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The Flood Water Cleanup Process

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded office Flooding can cause severe damage.

Excess water can cause a lot of damage to your commercial building in West Valley City, UT, and these issues can only be properly mitigated by certified water restoration experts. When the flood water in question is contaminated, this adds extra steps to the cleanup process. It's important to understand the measures necessary to ensure that your building is free of both moisture and bacteria.

Steps for Cleanup After Flooding or Toilet Overflow

A simple pipe break can be a big problem, but at least the water it releases is clean. By contrast, Category 3 water is contaminated. It can come from a variety of sources:

  • Overflowing toilet
  • Groundwater seepage
  • Storm damage
  • Municipal sewer backup


Any time your building is flooded with Category 3 water, mitigation automatically includes measures to ensure that no contamination gets left behind.

1. Extract Excess Water

Removing water is a crucial step that prevents it from causing further damage. Technicians pump it out of the building. Then they use special equipment to get rid of whatever the pump couldn't extract. They must assess which items and parts of the structure are salvageable before they can continue with remediation.

2. Remove Debris

Any debris that enters your building along with the flood water must also be removed. Additionally, all porous materials that are saturated with contaminated water need to be torn out. This inevitably includes carpet and insulation, but it may also mean that drywall, floor pads and ceiling tiles have to go. Technicians have to clear the area of all ruined items.

3. Rinse Area

No matter how meticulous the mitigation team is, some debris will not be able to be removed manually. The only way to get it off the remaining surfaces in your building is to rinse it. The purpose of the initial rinse is to remove all remaining particles that don't belong in the space.

4. Sanitize Surfaces

Once all the dirt and particles that you can see have been washed away, it's time to disinfect the remaining surfaces. Technicians use industrial-strength cleaners to ensure that all bacteria and microbes are killed in the cleaning process. For spaces that are hard to reach, they may need to use equipment that helps them get the detergent into nooks and crannies.

5. Dry Thoroughly

There is often residual moisture left by the cleaning process. To prevent secondary damage such as mold, your building needs to be dry. Fans are useful not only for drying surfaces but also for bringing the humidity level back under control.

6. Conduct Tests

The final step before the restoration phase begins is confirmation that the space has been sanitized. Technicians may perform a variety of tests, including surface swabs and air quality measures, to make sure that their efforts to disinfect the building were successful. If the results are not satisfactory, they know they have more cleaning to do before moving on to rebuilding.

Cleaning up after flood water is always a multi-step process. When the damage is caused by Category 3 water, however, even more tasks must be added to mitigate it completely.

The Proper Use of a Fire Extinguisher and Other Critical Tools

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Image of two workers holding a fire extinguisher A fire extinguisher is a critical tool.

If your company in West Valley City, UT, is serious about fire protection, it needs to have the most important fire tools on the premises. It is just as important that these critical items are maintained and that key personnel know exactly how to use them to the best effect. These items include but are not limited to the fire alarm system, the fire extinguisher and the sprinkler system. A fourth category, the services of fire professionals such as a fire restoration team, will also be addressed here.

The Fire Extinguisher and Other Fire Protection Tools

The Fire Alarm System

The type of alarm you need depends upon your facility and how large it is. Professional installation is important as the contractor will understand the requirements for building codes and local fire regulations. The system should be professionally maintained to the highest standards.
The alarm should be set up so that it covers all relevant areas of your building as this will provide the greatest protection against fire damage. Finally, the alarms should have both auditory and visual alerts so that it reaches all individuals in the building should a fire break out.

