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3 Steps To Stop a Toilet From Overflowing

9/8/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a toilet If you need to replace your toilet, contact a water damage mitigation and restoration company.

A drain line blockage can result in a flooded toilet. Homeowners can take three steps to stop a toilet from overflowing and limit the extent of sewer damage at a residence in Salt Lake City, UT.

Steps To Stop a Toilet From Overflowing

1. Contain Damage

Contaminated water can cause major water damage. If this water sinks into carpet or porous building materials such as drywall, these materials will likely need to be torn out and replaced. Use towels or a mop to stop the spread of sewage backup.

2. Use a Plunger or Snake

Once a homeowner has taken measures to try to stop the spread of sewer damage, he or she should address the cause of the problem. If the backup is due to a minor clog close to the floor drain, plunging a toilet may be enough to clear the clog and stop the overflow.

If the clog is more severe, insert an auger or snake into the toilet. Some augers have hand cranks while others can be attached to a power drill. It may be more effective to remove the toilet and snake the floor drain directly. You will need to use specialized tools and remove water from the bowl and tank or use a solidifying gel. Clear deeper clogs by snaking the drain cleanout in a basement or crawlspace.

3. Contact a Plumber

Calling a plumber can be easier than removing a toilet or dealing with a drain cleanout. If you do not have a snake or the skill or tools necessary to attempt advanced plumbing techniques, a trained professional is your best bet. If the problem originates in a municipal main, contact a sewage company.

If a flooded toilet causes extensive sewer damage, a homeowner should contact a water damage mitigation and restoration company located in Salt Lake City, UT. Experts can remove damaged materials, promote drying to prevent mold and restore the affected area.

3 Tips for Fixing a Flooded Basement

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Cartoon image of a flooded basement A flood in your basement can result in serious water damage.

A basement flood can be a frustrating problem to deal with. If your home has a basement, it is important to familiarize yourself with what steps you can take to fix a flooded basement before a flood occurs. These three tips can help.

Tips for Fixing a Flooded Basement

  1. Remove the Water Before You Go in

Many basements have electrical appliances, wiring, and electrical panels that can create an electrocution hazard in a flooded basement. If you are dealing with a shallow flood, and you can access the service panel to turn off the electric circuits in the basement without going into the water, you may be able to remove the water using a hose from a shop vac on an upper floor. However, if the water level is above electrical outlets, it is best to call the fire department, rent a heavy-duty gas-engine pump or contact a water remediation company in Salt Lake City, UT, to assist you.

  1. Don't Try To Save Your Flooded Electrical Items and Appliances

The Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association recommend replacing any mechanical or electrical equipment that has been exposed to a basement flood. Any fixtures, outlets, switches, wiring, electrical motors or appliances that have been exposed to flood water should be removed and discarded, rather than repaired. Check with your insurance professional if you need clarification about whether your insurance coverage will cover replacement versus repair costs for damaged items.

  1. Take Preventative Measures

Once you get your basement restored, take steps to prevent flooding from occurring again. Adding foundation drains, a generator to keep your sump pump operating during a power outage or a backup sump pump can help keep water out of your basement.

A basement flood can result in serious water damage to your home. These three tips can help you restore your home to preloss condition and prevent future problems from occurring.

SERVPRO Offers Expert Document Restoration Services

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a servpro truck SERVPRO of NE Salt Lake City can tackle any project size.
A significant water, sewer or flood event can damage all your essential documents and files. If recovery is going to happen, it needs to start right away. SERVPRO understands this and operates a secure document restoration facility. Professionals there control the process and give your documents the treatment they deserve.

Different Types of Documents Require Different Responses

Not all documents have the same level of importance. Not all records are paper. Not every document needs restoration. Each document gets an appropriate level of treatment. The specific treatment depends on the document’s type and importance. Here are some examples of the types and the treatments they might receive:

  1. Important documents need restoration. An important document has an original signature, hand-written notes or an official mark. If a copy won’t do, it’s important. A special freeze-drying process performs document drying. Gamma irradiation sterilizes these documents when bacteria and other contaminants are a concern. Examples of important documents would be:
  • Mortgages
  • Wills
  • Stock, bond and other certificates
  • Blueprints
  • Maps
  • Books and manuscripts
  • Irreplaceable legal documents
  1. You can digitize less critical documents. In most situation, it’s not the document that is important. It is the information on the document. In these cases, it is more cost-effective to digitize and reprint the document. An alternative is to digitize and reproduce it when needed.
  2. Some documents are not paper-based. Developed films and x-rays may seem undamaged but still, require cleaning. The same applies to microfiche and microfilm. Photographic prints may pose a challenge to the document restoration specialists.
  3. Medical records require special treatment. SERVPRO’s HIPAA Master-Certified technicians perform this cleaning. Round-the-clock surveillance of the restoration activity ensures confidentiality.

