Are Your Pipes Wrapped?
Wrapping your pipes is the top way to reduce the risk of frozen or burst pipes during sub-freezing temperatures
With sub-freezing temperatures on the forecast for later this week, and the slight chance of snow or ice, homeowners are faced with a costly and dreadful situation… FROZEN PIPES! This can occur in homes with copper or plastic pipes and is the cause of about 1 in every 60 home insurance claims.
What Temperature Do Pipes Freeze and How Long Does It Take?
While the freezing temperature of water is 32°F, the pipes in your home are protected from exterior freezing temperatures by your home’s insulation. This does not become an issue until the outside temperature gets below 32°F. As a rule of thumb, the outside temperature needs to be 20°F or lower for six consecutive hours or more for your home’s pipes to start freezing. The amount of time it takes for your pipes to freeze is also dependent upon your home’s insulation, how far your water pipes are located inside your home, and if you have any exposed pipes.
Precautions to Prevent Pipes from Freezing and Bursting
The good news is that there are steps you can take to ensure this doesn’t happen to your home when these frigid temperatures arrive. By taking the preventative measures below, you can help protect your pipes from freezing and the resulting property damage that follows.
- Cover and insulate exposed pipes
- When your water supply pipes are exposed, or in an unheated space, they are more susceptible to freezing and bursting. Insulating your pipes is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to prevent frozen or busting pipes. Using fiberglass insulation wrap, self-sealing polyethylene wrap, or even pipe heat tape is a quick and easy way to insulate your pipes and a project you can knock out in an afternoon, giving you peace of mind during the winter months.
- Secure Outdoor Hoses, Valves, and Faucets
- Be sure to disconnect your garden hose from the outside faucet and, if applicable, use an indoor valve to shut off the water supply to the faucet and allow it to drain. As an extra measure of protection, install an insulated faucet sock or cover to the faucet to help reduce the chance of the faucet freezing and bursting inside your home.
- Keep a Consistent Temperature Inside
- Keeping your thermostat set at the same consistent temperature day and night can help reduce your risk of frozen pipes, and even reduce the strain on your HVAC unit. And, if you plan on being away for some time during the cold weather, leave the heat on and set your thermostat to no lower than 55° F.
- Open Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinet Doors
- Another small and useful strategy is to open the cabinet doors under your sinks. This allows the warm air from your home to circulate around your plumbing and keep your pipes warm. This is particularly important if your sink is located on an exterior wall as pipes in these areas are more prone to freezing from being closer to the cold outdoors.
- Let your Faucets Drip
- Though it seems counterintuitive, letting your faucets run can make a huge difference. You don’t have to leave your faucet running on full blast, but a trickle of hot and cold water keeps water moving through your pipes and helps prevent the lines from freezing.
- Seal Leaks and Drafty Areas of your Home
- When you have a gap or leak between the interior and exterior of your home, cold air is allowed to come in and lower the temperature around your pipes. With severely cold weather, even a tiny opening can let in enough air to cause a pipe to freeze. The most common areas for air to leak in are around window and door frames, electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes. Use calking or insulation to keep the cold out.
What To Do If Your Pipes Do Freeze or Burst
If it is below freezing and you notice that you are not getting water from one or more faucets, you likely have frozen pipes. Swift action is essential to thaw the pipe before it can burst.
- Shut off your water
- Try to find the frozen pipe
- Check for leaks
- Attempt to thaw
If you do find yourself in a situation with a burst pipe, be sure to give SERVPRO® Team Caldwell a call. We are available 24/7 with emergency restoration crews, a preferred vendor to many national insurance agencies, highly trained in water restoration techniques, and use s500 IICRC restoration standards to make your water damage “Like it never even happened! ®”
The Water Restoration Process
When experiencing the first few moments of a water disaster, you are typically flooded with emotions while also trying to quickly figure out what to do next. Knowing what to do in the event of a water disaster will allow for a faster restoration process, and will save you time and money.
If water damage is left unaddressed for a while, secondary damage can occur. SERVPRO of Dyersburg/Union City is your 24-hour emergency water and fire restoration company. We are “Faster to any size disaster” with our six-step water damage restoration plan.
6 Steps Water Damage Restoration Plan
- Initial Emergency Contact
Water disasters are typically unexpected and hardly ever occur at an ideal time for home or business owners. This is why SERVPRO is available and prepared 24/7 to help you when disaster strikes. Once you have made the initial phone call, a SERVPRO professional will ask you important questions regarding the situation. Our goal is to gather as much information about the disaster and draft a response plan specific to your situation. This response plan gives us an idea of how many technicians and equipment are needed to start the restoration process at your home or business.
