Recent Posts

Taking Care of Clogged Drains

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

Sewer Cleaning. If you have clogged drains in your Bountiful, UT home, call a remediation specialist to have an effective solution.

A clogged pipe or drain in the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room can result in many problems, but primarily flooding. It is essential to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. In most situations, you will not need to contact a remediation specialist in Bountiful, UT, because a simple plumbing snake will do the trick. However, to use a snake or auger effectively, you need to know how to use it:

  • Slightly uncoil the auger
  • Gently insert the head into the drain
  • Rotate the auger at trap and push
  • Extend auger to reach the clog
  • Rotate and use a push-pull motion to free the blockage
  • Withdraw the auger

While it is easy to use a snake or plumbing auger, sometimes, the auger will not be enough to resolve the issue. If you cannot reach the clog or free the blockage, you need to call a professional.

Why Calling SERVPRO Is Your Best Option for Clogged Pipes

With any plumbing crisis, time is of the essence. Waiting too long to call for help can mean the difference between releasing a basic clog or repairing a full-blown pipe break.

If using an auger did not help to resolve the stopped sink, then calling a professional is likely your next best option. Experts working with SERVPRO have the tools necessary for reaching dip and set-in clogs.

Additionally, calling in the experts can ensure that no damage comes to your system from potential mistakes. For instance, sometimes, drain snakes can get tangled in the system. If a homeowner attempts to force the snake out, they can potentially damage the pipe or the tool, making matters worse.

A Snake Might Not Be Enough To Resolve Every Issue

A snake is a limited tool. Most manual augers are limited to 25 feet, which should be sufficient for reaching minor clogs. However, your home’s plumbing is a complex system with internal and external components that might be well outside the reach and scope of a basic auger.

Additionally, not every blockage is the result of a clog. Sometimes, there are more significant issues at play, like a pipe collapse or supply line failure. In these instances, an auger is not the right tool for the job.

The experts working with SERVPRO have access to video equipment, allowing them to snake a camera into your home’s plumbing to locate the issue and determine the best mitigative response.

Chemicals Are Not the Solution for Pipe Blockages

Too often, homeowners will turn to chemical drain cleaners to resolve their issues. Chemical cleaners are not worth the hassle. Not only are these cleaners less effective than traditional cleaning options, but if you use the wrong type of cleaner, you can damage your plumbing. Using multiple cleaners can also result in explosions within the system or other unwanted chemical reactions.

If you want to try using a snake on your clogged drain, go ahead. However, suppose the auger does not resolve the issue. In that case, it is best to call in mitigation professionals, like those working for SERVPRO, to assess the system and develop a more effective solution.

Understanding Your Flood Coverage

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

House damage. Understanding your homeowners policy helps you to protect wisely your Bountiful, UT home.

Navigating the details of your homeowners policy can be confusing, especially when you are going through the stressful experience of enduring a basement flood in your home in Bountiful, UT. Understanding the general rules behind standard property coverage can help you know the right questions to ask your provider and assist with filing your claim. You can plan more easily for repairs when you know what is and is not covered.

Flood Coverage: What Does and Doesn't Cover

What Standard Insurance Doesn't Cover

There are many types of policies you can purchase beyond a standard homeowners policy. It may be fruitful to do so, particularly if your area is prone to flooding. While some water damage is covered, there are several types of problems that you probably have to pay for out of pocket:

  • Remediation of water damage that occurs due to unresolved maintenance issues
  • Repairs of the source of the water damage
  • Storm flooding
  • Water backup from a clogged municipal drain
  • Sewer backup

You may be able to purchase supplemental insurance coverage for some of these issues. For example, a flood policy is a smart idea if you live in a flood plain, because you are likely to experience the occasional basement flood even if you are vigilant about protecting your home. A water backup policy protects you from having to pay the cost of city plumbing issues that are outside your control. Your insurance agent can assess your individual case and recommend policies that cover your specific needs.

