Frozen Pipes In Oak Ridge, TN
Frozen pipes are a leading cause of water damage in the colder months of the year. Why?
Water has the unfortunate property in that as it freezes, it expands. This can affect all types of water lines, whether metal, plastic, or PVC. Simply, all pipes are subject to bursting given the right amount of pressure. As the water freezes, it can expand the pipe, eventually, cause a hairline crack or a complete break. At that point the portion unfrozen will then provide a continual stream of water until shut off, causing water damage throughout the property.
How can I prevent my pipes from freezing or bursting?
If possible, make sure that all pipes and supply lines on exterior walls are insulated. Exterior walls will be much colder than interior walls given their location. Additionally, all water lines in basements and crawl spaces need to be insulated as they will be subjected to very cold temperatures. Simple foam insulation wrap can help prevent your pipes from freezing.
Make sure all outdoor hoses are removed from exterior hose bibs.
Always keep your heating unit on and operational, even when away on vacation. If leaving for an extended period of time, set your thermostat to no colder than 55 degrees to ensure that your home has enough heat to properly keep interior pipes from freezing.
Keep garage doors closed if you have water supply lines located in that area. In extreme cases of cold for extended periods of time, ensure that exposed pipes are insulated. Space heaters (placed away from anything flammable) can provide heat and warmth to combat cold environments in garage areas.
If you notice very low water pressure from water supply areas, a frozen pipe could be the cause. Immediate action should be taken to identify the problem.
What should I do if my pipes are already frozen?
Turn on all the faucets with warm water, not hot, to a slow drip. This will help in supplying warmer water to the area without causing an abrupt temperature change. It will also help you in determining the location of the freeze.
Apply exterior heat to the frozen section of pipe. This can be done with a hair dryer, electric heating pad, space heater, towels soaked in warm water wrapped around the pipe. NEVER use open flame devices as this can be a major fire hazard.
Keep the continual heat on the area until water flow is restored to normal.
Once restored, try to determine why the area froze. It may be as simple as adding insulation, sleeve wraps, UL listed heat tape, or another form of insulation.
If you cannot locate, find, or properly thaw your pipes, call a professional plumber to assist.
What if my pipes burst and caused damage?
If your pipes have busted, cracked, or began leaking, immediate action should be taken to ensure that water damage can be minimalized to your property. Soak up as much water as possible with towels or extract with a shop vac. It's often necessary to have professionals like SERVPRO come in and completely mitigate the water. Home drying efforts can help reduce damages, but will not get rid of all moisture and humidity. It's important to ensure that your property is completely dry and dehumidified to prevent secondary damage from ruining your home, flooring, furnishings, or building materials. Call SERVPRO today if you've had water damage from a pipe leak, and we'll work with you and/or your insurance company to make sure that your home is restored correctly!
The Silent Killer
The Silent Killer
Carbon monoxide, considered “the silent killer,” is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It can be created when fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane, or wood do not burn properly. According to U.S. Fire Administration, around 150 people die every year from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Often times, it is the result of faulty, improperly used or vented consumer products like furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters, and engine-powered equipment, such as portable generators. However, there are precautions you can take to help protect yourself, your family and your employees from deadly CO fumes.
Reduce the chance of CO exposure in your workplace by performing regular maintenance on equipment and appliances that can produce CO. Consider switching from gasoline-powered equipment to equipment powered by electricity or batteries. Prohibit the use of gasoline-powered engines or tools in poorly ventilated areas.
To protect your home, install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home, including outside of all bedrooms. Consider having all fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys serviced annually by a professional. Use portable generators only in well-ventilated areas away from doors, windows, vents and other openings to prevent fumes from entering the home.
Avoid Holiday Hazards
Fire Damage In A Oak Ridge Home
Avoid Holiday Hazards
Candles, pretty lights and decorations are just a few of the items that add to the charm and cheer of the holiday season however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening very quickly.
Review the following simple safety tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association to greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.
Two out of five home decoration fires are started by candles. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that is flammable
Use sturdy candleholders that are not likely to tip over and place candles on clear, uncluttered surfaces. Consider using flameless candles instead of real candles.
Make sure your tree and decorations are at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters candles or heat vents.
Make sure you have the correct type of lights for your home. Some lights are designed for only indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
Carefully inspect light strands before hanging them. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of light sets.
Remember to turn off outside decorative lights and Christmas tree lights before leaving or going to bed.
Get rid of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
Understanding Water Types
Flooding in a bed room in Maryville, TN
When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.
There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.