Perhaps a flooded basement destroyed your home office in the Salt Lake City, UT, area. Maybe a roof failure at work soaked the company accounting records. The amount of damage doesn’t matter. The document restoration experts at SERVPRO tackle projects of any size.

Keep Your Losses Low During Business Interruption

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a red sign with white letters stating "Business Interruption" Reduce your losses during business interruption.

Anything from a broken pipe in an isolated location to flooding from a natural disaster can bring your commercial operations to a halt. In Salt Lake City, UT, this can mean significant losses and the need for a business interruption claim. The good news is that there are steps you can take to keep your insurance claim down, reduce your losses and get back to your normal routine.

When Flooding Threatens the Well-Being of Your Business

Every year flooding brings businesses to a halt when water heaters malfunction or extreme storms cause water to rise. Business interruption insurance coverage is crucial to surviving any type of major damage to your commercial property:

  • Loss due to fire or an explosion
  • Large water damage from natural catastrophes
  • Equipment malfunctions and breakdowns
  • Electrical failures and fires
  • Crime or vandalism

Just about every business experiences some type of disruption because of one or more of these risks. An appropriate insurance policy is the best way to make sure your business doesn’t crumble because of lost revenue while you can’t continue with your normal daily routine.

Keep Your Insurance Claim Low

Preventative maintenance is one of the best ways to reduce risks and keep any loss or expense low. Talk to your insurance provider and local resources about the most common risks for your type of company and location. After determining the risks, estimate the cost of possible interruptions, be sure you thoroughly understand your coverage, create your plan for preventing hazardous scenarios and then put together your crisis response plan.

Reduce Losses When Disaster Strikes

In spite of your best planning, it is impossible to prevent all emergencies. When you do have to shut your doors because of damage, work quickly to resolve the issues. The faster you can recover, the lower you can keep your claim. Your insurance company may recommend a water damage cleanup and recovery agency. These professionals have a well-planned approach to bringing any ongoing damage to a halt, as well as an emergency response to prevent additional or secondary harm. Cleanup and repair professionals have the training, equipment and time necessary to get your property back into functional condition and ultimately return it to its “like new” condition.

Open Your Doors and Return to Business

Your crisis response plan is crucial during a disaster. The first part of this plan should cover how to keep employees safe, an evacuation procedure and the steps that employees should take during an emergency. It should outline how to maintain communication with your customers and partners. Other parts of this plan should include a chain of command and specific tasks and responsibilities that employees will carry out during and after the disaster. Create a scripted message, so that all employees can share reliable information that doesn’t conflict with other messages and cause confusion.

With the proper insurance coverage in place, the involvement of cleanup and recovery professionals, and an operational and communication plan ready to go, you can move forward with confidence that you are ready to face flooding and other disasters. You’ll minimize the risk of possible damage and limit the impact that emergency scenarios will cause.

What Happens During Fire and Smoke Damage Cleanup?

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a building damaged by a fire Fire damage

Experiencing a fire at your commercial building in Salt Lake City, UT, can be devastating. What's next? Are you going to have to be out of service for a while? Even the results of a small fire can be costly in terms of replacing lost property, being out of business during the restoration process and restoring whatever can be salvaged. Several types of loss can result from a fire, including charring, soot, and smoke damage. Specific basic steps must be taken to mitigate the amount of loss, clean, and restore the commercial property.

Fire, Smoke and Soot Damage Cleanup Process

Once the flames are extinguished, it's time to begin work to return your building to its pre-fire state. Usually, the best option is to hire fire damage restoration professionals to be confident that your building and salvageable property are thoroughly cleaned, restored and inspected. These experts will typically take the following steps.

1. Assess the Damage

Experts need to perform a thorough assessment of the damage before getting to work. Evaluating the loss will help the professionals determine the best methods to restore the property. From this assessment, they will create a remediation plan based on the type and extent of the loss.

2. Mitigate the Damage

One of the most crucial parts of the process is to mitigate the damage as much as possible. To prevent further loss, technicians often shut off the electricity to the affected area or the entire building and shut off the water main. It may also include roof tarping and boarding up windows and doors until structural repairs can be completed.

3. Create a Remediation Plan

After the loss is under control, the professionals will create a plan to best remediate the water, fire, soot and smoke damage. You will probably see the technicians wearing personal protective gear during the process. This PPE will keep them safe and also help prevent cross-contamination of possible harmful substances. Depending on how long the moisture has been left from extinguishing the flames, mold spores could already grow into mold, creating and spreading more mold spores. These spores can easily be transferred into other parts of the building. The restoration professionals know how to take the safety precautions necessary to prevent this.

4. Cleanup

Restoration technicians use their expertise and professional equipment to clean everything in the affected area as much as possible. This will include removing charred and other unsalvageable materials and cleaning dust, debris and soot from all surfaces. It will also involve smoke cleaning from various materials.