What Your Homeowners Policy Does Cover

A flooded basement can be caused by many different situations. There are two key factors that typically determine whether your homeowners policy will cover the cost of water damage mitigation services. Did the problem occur suddenly? For example, if a pipe bursts, it can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Second, was the inciting incident an accident? If, despite your best efforts, a flood still occurs, your policy is likely to cover the cost of repairing the damage.

If the incident is a covered peril, you may be entitled to two types of coverage. Dwelling coverage takes care of the cost of repairing the structure itself. You may have to replace walls, insulation, carpet, or ceiling materials. Then the affected parts of your home must be rebuilt. This process is probably covered by your policy. Additionally, if any of your personal belongings were damaged by the covered peril, it is likely that you can be compensated for the cost of repairing or replacing them. Documenting the damage with pictures or video and providing the estimate from the mitigation company can support your claim and increase the chances that it will be approved.

It's never too early to learn exactly what your insurance coverage entails. Don't wait until a basement flood occurs to figure out whether your homeowners policy will pay for the damage. Go over the details with your insurance agent, and purchase any additional coverage you need. Understanding your policy helps you make an informed decision so that you can protect your home and everything in it.

How To Remove Mold From Air Conditioner Ducts

11/9/2021 (Permalink)

Air Conditioner Ducts Clean the mold in the air conditioner ducts to avoid the spread in your Bountiful, UT building.

Molds, such as black mold, are always present in the environment. When molds encounter areas with the right conditions, they may multiply to the point where they become an issue for building owners. Dust and moisture in the vents of an HVAC system can provide a fertile breeding ground for mold. If not removed promptly, the forced air from an HVAC system may spread mold to the rest of your building.

Removing Black Mold From HVAC Systems

Eliminating mold from an HVAC system is a multi-step process.

1. Confirm You Have a Mold Problem

Before you spend time and money attempting to eliminate a mold problem, it is a good idea to confirm that you have one. Inspect your HVAC system for signs of mold and moisture. Additionally, you may notice mold signs throughout your building. A musty odor is often one of the first signs of a problem. You may also notice stains or dark spots on walls, ceiling tiles, or carpets. Pay particular attention to any areas with high moisture levels, such as kitchens and bathrooms, or water damage.

2. Remove Moisture

Shut down your HVAC system. Make sure anyone working on the HVAC system is equipped with an N-95 respirator. Remove and replace filters or insulation that is wet. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove any standing water in the air ducts. Repair anything that is leaking or any drainage systems that are clogged.

3. Clean the System

Thoroughly cleaning your HVAC system will help remove mold and dirt that provides food for mold growth. Use a disinfectant that is registered with the EPA and labeled for HVAC use. Use a mechanical coil cleaning system to remove debris from the evaporator coils. As you clean ducts, separate them with bladders so that spores from the ducts you are cleaning don't spread to the ducts you already cleaned.

4. Prevent Mold From Returning

Prevent mold from coming back by applying a mold and mildew inhibitor to all parts of your HVAC system. Choose a product that is EPA registered and labeled for HVAC use.

5. Vacuum the Ducts

Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove any debris left behind from cleaning.

Prevent Future Mold Problems

Controlling moisture is the key to preventing future mold problems in your HVAC system. Contact an HVAC repair company in Bountiful, UT, to diagnose and repair the issues that caused your system to accumulate moisture. Make sure your drain pans are properly sloped and regularly cleaned. Replace your air filters regularly. Keep areas below air intake clean and free of moisture. Have your HVAC system professionally inspected at least once per year.

When To Call a Professional

Mold can be difficult to remove completely. If your mold problem keeps coming back, you may need to contact a professional mold remediation company to perform a thorough cleaning.

Molds, such as black mold, are a normal part of the environment. However, mold that grows rapidly can create problems for property owners. Removing mold and addressing moisture issues promptly is the key to avoiding additional damage to your building.

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.