Sewer backup prevention
Causes of Sewer Backup
•Blockages due to Tree Roots: Shrubs and trees seeking moisture can make their way into sewer line cracks causing extensive damage. They may start out small, getting into a small crack in the pipe; but as the tree or shrub continues to grow, so does the root. Tree roots can enter the service pipe at joints and cause blockages. They can also travel a long way, and roots from different types of trees act differently. If you suspect that city trees are responsible for sewer line damage, your plumber can contact the city and samples of the roots will be used to help identify the trees and who is responsible for cleanup. Sometimes a blockage is the result of a combination of city and private trees. In this case costs are split between the city and property owner.
•Sanitary Main: A blockage can occur in a city sanitary main. If the blockage is not detected in time, sewage from the main can back up into homes and businesses through floor drains. Usually this happens slowly, giving the owner time to call a licensed plumber to assess the damage. If water is entering your basement at a rapid rate, call the city public works office and report the problem immediately so that a city operator can investigate.
•Water in Basement: Most basement flooding is not related to the sanitary sewer system. In many cases, soil settles adjacent to the building and, if not corrected, leads to rainwater flowing towards the building and down the outside of the foundation wall. This is particularly true in older buildings where cracks may have developed in the foundation or floor slab which allow water to enter the basement. The cement floor and basement walls of these structures may have deteriorated to the point that they are no longer waterproof. Thus, water can show up in a basement which has never had a water problem. This frequently happens when the ground is saturated after repeated or heavy rain storms. Drainage can be improved by making sure that water drains away from the building. Homeowners can also prevent flooding by water-sealing the basement.
Water coming down
If water is coming down on you, these steps might come in handy
1.If it pops through the roof look at it. Penetrations are the most common leak sources and will stop the natural water flow off a roof. Look here first to find the source of the leak:
2.Living on the edge. A drip edge is not just aesthetically pleasing, it is important to help ensure water is kept away from the fascia and moved off the roof.
3.Every step I take. Areas where step flashing should be installed are a common leak source and maintenance item. Inspect these areas for damage:
4.What’s in YOUR attic? Many times, homeowners think the roof is the culprit, but problems can come from improper ventilation, plumbing, air conditioning, condensation, vent fans, and animal or bug infestation in the attic. Be on the lookout for:
5.Mind in the gutter. Many homeowners do not realize the importance of their gutters. They need to be installed and sloped properly to drain, tightly fastened, and free of debris. Contractors should stress to homeowners that gutter maintenance should be left to a professional. Advise them of the risks of climbing onto a ladder.
What category is your water???
When dealing with water damage in your home or business, there are three different types or classifications of water that we use: Clean, Gray, and Black water.
Clean Water: This is water that does not contain contaminants. It includes broken water lines, malfunctioning appliances, toilets holding tanks, snow melt and rainwater. Overtime however, clean water can progress and become gray water within 48 hours, if left untreated.
Gray Water: Gray water does contain slight chemical or biological contaminants, and may pose a health risk. Gray water can discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, showers, aquariums and waterbeds, or come from a clean water source that leaked through a ceiling. It can also be clean water that was left untreated (and became gray water). Gray water can also progress to the next sta-e (Black Water) if left untreated within 48 hours.
Black Water: This water is a positive health risk as it is highly contaminated. Black water is presumed to contain multiple potentially harmful contaminants including fungi, bacteria, chemicals, viruses, and more. Black Water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be treated by a trained and certified professional.
Storm Damage on your home
Protecting your home in a storm is important, these tips will come in handy to prepare you and for family for anything that comes your way
1.Modify your homes water valves. If the city's main sewer line gets backed up during a heavy rain storm, you could find yourself standing in a a puddle of you-know-what. You may want to consider installing a interior or exterior backflow valve. Backflow valves prevent your water system from being contaminated from water flowing backwards into your supply lines.
2.Clear gutter, drains, and downspouts. Clogged gutters and downspouts can end up in a messy flood. Take the time to clean them and clear them of any and all debris before the rain comes.
3.Cover air vents. One of the most common ways water fins its way into a home is through the home's air vents. If you know that heavy rain is in the forecast and that you are at risk of flooding, cover your air vents with thick plastic sheeting from both the outside and the inside.
4.Check your sealant surrounding doors and windows. Make sure that any gaps or holes in the sealant surrounding the doors and windows are filled in. This will help stop rain water from finding its way into your home.
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals specialize in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your belongings to determine what items they can restore to pre-fire condition. They use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:
•Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
•Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
•Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
•Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
•Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
•Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
Fire-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by fire. Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces. If the residues are not removed, corrosion causes electronic failure in the device. A SERVPRO Franchise will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:
The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.
Document / Photograph Drying
When your valuable documents, including photographs, are damaged by water or fire, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the fire damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-fire damage condition, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can save a great deal and help minimize additional damage.