- Inspection & Damage Assessment
Once SERVPRO technicians are on-site, we will immediately verify that the property is safe and take the necessary measures to prevent any further damage to the affected area if it is within our capabilities. Once your property is safe and secure, we will then conduct a thorough inspection of the affected areas to determine the next best course of action. We will then report our findings to the home or business owner.
- Moisture Extraction
To prevent the development of mold or other secondary damage, SERVPRO technicians begin to quickly extract standing water that can seep into belongings surrounding it. Our high-performance grade vacuums and water pumps accomplish this task rapidly and can remove hundreds of gallons at a time.
- Dehumidifying & Drying
After all of the standing water has been extracted, the moisture removal process can begin. SERVPRO dehumidifiers and high-grade dryers are used to pull moisture out of the air and out of porous surfaces in your home or business such as wood or fabrics. This process is what deters mold from growing and can help prevent further damage.
- Cleaning Belongings
All items that have come into contact with the water are prone to becoming a contamination hazard. The water may have come from a clean source, but the water passes through other unknown materials. This is why we take the sanitization process so seriously. To prevent hazards, SERVPRO of Dyersburg/Union City will thoroughly remove unwanted microbes from your belongings. SERVPRO also provides a deodorization service that removes musty, water-damage smells.
- Restoration & Repair
Once on the scene, SERVPRO will see your home or business restoration through to the end. You can count on us to never leave you with a partially completed job. SERVPRO not only handles the cosmetic aspects of the restoration process, but we tackle the construction details too. SERVPRO of Dyersburg/Union City can repair structural damage, apply paint and complete the finishing touches on your home or business “Like it never even happened.”
Faced With Sewage Damage To Your Business?
Be sure to unplug all electronic devices after a sewage disaster.
Coming into work Monday morning to find sewage damage in your business or commercial property can be frightening and disgusting. You may be tempted to throw in the towel, but you'll need to be alert throughout the entire sewer cleanup process! Specific steps need to be followed if your sewage disaster is more than a simple floor leak. While SERVPRO of Dyersburg/Union City professionals can do the cleaning for you, there are three procedures you execute if you encounter sewage damage in your business.
- Address The Electronics
The first step you should take is eliminating any safety hazards near the sewer backup, specifically electronic devices. Without coming in contact with the sewage, all items or devices that run on electricity need to be turned off or unplugged as soon as possible! Surrounding areas could become hazardous if the water touches one of these items. Below is a brief list of devices to be mindful of in a business or commercial property setting:
- Video Equipment
- Office Printers
- Lobby/Breakroom Televisions
- Create Ventilation: Open Windows
After a sewage disaster, it does not take long before mold begins to grow and is discovered. To avoid additional damage to your business or commercial property, airing out your space is essential! Additionally, the fresh air reduces some of the unruly smell from sewage backflow and moisture in the air.
- Remove Endangered Items
All items that have come into contact with sewage should be left to the professionals to clean and disinfect. For all restorable items, SERVPRO professionals can properly sanitize and return them to your business. If the sewage water is continually leaking, it is wise to remove non-contaminated items from the affected area so no additional property is lost.
The sewer cleanup process at your business or commercial property will go smoother if you remember and execute these three steps! Knowing what you can do to help immediately following a sewage backflow could help save your business money and restoration time. When SERVPRO restoration experts arrive, relay everything you know about the situation. Our goal is to help you get back on your feet as soon as possible! Sewage damage is never pretty, but with SERVPRO of Dyersburg/Union City, it does not have to be debilitating for your business!
3 Ways To Identify A Tub or Shower Leak
Water appliances in your home such as sinks, tubs, showers, dishwashers, and washing machines are often the cause of many water disasters. Depending on the location of the appliances, water leaks can cause quite a bit of damage on both levels of your home. For example, if a bathtub leaks on the second floor, water will travel down into the first floor of your home. As the water travels, it will weaken the ceiling on the first floor and drywall on both levels. If the water is not properly extracted and dried, moisture will build and hidden mold will begin to grow. Due to the location of the leak, the mold may be difficult to remove as time goes on. If you are having issues with your tub or shower, there are a few ways to identify potential leaks.
- How Old Is Your Shower Pan?
There can be many causes of shower leaks, but age is one of the most common. Shower pans are supposed to last for a long time, but after three or more decades, they begin to expire. If your home has a crawl space and you start to notice discoloration in your tiles around the base of the shower, it may be time to inspect your crawl space for leaks. This may be an indicator that your shower pan has seen better days.