Consider taking the follow precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.
Damage from Clean Water in Alcoa, TN
-Shut off water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
-Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
-Remove as much excess water as possible my mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and table items.
-Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
- Move any paintings, art objects computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
-Do not leave books, newspapers magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
-Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Damage from Contaminated Water in Maryville, TN
-Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
-Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
-Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
-Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
-Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
Flooding Can Happen In Maryville, TN
According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), "Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding." NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:
Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
Dam Breaks/Levee Failure
Just because you haven't experienced a flood doesn't mean you won't in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, flood cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).
When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO of Maryville/Alcoa can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile, or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible.
Halt Winter Heating Hazards In Maryville
The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplace cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires caused an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire.
- Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in metal containers. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer for fuel burning space heaters.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
-Test smoke alarms.
It's The Water You Don't See
Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.
The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of Maryville Alcoa has the equipment, training, and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the water damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO of Maryville Alcoa will answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment.
- Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards, and walls
- Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO of Maryville Alcoa to monitor the drying process.
-Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO of Maryville Alcoa Professionals can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.
- Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate, This device can also be sued to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
-Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to an neutralize odor-causing problems.
Tools For Keeping You Safe
One of the best precautions you can take is to purchase a good quality weather radio. A weather radio is designed to alert you to potentially dangerous weather situations, like an approaching tornado. It allows you to be warned ahead of storms, providing you time to seek shelter. A weather radio is the most reliable source for weather alerts.
Weather radios have made any advancements over the years and are very affordable. Most basic weather radios average around $30 and can be programmed to only alert you for the weather alerts you choose.
When shopping for a weather radio look for the following key features.
- Reviewable alerts (you can scroll through alerts and turn off the siren for alerts you do not wish to hear)
- Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME)
- Alert programming (alerts when specific counties are threatened, ensuring you only receive alerts for your country)
- Ease of programming
If you need help programming your weather radio, you can always contact your local National Weather Service Office or for additional information, including county codes for you state, visit NOAA Weather Radio website at www.nws.gove/nwr
FIRE PREVENTION MONTH
Fire Prevention Month
October is Fire Prevention Month a perfect time to examine emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) designates a week each October to focus on fire prevention awareness. The 2016 theme is “Don’t Wait-Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years” designed to educate the public on the basic but essential elements of smoke alarm safety. The NFPA recommends installing smoke alarms in every bedroom outside a separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement. Did you know that roughly half of the home fire deaths results from fires reported between 11 pm and 7 am when most people are asleep? Smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half!
READY FOR WHATEVER HAPPENS
Ready for whatever happens.
When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is poised and “Ready for whatever happens.” With a network of more than 1,700 franchise the SERVPRO System strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team, is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms.
2016 Houston, TX Flooding: In April, a nearly stationary mesoscale convective system developed over Houston resulting in widespread rainfall at the rate of 2.4 inches per hour. This was an historic flooding event for Harris County which saw a total of nearly 18 inches of accumulated rainfall. The Storm Team dispatched 81 crews to over 360 jobs mitigating over $3 million in damages.
2015 Siberian Express: Record sub-zero temperatures caused major problems for a large portion of the county stretching from Florida to Maine. The Midwest also experienced record breaking low temperature resulting in frozen pipes and ice dams causing major problems for residents. The Storm Team dispatched a total of 257 crews from 108 Franchises to assist local SERVPRO Franchises completing 2000 jobs.
2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding: Rainfall rates of up to 2 inches per hour caused major flash flooding stretching from Northeast Ohio all the way up to Portland, Maine. Easten Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland were also impacted and 173 crews mitigated over $4.3 million in damages while assisting the local Franchises.
2014 Polar Vortex: Record low temperatures caused by a break in the North Pole’s polar vortex resulted in an unprecedented freezing event, spanning from east of the Rocky Mountains to as far south as Central Florida, effecting all or part of 39 states and 70% of the SERVPRO Franchises System.
2013 Colorado Floods: Heavy rainfall, with amounts up 17 inches in some areas, resulted in widespread flooding in the Fort Collins, Boulder and surrounding Colorado mountain communities, The Disaster Recovery Team responded with 109 crews from Franchises to assist the local SEVPRO Franchises in the emergency response
2012 Hurricane Sandy: Affecting more than 20 states, Sandy left widespread damage and flooding from Florida stretching the entire eastern seaboard to Maine, The Disaster Recover Team placed nearly 1000 crews in the affected areas, representing over 300 SERVPRO Franchises from across the country. Teams traveled from as far as Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.