Depending on the type of documents and the level of fire, smoke, or soot damage, they have five options for the restoration of documents:
4.Vacuum Freeze Drying
5.Vacuum Thermal Drying
Spores in the air
How Mold Spores Spread Into The Air
Toxic black mold grows in what is termed a colony. The mold spores are bound within a slimy mass which generally keeps them intact. The greatest health threat comes when the colony loses its moisture. source. When this happens the slimy mass dries out and allows the spores to break free into the atmosphere. It is then that the toxic black mold spores becoma an airborne hazard to people and animals. Because toxic black mold spores are relatively heavy, they do not remain airborne for very long. In homes and buildings it is often easy for the spores to land on another surface suitable for it to thrive. It is important to note that even dead mold spores pose a health risk to humans and pets.
What Makes Black Mold Dangerous
Black mold contains mycotoxins. These are massed in groups named trichothecenes. There are over 60 types of trichothecene. The most common found in toxic black mold are:
•Satratoxin F, G and H
Molds best friend is moist air
For mitigation of molds to take place, all sources of moisture and water need to be addressed otherwise it may regrow. The first step is to remove all traces of moldy growth immediately. Five fundamental principles must be applied by homeowners and employers to ensure successful mitigation of this fungus. They should focus on the source and moisture removal, safety, contamination control and assessment. Proper mitigation is essential once the fungi is removed because areas must be monitored to prevent it from occurring again.
It is important to determine the party that will be in charge of the mold cleanup. An environmental hygienist can determine what treatment can be used for this fungus. These hygienists mitigate the problem by sealing off the affected areas with plastic sheets to stop dispersion of the spores. Fungus should be dealt with by the wearing a face mask with high filtration and neoprene gloves. Once the mold cleanup is finished, the air around it needs to be cleaned using air exchange and scrubbers.
Kitchen Fire Safety
According to the National
Fire Protection Association, cooking
fires are the number one cause of
home fires and home injuries. The
leading cause of fires in the kitchen
is unattended cooking. It’s important
to be alert to prevent cooking fires.
• Be on alert! If you are sleepy or
have consumed alcohol don’t
use the stove or stovetop.
•Stay in the kitchen while you
are frying, grilling, boiling, or
• If you are simmering, baking, or
roasting food, check it regularly,
remain in the kitchen while food
is cooking, and use a timer to
remind you that you are cooking.
• Keep anything that can catch
fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils,
food packaging, towels, or
curtains—away from the stovetop.
If you have a cooking fire, consider
the following safety protocols to help
keep you and your family safe.
• Just get out! When you leave,
close the door behind you
to help contain the fire.
•Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency
number after you leave.
• For an oven fire, turn off the
heat and keep the door closed.
Lightning storm damage
Planning for a storm might feel overwhelming but If you don’t have a plan of your own, get one started today, and check out Emergency Lighting’s stock of smoke alarms, lights, and accessories made to get you through any emergency.
Key Testing Tips for Batteries and Bulbs
When testing your commercial emergency exit signs, there are two main components to check for full operation. Bulbs and batteries. These are the first things to review during scheduled maintenance tests. Fire code requires that all emergency lights and lighted exit signs be inspected at a monthly minimum.
Certain models will have two sets of bulbs that should be checked during these monthly tests. The first set runs on your 110 volt building power, and the second low voltage set comes on with a power failure. These low voltage bulbs are powered directly from the on board reserve battery. As a result, a sign that appears to be working may fail during a power outage because the low voltage bulbs have burned out.
Likewise, many defective batteries maintain just enough charge to light the bulbs for a few seconds after being triggered. If you don’t test reserve batteries for at least thirty seconds, you may find that the lights work each month only to find that they go out when you really need them. By testing the lights for at least thirty seconds you can make sure your batteries don’t just have a misleading surface charge.
Dangers of carbon monoxide in a storm
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning deaths, caused by portable generators reportedly being used inside homes and/or garages, have been reported in Florida in recent days. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, there are widespread power outages. CPSC is warning consumers to take three critical precautions to prevent loss of life from poisonous carbon monoxide when using a portable generator:
1. NEVER use a portable generator inside your home. One portable generator can emit the same amount of deadly carbon monoxide gas as hundreds of mid-size cars. Just as you would not leave a car running in a closed garage, do not run a generator inside a garage, home, shed or near open windows or vents.
2. Portable generators need air and distance. Place generators OUTDOORS ONLY, at least 20 feet away from your home.
3. Carbon monoxide is called the “invisible killer.” This deadly gas is colorless and odorless and can quickly incapacitate and kill you and your family in minutes. A working CO alarm can detect high levels of the gas in your home. If it goes off, do not ignore it. Get out! Then call 911.
•Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once a month to make sure they are working.
•Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and confusion. If you suspect CO poisoning, get outside to fresh air immediately, and then call 911.
•Make sure portable fuel burning space heaters have an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS). An ODS shuts off the heater if oxygen levels start to fall to protect against CO poisoning.
•Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire, and keep it open until the ashes are cool to avert the buildup of carbon monoxide, especially at night while families sleep.
Never Do This:
•Never use a gas oven or stove to heat your home.
•Never use kerosene space heaters in enclosed spaces; always properly ventilate.
•Never use portable generators inside the house, including in the basement, shed, or garage— generators should be outside at least 20 feet away from the house when in use.
•Don’t use charcoal or gas grills inside or operate them outside near open windows or doors.