- Are There Old Water Stains On The Ceiling?
If a bathtub leak or failed shower pan, especially on the second floor, is left unattended for a length of time, it can cause a dangerous situation. The water weakens the floor and causes the ceiling to sag. If the cause of the leak is never identified or fixed, repeated leaks could cause mold growth inside your ceiling. If you notice stains on the first floor of your home, directly below a second-floor bathroom, you may have a leak.
- Check Out You Shower Tiles
You can learn a lot about your unit by looking at your shower tiles. Tiles on the bottom half of the shower fall off or become loose if a shower pan leak occurs. You can assume there is a leak somewhere behind the tile if the wall feels damp or looks moldy.
If you are experiencing leaks from your tub or shower and need water clean-up, restoration, and construction services, call SERVPRO of Dyersburg/Union City at 731-627-6251. We’ll handle all of it and make your water disaster “Like it never even happened.”
Do's & Don'ts After Trauma
After a traumatic event, mustering the strength needed to take the first steps toward recovery can be challenging. If your property requires trauma or crime scene cleanup, SERVPRO of Dyersburg/Union City can help restore your home. Traumatic situations require experience, training, and respect for all involved. SERVPRO of Dyersburg/Union City tries to make the restoration process as stress-free as possible. Once police investigations are complete, cleanup can begin. While you are waiting for help to arrive, it is important to remember what you can do and what you can’t.
What To Do:
In the event of a crime or accident, the top concern is preventing any more accidents or loss of life. The second concern is preventing any more damages to your home or property.
- Call Emergency Personnel
- Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.
- Stay Out of The Area
- Stay out of the areas that have been affected by the event as there may be potentially dangerous hazardous materials left behind.
- Treat Fluids As If Contaminated
- Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.
What Not To Do:
- Don’t Attempt to Clean
Don’t Touch or Handle Items
Beware of Blackberry Winters
Around this time of year, from late April to mid-May, we begin to enjoy the increasingly warmer temperatures, but then, occasionally, a cold snap occurs. Here in the South, we call this brief period of frost and cold weather “blackberry winters.” This time of year, blackberries are in full bloom, and the sudden drop in temperatures during a blackberry winter kills the berry bushes as well as other plants. Blackberry winters are a threat to most farmers growing new plants and homeowners that just bought new plants. However, a sudden frost can cause more problems than covering plants.
In the past, forecasts show temperatures dropping into the low 30s during blackberry winters. As tired as we are worrying about frozen pipes, blackberry winters that occur overnight can lead to water damage in your home. The cooler temperatures can also have you reaching for your space heaters, electric blankets, and your fireplace for one last use before spring hits and temperatures rise. Practice proper fire safety and watch the weather for predicted frosts. Plan accordingly for these sudden declines in temperature, and remember to leave cabinet doors open so warm air can surround your pipes.
Being mindful of blackberry winters, not only saves you from potentially losing those beautiful new plants you just put out on the porch, but also saves you a lot of money in damages to your property. If you find yourself facing a water or fire disaster after a blackberry winter, call SERVPRO of Dyersburg/Union City at 731-627-6251 We are “Faster to any size disaster” and are “Here to help.”
How To Prevent Secondary Damages To Your Commercial Property
When commercial owners don't notice a water intrusion immediately or fail to fix minor initial water issues, properties can develop secondary complications. Structural deterioration or black mold affects the water and can cause severe and costly damage. Property owners in West Tennessee should understand why secondary damage is so concerning and how to avoid these complications.
- Lack of Attention Leads to Mold
Fungal spores, or decomposers, are all around us. However, they become a problem for property owners when they come into contact with water. Liquid feeds the microbes, encouraging them to reproduce and triggers growth. The following conditions create the perfect environment for microbes to spread and demand attention…
- Lingering Puddles
- Plumbing Leaks or Drips
- Damp, Dark Cabinets or Closets
- High Humidity Levels
Address these issues as soon as possible to help prevent secondary damages from starting.
- Secondary Issues May Appear First
Signs of hidden moisture are typically only revealed after it penetrates through materials. Peeling paint, warped flooring, discoloration, spots, and musty odors are all early indicators of black mold.
In many situations, leaks occur out of sight in crawl spaces. Certified SERVPRO Mold Remediation Specialists can investigate the situation, and tackle the cleanup and remediation process.
