Common Appliances That Cause Water Damage
Protect your home from water damages stemming from your appliances. Check your appliances water lines for leaks that cause huge damages.
Water damage can happen from many different appliances in your home. Here are some tips from SERVPRO of Linn County on how to make sure your appliances are working properly and the water supply lines are in good condition. As a good rule of thumb, check behind your appliances once per year. This is a good way to address problems before they happen.
Small leaks stemming from a washing machine may appear to be a minor issue, but the problem should not be ignored. Even a pinhole leak in a water supply line can subsequently break out into a household flood. In fact, a burst supply line is a key cause of significant water damage involving washers. A good way to prevent water damage is to check your hoses leading to your washing machine a couple times per year.
Also consider installing an automatic shutoff valve. When water pools on the floor, the sensor detects it and closes the water valve.
Refrigerators with Ice Makers Hooked up to plumbing
We appreciate the convenience of an automatic ice maker, but it can also be the culprit of household floods. The copper or plastic water line that supplies an ice maker can leak or worse yet, become unattached if it’s not installed properly. Again, you should inspect the line periodically for crimps and make sure the valve connection is secure. Leaving a four inch gap between the refrigerator and wall also helps to prevent crimping in your water line.
Dishwashers are another common appliance that can cause problems. If a dishwasher has a supply line burst it can fill your kitchen with water during a wash and rinse cycle.
Another source of household floods is when a dishwasher backs up soaking the floor with sudsy water. The problem could be the wrong detergent, a faulty float, the buildup of food and other debris in the drain gate or a clog in the discharge hose under the sink.
Routine inspection of the hoses and connections can save you major repair costs in the future. In addition, check the drain gate frequently and remove food particles and debris.
Sneaky ways that a storm causes damages
Storms damage your home in many unexpected ways. Here are some ways you can know what hidden damages storms cause.
Storms affect your home more than you may realize. At first glance a storm may look like high winds, rain maybe some snow and sleet. When you look closer storms and what all they bring you begin to notice how it may affect your home.
Trees near your home can get weakened by storms causing branches to bend and possibly break causing damage to your home or roof. Now is a good time to get your trees trimmed and looked at.
Rain is pretty common in the Northwest but if there is a leak in your roof or windows the heavy rains will find their way in through these spots and cause water damage to the interior of your home. Get these spots taken care of before heavy rains.
Your chimney can become packed with debris during a storm causing a blockage, this is also a place for animals to build their nest creating a bigger problem. Get your chimney cleaned out in preparation for the stormy season.
We hope these tips get your home ready for storm season. SERVPRO of Benton County can help you with any damage you need to have repaired after a storm.
Why Air Duct Cleaning is Important
Commercial air duct cleaning and why it is important to your business.
In any given home there are a bunch of indoor air pollutants, from combustion sources such as oil, gas, coal or wood to deteriorating petrochemical products that off-gas toxins into the air your family breathes.
These pollutants are proven to cause serious respiratory illnesses from repeated exposure. There is a entire market for cleaning your air now.
One simple way to protect yourself, your family, and your home from these toxic pollutants is to have your air ducts cleaned regularly. Dirty air ducts are one of the most significant sources of indoor air pollution in the home. SERVPRO can come out and clean your air ducts in any season to make sure that you are breathing clean air and your family is safe.
- You Suspect Mold:
As your ducts operate over the course of months and years, layers and layers of dust and other particles are slowly being deposited. This dust then absorbs any moisture in the air, creating perfect conditions for mold. The heating and cooling system in your home is a behind-the-scenes operator, meaning it is often not accessible or visible in order to check for mold growth.
If you suspect you may have mold, or just want peace of mind, a regular duct cleaning will help allay any fears. An expert can test for mold in your ducts, as well as give them a preventative cleaning, to keep your indoor breathing air mold-free.
- Your Ducts Have Never Been Cleaned:
If you cannot remember ever having your home’s ducts cleaned, you should schedule an appointment to have them checked. Imagine your ducts going years without a thorough cleaning. For years, dust, dead skin cells, dead insects, and toxic particles have contributed layers and layers of debris in your ducts. When ducts become so excessively clogged with particles, these particles are actually blown out of your air vents right into the air you are breathing.
