FROZEN Pipes Bursting During Beautiful Spring Weather?
Above: A frozen and burst outdoor water faucet.
Below: A diagram of how a frost-proof faucet works.
Preventing Frozen Faucets from Flooding Your Property in the Springtime
In the cold weather, which is common in the midwest during the Fall and Winter seasons, outdoor water faucets installed on the exterior of the structure can freeze easily. When water freezes, it expands. This puts stress on the pipes, causing many to burst. This can lead to water damage if not properly maintained.
In the top picture, the water remained in the pipe. The freezing weather took its toll and froze the water. The water expanded, causing the stress on the pipe, causing it to burst. When the property owner opened the valve, the water pressure forced the water through the burst pipe, which flooded the property.
Here are 2 solutions to prevent outside water faucets from freezing:
1. A Properly Installed Frost-Proof Faucet
First, consider investing in a frost-proof faucet which can help avoid water damage. See the second picture. The water only flows when the valve is opened by the handle. For example, when you turn off the faucet, you expect water to trickle to a stop in a few seconds. That is because the handle turns off the valve a foot back inside the pipe, as the image illustrates. Notice the faucet is installed horizontally, but with a slight downward slant pushing the water outside. This keeps the water either drained out of the faucet and far enough inside to keep the water from freezing and expanding. However, if your faucet slants upward as it leaves the structure, the valve will still close BUT water will sit inside the pipe, creating opportunity for a frozen and burst pipe. Hire a professional plumber to inspect the pipe and check for leaks to avoid water damage.
2. Purchase and Install a Cover ($5 or Less)
The other option focuses on covering the faucet and keeping it warm. This is a great option if your exterior siding is fairly flat, not lapped or heavily varied. You can visit a local hardware store and get a styrofoam cover for under $5. When installing it over the faucet, make sure it is tight against the wall of the property and traps the heat inside, insulating your pipes from the freeze.
In the midwest, the weather can be quite unpredictable. Therefore, the best solution for this problem is planning ahead and keeping an eye on freezing weather BEFORE it arrives. Doing so reduces time and money repairing damages caused by the rapid and drastic temperature changes. If you have any questions, or water damage does occur in your property, the pros at SERVPRO of Harrisonville / Belton / Raymore are “here to help” 24/7. Call (816) 884-2240.
Top 5 Causes of Flooding in Crawl Spaces
No homeowner wants to have a wet crawl space.
Top Five Situations That Can Lead To Unwanted Water
If there is flooding under your home in Belton, MO, one of the first things a water damage remediation expert will do is check what is causing the flood. By identifying the root of the problem, the cleanup team can then determine the next best steps to take. While there are many reasons a home can have a wet crawl space, some causes are more common than others.
1. Poor Sloping
Check the landscape around your house. How is the sloping grade? Ideally, you want the grading around the foundation and crawlspace to slope away from your home. This way, water cannot become trapped underneath.
2. Gutter Systems
The next place to examine is the gutter system on the roof. If you notice clogged gutters, clean them out. Likewise, you may need to redirect improperly aimed downspouts.
3. Over Watering Plants
Another common reason people end up with a wet crawl space is due to overwatering. If you have a sprinkler system, look to see if it is functioning properly and turn off any hoses.
4. Pipe Bursts
A more complicated cause of the flooding is a pipe burst. Often, broken pipes are easy to spot by simply walking around your home and looking for leaks, but when it happens under the house, things can be more challenging. If you are having difficulty locating a suspected burst, it may be best to call a professional for assistance. Remember, acting quickly can reduce potential damage.
5. Underground Water Issues
Another top cause of water under a home that is more complex is when the issue stems from beneath the ground. In these scenarios, there is typically a problem with a broken city line, an insufficient drain, or another issue resulting from foundation or storm-related damages.
No homeowner wants to have a wet crawl space, but understanding the top causes can help you prevent it from happening in the future. At the end of the day, it is always better to be ready.
What To Know About IICRC Certifications
Our technicians undergo extensive water restoration training and certification through an IICRC-approved school.
The IICRC, or Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, sets the industry standards for disaster remediation companies. The focus of this company is to continuously improve the standards of operation for this type of work. Although headquartered in Nevada, they shape work standards everywhere, including in Harrisonville, MO.
