch for in your business.

Heat Generating Machinery

Hot machinery and heavy equipment can pose a fire risk. Be sure material that is combustible is kept away from sources of heat and are unplugged when not in use. Never leave equipment on overnight.

Broken Electrical Equipment

Fires caused by faulty equipment are the most common type in the workplace. Be sure to look out for loose or damaged wires. They need to be replaced immediately. Also keep your equipment checked and up to date. 

Faulty Fire Alarms

Be sure to check fire alarm systems and equipment often to make sure they are still in working order. If batteries run out your fire alarms will not sound in the case of a fire or smoke. It is important to make sure you have functional fire alarms in your office. 

Overloaded Sockets

Having too many things plugged in the same socket can be dangerous. Be sure to put one plug per socket and do not exceed 300 watts in the entire socket. This can reduce the risk of a fire in your workplace. 

Fire In The Workplace

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire In The Workplace Fire alarms are important to keeping your business safe and making sure you dont have an unexpected fire.

While there are many reasons why a fire can start, many business fires start as a result of not paying attention to many different fire hazards in the workplace. 

While every workplace is different, there are some common fire hazards to watch for in your business.

Heat Generating Machinery

Hot machinery and heavy equipment can pose a fire risk. Be sure material that is combustible is kept away from sources of heat and are unplugged when not in use. Never leave equipment on overnight.

Broken Electrical Equipment

Fires caused by faulty equipment are the most common type in the workplace. Be sure to look out for loose or damaged wires. They need to be replaced immediately. Also keep your equipment checked and up to date. 

Faulty Fire Alarms

Be sure to check fire alarm systems and equipment often to make sure they are still in working order. If batteries run out your fire alarms will not sound in the case of a fire or smoke. It is important to make sure you have functional fire alarms in your office. 

Overloaded Sockets

Having too many things plugged in the same socket can be dangerous. Be sure to put one plug per socket and do not exceed 300 watts in the entire socket. This can reduce the risk of a fire in your workplace. 

How a storm affects your home

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How a storm affects your home Storm damage gets deeper than you might think. Learn more about storm damage with our blog.

Storms affect your home more than you may realize. At first glance a storm may look like high winds, rain maybe some snow and sleet. When you look closer storms and what all they bring you begin to notice how it may affect your home. 

Large trees 

Trees near your home can get weakened by storms causing branches to bend and possibly break causing damage to your home or roof. Now is a good time to get your trees trimmed and looked at. 

Heavy Rain 

Rain is pretty common in the Northwest but if there is a leak in your roof or windows the heavy rains will find their way in through these spots and cause water damage to the interior of your home. Get these spots taken care of before heavy rains. 

Chimney Maintenance

Your chimney can become packed with debris during a storm causing a blockage, this is also a place for animals to build their nest creating a bigger problem. Get your chimney cleaned out in preparation for the stormy season.  

We hope these tips get your home ready for storm season. SERVPRO of Benton County can help you with any damage you need to have repaired after a storm.

Water Damage from City Water Main Break

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage from City Water Main Break Water damage can be a huge expense in your home. Here are some ways that water damage affects your home and what you can do about it.

Usually a sign that a water main has broken is a loss in pressure. If you are experiencing a loss in water pressure, have SERVPRO of Benton County

Overly dry or wet weather causes the ground to shift, typically resulting in round breaks wrapping around the diameter of the pipe. Sudden pressure fluctuations and the normal aging process of the mains also cause breaks, typically resulting in lateral breaks running along the pipe.

If the problem is simply a pipe blockage, you are likely to notice reduced pressure and/or volume when you turn on the shower or faucet in your home. A water main break will result in water leakage, which can turn your front yard into a swamp. You might also detect an unpleasant odor. A good clue that you could possibly have a leak somewhere in the system is an inexplicable increase in your water bill.

After you get your pipe fixed give SERVPRO a call and we will come out and fix the damage that this major break has done to your house. we can repair mold damage and water damage. We will get your home smelling and looking like new!

How to prevent electrical fires in the winter

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial How to prevent electrical fires in the winter Electrical fires reach an all time high in the winter months. Because of this we want you to be safe and give you tips to protect against fire.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), there are 28,600 electrical fires per year. These fires cause $1.1 billion in property damage and loss and are responsible for 310 deaths and 1,100 injuries each year.

