Recent Posts

What Happens After Water Damage?

10/18/2021 (Permalink)

Damaged home. A severe storm can damage your home in Bountiful, UT.

Severe storms can transpire at any time of the year in Bountiful, UT. It's important to know what to do beforehand in case your home is subjected to a powerful storm, especially one that carries an influx of water into the house. Several serious issues can arise just from the excess moisture, such as:

  • Soaked, stained drywall
  • Destroyed insulation
  • Ruined carpet and padding
  • Rotting wood
  • Mold growth
  • Pungent odors

These problems will require quick action involving tear out of ruined materials and thorough drying to mitigate the loss.

What Are the Storm Restoration Procedures?

Post-storm, it's critical to put safety first. Before beginning any of the following steps, make sure you can safely navigate the area and take care of any emergency restoration that you can safely handle yourself.

1. Contact Your Homeowners Insurance

Call your homeowners insurance company as soon as possible to begin the claims process. An adjuster may need to come out and assess the damage before restoration can begin. In the meantime, take photos of all of the damage to give to your agent.

2. Check Electrical

Before going into the area, the safest option is to turn off electricity to the house. Electrical currents can flow through standing water, seriously injuring anyone who steps into it. If you can't safely navigate to the breaker box to turn it off, call your power company or an electrician before proceeding. Once the power is turned off, unplug water-exposed electronics and appliances from their outlets.

3. Deal With Flooding

Standing water indoors is best left to water damage remediation professionals. They have the expertise and industrial equipment to complete the restoration thoroughly and as quickly as possible. While you're waiting for the technicians to arrive, you can mitigate damage by beginning the water removal process. A wet/dry vacuum will be the safest and most efficient method, but mops and towels will do if you don't have access to one. You can also begin the tear-out process by removing materials from the area, such as soaked carpet, padding, and drywall. Also, you must remove as many of the contents as possible to make room for the technicians to complete the restoration process. After removing them from the area, you can determine if each item is salvageable or not.

4. Check the Roof

Check your roof to see if you notice any holes or missing shingles. Unless you have experience, it's best to let a professional contractor get on the roof to inspect the damage and make any repairs. They may have to tarp it temporarily to protect the home from further damage until they can permanently repair it.

If your home is affected by a major storm, you're likely to have a significant loss that will take time, expertise, and the proper restoration tools. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as extracting the water; it'll probably involve tear out, sanitizing, and extensive drying. It could involve much more if mold has begun to grow. It's vital to be proactive and learn the basic steps should you endure one of these disasters in the future.

Protecting Your Pets in a Fire Emergency

10/13/2021 (Permalink)

Cat and dog in a coach. It is crucial to maintain pets safe in a fire emergency in your Bountiful, UT home.

There are countless articles on the web about keeping your family safe during a fire emergency, but few address what family entails. Family is more than moms and dads, brothers and sisters. The family also includes all the furry, feathery, and scaly friends that people call pets.

Pets are integral components of nearly every family unit, and as such, it is crucial that you make a plan to keep them safe. The local fire department or a fire disaster company in Bountiful, UT, can help you come up with a plan to keep your animals safe.

Fire Emergency Preparation for Furry Friends

Pet preparation is all about knowing the potential threats and hazards a fire presents and designing escapes and notifications accordingly. Your animals will not understand fire escape routes, and they cannot make rational decisions to get to safety in a real emergency.

While some animals can be trained to obey commands in some situations, it is best to design your home and your pets' routine around basic fire safety protocols. There are at least three ways to keep your pets safe when a fire occurs.

1. Keep Pets Near Entrances

The number one rule for pet safety involving house fires is always to keep your pets near entrances when you are away from home. Suppose you crate your dog while at work; put the crate near the front or back door. If your cat has a favorite cat tree, put it in the front room and close all bedroom doors, keeping its interest in the front of the house. The same goes with birds or other caged animals; keep them safe by placing their habitats near an entrance.

2. Keep Leashes Near Doors

A firefighter cannot be expected to keep a panicked animal under control while removing them from your house, especially to carry them from the premises without any guide or assistance. When you own dogs or cats, place leashes near the entrances of the home. Having leashes or even a kennel near the house entrance will make it easier for a firefighter to remove your pet safely, limiting the risk of injury to the animal or themselves.