While the IICRC is not affiliated with the United States government, it works closely with the American National Standards Institute that monitors different industries' standards. This means that professionals who have this type of certification are highly knowledgeable about the remediation industry. This organization is responsible for establishing the terminology, technology, techniques, and safety protocols of restoration work. By creating certain requirements, it improves the safety of businesses and customers dealing with remediation work. This is critical for ensuring public health. The areas it sets the standards for include:
- Textile floor coverings
- Stone restoration
- Hard floor coverings
- Upholstery cleaning
- Water damage restoration
- Crime scene cleanup
- Mold contamination assessment
- HVAC cleaning
- Fire and smoke damage restoration
The various areas that have standards set by the IICRC all have a corresponding certification. In other words, a mitigation technician will have a mitigation certificate. As a business owner, it is especially important to ask for verification that the technicians you hire have these. This ensures that your business is in good hands after a disaster.
After technicians complete a course and pass the exam, they are issued a certification card. To keep this certification, you must earn a certain number of continuing education credits every two years. These credits come from additional related courses that you pass the exam for.
Becoming a professional in any field requires ensuring that you are properly trained and certified. The restoration industry is no exception. If you are a business owner looking for a qualified remediation company, ensure they have a certification from this organization. This will help you get the highest quality of work available.
3 Common Commercial Irrigation System Problems
Broken sprinkler head.
3 Common Commercial Irrigation System Problems
Is your building in Belton, MO, experiencing irrigation problems? There are usually only a few common troubles that affect a standard irrigation system, and the fixes are usually simple ones.
1. Clogged or Obstructed Heads
The most common and simplest issue is a clogged head. The cause is any number of things: foot traffic, lawn care equipment and workers, pets or wild animals, or simply just weather and erosion. To start, check all of your system's heads to see if any are clogged with dirt or crooked. Gently clean any dirt or other debris such as leaves away from the heads. If any are crooked, gently straighten them. This fix helps to clear up any uneven pressure or individual heads that weren't working.
2. Excess or Inadequate Flow
Whether it's too much or not enough water, both aren't good for the health of your lawn. Before doing anything, check your irrigation system controller and be sure that it has been properly adjusted. It might be helpful to check your owner's manual or call the installer if you aren't sure how to operate your system. Next, determine if the flow is uneven across the lawn or if it's concentrated into one area. From this, you can tell if it's a valve issue or a head issue.
3. Leaking Valves or Pipes
As the seasons change, your system needs a lot of maintenance. Along with adjusting your flow from the controller box, you should also be checking for any leaking valves or pipes. If you have already found a leaky pipe or if you've had a sudden burst, it's best to call in a water damage cleanup and restoration specialist. These experts are equipped with special tech to make cleanup a cinch.
Troubleshooting an irrigation system is simple once you know the common problems and have the reassurance of a professional in case things go wrong.
2 Ways To Find Out If You Have Mold
Mold inspection in a Harrisonville, MO commercial building
Two Ways To Find Out If You Have Mold
Property owners never want to hear the news that they have a problem with mold. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to find mold in commercial buildings. Mold is found everywhere, including indoors and outdoors, and doesn’t cause a problem unless it is allowed to grow. Mold spores feed on moisture, which is why it’s commonly found in areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. To the untrained eye, it may be difficult to identify mold. An indoor environmental specialist is someone who has been certified on mold and moisture problems. Here are two ways to find out if you have mold in your Harrisonville, MO, building.
1. Do an Inspection
One way you can find out if you have a mold problem is by doing an inspection. You can walk around your building and look for signs of mold, such as discolored ceilings and walls. It’s also possible to smell mold. An area that has significant mold growth may produce a musty odor, similar to damp, dirty socks. If you think you have a problem with mold, it’s best to get help from an indoor environmental specialist.
2. Contact a Professional
While it is possible for you to see or smell mold, it’s not advised to take care of the problem on your own. Remediating mold in commercial buildings is a major project due to the large size. Mold can spread quickly if left untreated, but thankfully mold remediation specialists are available anytime for emergency service. Once professionals arrive at your business, they will begin a thorough inspection to understand the extent of mold growth. After inspection, professionals will contain the mold, clean the air, remove damaged materials, clean belongings and restore the property.