- Focus on Drying and Gutting
Dealing with secondary damage can be a time-consuming process and requires patience. To prevent future property complications, the remediation and restoration process should be thorough. SERVPRO Professionals…
- Extract as much moisture as possible.
- Monitor dampness using a moisture reader.
- Place SERVPRO dehumidifiers to pull out the humidity from walls, floors, the air, and objects around the clock.
- Remove drenched items.
- Perform flood cuts on the drywall below the water lines.
- Toss contaminated carpeting and non-salvageable items.
SERVPRO of Dyersburg/Union City can help protect your commercial property from these secondary harms. The longer you wait to call, the greater the chance is to experience additional property loss.
Crime Scene Clean-ups
Unfortunate, traumatic circumstances require empathy, respect, and experience. SERVPRO professionals are prepared both physically and mentally to assist you in any way they can. Traumatic events often involve biological and chemical contaminants. Whether your home or business requires hazmat, trauma, or crime scene cleanup, SERVPRO of Dyersburg/Union City is “Here to help.”
SERVPRO offers chemical, biohazard, and crime scene cleanup. Once the police have completed their investigation of a crime scene, cleanup and restoration can begin. Everything must be done in compliance with government, environmental, and health regulations. This involves an assessment of your property to determine the proper equipment and cleaning products needed.
Why Choose SERVPRO?
- #1 In The Clean-Up And Restoration Industry
- SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry.
- Provide 24/7 Emergency Services
- In a hazmat event, urgency and immediate action are necessary. Biological and chemical hazards to your property expose you, your family, or your employees to potential health risks.
- Highly Trained Technicians
- SERVPRO professionals are trained to safely clean and remove bio-hazardous substances and dispose of them properly by OSHA, EPA protocols, and health regulations.
- Easier Insurance Claim Process
- SERVPRO will help you navigate the insurance claims process and coordinate the necessary paperwork for a quicker, easier experience.
How To Minimize Damages From A Leaking Hot Water Heater
No one wants to experience the aftermath of a broken hot water heater! SERVPRO has responded to many emergency water calls where broken hot water heaters have done a tremendous amount of damage to customers’ homes. If you hear funny sounds coming from your hot water heater, investigate and address the issue immediately! Below are some steps you can take to help minimize the impact a broken hot water heater can have on your home.
What Can I Do To Help Minimizing Damage?
Following these mitigation steps can help prevent any further damage to your home..
- Shut off the power supply.
- Shut off the water.
- Drain your water heater.
- Flip open the pressure-release valve.
- Rinse the water heater with cold water.
What Goes Into The Cleanup Process?
After your hot water heater leak has been fixed, it is important to clean up any remaining water or damage that occurred due to the leak. If you allow water to sit for any length of time, it creates warm and moist areas in your home. This can lead to a lot of problems such as the development of mold, germs, fungus, and other types of pathogens.
Some cleanups can be taken care of with a towel, but larger pools of water require professional extractions. Materials in your home such as carpet, walls, and wood tend to absorb and hold in moisture. To eliminate the possibility of hidden mold growth, SERVPRO will dry out your carpets and areas behind your walls.
In a situation where your leaking water heater has caused a substantial amount of water damage, our professional SERVPRO water mitigation specialists can help keep your water disaster from becoming an ongoing process! If your home isn’t properly dried out within the first 48 hours, you could be looking at substantial damage. We are “Faster to any size disaster” and are “Here to help.”
Can A Fire Extinguisher Expire?
Manufacturers put most fire extinguishers' life span at 5 - 15 years. However, the real question is when did you receive your fire extinguisher? They do not last forever, and any fire extinguisher with at least of the following is most likely expiring soon:
- The hose or nozzle is broken, cracked, or blocked with debris.
- The locking pin is unsealed or missing.
- The handle is loose or broken.
- The inspection sticker is missing.
- The hanging tag (what tracks the extinguisher's checkups and maintenance) is missing.
Another factor to consider when assessing the age of your fire extinguisher is what type of fire extinguisher you have. Fire extinguishers are composed of different things and will age in different ways…
- Compressed Gas
- Can leak contents slowly as their seals weaken
- Ammonium Phosphate
- Overtime will solidify render the entire device unusable
By proactively evaluating the condition of your fire extinguisher at home or in your workplace, you are helping increase the safety of yourself and others! Determining if you have a reliable fire extinguisher will help you successfully respond to an emergency! If you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of a house or business fire, call SERVPRO of Dyersburg/Union City. We are your 24-Hour Emergency Service for fire clean-up, restoration, and construction!