Prevent Water Damage Before It Happens – Tips From A Plumber
Water damage can be caused by many different things. Some are unavoidable and some could be possibly be prevented by taking the proper precautions. Plumbers see it all where water damages are concerned and have given 10 tips to aid in the prevention of water damage at your home or business.
- Know the Location of Shut-Off Valves
Note the location of the main shut off valves and drain in your home and business. In many cases the shut off will be located outside of your home or business. Apartments and condos may not have their own dedicated shut off valves.
- Don’t Puncture Pipes
Make sure that you have an idea of where your pipes are located in your walls. If you plan to drill holes or put nails into your drywall or flooring you could potentially puncture a pipe if you are unsure of their location. You may be able to locate pipes behind walls with an inexpensive stud finder.
- Find Out What’s Flushable
Flushing anything other than toilet paper is not advisable. There are flushable wipes on the market that also pose a risk of creating a backup.
- Don’t Put Garbage Down The Drain
Even if you have a garbage disposal, be gentle with the items that you place in the disposal. Many times disposals have build-up that forms from different foods that can cause a drain to backup.
- Take The Plunge
Invest in a high quality plunger to clear clogs in toilets, sinks and drains.
- Pull Out The Vacuum
One word. KIDS. If you are trying to dislodge a larger object such as a toothbrush or toy, don’t be afraid to pull out the wet-dry vacuum to assist. A plunger will lodge the item deeper into the drain causing it to become more difficult to remove.
- Don’t Ignore Leaks
Do you have a steady drip? Don’t wait to fix the problem causing the leak. That steady leak is causing a steady incline in your water bill. A leaky faucet can waste up to eight gallon of water per day.
- Never Over-Tighten Fittings
I tend to like to make sure things are nice and tight when I am completing home repairs. Don’t do that with your fittings and connections. Over tightening can lead to stripped screws and broken bolts. Remember, “Hand tight is just right”
9. Make Friends with Plumber’s Tape
Also called (Teflon Tape), plumbers tape is used to seal pipe threads to prevent leaks around joints and fittings.
- Always Check for Leaks
After every plumbing project, check for leaks by running water through the system. You can make adjustments before damage happens by doing this.
These helpful tips will aid in preventing water damage to your home or business, but will not protect your property 100% from unforeseeable problems. If you find yourself with damage to your home or business call our office today.
How can SERVPRO® of Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties help your business?
Here at SERVPRO® of Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties we understand that it is important for your business to be operational. We pride ourselves in offering the best methods to ensure that your business can be back up and running in the event of a loss occurring.
We offer a FREE facility inspection and ERP (Emergency Response Plan) that is accessible through an app that you can download and pass along to the individuals in your company that would be most likely to be on the front lines after a damage. This plan includes shut off locations, information for your local police and fire departments, contact information for the individuals in your company that need to be kept up to date on situations that could occur. ERP’s are printable as well, and can be kept with your business contingency plan.
Here at SERVPRO® of Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties we take pride in the level of service that we offer to our customers. We know it is important to mitigate the damage and get your doors open as soon as possible. We are available 24/7 and have the resources necessary to mitigate your damage quickly and effectively.
If you would like to schedule for a FREE ERP to be completed on your business call our office and we would be happy to schedule an inspection. If you have damage and need assistance with mitigation, call our office and we will send someone to assess the damage and create a plan of action.
One of the Top Homeowners Insurance Claims
As a homeowner you secure homeowners insurance for a multitude of reasons. It is the smartest way to prepare for losses that could potentially occur in your home. The policy that is best for you and your family depends on your needs and your homes geographic location. A top rated insurance carrier rated water damage and weather related water damage as two of the Top Five most common causes of damage.
Water Damage can occur from appliances, plumbing and sewer failures and can cause a lot of damage to your home. According to the data from this carrier, non-weather related water damages make up roughly 20% of claims.
Water Damage can also occur from frozen pipes, leaky roofs and ice dams. These damages are costly and can cause extensive damage to your home as well. These are considered weather related and make up roughly 11% of the claims based on this carrier’s data.
If you find yourself with damage from one of the top five causes, give our office a call to begin remediation.
Christmas Tree Safety
Christmas is right around the corner and for many people decorating is about to be in full swing. Holidays are a busy and joyous time of the year, here are some Christmas tree facts and safety tips for you and your family.
- More than one of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
- A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four fires.
Together those statistics account for TWO IN EVERY FOUR fires. Don’t be a statistic. Follow these tips to keep you and your family safe during the holidays.
Picking The Tree
Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Placing The Tree
Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.
Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fire pits, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
Add water to the tree stand daily.
