Preventing and treating frozen pipes
Frozen water pipes and leaks can quickly lead to disaster. Water damage can result in costly repairs, some of which may not be covered by home insurance policies. Preventing frozen pipes and leaks is essential once the mercury starts to dip. Water expands when it freezes, and if it expands enough, it can cause pipes to burst. Yet, burst pipes do not usually occur directly where the ice is forming. Rather, the ice increases water pressure buildup elsewhere in the pipe, typically between the faucet or spigot and the ice blockage. Therefore, adequately protecting the entire length of pipe during cold spells can be necessary. Any home built in colder climates should have its pipes located on the inside of building insulation. However, pipes in crawl spaces, attics and basements, as well as those located on outside walls, are vulnerable to freezing. To prevent frozen pipes and bursting, follow these tips.
Drain water from outdoor hoses and close inside valves supplying water to outdoor faucets. Keep the external hose bib open to let water drain and to allow for expansion should any water become trapped.
Inspect pipes in areas that are unheated. Insulate any pipes located in these areas.
Heat tape, pipe sleeves, heat cables, and similar materials can be used to protect exposed water pipes from freezing. Even newspaper can help insulate pipes.
Keep garage doors closed when water supply lines are located in the garage.
Open cabinets indoors to allow heat to reach pipes underneath sinks.
Seal leaks that allow cold air inside. Also, look for air leaks around electrical wiring and vents that are in close proximity to pipes.
If you will be away from home, keep the thermostat set to no lower than 55 F (12 C). Have a neighbor check on the house periodically to make sure no pipes are freezing.
Keep water trickling out of a faucet when temperatures are very cold. This will relieve pressure inside of the pipe and could prevent bursting if an ice blockage occurs.
If you suspect a pipe has frozen, warm air from a hair dryer can help thaw it out. Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame.
If a pipe bursts, turn off the water from the main shut-off valve.
Call a plumber if pipe problems are beyond your expertise.
Removing Smoke Odors
Removing odors especially smoke odors and be challenging. If often requires a combination of techniques and procedures. That is why having a professional restoration company is critical if you experience a loss in your home or business. To remove odors you must understand them. Odors are defined as gases when emanate from a source into the air where they are perceived by the nose. Whether they smell pleasant or unpleasant, odors are gases people notice. As an example did you know smoke odors are generally classified into three categories:
Protein Odors i.e. burned chicken or meat
Natural Substance Odors: i.e. wood, paper or cotton
Synthetic Substance Odors: i.e. burned plastics
The professional technicians at SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville are trained with the industry’s latest cleaning and deodorization techniques to ensure that your home or business will be returned to preloss conditions.
What is Carpet Delamination?
This is an example of carpet delamnination
When carpet is manufactured it is created with two backings. In the most common types of carpets, the yarn is secured into the primary backing by synthetic latex, and a secondary backing (or cushion) is attached with a bonding agent or adhesive to provide further pile-yarn stability and to add dimensional stability to the carpet structure. This secondary backing also helps in ease of installation by moving more easily over the surface of the floor. Carpet delamination is a condition where the secondary backing of the carpet is detached from the primary backing.
How can this happen? There are a variety of ways including, improper installation and pet damage. Shrinking or stretching can also occur with carpet that has been over wet during cleaning or water damage. Both shrinkage and stretching can lead to wrinkling and puckering and when these wrinkles are walked over the backing breaks down causing delamination.
A carpet loses 80% to 85% of its strength when it is wet. That’s why it is so important to call a professional such as SERVPRO® of Lexington/Thomasville whose first function is to restore not replace. SERVPRO® technicians understand the science of drying and will work to get your home or business back to preloss condition as fast as possible. Our technicians are trained in the latest mitigation and restoration techniques and our primary goal is to make it “Like it never even happened.”
The Restoration Process: What You Should Know; part 1
Restorative drying is a dynamic process in which a number of variables are constantly influencing the restorer’s intended result: returning the property to a clean, dry and safe living environment. With so many moving parts in this equation having a trained technician closely monitor is critical to ensure that the intended results are realized. The technicians at SERVPRO® of Lexington/Thomasville continually attending classes to ensure they are trained in the latest restoration and mitigation techniques. This requires a thorough initial inspection to identify what will influence the environment and adjust accordingly to make sure progress is being made.
The most important first step is to identify and stop the water source. This problem needs to be corrected to prevent additional water intrusion which could result in additional property damage. This also includes finding out what’s wet. After any safety concerns have been addressed the technician needs to find the water’s migration path to any potentially affected areas. When wet areas are discovered contents and structure needs to be protected from further damage. The second step is to scope job. The technician needs to gather information necessary to properly decide the correct steps in the restoration process.
The next article in the series will address the category of water damage and how it can affect the restoration process.
From A House To A High Rise We’ve Got You Covered
No matter ti size of loss we're here to help!
From a burst pipe in an office building to faulty wiring in your home’s kitchen fire and water damages are never scheduled but they do occur, usually when you least expect it. The professionals of SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville know there is no such thing as a small emergency. So, whether it’s a high rise that is in need of mold mitigation and restoration or a leaking home hot water heater our trained technicians will walk you through the steps so you understand what is happening to your property. We will go over any concerns you may have addressing each until you are a hundred percent satisfied.
Don’t trust your property to just anyone, count on the company with over 50 years experience. And, the next time you experience a loss in your home or business call the experts whose training in mitigation and restoration damages range from single family homes to skyscrapers because we can make it “Like it never even happened.”