The Fire Extinguisher

This essential tool can stop an incipient fire before it gets out of control and causes thousands of dollars in damages. Your company should have enough units on hand so that one is close by should a fire begin. The whereabouts of each unit should be identified with bright markings, and all units need to be inspected regularly. Your company should have the right extinguisher on hand for the type of fire that is possible in your facility, whether it be a kitchen fire, an electrical fire or a wood fire.
Fire extinguishers are not overly difficult to operate, but key personnel should undergo training on how to use them. The steps for operating a unit can be summed up by the acronym PASS:

  • Pull out the pin to engage the unit
  • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
  • Squeeze the handle to discharge the contents
  • Sweep the nozzle back and forth until the fire is out

The Sprinkler System

A modern fire sprinkler system has many advantages for the ultimate in fire protection. It works automatically, even when your building isn't occupied. It responds quickly to a small fire and targets the area so that any water damage is limited. It does require professional installation and should be maintained by a licensed contractor.

The Fire Recovery Process

Fire cleanup and restoration is a highly technical process that requires the work of a professional team of technicians. They use advanced techniques and sophisticated equipment to remove smoke, soot and fire damage. The process typically involves the removal of smoke odors and deep cleaning of soot from walls, furniture and fabrics. With a commercial fire, professionals work quickly to get your business going again as soon as possible.

A fire extinguisher is one critical tool to fight a commercial fire. The right tools and resources can prevent a small fire from becoming a big one and limit damages

4 Things a First Responder Should Know When Working With a Flood

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded street causing damage to vehicles. Severe flooding can cause serious damage.

When your home in West Valley City, UT, gets hit with a flood, you need to take action quickly. However, even a first responder cannot run directly into an impacted space. Water and moisture can create an unsafe zone. Appropriate precautions should be taken by anyone entering the premises.

Top Tips for How a First Responder Should Approach a Flood Zone

Floodwater, also known as blackwater, plays host to high levels of pathogens and spores. The onslaught of water takes over an area, drenching it. External bodies of water overflow, or the sewage line backs up. Either way, homes become inhabitants of many organisms and potential hazards. Responders should remain vigilant and aware of the contamination, and understand the toll water takes on buildings. Be sure to follow these four essential tips.

1. Be Sure Your Immunization Records Are Current

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that anyone working with flood response be current in several immunizations. After all, a flooded environment proves challenging, uncertain and cumbersome. Severe flooding weakens structures and displaces items, creating physical obstacles. In addition, dampness encourages rust on metal objects.
These conditions establish a problematic setting where cuts and wounds could quickly and easily occur. Exposure to rusted materials and bacteria complicates injuries further. Therefore, responders should have tetanus and diphtheria shot, called the Tdap for short. In addition, the CDC suggests responders have the Hepatitis B vaccine as well.

2. Use Safety Gear

Minimize injuries and exposure by wearing appropriate safety gear and guarding yourself. Use durable rubber gloves and avoid touching your face and eyes with gloved or bare hands. At the end of the shift, discard gloves appropriately, using a new pair the time you enter. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water before moving to other activities.
In addition, the skin remains vulnerable, so cover up as much as possible. Have full-body clothes for the worksite, and keep goggles with you at all times. Don't forget a sturdy pair of boots. When you leave, change immediately. Take clothes off before you enter your home, and wash them.

3. Survey Your Surroundings

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration emphasizes that floods create multiple hazards for first responders. While water damage proves the most obvious concern, people must also remain aware of other conditions. Responders should consistently keep on their toes, understanding they could encounter the following situations:

  • Carbon monoxide buildup
  • Extreme heat
  • Chemical and biological exposure
  • Animal encounters
  • Electrical issues


4. Recognize Mold Growth

Note that mold is likely to grow quickly in damp areas, demanding swift cleanup and precautions. Mold spores activate when water and organic matter meet, reproducing within one to two days. Floods establish the perfect conditions.
Use an N-95 mask, and wash everything thoroughly. Furthermore, discard porous, saturated items. Collaborate with an emergency water remediation team to assess the status and use high-quality gear and sanitizing methods.

As a first responder in West Valley City, UT, you face an incredible challenge to help homes and people. Remain cautious, constantly surveying your surroundings and adopting protective measures, to keep yourself and others safe during a flood disaster.

5 Tips for Home Fire Prevention and Preparation

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

Woman holding her head watching a home destroyed by fire. Fire damage in West Valley City, UT. Fire preparation and prevention it's important.