It can be difficult to determine if there is a mold problem at your Harrisonville, MO, business. Fortunately, an indoor environmental specialist can conduct a mold test even if there is no visible sign of mold. Rely on trusted professionals to help you remediate a mold problem.
How To Handle Winter Storm Damage
Winter storm does not always lead to a joyous time
Snow can be fun, but it does not always lead to cozy evenings around a fire with hot cocoa. Sometimes, snow causes more problems than smiles. While some people might think about sledding and vacation days when there is a winter storm in Belton, MO, others have to worry about the damage homes can endure during colder months. If you have a home located in a snowy climate, it can be wise to learn how to protect your property against Mother Nature in wintertime.
Types of Damage
Wintertime might bring beautiful scenery, but ice and frigid temperatures can take a toll on a home. When it comes to damages, homeowners with property in blizzard conditions often experience:
- Frozen pipes
- Ice dams
- Roof damage
When the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it is common for the extreme cold to freeze and burst unprotected household pipes. Another problem that occurs is the uneven freezing of water on the edges of the roof. As snow melts, ice dams form, and this blocks standing water from freely flowing. With that in mind, the gutters are not the only upper issue. Roof damage is also common.
How To Prevent Damage
Because repairs can be extensive and costly, one of the best things you can do is to take steps to prevent problems before you have to call a winter storm damage remediation expert. Winterization refers to the process of preparing your home for winter weather. During winterization, you can check your roof tiles, clear your gutters and insulate any exposed piping. Look for any air leaks around the house that you can seal and trim surrounding trees that might break.
Everyone has heard about the fun of a "winter wonderland," but a winter storm does not always lead to a joyous time. Instead, wintery conditions can cause significant damages to homes without proper planning. For this reason, it can be a good idea to take the time to winterize your home so you can spend more time having fun building a snowman.
3 Things Not To Do When Your Home Floods
Water damage in Belton, MO
When you discover water flowing from a broken pipe in your home, you must address the problem immediately. There are steps to take right away and some things you should not do as well.
Things Not to Do When Your House Floods
Flood water is not always clean or safe. Protect yourself and your family by not doing the following:
- Do not use electronics in the affected area. When there is flooding in your Belton, MO, home, turn off the power for all the affected rooms to avoid electrocution. Do not vacuum the water, and do not enter the area before you have shut off the electricity.
- Do not leave wet items in the area. When the water in home areas is from a broken pipe, remove any soaked rugs, books, clothing, blankets, upholstered furniture or other belongings. Start allowing them to dry as soon as possible.
- Do not clean sewer water yourself. If the flood is due to a sewer backup, do not enter the area without protective gear and boots. Do not attempt to clean the area, as the water may contain bacteria and viruses. Contact specialized restoration professionals who can safely clean with specific equipment and disinfectants.
Steps To Take When Flooding Occurs
Document the damage. If it is safe to enter the room, take video or photographs for your insurance company.
Take precautions to ensure your safety. Do not turn on the lights or touch any electrical appliances until the breaker is off. Wear protective equipment if you are unsure if the water is clean. Do not enter rooms with sagging ceilings or other apparent structural damage.
Call a water damage restoration company. Enlist the help of trained specialists to clean and dry your home from top-to-bottom. They are skilled in handling water-related emergencies with the right knowledge and equipment to restore your home to normal quickly and efficiently.
A broken pipe causes much stress, headache, and frustration. It is essential to restore and clean your home correctly and safely.
How to Choose the Right Restoration Contractor
Fire damage in Harrisonville, MO
Here Are Some Ways To Vet Potential Companies
After your business in Harrisonville, MO, sees fire damage, choosing the right restoration professionals is one way to ensure your peace of mind. Here are some ways to vet potential companies.
Check Their Past Work
The best way to check out a restoration company is to look at their past work. Ask for a list of their previous clients. Check on the most recent projects. Talk to the clients and ask about their experience with the company. Ask the following questions to get a thorough idea:
- Did they give you an accurate estimate?
- Were you satisfied with their work?