The months with the most electrical fires are December and January due to increased use of heating appliances and lights. SERVPRO of Benton County can help you clean up electrical fire damage. Here are some tips from SERVPRO of Benton County on how to keep your house safe from electrical fires.

Some electrical fires happen because of problems in house wiring or appliance failure, but many occur due to mistakes that homeowners make like overloading electrical outlets or extension cords.

Our Tips:

1. Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and old, outdated appliances. Other fires are started by faults in appliance cords, receptacles and switches. Never use an appliance with a worn or frayed cord which can send heat onto combustible surfaces like floors, curtains, and rugs that can start a fire.

2. Light fixtures, lamps and light bulbs are another common reason for electrical fires. Installing a bulb with a wattage that is too high for the lamps and light fixtures is a leading cause of electrical fires. Always check the maximum recommended bulb wattage on any lighting fixture or lamp and never go over the recommended amount.

3. Misuse of extension cords is another electrical fire cause. Appliances should be plugged directly into outlet and not plugged into an extension cord for any length of time. Only use extension cords as a temporary measure. If you do not have the appropriate type of outlets for your appliances, hire an electrician to install new ones.

4. Space heaters are a major cause of electrical fires. Because these types of heaters are portable, many times people put them too close to combustible surfaces such as curtains, beds, clothing, chairs, couches and rugs. Coil space heaters are especially dangerous in this regard because the coils become so hot they will almost instantaneously ignite any nearby flammable surface.

5. Outdated wiring often causes electrical fires. If a home is over twenty years old, it may not have the wiring capacity to handle the increased amounts of electrical appliances in today’s average home. Breakers should be triggered when circuits get overloaded by too much electricity, but outdated breaker boxes often have worn connectors that do not work, causing the system to overload and start an electrical fire.

SERVPRO hopes that you never have to handle a electrical fire but if you do then call SERVPRO of Benton County to get a speedy clean up and get your house looking like new again. 

Have you ever cleaned your air ducts?

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Have you ever cleaned your air ducts? Getting your air ducts cleaned is important for the health of you and your family. Air ducts can be filled with dust and particles.

In any given home there are a bunch of indoor air pollutants, from combustion sources such as oil, gas, coal or wood to deteriorating petrochemical products that off-gas toxins into the air your family breathes.

These pollutants are proven to cause serious respiratory illnesses from repeated exposure. There is a entire market for cleaning your air now.

One simple way to protect yourself, your family, and your home from these toxic pollutants is to have your air ducts cleaned regularly. Dirty air ducts are one of the most significant sources of indoor air pollution in the home. SERVPRO can come out and clean your air ducts in any season to make sure that you are breathing clean air and your family is safe.

  1. You Suspect Mold:

As your ducts operate over the course of months and years, layers and layers of dust and other particles are slowly being deposited. This dust then absorbs any moisture in the air, creating perfect conditions for mold. The heating and cooling system in your home is a behind-the-scenes operator, meaning it is often not accessible or visible in order to check for mold growth.

If you suspect you may have mold, or just want peace of mind, a regular duct cleaning will help allay any fears. An expert can test for mold in your ducts, as well as give them a preventative cleaning, to keep your indoor breathing air mold-free.

  1. Your Ducts Have Never Been Cleaned:

If you cannot remember ever having your home’s ducts cleaned, you should schedule an appointment to have them checked. Imagine your ducts going years without a thorough cleaning. For years, dust, dead skin cells, dead insects, and toxic particles have contributed layers and layers of debris in your ducts. When ducts become so excessively clogged with particles, these particles are actually blown out of your air vents right into the air you are breathing.

  1. You Want Greater Efficiency: 

There is plenty of research that suggests that cleaning the components of your heating and cooling system can lead to greater efficiency. When you have your ducts cleaned by a licensed HVAC professional, they will also clean your fans, cooling coils, and heat exchangers for a vastly more efficient system. Having your system cleaned regularly not only makes the more efficient but results in a longer operating life, and lower maintenance and energy costs.

  1. You Have Seen or Heard Insects and Rodents : –

Have you ever heard scampering through your ducts at night? Have you ever noticed trails of insects leading from your vents? If so, it is probable you have a vermin infestation. That fine layer of dust and debris in your ducts are a perfect nest for rats, mice, ants, and especially cockroaches. Having your ducts cleaned often will reduce the incentive for vermin to nest there.