- You Want Greater Efficiency:
There is plenty of research that suggests that cleaning the components of your heating and cooling system can lead to greater efficiency. When you have your ducts cleaned by a licensed HVAC professional, they will also clean your fans, cooling coils, and heat exchangers for a vastly more efficient system. Having your system cleaned regularly not only makes the more efficient but results in a longer operating life, and lower maintenance and energy costs.
- You Have Seen or Heard Insects and Rodents : –
Have you ever heard scampering through your ducts at night? Have you ever noticed trails of insects leading from your vents? If so, it is probable you have a vermin infestation. That fine layer of dust and debris in your ducts are a perfect nest for rats, mice, ants, and especially cockroaches. Having your ducts cleaned often will reduce the incentive for vermin to nest there.
SERVPRO can help you get your ducts cleaned and make your home safer for your family. Give us a call today to learn more about our services.
How to prevent electrical fires
How preventing electrical fires is important in the winter months when electricity usage is at an all time high.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), there are 28,600 electrical fires per year. These fires cause $1.1 billion in property damage and loss and are responsible for 310 deaths and 1,100 injuries each year.
The months with the most electrical fires are December and January due to increased use of heating appliances and lights. SERVPRO of Benton County can help you clean up electrical fire damage. Here are some tips from SERVPRO of Benton County on how to keep your house safe from electrical fires.
Some electrical fires happen because of problems in house wiring or appliance failure, but many occur due to mistakes that homeowners make like overloading electrical outlets or extension cords.
1. Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and old, outdated appliances. Other fires are started by faults in appliance cords, receptacles and switches. Never use an appliance with a worn or frayed cord which can send heat onto combustible surfaces like floors, curtains, and rugs that can start a fire.
2. Light fixtures, lamps and light bulbs are another common reason for electrical fires. Installing a bulb with a wattage that is too high for the lamps and light fixtures is a leading cause of electrical fires. Always check the maximum recommended bulb wattage on any lighting fixture or lamp and never go over the recommended amount.
3. Misuse of extension cords is another electrical fire cause. Appliances should be plugged directly into outlet and not plugged into an extension cord for any length of time. Only use extension cords as a temporary measure. If you do not have the appropriate type of outlets for your appliances, hire an electrician to install new ones.
4. Space heaters are a major cause of electrical fires. Because these types of heaters are portable, many times people put them too close to combustible surfaces such as curtains, beds, clothing, chairs, couches and rugs. Coil space heaters are especially dangerous in this regard because the coils become so hot they will almost instantaneously ignite any nearby flammable surface.
5. Outdated wiring often causes electrical fires. If a home is over twenty years old, it may not have the wiring capacity to handle the increased amounts of electrical appliances in today’s average home. Breakers should be triggered when circuits get overloaded by too much electricity, but outdated breaker boxes often have worn connectors that do not work, causing the system to overload and start an electrical fire.
SERVPRO hopes that you never have to handle a electrical fire but if you do then call SERVPRO of Benton County to get a speedy clean up and get your house looking like new again.
Grease fire precautions and tips
Grease fires are a danger to your family and business. Here are some tips for how to protect your family from grease fires and what to do one happens.
Grease fires are caused by letting oil get too hot, so the best way to prevent them is to never leave your kitchen unattended. Oil smokes before it burns, so if you see your pan start to smoke, take it off the heat before it has a chance to catch fire.
If you're outside grilling, you can add a layer of cat litter to the bottom of your grill to prevent grease fires from happening.
It's hard not to panic when you see flames in your kitchen, but if you do end up with a grease fire, there's a good chance you can put it out yourself if you know what to do.
When your pan catches fire, you don't want to burn yourself with scorching hot handles or splashing oil, so don't try to move it or pick it up. Also, do NOT try to extinguish it with water. You'll just spread the fire across your kitchen.