- Was the project completed on time and within your budget?
- Were there any mistakes?
- Do you recommend the company?
Verify Their Licenses
Licenses are important in the restoration industry. For intensive jobs that require structural work or plumbing repairs, you will need to have a licensed professional perform the tasks. Choosing a company that is licensed will ensure that you get top quality work. Additionally, hiring an unlicensed contractor will make you responsible for any issues. In other words, you are responsible for defective work, property damage, or injuries during the restoration project.
Verify Their Certifications
Most people will only ask to see the contractor's license. They will only hold a general contractor's license because there is no specific restoration license. However, most of the fire damage assessment and restoration work is specialized, and the company should have the appropriate certifications for the work they are doing.
Check Their Insurance
Restoration companies often work directly with a client's insurance adjuster. Therefore, they know a lot about insurance and how important it is. Accidents can happen during a fire damage restoration project, especially if the fire has caused structural integrity problems. To ensure you are adequately protected, ask for proof of insurance.
Choosing the right fire mitigation and restoration professionals can be a challenging task. However, it is also crucial. Follow these steps for a guide to find the right company.
Tips To Handle Black Mold Damage
Commercial mold growth
Tips You Can Use In Case Of Mold Damage In Your Building
If your commercial building in Belton, MO, has experienced any kind of black mold growth, water damage or mold damage, you may be wondering how to deal with it. Aside from calling a mold remediation company and mitigating damages, there are many tips that can help you keep the damage to a minimum during and after the remediation process. Here are a few tips that you can use in case of mold damage in your building.
Get Rid of Moisture
Moisture is what mold needs in order to thrive, so by eliminating moisture, you can reduce mold growth and damage. If your building has a moisture problem, it is recommended that you do not install carpeting or other materials that are prone to mold growth. Reduce moisture by:
- Drying any areas of moisture after a storm or water leak
- Removing any standing water
- Replacing any items or materials with water damage
Removing moisture and drying any wet materials should be done within the first 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
Know the Warning Signs
The more obvious sign of black mold in your commercial building is a musty smell. Other warning signs may be black spots, odd colors and visible growth. If you notice any of these signs, it's important to take the right precautions and call professionals to mitigate damages and begin the mold cleanup process.
Locate and Stop the Source
Whether you have water damage resulting from a storm or plumbing issue, stopping the water source will prevent mold growth. Getting to the root of the problem as quickly as possible can help stop mold before it begins to grow. Stopping the source may be as simple as tightening a leaky pipe or may require a professional service to fix a leak or plumbing issue.
If your commercial building has black mold or other mold growth, it's important to know the best tips to deal with it as quickly as possible.
How to Prevent Plumbing Problems Before They Start
Perform a regular inspection in your building
Ways To Prevent Water Damage
Plumbing problems at your facility in Harrisonville, MO, sometimes have a way of sneaking up on you. Unfortunately, even a small water leak can cause damage before you know it's there. Here are ways you can prevent water damage from catching you off guard.
Find a Reputable Plumber
The best time to find a reliable plumbing company is before you have a problem. You don't want to scramble around at the last minute to find an available plumber after you have a broken pipe or other major water leak. Doing some research ahead of time will pay off when you have an emergency. To find a good plumber, try:
- Asking friends and colleagues for references
- Reading online reviews
- Checking with the Better Business Bureau
When an emergency happens, you'll have someone dependable to contact.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
It's a good idea to have a plumber perform regular inspections in your facility. During an inspection, an experienced plumber can assess the piping in your building and let you know what condition it is in. Many issues are caused by plumbing that is old, improperly installed or made from poor-quality materials. You may find that upgrading or replacing some piping will prevent plumbing problems in the future.
Watch Your Water Bill
Many times water damage goes unseen until it's too late. A running toilet, leaky water main or seeping pipe can wreak havoc on your facility and cost you thousands of dollars before you know it. If your water bill increases suddenly, it could point to a hidden problem. Have a plumber inspect your building. If you find water damage, a professional remediation company can mitigate the situation before more serious problems set in.
Keeping up with maintenance and taking care of plumbing problems right away will help you avoid major damage and keep your facility in Harrisonville, MO, up and running.