3. Affix Pet Alert Stickers on Windows

It has become commonplace to have stickers indicating how many pets or family members you have in your home in recent years. If you feel comfortable doing so, it is helpful to emergency services if you affix an animal alert sticker on your windows.

Pet alert stickers tell firefighters the number of pets you have and what kind they are. Having all the information they need about the number of people and pets helps firefighters ensure they get everyone to safety. It also means that they do not prematurely call off a search and rescue.

A fire emergency is a time of panic and confusion. Do not wait until a disaster strikes to formulate a plan for the safety and rescue of your pets. When there is no chaos, take the time to make appropriate, straightforward plans, including kennel and cage placement and notification stickers.

4 Reasons To Replace Polybutylene Pipes

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

Polybutylene Pipes. Polybutylene pipes can cause water damage in your Bountiful, UT commercial.

Many property owners build structures from the ground up. If, however, you own an older commercial building, particularly one built between the 1970s and the 1990s, you should have the plumbing inspected for polybutylene pipes. While at that time these pipes were popular because of their relatively low cost, they ultimately cause many issues that lead to expensive repairs and other potential problems. 

Why replace polybutylene pipes?

1. Prevent Disastrous Leaks Caused by Faulty Polybutylene Pipes

One reason to get a new plumbing system in your building is that older pipes don't stand up well to chemicals from the water treatment plant. Eventually, these chemicals will wear down the pipes, causing many issues:

  • Brittle surface
  • Weakened pipe walls
  • Pinhole leaks

These small flaws can turn into large problems over time. This is particularly true of pipes made from outdated and insufficient materials. The leaks can damage your building's foundation and any materials the water comes into contact with. While a good plumber and water restoration experts can fix the damage as it happens, ultimately they are only addressing the symptoms of the real problem. Faulty pipes will keep getting leaks. Rather than patching the small leaks as they occur, it's better to just replace the whole failing system at once.

2. Protect Water Quality With Replacement

Water loss and the subsequent damage it causes aren't the only potential problems that faulty pipes can bring. Additionally, the degradation in polybutylene pipes often leads to lower water quality. As particles flake off and disintegrate, they deposit chemicals into the water that likely would not meet safety standards. If your commercial building in Bountiful, UT, has older pipes, replacing the whole system is the right step toward keeping the water quality level high.

3. Keep Your Building Up to Code

Because of the known issues with these outdated materials, your city's building codes no longer allow for their use. Therefore, as long as your plumbing system includes them, your building is unlikely to pass municipal inspection. This can lead to costly fines or even larger consequences if you do not replace them.

4. Appease Insurance Provider

You have an obligation as the building owner to keep it in reasonably good shape and make necessary repairs and upgrades in a timely manner. This is part of the agreement you make with the insurance company that agrees to protect your property. One of the potential consequences of not meeting building codes due to faulty pipes is that your insurance provider is unlikely to cover any water damage that occurs as a result. You may lose your coverage, and then you are stuck not only with the cost of replacing a failing plumbing system but also the full set of expenses associated with repairing subsequent damage.

This necessary upgrade not only prevents damage and protects your water quality but also ensures that your plumbing system meets the standards outlined in municipal codes and expected by your insurance provider. If you own a commercial building that still has polybutylene pipes, it's important to replace them as soon as possible.

Flood Safety Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Repairing a home after a flood. Following these tips will make it easier to face a flooded home.

You read and hear about disasters on the news, but you may never think they’ll happen to you. However, disastrous incidents such as flooding can occur anywhere in Bountiful, UT, and beyond. Though it’s impossible in all circumstances to control when a flood will affect you, there are ways you can prepare for flood safety. If you practice a few simple tips, you could save yourself a significant of time, money, and grief.

Flood safety tips

Before a Flood.

Flooding can be an issue due to several factors, including intense weather, poor plumbing, sewage backup, and others. No matter what you do, you can’t keep the weather away, but you can do some things to minimize damage.

  • Clean your rain gutters
  • Seal basement vents
  • Examine windows and make sure they don’t have gaps
  • Have a trained professional examine your plumbing and sewage systems
  • Secure valuables in waterproof containers or safe deposit boxes

During a Flood.

