Prevent Water Damage in Your Home – It Is Possible, and Here's How
Water damage in Troup, TX.
Prevent Water Damage In Your Home
Water in the home may seem harmless enough, but when it creeps across your kitchen floors in streams and causes your linoleum floors to bubble up – or when it drip, drip, drips quietly beneath your bathroom sink and triggers mold growth – it's no longer so innocent. Water damage is a leading cause of loss for homeowners and often results in costly and extensive repairs. Some common perils of water damage include the following:
- Buckling floorboards
- Rotted drywall
- Damaged insulation
- Structural rot and decomposition
Fortunately, most water problems can be prevented with routine inspections and maintenance. Below are a few ways in which you can prevent water damage and loss in your Troup, TX, home.
1. Fix General Plumbing Issues
No leak is too small and no-drip too minor. If you discover a cracked or broken pipe, shut off the water valve and make the necessary repairs before the leak becomes a burst. Any water remediation team will tell you that damage from a leaking pipe is much easier to clean up than damage from a burst supply line.
2. Inspect and Maintain Appliances That Use Water
Cracked hoses, faulty connections and aging materials can all cause leaks and lead to excess water in the home if not caught in time. It doesn't hurt to check behind your washing machine once a week and before starting a load for pools of water, or to check behind your dishwasher for moisture. The two minutes it takes you to check can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars in pipe cleanup costs.
3. Get Your HVAC System Inspected and Maintained
Many homeowners don't think about their HVAC systems being the cause of water damage in the home, but the truth is that these systems are a huge culprit of moisture build-up and damage. You can keep your system in good working order and prevent costly issues by having a professional come in once or twice a year to inspect the unit and make any necessary repairs.
Water in the home can be costly and damaging. You can prevent water damage and the need to hire a Troup, TX, water damage cleanup team by following the above advice.
Proper Care and Use of Fire Alarms
Replace the batteries once or twice a year.
Fire Alarm Maintenance and Use
The correct use of a fire alarm in your home is one of the most important things you can do to keep your Tyler, TX, family safe from fire damage. It is more important than ever to have enough alarms positioned throughout your home.
- Inside of each sleeping room
- Outside of sleeping areas
- On every level of the home
- Additional alarms for larger homes
Interconnected smoke alarms are the most effective for increasing safety. Just make sure that all of the alarms are compatible with each other.
When installing smoke alarms, there are several things to keep in mind, such as making sure each alarm has approval from recognized testing laboratories. Make sure you have an alarm located in the basement and in the most frequented rooms of the house, including family rooms and hallways. Install a fire alarm at least 10 feet away from your cooking appliances and mount all alarms high on the wall or on the ceiling. Consider installing both ionization and photoelectric alarms in your home.
Proper maintenance is key to ensuring fire protection for your home and family. For instance, if you have an alarm positioned near a window or door, the drafts and moving air could clog the device with dust and make it unreliable. Never put stickers or other decorations on alarms and don't paint them. These could also prevent the device from working. Contact a fire damage professional if you have questions.
The U.S. Fire Administration recommends testing them once a month and replacing the batteries once or twice a year. (One common suggestion is to do this at daylight savings time.) Test your alarms according to the user manual. While testing, have a family member stand at the point in the home furthest from a device, so you know it can be heard everywhere in the home.
The fire alarm is an affordable device that could save your home and family from significant fire and smoke damage. If you don't currently have them installed, today is the day to fix that.
6 Space Heater Fire Prevention Safety Tips
Space heaters can help keep the cold at bay during those cold winter months.
Six Fire Safety Tips
Space heaters can help keep the cold at bay during those cold winter months in Tyler, TX, but they can also cause considerable damage if improperly used. Burns against tender skin can send people to the emergency room, and radiant heat from an overly-hot burned space heater can result in a home fire. To keep your family and possessions safe, here are six safety tips.
1. Maintain a safe distance of at least three feet from fabric-covered combustible materials. This includes beds, curtains, couches, and blankets.
