Preparing Your Commercial Property for Winter Months
As we get into the colder months, it is important to do everything possible to prevent property damage during cold weather. Frozen pipes are one of the main things to watch out for, and it is important to never turn your heat off when you leave the building for a period. This includes at night or during the weekends. When a pipe freezes and bursts, it is likely to lead to serious damage from flooding. You would usually think frozen pipes are only an issue for homes/ properties in cold climates, but it is actually the opposite. Properties in warmer climates tend to not have some of their pipes properly insulated or sometimes located outside or are even in unprotected areas. It is necessary to protect the water pipes in areas where it can get cold, this sometimes means adding insulation to pipes or even getting heat into that room to prevent any pipe breaks. Below are a few tips you can try at your property to help prevent anything from happening.
Pipes located either in a basement or attic may need some extra insulation to help prevent freezing temperatures. Add foam or fiberglass sleeves to help keep pipes up to temp.
Open the Faucet
If you think your pipes may freeze overnight, you can open your faucet so its drips slightly. This helps relieve some pressure on the pipes, allowing this open will prevent pressure from building and keep the pipe from bursting.
Keep the Heat On
If you are gone for a long period of time, always keep the heat on. If the inside of your home drops in temperature, it won’t take long for pipes to freeze in certain parts of your house.
Open Interior Doors
Keeping your interior doors open will allow heat to flow throughout the home or commercial property. Some rooms may not get as much heat as other rooms.
Call SERVPRO of Omaha Northwest for Water Restoration Services
This picture is showing what a major water loss would look like in a residential home.
A water problem can happen in your home or business without any future notice. When and if that happens to you need help quick, call SERVPRO of Omaha Northwest! Our crew is highly trained in water damage restoration. We are equipped with the best equipment and knowledge in the industry to help restore your home in the event of a water loss or intrusion.
During the water restoration process, we focus on establishing and tracking drying goals to make certain the structure and contents are handled appropriately. When dealing with valuable documents or personal belongings we treat them with the utmost care to bring them back to the condition they were originally in.
We are part of a national network of over 1,600 franchises with special disaster recover teams placed throughout the country. SERVPRO of Omaha Northwest can respond to your commercial or residential water loss regardless of the size or damage.
Water Damage or Flooding? Call Us Today (402) 800-2134
Frozen Pipe Prevention
This photo shows what insulating a pipe looks like
In the winter months it is somewhat common for pipes to freeze when outside temperatures drop below freezing. In some cases, pipes go through areas of the home that are not heated which leaves them at a higher risk to break. When your pipes do freeze the water expands causing an increase in pressure and eventually a rupture. Listed below are some recommendations to prevent frozen pipes as well as some tips if your pipes do break.
Preventing Frozen Pipes:
If its common for your pipes to freeze there are a few things you can try to possibly prevent that from happening. This includes
- Insulating unprotected pipes
- Seal small cracks that lead outside
- Keep rooms with pipes up to temp
- Never completely turn off your heat when you leave the house for a long period of time.
If a pipe does break:
- Turn off main water
- Open faucet to release pressure
- Clean up standing water
- Bring in a professional restoration company to restore anything that got damaged by water.
National Fire Prevention Month
This photo shows what rooms should have smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors.
October is fire prevention month, it is recognized in the United States and Canada to raise awareness about fire safety. During this month the goal is to educate families, communities, and students across the country. It also encourages families to review their emergency escape plans and check fire alarms.
- 3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms
- Less than50% of homeowners have an escape plan
- Carbon monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of accidental death
- 60% of consumers do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly*
- Only 47% of people report having CO alarms in their home
- Just 43% of homeowners have an escape plan*
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (402) 800-2134
How to Shut Off Water in Case of an Emergency
This picture shows what a typical water shut off looks like
Knowing where your main water shut off is essential. It can help you prevent major damage in case of an emergency. Things like a sewage back up, broken pipe, or broken seal can cause thousands in water damage if you aren’t able to shut your water off. In the winter months it is common for pipes to burst, severe cold weather can cause pipes to expand and break but being able to locate and turn off the valve can prevent some damage. It is also good to know where the main shut off is if you leave your house for a long period of time.
Steps to take if this happens to you
- Turn off your water main
- Drain the faucets to release the pressure
- Inspect and fix the broken pipe
- Bring in a professional drying crew
Properly restoring your home after a water damage event requires specialized equipment and products. This advanced equipment helps us to remove the water, even hidden moisture, quickly and efficiently. We then dry the structure with powerful dehumidifiers. Finally, our technicians will clean the affected area with professional grade cleaning and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety.