5. Perform Restoration Work

After removing all unsalvageable materials from the area and thoroughly cleaning all surfaces, the technicians will continue working to restore the property to its pre-fire condition. This work will include using air scrubbers to clean the air, using different methods to eliminate smoke odors and rebuilding parts of the structure. It may also include industrial drying techniques because water damage occurs after a fire is extinguished.

Hopefully, you will never encounter a fire at your workplace. However, knowing what to expect if flames break out is helpful. Include the information for your preferred restoration company to have on hand so fire and smoke damage cleanup can begin as quickly as possible. It is also essential to create a fire plan for your employees.

How Wildfires Can Cause Increased Flooding Damage

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Wildfire causing damage Wildfire damage

If a fire occurs in or near your Salt Lake City, UT, home, you may think the worst is over once the flames are extinguished. Yet that is not the case. Fires can lead to flooding, as well. After a fire, your home will likely have holes in the roof and walls. Water from a storm could enter your house through these holes. Even if your home itself was not affected by a fire, a wildfire near your property could make it more susceptible to flooding damage.

Wildfire Damage and Floods

When wildfires burn through the terrain, they destroy vegetation that typically absorbs rainfall. As a result, the ground is left:

  • Barren
  • Unable to absorb water
  • Charred

It can take up to five years for vegetation to re-grow after a wildfire. Until then, the areas surrounding the damage will be more at risk for flash floods. The rainwater from storms may also pick up sediment and soil as it moves across the charred ground. This could lead to harmful mudflows.
Unfortunately, most homeowners’ insurance policies do not include flood coverage. If your house floods, even if the flood results from a wildfire out of your control, you could be responsible for the full cost of professional restoration services.
This flood cleanup can be quite expensive, as well. In 2010, an average flood claim cost $28,000. In fact, just 1 inch of water in your home can lead to $25,000 worth of damage.
Thankfully, you can purchase separate flood coverage via the FEMA NFIP. The National Flood Insurance Program offers insurance to both renters and homeowners.

Getting Flood Coverage

If you live in one of the 23,000 participating communities, you are eligible for the NFIP. In fact, if you live in a high-risk area and have a mortgage from a government-backed lender, you are legally required to obtain flood coverage. Your insurance agent can help you purchase a flood policy through the NFIP. There may be a 30-day waiting period before the coverage goes into effect.
The cost of this coverage varies based on your property’s flood risk. If you want to lower your premiums, you can enact flood mitigation measures. For instance, you can elevate your utilities and fill in your crawlspace or basement.

Other Steps To Take Before the Next Flood

Once you have purchased flood insurance from the FEMA NFIP, you should take additional steps to prepare your home and family for the next major storm. Gather all necessary supplies so you will not have to drive to the store in the middle of a storm.
You should also keep an inventory of the various items in your home. This will be important information for the insurance adjuster. Any important documents, such as birth certificates, should be kept in a waterproof location.

In extreme situations, you may be asked to evacuate your house ahead of the storm. Plan a safe evacuation route, and make sure that everyone in your home understands it.
Thanks to the FEMA NFIP, you can purchase insurance that covers the cost of restoration after a flood. This is particularly important if you live in a community prone to wildfires.

5 Things To Teach Your Kids About Fire Safety

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a storage damaged with soot and smoke after a fire. Fire damage in Salt Lake City, UT.

Teaching kids safety is an important factor when making an emergency fire plan for your Salt Lake City, UT, home. One way you can help protect them is by instructing them what to do if a fire does occur. Many firemen and fire damage restoration professionals agree that learning the following tips can help.

5 Lessons About Fire Safety

  1. What Fire Hazards Are

One step toward preventing a home fire is to tell your children what a fire hazard is. This way they will know what items not to play with, and to tell you immediately if they see something amiss.

  1. How To Stay Low

During a fire smoke and heat rise, meaning the cooler air is closer to the floor. Teaching your child to stay low can help them avoid the smoke and find fresher air.

  1. How To Check a Door

One important step for kids safety during a fire is to know how to check a door before opening it. They should know to use the back of their hand to test the door’s surface for heat, and to open it only if it doesn’t seem hot.

  1. What Safe Routes Are

Safe exit routes are an important part of a fire escape plan. Explain to your child where the closest exits are and how to use them safely.

  1. Where to Meet Up

Instruct your child to go to a pre-selected location to meet up with you once they’re safely out of the house. This should be an easily identifiable location such as a neighbor’s porch or a fire hydrant.

In the event of a fire, kids' safety is important, and by teaching your child these things, you can feel more secure knowing they understand what to do in a fire. Telling them what a fire hazard is can help prevent a fire before it starts. They should also learn to stay low, check doors before they enter a room, follow safe routes out of the house, and where to meet up with everyone else.