If water starts making its way into your home, it’s essential that you avoid contact with it. Of all the safety tips, one of the most critical is that you stay away from black water, which contains sewage and other potentially fatal materials. You should also turn off your home’s power and water mains. Also, never use an appliance that has come into contact with floodwater. It’s important to pay attention to instructions from local authorities on how to safely react to flooding.

After a Flood.

Flood safety is just as important following the incident as it is during. Once the water is under control, you need to clear it out as soon as possible. You should do this with a wet vacuum. Make sure you dry the area and sanitize thoroughly as well. A restoration specialist will determine whether you need to replace the flooring, walls, or other areas.

If you practice good flood safety, you can avoid damage to your home and injury to yourself and your loved ones. Keep these guidelines handy and implement them today.

Why Do Insurance Agents Choose SERVPRO's Restoration Services?

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Insurance agent. SERVPRO is a service of professionals and certificated teams giving the customers quality work.

When a disaster affects your home in Bountiful, UT, an insurance company will surely get a call. The insurance agent handling the claim wants to feel confident that the homeowners are performing every reasonable measure possible to prevent further damage to the property. The central part of this process involves getting a reliable team of experts on the scene to begin the mitigation and restoration work as soon as possible. To ensure a better customer experience, major insurance companies developed the Preferred Vendor program. SERVPRO not only meets or exceeds the stringent requirements of this program, but the company has rigorous specifications its own franchisees must meet.

SERVPRO's Requirements as a Preferred Vendor

1. Each Franchisee Must Meet the Insurance Companies' Requirements for the Program

To be a Preferred Vendor, the restoration company must first meet the requirements set forth by the insurance companies that utilize this program.

Customers will never be surprised by hidden restoration fees. They will receive a set price before the work begins.

Repairs are always performed by professionals who have met all the insurance company's requirements for its vendors. Before getting on the vendor list, the technicians must apply to the central Quality Assurance Department with their credentials and be approved.

Customers can be confident they're getting quality work. There are precise standards and specifications under which the qualified professionals must complete each repair.

2. Each Franchisee Must Complete the Proper Training

All of SERVPRO's employees must go through a 15-day training program that the local business holds. Then, the technicians advance by participating in certification classes for water and fire damage. Employees are also required to attend continuing education programs regularly.

3. Each Franchisee Must Adhere to SERVPRO's Guidelines

SERVPRO has 21 distinct performance guidelines that each franchisee must meet before receiving client referrals from an insurance agent. These guidelines are some of the most extensive in the restoration industry. They include each technician earning the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, and each employee passing a background check. Additionally, the franchisee must maintain the required insurance coverage, submit to routine internal quality assurance audits, and prove that the business possesses the proper equipment to handle any job.

4. Each Franchisee Must Apply for Preferred Vendor Approval

Each of SERVPRO's franchisees must apply for approval as a Preferred Vendor. The application process is simple for most because most have already reached SERVPRO's rigorous corporate guidelines.

5. Each Franchisee Must Practice Full Transparency

From the initial contact with the restoration hotline and throughout every step of the project, SERVPRO's professionals document their work. Clients can have peace of mind knowing that the damage restoration company is helpful, reliable and that they're performing their work to the highest industry standards.

Next time you need to file a claim for a loss on your homeowners insurance, your insurance agent will give you a list of restoration companies in their Preferred Vendor program. You're highly likely to see SERVPRO on the list, and for good reason; their technicians guarantee superior service to each client every step of the way, from your initial contact to the job's completion. Whether your home has sustained damage from a flood, fire, or mold infestation, you can be confident you're hiring the best company in the industry.

Water Heaters and Noise: Quieting the Hobgoblins of Residential Plumbing

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

A professional fixing a water heater. If you hear some unusual noises from your water heater in your Bountiful, UT, home, call a professional for assistance

Every home needs a water heater, but not every heater is created equal. For those at the forefront of environmentally friendly products, a tankless heater will not have many of the noise problems as a traditional or conventional tank. However, for people who still prefer the more affordable — in the short term — options, a tank heater can lead to odd noises. Some sounds are normal, like the ignition or heating components kicking on, but other sounds are not, like:

  • Knocking
  • Banging
  • Clanging
  • Scratching

If you hear any of these odd noises, you should contact a plumbing or remediation professional in Bountiful, UT, to assess your tank. In many cases, the tank can be fixed with a simple flush, but a new tank is sometimes required. The outcome typically involves the age and damage to the appliance.