2. Space heaters are designed to sit on the floor, not on a table or chest. The radiant heat from sitting upon a cluttered wooden area can not only result in a burned space heater; it can cause the surface it is sitting upon to smolder and catch fire.
3. Keep children and pets at least three feet from the heater. Serious injuries can occur when little ones or pets get too close to the space heater’s hot surface.
4. When going to bed or leaving the room for an extended period, shut the heater off. Some units cycle the heating elements on and off, but space heaters are not meant to run for extended periods of time in an unattended room.
5. If using a space heater in a garage, workshop, or storeroom, place it in the center of the room if possible. Keeping it away from flammable liquids, ignitable materials, and wooden surfaces can help prevent a fire.
6. Put the heating unit on a level surface. Although carpet may seem level and secure, a soft surface can result in a wobbly heater and a scorched carpet.
Fires started by a burned space heater can be common. If a fire does occur, smoke cleanup and fire damage repair can be very frustrating and time-consuming. Consider contacting a professional fire restoration team. Space heaters can keep the cold away, but they can also cause serious damage to homes and property if not treated appropriately.
How to Make a Water Damage Claim
Water damage in an Arp, TX home.
How to File a Claim for Water Damage
When your home has been damaged by water in Arp, TX, you may not know how to make an insurance claim. With so much on your mind, uncertainty about the process of making a claim can add to your stress. However, there are several steps that can make the entire process easier for you.
1. Check Your Policy
It’s important to understand what your policy does and does not cover. For example, your insurance will likely cover the cost of less severe water damage as a result of a pipe burst, but many standard insurance policies don’t cover the cost of a flood, though flood insurance can be purchased additionally. Once you are aware of what your policy will cover, you can prepare yourself financially.
2. Document the Damage
Once you can safely enter your home or the area of your home that has been damaged, it’s important to document what has been damaged. As you make your insurance claim, include any receipts, photographs and lists that document items or areas that have sustained damage. Documenting what has been damaged will allow your insurance company to make a more accurate assessment and therefore will ensure you are appropriately compensated for your losses.
3. Have an Assessment
In addition to documenting what items have been damaged in your home, having a claim adjuster visit your home can give you a better idea of the monetary cost of the damage. Adjusters can inform you about the estimated costs of things you may not know how to account for, such as structural damage to your home. If your insurance does not automatically send an adjuster, you can request to have one visit your home.
Once you’ve made your insurance claim, the restoration process can begin. In order to have your home fully restored in a quick and safe manner, reach out to professionals in water damage restoration.
5 Ways to Prevent a House Fire
Grease affects fire in a Flint, TX home.
Steps To Prevent a Home Fire
Most people in Flint, TX, know that fire preparation can go a long way to mitigating loss in an emergency. However, most emergency plans focus on what to do after a fire starts and not before. Here are five helpful tips you can use in your home to help prevent a home fire from starting in the first place.
1. Always Monitor Open Heat Sources
This includes fireplaces, stoves, candles, grills, and cigarettes. Keep the area around these sources clear for at least three feet.
2. Turn Off Heat Sources When Done
Basic fire safety practices include always turning off a heat source when not in use. For example, check to ensure your stove is all the way off or that grill ashes are properly snuffed. Always put cigarettes out in an ashtray and dose in water before disposal.
3. Don’t Use Broken Electronics
Broken electronics or frayed power cords can start a fire as easily as an open flame. Good fire preparation practices include looking over your electronic equipment and repairing or replacing any damaged devices appropriately.
4. Ensure Your Fire Extinguishers Work
It is recommended that a fire extinguisher is kept in the home. It is also important to ensure that the extinguisher is in working order, and that you know how to properly use it.
5. Make Sure Your Home Includes Working Smoke Detectors
Experts recommend having a detector on every level of your home including inside and outside of bedrooms, and in the kitchen. Local fire ordinances may include specific recommendations they want you to follow. It’s also suggested that batteries be replaced twice a year, and that the detectors themselves be tested to ensure functionality.