Here are some tips to protect your home from fire:
- Watch your clothing
Long, flowing sleeves, large-fitting shirts and even aprons can catch fire.When cooking, wear short or close-fitted sleeves and keep your baggy shirts tucked in or tied back with a well-fitted apron.
- Be aware of the items around the stovetop
Kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords and even curtains can easily catch fire if set near a hot burner. Always move flammable items away from your stovetop.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen
In the case you do have a fire, a fire extinguisher can make the difference between an easy to clean up burned pan and a kitchen engulfed in flames. Be sure you actually know how to use it, too.
- Change the batteries in your smoke detector
Chances are you have a smoke detector in the kitchen or in the room adjacent to the kitchen. You need to make sure the smoke detector is operable. it is a good idea to change your smoke detector batteries every six months.
- Never throw hot grease in the garbage can
Even if the grease isn't on fire, it can cause something in the garbage to burn." Instead, let grease cool and dispose of it in an old coffee can. If you have a grease fire that has damaged your kitchen or stove call SERVPRO we can help you to restore your home back to great condition. SERVPRO will make it look like nothing ever happened.
How to handle water damage in your home
Water damage can be a problem in your home for many reasons. Many of which include damaged structure, walls, foundation and more.
When water gets somewhere it shouldn’t be from a flood or a burst pipe, you must act immediately. It is important to quickly find out what kind of water damage you have, whether it is dirty water or clean water and how extensive the damage is. SERVPRO can come out to your house, assess the damage and set up a restoration plan.
This is of course the ‘obvious’ type of water damage that is very apparent when you see it. Just as common though is for water damage to be more subtle and to easily go unnoticed until you are able to identify the symptoms. Signs of water damage include things like puddles, dripping water, soft walls and floors, peeling tiles and discoloration. Mold is also a big sign that there has been water damage.
When water damage is more gradual like this, you need a water and damage restoration company like SERVPRO. This type of water damage is not as urgent but it is still very important to address before further damage occurs.
If you notice that you have an immediate kind of water damage it is important to handle that immediately before permanent damage happens. While you are waiting for a restoration service to get to you, you can try moving items out of the way that might be at risk, turning off the stop tap to isolate your water supply (if it is caused by your pipes) and potentially turning off the electricity by finding your fuse box. If the water is very fast however, your priority should be to get yourself and your family off the premises and to safety.
To prevent future water damage it’s a good idea to make sure that you use regular maintenance services to check over your plumbing and your roofing. In your bathroom and other rooms you should make certain that you have good adequate ventilation and you should use good insulation in your windows and walls – especially your basement. Make sure as well to clean your gutters regularly and to make sure that there is no overspill. If you are buying a new home, then make sure to research the area first to avoid houses on flood plains.
You can also prepare for potential water damage by making sure you keep your most important belongings high up and away from basement level. You should also make sure you have the number of a 24-hour emergency water damage restoration service in your phone at all times and you should get insurance for your home and for your possessions which can help you to pay for the services as well as for anything that needs replacing.
How to know when you have broken a water line
Water damage can be pretty intense when you first see it. Here are some tips on how to notice water damage before its too late.
Usually a sign that a water main has broken is a loss in pressure. If you are experiencing a loss in water pressure, start by shutting off your water and then have SERVPRO of Linn County out to address the extent of the damage.
Overly dry or wet weather causes the ground to shift, typically resulting in round breaks wrapping around the diameter of the pipe. Sudden pressure fluctuations and the normal aging process of the mains also cause breaks, typically resulting in lateral breaks running along the pipe.
If the problem is simply a pipe blockage, you are likely to notice reduced pressure and/or volume when you turn on the shower or faucet in your home. A water main break will result in water leakage, which can turn your front yard into a swamp. You might also detect an unpleasant odor. A good clue that you could possibly have a leak somewhere in the system, is an unusual increase in your water bill.
After you get your pipe fixed give SERVPRO of Linn County a call. We will come out and fix the damage that this major break has done to your home. We can repair mold and water damage. We will get your home smelling and looking like new again!
Preparing your pipes for freezing temps
Frozen water pipes are at risk in the winter months. Not just your outside pipes might freeze but interior pipes might freeze too.