Lighting The Tree
Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. You can check with your community to see if there is a local recycling program.
The cold winter months are upon us and curling up by a nice cozy fire might be in the near future for many. Before you go gather wood and building a fire make sure to follow this checklist to ensure that your fireplace is safe for use.
Chimney Checklist (Say that 10 times fast)
It is recommended that all homeowners have their chimneys inspected annually by a certified chimney sweep. Having your chimney inspected will ensure that there are not potential health and safety hazards.
Always inspect your chimney cap. If your chimney cap has been damaged it can allow moisture, animals and debris to enter your flue.
If the flashing around the chimney appears to be warped or bent it could be allowing moisture and water to enter the chimney. Long term damage caused by this could include deterioration and leakage.
Trim Tree Branches-
Ensure that there are no tree branches that could potentially damage the chimney during a storm and/or cause a fire.
Repair Missing Bricks, Chipped Bricks and Mortar-
Find them. Fix them.
Clean the Flue-
Creosote is accumulated by burning fires and is the leading cause of chimney fires. Having your chimney inspected and cleaning should eliminate any creosote buildup.
Remove Leftover Ash-
A thin layer of ash can assist with starting a fire, but a large amount of ash will choke your fire out from the moisture content.
Make sure that the damper is in good working order and form a tight seal when shut. If the damper doesn’t close properly and form a tight seal it will allow outside air to mix with heated air and increase your energy cost significantly.
Install Batteries in Smoke Alarms/Detectors-
If you aren’t changing the batteries in your smoke detector out during daylight savings time, make sure that they are changed before beginning to build fires.
Be sure to store your fire wood in a ventilated area, off of the ground and away from exposure to water or moisture.
Stay warm friends! Call our office if you have any questions.
Holiday Fire Safety
Did you know that holidays bring more than joy with them each year? They also bring a greater risk for fire. Make sure that you and your family are following some simple tips to ensure that you have a SAFE and HAPPY holiday this year.
-Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
-Keep lighters and matches up in high locked cabinet.
-Test you smoke alarms and advise guest of all exits and your home fire escape plan. If you need assistance in creating a plan you can go here.
-Stay in the kitchen when cooking and baking.
-Provide large deep ashtrays for smokers and ask smokers to keep their materials with them so that children can’t get them.
-Some lights are intended only for indoor OR outdoor use, but not both.
-Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
-Use clips and NOT nails to secure lights and cords. This ensures that the cord will not be damaged.
-Choose decorations that are flame resistant OR flame retardant.
-Replace lights or decorations that have broken cords or loose bulb connections.
-Read manufacturer instructions for the proper number of lights that can be connected.
-Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
Before Heading To Bed Or Leaving The House
-BLOW OUT lit candles
-TURN OFF light strings
More than 1/3 of home decoration fires are started by candles and more than 2 of every 5 decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source. If you find yourself in need of our services over the holidays call our office. We are here to help.
In the aftermath of disaster, some of your most valued contents, (documents, photographs and books), could be lost forever. As a leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO® of Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties knows that timely mitigation is the key to recovering damaged possessions. With years of experience and state-of-the-art technology, SERVPRO’s restoration professionals will help you recover your papers before it is too late.
The SERVPRO® Document Restoration Facility Is:
We use the latest vacuum freeze-drying method, as well as gamma irradiation technology for sterilizing
Managed by HIPPA Master-certified technicians, under 24/7 surveillance
We use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents
We can accommodate large commercial losses or small residential jobs
We offer a range of services including drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing and deodorization
SERVPRO® document restoration team uses innovate vacuum freeze-drying techniques; in fact, we use the same freeze-drying methods used by the Library of Congress to dry valuable historic documents and books. Our vacuum freeze-drying process is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration (GSA).
Here to Help® With
- Paper Documents
- Books and Magazines
- Manuscripts and Files
- Photographs, Films, Negatives and Microfiche
- Blueprints and maps
Document Cleaning and Disinfecting
In many water damage situations, like sewage or flood water, documents will be exposed to bacteria, viruses, pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Our team uses a gamma irradiation process to safely and effectively sterilize your documents.
In the digital age, converting your paper files and photos to digital formats can have an invaluable impact on your business or home. With the help of SERVPRO’s restoration professionals to digitize your documents, you can save storage space and have access to your records at the touch of a button. Perhaps most important of all, you will have digital copies of your valuable documents that can’t be lost in a flood or fire.
SERVPRO® of Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties will get the job done right. For document restoration backed by state-of-the-art equipment call us today!