Water Heater Flush

Flushing a water heater is not a complex task, but some homeowners might feel uncomfortable performing such a task without prior experience. Again, you can hire a professional to take care of the flushing.

If you want to give it a go, you will need a hose and a space to drain the water from the tank. Before you begin, you will need to shut off the gas or electricity to the tank. If you have a gas tank, there should be a valve somewhere near the tank's base. If the heater is electric, shut off the circuit breaker to the heater.

With the power turned off and the tank no longer heating, you can turn off the water to the tank. Connect the drainage hose to the drainage tap. You can then stretch the hose to the predetermined drainage area. Once the hose is in place, you can open the drainage valve. Allow the tank to empty completely.

Once the tank is empty, turn the water back on. Leave the drainage hose attached to the drain valve open. Let the water run for 10 to 15 minutes, allowing any sediment to wash away. Turn off the water again. Detach the drainage hose and close the drainage valve. Turn the water back on, allowing the tank to fill. Once the tank is full, turn the power or gas supply back on.

Resolving Other Issues

In most situations, flushing the tank will resolve any unwanted noises because most tank noises stem from sediment. However, there are occasions where a flush will not take care of the problem. In these instances, it is best to hire a professional plumber to assess the tank and the plumbing surrounding the tank to ensure everything is working as it should.

If the plumber suspects the tank is the problem, they will probably suggest replacing the tank. When replacing a tank, you can opt for newer, more efficient models, but remember that many energy-efficient appliances will initially cost more.

A noisy water heater does not necessarily indicate a need for replacement; it could result from sediment requiring a flush. However, if you are not sure of the problem causing the noise, contact a professional to assess the tank and plumbing.

Stop Mold in Its Tracks After a Home Flood

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth in a home wall. A correct cleanup process after a home flood will prevent mold growth.

Mold is virtually everywhere all the time; there's really no getting away from it. However, most of the time, it doesn't cause problems. If your floodwaters enter your Bountiful, UT, home, though, a mold problem can develop quickly and can get out of hand fast. Mold growth will begin approximately 24-48 hours after water exposure, so it's essential to start the remediation process as soon as possible.

How to prevent mold growth

1. Wear Personal Protective Equipment

Before you begin the cleanup process, whether you know there is mold or not, it's vital to wear PPE to protect yourself from whatever is in the water, whether mold, bacteria, or harmful chemicals. Safety goggles, respirators, and gloves are the minimum gear you should wear. You can also wear hair covers, coveralls, and shoe covers for a more severe job.

2. Let the Fresh Air In

If the humidity outside is less than the relative humidity in the house, open windows and doors to let some fresh air blow through. You can begin using fans and dehumidifiers to help the drying process along.

3. Extract All Excess Water

The easiest way to remove all standing water is with a wet/dry vacuum. If you don't have one, you can rent one at a hardware or home improvement store. Mops and towels will also do the job, but a wet/dry vacuum is the easiest and most efficient way to quickly extract the water and small, floating debris.

4. Remove Soaked Materials

All soaked materials that can be removed must be removed. Wet items will just add to the excess moisture of the area, further promoting mold growth. Anything porous, including wooden and upholstered furniture, carpeting and padding, drywall, insulation, papers, and stuffed toys, are just a few of the items that will be affected by floodwaters and moisture. Anything that can't be completely dried within 24-48 hours will generally not be salvageable.

5. Inspect for Mold

Next, it's essential to inspect for mold. You might smell a musty odor but see no signs of mold. Still, if you smell this odor, mold is probably growing somewhere in the area. Some areas to look for mold are on baseboards, ceilings, under flooring, and behind drywall. The only sure way to find all the mold, if there is any, is to hire mold remediation experts to do a thorough professional inspection.