Awareness and fire safety are some of the best ways you can protect your home. Actively taking steps to ensure any electronics are in good working condition, and not leaving stoves, candles or other heat sources unattended are great ways to help protect your home. In the event the worst should happen despite your best fire preparation steps, a fire damage professional can help with restoration and smoke odor removal.
What To Do When You Lose Power
Power outage in New Hope, TX area
What To Do When You Lose Power
Ice, snow, and high winds can wreak havoc upon power lines. Storm season means an increased chance of a power outage. Losing power at your business in New Hope, TX, doesn't have to mean losing valuable data or working hours, though. There are a few things you can do to make sure all your files are saved and accessible for workers.
Have a Generator
Every building should have at least one portable generator that can keep the power going when the municipal supply is cut off. A backup generator can help maintain electricity to various items:
- Basement sump pumps
- Office equipment
- Heating system
- Fire system
A generator not only keeps your business running but also keeps your building protected from certain hazards that may accompany the storm. If the basement floods, for example, remediation experts can resolve your problem faster if you have a working sump pump to remove most of the water before they arrive. You can save a lot of money on repairs and lost revenue if you can maintain basic functions after a power outage.
Seek Alternate Sources
Between the time when the power goes out and the generator kicks in, it's helpful to have sources that can help employees save what they're working on. Plugging each computer into an uninterrupted power supply does just that. The UPS lets the device run on its battery until another power source can take over. Because it's difficult to predict how long you may be without power, especially if you don't have a generator, it's important to make sure that the battery is strong and that employees only use their computers for essential functions so that it can last as long as possible.
A power outage doesn't have to spark widespread panic as employees lament the loss of documents they worked hard to create. By taking a couple of precautions, you can implement solutions that outlast the blackout.
Which Smart Smoke Detector Is Right for Your Home?
Smoke alarms are an effective way to prevent a home fire.
Which Smart Smoke Detector Is Best for You?
Smoke alarms are an effective way to prevent a home fire and the damage and cleanup that follows, but they can be inconvenient. What if a smoke alarm is sounding at home, but you’re at the grocery store or on vacation? While a standard smoke detector works if you’re in the house, smart smoke detection systems send a push notification to your phone or tablet to let you know within seconds that a home detector has been triggered. Which of these new smart systems is best option for home fire safety?
Switch out your standard smoke detectors with internet-connected ones and you’ll be notified when any alarm goes off. This can be a pricier option, but it offers several advantages:
- Allows you to turn off false alarms from your phone or tablet
- Notifies when you need to replace a battery (no more chirping!)
- Scans for carbon monoxide, depending on the model
If you have a larger home, the cost of switching out every detector may be a little too much. Consider starting out with a smart listener device. This nifty gadget scans for the frequency of your smoke alarm and sends you a notification when it hears that frequency. While you won’t be able to silence the smoke detector remotely, a listener should provide coverage for a whole floor of your house and multiple detectors in one (smart) go.
The most cost-effective solution, a smart battery connects to your Wi-Fi and sends you a notification when the smoke detector it’s connected to is triggered. With a lifespan of around five years, you won’t need to replace one often, and these batteries send a notification when they are running low. Unlike with a listener device, you can turn off the alarm remotely by deactivating the battery.
Fire safety is no small matter. Whether you’re replacing every smoke alarm with a smart upgrade or you just want to try out a new system, these options can ensure your Bullard, TX, home’s safety from afar.
How Does Mold Remediation Work?
Mold remediation in a New Hope, TX home.
Once you’ve found mold in your home, your first instinct may be to just throw everything out and destroy everything contaminated. Yet you can still salvage some of your mold-contaminated belongings; more importantly, you can address the mold problem to stop its spread, and prevent further damage to your New Hope, TX home from black mold and other pollutants.
The Mold Remediation Process
Mold remediation is a multi-step process and only the beginning of a constant and diligent defense against reoccurrences of mold. For mold remediation, you must:
• Identify the source of the infestation. Water damage and continued leakage is generally behind most mold issues, as well as condensation and humidity. Find the source and address it.
• Use detergent and water to scrub any contaminated surfaces. This can work on non-porous surfaces to clean and kill the mold. Make sure to empty the bucket of soapy water somewhere outside, far from your house.