Turkey Fryer Safety
With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching I’m sure that there are many people beginning to plan their Thanksgiving menu. In the South we like to fry turkeys to enjoy with our families during Thanksgiving dinner. Here at SERVPRO® of Cheatham, Robertson and Dickson Counties we want you to be able to attend your Thanksgiving dinner and provide a beautiful fried turkey in the process. We have listed some tips below to ensure that you are frying your turkey safely.
Turkey Frying Safety Tips:
- Keep outdoor fryers off of decks, away from houses and vegetation and out of garages.
- Watch the weather. You never want to operate your fryer in the rain or snow.
- Make sure that the turkey is completely thawed. When ice mixes with hot oil it causes combustion and will create a large flame.
- Ensure that the fryer is placed on a solid surface.
- Never leave a fryer unattended.
- Leave at least 2 feet between the tank and burner when using a propane powered fryer.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly fill the fryer with the correct amount of oil. Overfilling can cause the oil to ignite.
- Choose a smaller bird for frying. An 8-10 lb. turkey is best.
- Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, watch the oil temperature carefully. If the fryer becomes too hot it will smoke and can catch fire at a certain point.
- Wear googles to protect your eyes, gloves to protect your hands and keep a hose nearby in case of a fire.
- Skip the stuffing when deep frying a turkey and avoid water based marinades.
- Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
- Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner. Let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
- Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil to cook the turkey.
What Can Affect Repair Cost After a Water Damage?
Whether you have water damage from a storm or a faulty appliance, mitigating that damage and starting repairs in a timely manner is important. Depending on the cause and severity of damage the cost can range significantly to mitigate and complete repairs. Below are some factors that could affect the cost of repairs.
-The Areas Size-
As one might think, the larger the area of damage the larger the area of repairs. The larger the damage the more labor and material it takes to repair it correctly. Although, there are instances in which a smaller area of damage could result in more repair cost. Such as, working within a confined space or having to purchase more material than needed for the area due to the way in which it is sold.
-Whether the Water is Still Present-
Make sure that you have hired a reputable company to mitigate the water damage and ensure that the structure is completely dry before beginning repairs. You should not attempt to begin repairs until all of the structure has been dried thoroughly and all equipment removed.
If your home or business has costly materials and upgrades within then your repairs will be more costly. For instance, if you have sand and finish hardwood that was removed and needs to be replaced it will cost more than that of carpet for the same area. This is a big reason why it is a good idea to review your policy as well. If you have completed a lot of upgrades and done remodeling to your home over the years you want to ensure that you have the proper amount of coverage to cover any damages that might occur.
Different areas have a different cost of living. The cost of living in California is much different than that of Kentucky or Tennessee. Make sure that you are hiring a trained professional from the area that you live or need the repairs to be completed.
It is important that you begin mitigation to your damage as soon as you have discovered the damage. The longer you wait to mitigate the damage that occurred the more likely you are to have secondary damage occur that will result in a higher mitigation cost and therefore a higher repair cost.
If you find yourself in need of mitigation from water damage, fire damage, mold damage or storm damage call our office to schedule a free inspection today.
Which Washer Hose Is Right For You?
Most homeowners are not particularly picky when it comes to washing machine hook up. Is it hooked up? Does it work? Okay great! Unfortunately, the components that you choose to hook your washer up can impact your home and family more than you would like to think.
There are three different kinds of washing machine hoses that you can choose from.
These are the hoses that people are most familiar with. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to find. They are made of a polyester mesh that makes the rubber stronger and less likely to burst.
If your machine is located inside of your home these hoses are not recommended as they can burst. If your machine is located outside of the home these are a good solution for you.
A stainless steel hose is the minimum hose style recommended for indoor use. They are not the cheapest that you can find as far as hoses are concerned, but the added safety is worth the extra money. A stainless steel braided hose is better than the basic rubber hose and meets a minimum standard when your washing machine is located inside.
For a few more dollars you can have additional peace of mind using auto-shutoff hoses. These hoses have an auto shut off at one end as an added safety feature. These hoses provide the best safety features for added peace of mind.
Here are some helpful tips on hose installation and maintenance to help avoid hose failure.
-Ensure that you have the proper length hose. Do not force the hose to fit.
-Always allow ample space between the washing machine and the wall to avoid kinks.
-Inspect your hose regularly. At minimum you want to inspect your hose once yearly. A good rule of thumb is to inspect your hose when you inspect your smoke detectors at Daylight Savings Time.
-Shut water off when you are on vacation or away from the home for an extended period of time.
-Replace your washing machine hoses regularly. The manufacturer of your hose will state the average life expectancy and recommend when the hoses should be replaced.
I you find that your machine has been leaking over time when checking your hoses. Call our office to have an inspection of the damage.