Cold temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. Frozen pipes can result in costly repairs to you as a home or business owner. The good news is there are ways to prevent pipes from freezing. Here are some tips for this winter.
Frozen Pipes Can Burst
Frozen pipes are a problem by themselves, because they prevent water flow, but even worse, frozen pipes can eventually burst, causing damage and potential flooding. There are ways to protect your pipes from freezing. These include:
Keep your house warm
If you are leaving for a period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on at your property. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions. The heat doesn’t have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it if you were home but keeping it set above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at all times is a good idea. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.
When temps hit the freezing level it is a good idea to allow faucets to drip. Allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure in the pipe. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. With the faucet open you avoid blockage in the pipes.
Insulation in key
Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed, but can get expensive if walls, floors or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.
How you can get your home ready for winter
Preparing your home for winter storms will help you protect your home against damage and dave you money in the long run.
1.Replace any old or inefficient windows. Windows are one of the major ways heat leaks out of your house. If your heating bill seems abnormally high, your windows may be a culprit. This is a pricey step in winterization but can be well worth it for a long winter running your furnace. If you haven't budgeted for new windows yet or want to wait for drier weather, you can always seal off drafty windows and patio doors with clear plastic.
2.If your furnace is more than 10 years old, there’s a good chance that it wastes a lot of fuel. Consider upgrading to a newer one. Today's furnaces are more energy efficient and quieter to run than any furnace to date.
3.Try replacing the weather stripping around the doors in your home. This can prevent cold drafts of air in the winter months and keep your home from loosing heat through the exterior doors. Trim any tree branches that are hanging near your home or over your roof. They can bend during a snowstorm or blow and possibly break during a wind or rainstorm. Depending upon how big the branch is, it could cause serious damage. Get those branches trimmed and away from the roof.
4.Try not to use space heaters to heat large areas of your house. This racks up a pretty big electric bill and wont be very efficient when it comes to heating a large space. If you spend most of your time in one room in a large house, consider setting your thermostat low and using a small heater to heat where you are going to be.
Use the oven for baking during colder hours of the day to help heat your home. The best time to bake and use your oven is in the winter when it will heat the house and bring warm air into the kitchen. By using your oven to bake when it is cold you are getting a dual use out of your oven.
5.Keep all closet doors closed when possible. There’s no need to heat space that isn’t in use as long as it doesn’t contain water pipes. Keeping doors closed keeps the heat where you want it.
Why Cleaning Your Chimney is Important
Cleaning out your chimney once a year results in less fires and a safer home during the winter months. Here are some chimney cleaning tips.
When winter comes it is a special treat to have a wood burning fireplace in your home.This is if the fireplace has been well maintained and works properly when you light it. Here are some maintenance tips for your fireplace this winter
Hire a Chimney Sweep
It is recommended that you get your chimney cleaned and swept out once per year. This clears it of any additional debris and also is a good way to address any problems that may be going on in your chimney. Hiring a professional for this job is probably the best idea as it requires special tools.
Install a Chimney Cap
The cap provides several benefits, including: it prevents water from entering the chimney when it rains, causing costly water damage; a chimney cap with mesh will prevent animals from getting into your chimney and nesting or getting stuck and dying; a chimney cap can prevent other types of blockage, all of which can cause deadly carbon monoxide to enter the home; a spark arrester can help prevent hot embers and sparks from escaping onto the roof or other combustible materials.
Check your chimney and fireplace for any damage.
Before lighting your first fire of the year take some time to look around your fireplace inside and out and notice any changes that may be questionable. If you find damages, hire a wood stove expert to come and address your chimney.
Leave a layer of ash when you clear out your chimney
When you clean out ashes from the firebox, leave at least one inch of ash, which acts as insulation. The ash will allow coals to heat more quickly and will also allow them to retain heat longer.
Watch out for sparks
Place a rug that is non-flammable in front of the fireplace so that if sparks escape, they won’t do any damage to your floor or carpeting. This comes in handy for those embers that you aren't expecting to come out of your fireplace. They will burn your flooring quickly and before you can grab them safely.