Have Water or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today – (402) 800-2134
Common Toilet Problems
There are a few main reasons that can cause a toilet to malfunction. These problems can be expensive and a hassle to deal with if it does happen. In fact, one of the top 5 causes of home water damage is caused by a toilet. This can be caused by tank issues, bad seals, or a clog. If the bathroom is located on the second level of your home you are left with a huge mess, affecting everything on the floors below. Listed below are some common causes of an overflowing toilet.
One of the main reasons for clogged toilets is caused by using too much toilet paper. It is necessary to have a plunger on hand in case this does happen. With that being said, it usually happens with older low flowing toilets, but it can happen with conventional fixtures as well. If you aren’t able to fix the clog yourself, you should contact a professional to prevent any more damage.
A blocked vent could be another reason your toilet isn’t working properly. A plumbing vent usually has an outlet on the roof of your home that replaces the air that goes down your drain every time you flush. Sometime the vent gets blocked with debris on your roof and can cause issues like slow draining. Not only can it cause slow draining, but it can create pressure to your pipes from the lack of airflow.
Sewage pipes/ Septic Tank
Sewage pipes can get clogged over time, if this happens your toilet can overflow. It is important to make sure you are only flushing toilet paper down your toilet. If you have a septic tank you can experience the same issue as well, flushing debris that doesn’t belong can cause your tank to overflow.
Fire Alarm Tips
According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of four in home fire deaths occur in homes without a working smoke alarm. This is usually because the batteries have been removed or have died. With that being said it is good to know that you will be prepared and alerted if a fire ever happens in your home.
Types of smoke alarms
- Ionization Technology- More Sensitive than photoelectric technology at detecting small particles. Also respond faster to smoke produced by flaming fires.
- Photoelectric Technology- More sensitive than ionization technology at detecting large particles. Are also better at detecting smoldering fires.
Tips for testing and maintaining smoke alarms
- Test your smoke alarms once a month
- Change the battery once a year
- Replace smoke alarm every 10 years
- Listen for low battery chirps
How to Prevent Moisture in Your Home
Most people think of water damage they usually think of flooding after storms. That isn’t always the case though, somethings you wouldn’t expect what may be causing moisture to build up in certain spaces in your home. Follow some of the tips below to help prevent moisture build-up in your home.
Humidity and Indoor Moisture
When warm air comes in contact with a cool surface it creates moisture. Things like showering, dishwashing, and cooking add moisture to the air. Cold water pipes that are uninsulated can also cause water droplets to accumulate in the summer. When condensation and water droplets occur, they can run down walls and into corners of your home. Once this happens, things can start to rot, paint can peel, and provide a good environment for mold to grow.
Ways to reduce moisture
- Use a dehumidifier
- Run fans in the house
- Run the A/C
- Clean A/C filters
- Take colder/ shorter shower
- Cover pots while cooling
- Cover aquariums
How to Prevent a House Fire
A house fire to your property can be life changing. You may think it may never happen to you, but they are more common than you may think. The National Fire Protection Association states that the U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 355,400 home structure fires per year during 2012-2016. These fires caused an annual average of 2,560 civilian fire deaths, 11,670 civilian fire injuries, and $6.5 billion in direct property damage. House fires do happen but there are ways to prevent a fire from starting in your home. Listed below are some things that can cause house fires. It is important to keep your eye on these items as they are common for starting house fires.
- Appliance cords
- Heating units
- Faulty wiring
Common Commercial Plumbing Issues
Plumbing issues can be devastating to a business. It can cause leaks that turn into a water loss that could affect productivity in your business. With plumbing issues, it can happen with little to no warning, sometimes it starts with a small leak and other times it can happen suddenly. It is important to fix these issues before they become big problems with big expenses. Some problems include leaking seals and drain clogs.
Seals can go bad at any moment, so it is important to inspect for small leaks around these areas, if you wait it could turn into a major water loss. Leaks can occur wherever two plumbing components meet. This means sometimes they aren’t always noticeable. Not only can this turn into a bigger leak but if the seal completely breaks off when you aren’t present you could cause thousands of dollars in water damage to your property.
Drain clogs aren’t usually an issue in homes however in commercial buildings they seem to be more common. The reason for this is people are more cautious of what they put down their own drain or toilet vs public restrooms. This causes debris to get stuck in the pipes clogging up the system and slowing down the release of water. It may not cause any immediate issues but could contribute to a major backup down the road.