6. Clean and Disinfect Everything

Next, it's time to clean and disinfect the affected area. If you discover mold, a detergent and clean water will get rid of it and help prevent it from coming back.

7. Dry Everything Completely

Finally, it's essential to dry the area completely before doing structural repairs or moving belongings back into place. You can run fans, heaters, dehumidifiers and open the windows and doors.

When you experience a home flood, drying everything is one of the most essential tasks to begin immediately. Removing the standing water and excess humidity within 24-48 hours will help minimize or even totally avert mold growth. Once you've finished all your restoration work, have a final inspection performed to ensure no mold remains.

Mold Prevention Tips for Humid Climates

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

A person cleaning black mold. Protect your Bountiful, UT, building from moisture to prevent mold damage.

It's hard enough to keep your commercial building free of the effects of high humidity, but is located in a particularly humid climate poses extra challenges. It's not an impossible task, though. The following tips can help you protect your building in Bountiful, UT, against all the moisture in the air outside.

How to protect your building from moisture

Ensure Proper Airflow Throughout Building

The simplest way to prevent mold damage is to keep the air flowing throughout the whole building. Your air conditioner plays a huge role in this step. There are several ways to ensure your AC works consistently well:

  • Make sure the system you install is the right size for your building
  • Keep doors and windows closed while it runs
  • Set the unit to automatic and the temperature to 70 degrees
  • Inspect and maintain the system regularly

Make sure that your air conditioner vents are not blocked by furniture or storage, particularly the intake vents. Install exhaust fans in areas, such as bathrooms, where moisture tends to build up. An environmental hygienist can also complete an air quality test to find areas where better ventilation is needed.

Implement a Regular Inspection and Cleaning Schedule

Spores in the air are attracted to both moisture and dirt. While mold can grow on any organic material, keeping your building clean and dry is a strong line of defense. During walkthroughs, look for condensation on windows, pipes, and concrete walls. The presence of excess moisture in these areas may indicate that you need better insulation. Have all the surfaces in your building cleaned and dried on a daily basis. A vacuum with a HEPA filter is the best choice for ensuring that dust and other particles that can exacerbate mold growth are removed from the carpet.

Keep Humidity Level Low

No matter how clean or cool your building is, high humidity can lead to mold damage. You want to aim for a humidity level of 50% or below. Start by looking for items in your building that could contribute to excess moisture in the air. For example, potted plants are a common culprit, but that doesn't mean you need to get rid of all your live greenery. You just need to add anti-mold ingredients to the water you add to the soil. In addition to ensuring proper ventilation and airflow, you can also purchase dehumidifiers for each room to lower humidity levels.

Use Mold-Resistant Materials

Even if you take every precaution, you could still end up needing mold cleanup from certified mitigation experts in a humid climate. That's because furniture, curtains, carpet, and other textiles are particularly prone to fungus growth. Consider trading in some of the items in your building with similar pieces that are made of mold-resistant materials. Plastic, glass, and metal all have non-porous surfaces that make it more difficult for mold to grow. Laminate flooring does not have the same spore-catching qualities that carpet does. The furnishings you use can aid in your battle against mold.

If your area is prone to high humidity, you must be extra vigilant to prevent mold in your commercial building. By following these tips, you may be able to avoid major problems.

4 Steps To Extinguish a Kitchen Grease Fire

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

Flames. Even the smallest flame can destroy your house in Bountiful, UT if the fire is not controlled on time.

Did you know that nearly two-thirds of household fires start in the kitchen, and the majority of those are caused by a grease fire? If a homeowner is not careful, a small, manageable fire can become a significant disaster.

How to put out a Grease Fire

Unfortunately, the majority of homeowners do not know how to put out simple grease fires. In fact, many homeowners will take actions that put themselves and their families at risk, like attempting to put the fire out with water or trying to move the pan or pot outside. If you want to avoid a significant fire cleanup, fire mitigation services in Bountiful, UT, recommend taking four steps to resolve a grease fire.

  • Cover the flames
  • Turn off the heat
  • Use baking soda or salt
  • Use a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher

Control the Flames

When a fire starts, it can be shocking. If you do not have a lot of experience around flames, you might freeze as your brain tries to process what to do.