Steps of the Fire Restoration Process

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a house on fire. Smoke is coming out of a upstairs window This house is on fire. Even a small number of flames can cause a significant amount of fire damage.

Even a small number of flames can cause a significant amount of fire damage. Here is what the process looks like when technicians from a fire restoration company in Salt Lake City, UT, arrive at your home.

5 Steps Of The Fire Restoration Process

  1. Assessment

The first thing specialists have to do is analyze the problem. There are several components to this assessment:

  • Noting the extent of the destruction
  • Identifying the areas with water damage
  • Detailing the processes needed to restore the structure
  1. Extraction

A fire hose expels a lot of water in a short amount of time. This is great for getting rid of the flames, but the water needs to be extracted from your home quickly to minimize the damage it can cause. Technicians pump out standing water and debris and extract excess moisture from surfaces.

  1. Removal

All affected items and materials are removed from your home during fire damage mitigation. Saturated dry wall is torn out and damp or smoky insulation is discarded. Flooring and ceiling materials must go, too. All damaged belongings must be inspected to determine whether or not they are salvageable.

  1. Cleaning

There are three steps to the cleaning stage. The first is the removal of smoke and soot particles from every surface, crack and crevice. The second is the disinfection of everything the water used to put out the fire touches to rid your home of bacteria or fungus that may have started to grow in the moisture. The third step involves purifying the air to rid your home of unpleasant odors.

  1. Restoration

Once the remaining structure is cleaned, it's time to rebuild. Technicians put up new walls and match the paint or wallpaper to what was already there. All new flooring may be in order if your carpets or tiles aren't able to be patched.

Restoring your home after a fire involves multiple steps. After the water and fire damage are repaired, the structure can then be rebuilt.

3 Steps To Take After a Home Flood

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Image of flooded room Flooding can lead to severe damage.

Even if you don't live near a water source a home flood can happen to you. It is important to have a plan in place before a flood occurs so that you can minimize the amount of damage to your home. Consider including these three steps in your flood plan.

3 Steps to Include in Your Flood Plan

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company

Most homeowners policies exclude flood damage; however, some types of storm damage may be covered. If you have a separate flood insurance policy, you should contact the insurance company to file a claim. Because floods can cause extensive damage that requires water restoration services, it is a good idea to purchase flood insurance, even if your home is not located in a high-risk area.

  1. Begin Cleanup As Soon As Possible

You should not attempt to reenter your house after a home flood until local authorities say it is safe. However, as soon as you are able, you should begin the cleanup process. Avoid coming into contact with floodwaters. Most homeowners should contact a restoration company in Salt Lake City, UT, rather than attempt a do-it-yourself solution. Standing water can be a safety hazard and flood damage can be very difficult to clean without the right equipment and training.

  1. Dry Out Your Property

The longer your property stays wet, the more likely you are to have issues with rot, mold and other damage. Anything that can not be completely dried out should be discarded. If it is safe to enter your home, you can begin removing wet contents and placing it outside to dry if the weather permits. Some amount of drying can be accomplished by using fans and dehumidifiers, but professional equipment may be necessary.

The damage that occurs during a home flood will continue to get worse the longer it takes to clean and dry the property. Taking the proper steps after a flood can prevent unnecessary additional damage.

How to Replace a Leaking Toilet

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a leaking toilet Leaking toilet in a Salt Lake City, UT, home.

Although most commodes last for decades, they do need to be updated every now and then. If you have a leaking toilet in your home in Salt Lake City, UT, it might be time to replace it. Here are the steps to take to make this process as easy as possible.

3 Steps for Replacing a Leaking Toilet

  • Disconnect the Water Supply

Whether you are doing a toilet repair or installing a new one, never try to do work on a leaking toilet without disconnecting the water supply. This can lead to a large amount of standing water in your bathroom. In order to disconnect the water-supply tube you must loosen the compression nut on the shutoff valve.

  • Remove the Old Toilet

Depending on how long the old toilet has been in place, it may be stuck to the flooring. In order to remove it, you will need to unscrew any bolts and then gently rock it back and forth until it comes off the floor. Typically, there is a wax seal holding it in place, so you will need to break this before it will come off completely. If you are having trouble removing it yourself, you may want to call a professional to come help.

  • Install the New Toilet

Before you install the new toilet, you will need to get the area cleaned up, and remove any excess wax from the gasket. When you put the new one in place, make sure it is properly aligned. You can then secure it with the bolts. Some people choose to use caulk around the base to protect against mold growth. You should check with your building department to see if this is required in your area.

If you feel uncomfortable replacing the leaking toilet yourself, you should consider calling a water damage company in Salt Lake City, UT, to help you. They may also be able to work with you on the cleanup and check the extent of the damage. This may prevent larger or future issues from occurring.