Warning signs of disaster scams
When natural disasters strike such as Hurricane Harvey and Irma, many people immediately ask what they can do to help. Some may volunteer at disaster sites, while others may offer financial donations from afar. While donors'efforts are always sincere. Fraudulent websites, bulk email solicitations and texting scams that encourage donations are each means by which criminals take advantage of conscientious donors. As eager as prospective donors may be to lend a financial hand when disaster strikes, it's important to take the time to confirm that an organization is legitimate and not an operation organized by fraudsters looking to make a fast buck. Research the organization before donating. If they are asking for personal information such as social security numbers or using high pressure tactics this may be an indication of a scam.
Other scammers may stop by and knock on doors and promise to restore property and contents immediately if you can pay upfront. This should be an immediate red flag. Do not ever hand over payment before work begins. Legitimate contractors and restoration companies will walk you through to process and have you sign a contract explained exactly what work will be done and the payment agreements. Also, ask for references or contact the BBB and make sure they are a reputable company.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, flooding is becoming more frequent along the coastlines of the United States. Studying measurements from tide gauges at locations along U.S. coasts, the NOAA found that nearly every site measured has experienced an increase in coastal flooding since the 1950s. The mid-Atlantic region experienced the highest number of coastal flood days and also the largest increases in flooding from 1950 to 2015. Since 2010, no area has flooded more often than Wilmington, North Carolina, which flooded an average of 49 days per year. The United States Environmental Protection Agency notes that higher sea levels pose a number of threats to coastal communities, including making coastal infrastructure more vulnerable to damage from storms because that infrastructure was not designed to withstand frequent inundation or exposure to salt water. Coastal flooding, the EPA notes, also can affect human health by increasing the risk that drinking water and wastewater infrastructure will fail, potentially exposing people to pathogens and harmful chemicals.
But flooding is not exclusive to coastlines or waterway. Flash flooding, hurricanes, and prolonged rainy season cans affect any property not just those in a flood plane. Knowing this having a conversation with you insurance provider to determine what is and isn't covered in your policy will help prepare you in the event that this happens to you.
September is National Preparedness Month
SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville realizes no one plans on being affected by a disaster but we can help you prepare for one. September is National Preparedness Month and we want to help you prepare your home and business for whatever comes your way.
The first step in your planning process is to determine what type of disasters your plan will cover. You may want to begin with the most common type of situation in your area such as flash flooding or tornadoes. Know how to contact each member of your family throughout the day in the event of an emergency situation is critical as is establishing a family meeting place. Having a clear thought out plan can save time which could be critical.
Next thing to consider is a list of the supplies each family member (both two and four legged) needs specifically for their daily living needs. Remember to include medications, water, sanitary supplies such as diapers and wipes. If you are storing canned food remember to pack a manual can opener. A weather radio and extra batteries are important if this is a slow moving event.
If this still seems a bit overwhelming, SERVPRO offers and free mobile based emergency response plan or “ERP” that can help you begin the process. The app is free and can be downloaded for any android/iphone mobile device. We even offer to complete these profiles for free for businesses. Having a plan in place can’t prevent a disaster from occurring but preparing for one can help you get back to your life much more quickly.
SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville can make it “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville 336-224-2565
When a disaster affects your home who do you turn to? There is so much uncertainty when disasters occur it can become overwhelming and confusing. Big issues are easier to handle such as if you have a leaky pipe, you call a plumber to repair. Who do you call if your grandmother’s antique china cabinet is covered in smoke and soot? When you trust the professionals of SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville you know that all of your possessions will be handled with the upmost care. Our repair not replace philosophy means whenever possible we restore your possession to preloss conditions. Once repairs are made we can inventory and secure your items until repairs are completed in your home. If a disaster should strike your home give us a call at 336-224-2565 and we can make it “Like it never even happened.” #SERVPROLexington #SERVPROThomasville #HereToHelp
Preventing Illness in the Office
Work families share many things together, offices, supplies and sometimes illnesses. When working in close quarters with others, it’s not surprising that stomach bugs or colds get passed the office.
Germs, bacteria and viruses can spread easily through the air and on surfaces. According to Healthwatch it’s possible for certain viruses and bacteria to live on nonporous surfaces for hours and even days. However, The Mayo Clinic says that, while it’s possible to catch the flu or a cold after handling an object an infected person sneezed or coughed on a few moments ago, personal contact with an infected person such as a handshake or breathing in droplets from a cough or sneeze is the most common way germs are spread.
While employee’s are often told to stay at home when feeling ill, it’s not possible to avoid the co-worker’s entirely when they are feeling under the weather, there are some steps that individuals can take to help staunch the spread of illness at home, in school and around the office.
Wash hands regularly
Good hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent the spread of germs. Hands should be washed before eating, after preparing food, after coughing, after touching items in public areas, and after using the restroom.
Clean hygiene hot spots in the office
It’s impossible to kill every germ in the office, but regular cleaning and disinfecting high-risk areas can prevent illness from spreading, especially when a coworker is ill.
Keep your distance
Steer clear of sick individuals as much as possible. When sick, cover your mouth or nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Discard any used tissues promptly and wash hands afterward.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth when someone in the home is ill. These mucus areas are easily contaminated and can be sources of entry for germs.
Some evidence suggests that eradicating all germs can affect the body’s natural ability to fight infection. Therefore, routinely clean with soap and water, but do not overdo it with regard to your use of chemical disinfectants or hand sanitizers.
If all these steps have been taken and your employees are still ill you may be experiencing ‘Sick Building Syndrome.’ Sick Building Syndrome is a condition affecting office workers, typically marked by headaches and respiratory problems, attributed to unhealthy or stressful factors in the working environment such as poor ventilation. If your office is experience these systems call the professionals at SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville. Our technicians are experienced in all aspects of cleaning and can get your staff back to feeling better in no time.