The best thing you can do when a cooking source ignites is cover it with a non-flammable item. For the best results, use a cookie sheet or metal pan lid. You’ll want to leave the cover on until the area has cooled.

The idea is to smother or deprive the flames of oxygen. Covering the pan is the quickest way to do that.

Eliminate the Heat Source

After covering the pan, you’ll want to eliminate the heat source. Many people make the mistake of taking the pan off of the stove. Do not move the pan. Moving a pan filled with grease risks spreading the fire. Instead of moving the pan, simply turn off the burner.

If you have an electric stove, you can move the pan carefully to another cooler burner. However, be aware that any movement risks spillage and the spreading of the fire or physical injuries.

Smother the Flames

If the fire is small enough, you can attempt to smother the flames with baking soda or salt. Do not use flour, baking powder, or other items that resemble baking soda and salt. Other things have different chemical makeups that could make the fire worse.

Baking soda and salt help to smother flames. However, if the fire is large, use the cookie sheet or pan lid instead.

Use an Appropriate Fire Extinguisher

Some people do not realize there are different types of fire extinguishers. The classification of fire extinguishers depends on the accelerants and chemical makeup of the various fires.

For a fire started from grease, a class B dry chemical fire extinguisher is best. You will want to use it the same way as any extinguisher, pulling the pin, aiming, squeezing the handle, and attacking the base of the flames.

A grease fire can be dangerous, especially if you panic and attempt to move the pan or douse it in water. However, if you follow the steps and advice outlined above, a small fire becomes something manageable. However, it is still good to call emergency services as even a small kitchen fire can become something much worse.

Understanding the Sewer Cleanup Process

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

A person cleaning a bathroom. It is fundamental to understand the sewer cleanup process in your Bountiful, UT, building.

When your commercial building in Bountiful, UT, has sewer damage, the thought of cleaning it up may seem overwhelming at first. Once you understand the different steps of the sewer cleanup process, though, it is likely to seem much more manageable.

Identify Cause

Before the cleanup process can begin, technicians need to know how the problem started. There are many potential causes of sewer problems:

  • Flooded toilet
  • Broken sewer lines or pipes
  • Invasive tree roots
  • Blocked or flooded municipal sewers

Knowing the cause of the damage helps the plumber or other repair personnel decide how to fix it so that it doesn't cause more damage to your building.

Assess Damage

When sewer damage cleanup experts arrive at your building, the first thing they do is complete a walkthrough of the space. They document all the damage so that they can create an action plan for efficient mitigation. Then they can create an itemized list of tasks that must be completed and give you an estimate of the cost.

Extract Moisture

Sewer backup typically leaves a lot of contaminated water behind. The results are standing puddles or a high humidity level in the building. The water must be removed with industrial pumps, and the humidity levels must be lowered to prevent secondary damage.

Remove Debris

Sometimes sewer water leaves sludge and other debris behind. Once the water is removed, it's easier to see what else needs to be taken out. If there is a lot of debris, technicians often use pumps or vacuum hoses for quick removal. They also tear out saturated drywall, carpet, and other materials that are ruined by sewage.

Disinfect Area

One of the most important parts of the sewer cleanup process is disinfection. Water that backs up or seeps in from the sewer is considered Category 3 Water, which means it likely contains all kinds of bacteria and other microbes. The mitigation team not only cleans but deodorizes every inch of your building that is affected by the backup.

Dry Surfaces

The surfaces that remain after ruined materials have been torn out and not only have to be sanitized but also dried. Failure to do so can lead to ongoing issues such as mold growth or further water damage. Removing as much excess moisture as possible is the key to complete remediation.

Rebuild Structure

The last step of the cleanup process is restoration. The remediation team doesn't just leave your building gutted and clean. Certified builders put up new walls and install new ceiling tiles. They match the wallpaper, paint, and flooring with the parts that are able to be salvaged so that no one can tell where the damaged area and preexisting structure meet. The job isn't finished until you are able to set up your office and start using the space again.

If you need sewer cleanup in your commercial building, choosing mitigation experts who know what they're doing shouldn't add stress to the situation. Qualified specialists can walk you through the entire process so that you know what is happening at every step to get your building back to normal.