• If you’ve experienced a flood, dry out anything wet. Curtains, upholstered furniture, and other wet items should be taken out into the sun to air out and prevent mold growth. Dry the interior of your home as much as possible.
• Tear out and dispose of porous materials. Once your carpet has been infested with mold, there’s little saving it. Other items such as sponges, cardboard boxes, and fabrics may also be non-salvageable. You might even need to have sections of your drywall torn out if the mold is deep in your walls.
• Ensure containment. Use air purifiers and mold deterrents to isolate the infestation and prevent it from spreading further.
• Disinfect the area. Once you’ve scrubbed the mold up, make sure to use a safe disinfectant to appropriately clean the surfaces affected and ensure no contaminants remain.
• Find a mold remediation specialist. While these are initial steps you can take to immediately contain and control the damage, only a mold remediation specialist can truly assess the extent of your mold infestation and the steps needed to eliminate it.
The 5 Stages of Commercial Fire Cleanup
Board up your property for security purposes.
Commercial Fire Cleanup in 5 Stages
If you are dealing with fire damage, smoke damage, or soot damage at your business in Flint, TX, you should contact a service specializing in commercial fire and smoke cleaning. There are five major stages of commercial fire cleanup and a full-service restoration company can complete them all.
1. Schedule an inspection: As soon as a fire has been put out, you should arrange for an assessment of the property damage. A company that specializes in commercial restoration can help you identify and record damage to include in an insurance claim.
2. Put up boards and security fencing: The property owner or a damage remediation service should board up broken windows and holes in the roof to prevent debris or precipitation from getting into the property. These barriers also prevent unauthorized access to the property during the restoration process, limit additional damage, and provide insurers with proof that you are doing everything you can to protect the property.
3. Remove damaged contents: Whether the contents of a commercial property have been ruined by fire or only suffered smoke damage, these items should be removed and either cleaned or replaced. Some commercial restoration services will help you store these items until the restoration process is complete.
4. Clean: A restoration company will thoroughly clean a commercial property damaged by fire or smoke. This may involve drying water damage before cleaning up soot damage.
5. Restore: The remainder of the restoration process may involve smoke cleaning with industrial air scrubbers or a specialized machine, such as an ozone generator, hydroxyl generator, or thermal fogger. Contents and occupants may return once restoration is complete.
A full-service restoration company can help you clean up fire or smoke damage at commercial property in Flint, TX. The sooner you start the process, the easier the restoration should be.
How To Lower Your Commercial Water Bill
There are many potential water issues that commercial property owners have to contend with. A large utility bill may be one of them. Whether you are a new or seasoned property owner in Tyler, TX, you can benefit from these tips on how to lower your water bill in your commercial buildings.
Upgrade Your Restroom Fixtures
Many of the standard fixtures in your company's restrooms use more water than they need to. In order to save on water costs, you can purchase a water upgrade to the current fixture or a completely new fixture altogether:
• Low-flow toilets
• Flush valves
• Hands-free faucets
• Waterless urinals
Rather than depending on employees to conserve water, these upgrades conserve it for you by consuming less water with each use.
Rethink Your Irrigation Settings
Your irrigation may be what is causing your water issues and eating up your usage. Remediation experts recommend that you check for leaks in your system on a regular basis to make sure that you are not putting your nearby building at risk for water damage. If you are choosing new plants, try out species that don't require a lot of water to thrive. Make sure all your sprinkler heads are aimed at the grass and other plans instead of the sidewalk so that you are not wasting water on something that doesn't need it. Finally, put your irrigation system on a regular schedule but make sure you remember to override it when you need to.
Monitor Your Meters Separately
You don't know how well you're doing unless you can monitor your progress. To track how well the measures you have taken to lower your bill have worked, you need to be able to see the different charges separately. Have your irrigation system on a separate meter from your building. That way, you know which measures are working or which ones need tweaking.
If your building has water issues, lowering your water bill is easy. By upgrading a few fixtures and keeping track of how much each system is using, you can save yourself quite a bit of money.