SERVPRO can help you get your ducts cleaned and make your home safer for your family. Give us a call today to learn more about our services.

How to prevent frozen pipes

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to prevent frozen pipes Winter brings cold temperatures and with cold temperatures come cold and possible frozen pipes. Here are some ways to prevent that.

Cold temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. Frozen pipes can result in costly repairs to you as a home or business owner. The good news is there are ways to prevent pipes from freezing. Here are some tips for this winter.

Frozen Pipes Can Burst

Frozen pipes are a problem by themselves, because they prevent water flow, but even worse, frozen pipes can eventually burst, causing damage and potential flooding. There are ways to protect your pipes from freezing. These include:

Keep your house warm

If you are leaving for a period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on at your property. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions. The heat doesn’t have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it if you were home but keeping it set above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at all times is a good idea. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.

Open Faucets

When temps hit the freezing level it is a good idea to allow faucets to drip. Allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure in the pipe. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. With the faucet open you avoid blockage in the pipes.

Insulation in key

Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed, but can get expensive if walls, floors or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.

Winterize Your Home

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Winterize Your Home Protect your home from losing heat and energy with these tips from SERVPRO. Keep warm and dry this winter/

1.Replace any old or inefficient windows. Windows are one of the major ways heat leaks out of your house. If your heating bill seems abnormally high, your windows may be a culprit. This is a pricey step in winterization but can be well worth it for a long winter running your furnace. If you haven't budgeted for new windows yet or want to wait for drier weather, you can always seal off drafty windows and patio doors with clear plastic.

2.If your furnace is more than 10 years old, there’s a good chance that it wastes a lot of fuel. Consider upgrading to a newer one. Todays furnaces are more energy efficient and quieter to run than any furnace to date.



3.Try replacing the weather stripping around the doors in your home. This can prevent cold drafts of air in the winter months and keep your home from loosing heat through the exterior doors.

4. Trim any tree branches that are hanging near your home or over your roof. They can bend during a snowstorm or blow and possibly break during a wind or rainstorm.  Depending upon how big the branch is, it could cause serious damage. Get those branches trimmed and away from the roof.



5.Try not to use space heaters to heat large areas of your house. This racks up a pretty big electric bill and wont be very efficient when it comes to heating a large space. If you spend most of your time in one room in a large house, consider setting your thermostat low and using a small heater to heat where you are going to be.

6. Use the oven for baking during colder hours of the day to help heat your home. The best time to bake and use your oven is in the winter when it will heat the house and bring warm air into the kitchen. By using your oven to bake when it is cold you are getting a dual use out of your oven.

7.Keep all closet doors closed when possible. There’s no need to heat space that isn’t in use as long as it doesn’t contain water pipes. Keeping doors closed keeps the heat where you want it.

Check your fireplace for damage before your burn

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Check your fireplace for damage before your burn Fireplace safety is very important as it is the difference between a house fire or a safely contained fire.

When winter comes it is a special treat to have a wood burning fireplace in your home.This is if the fireplace has been well maintained and works properly when you light it. Here are some maintenance tips for your fireplace this winter

Hire a Chimney Sweep

It is recommended that you get your chimney cleaned and swept out once per year. This clears it of any additional debris and also is a good way to address any problems that may be going on in your chimney. Hiring a professional for this job is probably the best idea as it requires special tools.

Install a Chimney Cap

The cap provides several benefits, including: it prevents water from entering the chimney when it rains, causing costly water damage; a chimney cap with mesh will prevent animals from getting into your chimney and nesting or getting stuck and dying; a chimney cap can prevent other types of blockage, all of which can cause deadly carbon monoxide to enter the home; a spark arrester can help prevent hot embers and sparks from escaping onto the roof or other combustible materials.

Check your chimney and fireplace for any damage.

Before lighting your first fire of the year take some time to look around your fireplace inside and out and notice any changes that may be questionable. If you find damages, hire a wood stove expert to come and address your chimney.

Leave a layer of ash when you clear out your chimney

When you clean out ashes from the firebox, leave at least one inch of ash, which acts as insulation. The ash will allow coals to heat more quickly and will also allow them to retain heat longer.

Watch out for sparks

Place a rug that is non-flammable in front of the fireplace so that if sparks escape, they won’t do any damage to your floor or carpeting. This comes in handy for those embers that you aren't expecting to come out of your fireplace. They will burn your flooring quickly and before you can grab them safely.