Witnessing your West Valley City, UT, home ablaze is one one the most devastating things you and your family could endure. Nothing is guaranteed. However, there are fire safety measures that can help you prevent a home fire. There are also fire preparation tips you can practice just in case.

5 Fire Preparation Tips

  1. Inspect Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms must be maintained to keep them operating properly. Dust or vacuum each unit at least once a year when you replace the batteries. Smoke alarm units themselves should be replaced every 10 years.

  1. Use Electricity Safely

Avoid overloading electrical circuits. Make sure that your light bulbs don't go above the suggested wattage on each light fixture. If plugs don’t fit the outlets snugly, you may need to replace the outlets. If you frequently have tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses in your home, have a licensed electrician examine your electrical system.

  1. Cook Safely

Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stove or broiling. Keeping a pot lid or baking sheet within reach in the kitchen is an excellent fire preparation plan. If a pan fire begins, cover it and turn off the burner. Always keep pot handles turned toward the back of the stove to avoid them being knocked off.

  1. Monitor Open Flames

When burning candles, make sure that they’re in sturdy, non-flammable candle holders away from flammable materials (e.g., curtains, magazines). Also, place them out of the reach of children and pets. Never keep candles burning unattended. Never present an open flame in an area where medical oxygen is used, even if the machine is turned off.

  1. Use Heaters Safely

Keep flammable materials at least three feet from space heaters, fireplaces, woodstoves, radiators and furnaces. Turn off and unplug heaters when you’re leaving home or going to bed. Only use space heaters with overheat or tip over automatic shutoff features.

Fire preparation and prevention are essential fire safety tools that you must practice. If a fire occurs at your home, fire restoration professionals can return it to its pre loss condition.

Storm Damage Prevention Tips

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

Warning sign stating "Big Storm just ahead" You can prevent a lot of damage to your property with regular inspections.

Taking care of your commercial property starts with prevention. A severe winter storm in West Valley City, UT, can result in a lot of expensive damage to your commercial building. However, there are several things you can do to prevent or at least minimize the damage the storm causes.

3 Tips For Storm Damage Prevention

  1. Inspect Building

Regular building inspections are a great way to identify potential problems and take care of them before they get out of hand. At the start of winter, you need a professional inspection of the parts of your building that are particularly vulnerable to storm damage during colder seasons:

  • Roof
  • Windows
  • Foundation
  • Plumbing

Look for existing damage as well as ways to fortify the structure. You can prevent a pipe break by making sure your plumbing has adequate insulation. Don't wait until after the storm hits to find out if your building is in good shape.

  1. Control Water Flow

A winter storm often brings a lot of precipitation with it. If that water has no clear path away from your building to follow, it can pool and freeze on your roof or near the foundation. This can cause cracks that let water seep in as the ice melts, causing interior damage that you may not notice for months. Storm damage restoration specialists recommend regular cleaning of your gutters and downspouts as well as the use of sandbags or other barriers to protect the places that are most vulnerable to leaks.

  1. Plan Ahead

Some prevention measures require prior notice to use effectively. Have a plan for protecting your building, and make sure everyone knows the part they are expected to play. Pay close attention to the weather reports in your area so that you have plenty of time to get your building ready for an approaching storm.

A winter storm can be dangerous to your building, but there's no reason you can't be ready for it. With regular inspections and a solid emergency plan, you can prevent a lot of damage to your property.

3 Common Causes of Water Damage in Your Home

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

Image of hail and rain hitting on a roof during a storm. Hail damage can be a leading cause of water damage in West Valley City, UT.

When Mother Nature has a bad day in West Valley City, Utah, sometimes you do too. Many different natural disasters can lead to flooding inside of your home. Unfortunately, even on a sunny day you can experience a pipe burst or water line break that causes the same result.

3 Leading Causes of Residential Water Damage 

  1. Natural Disasters

Torrential downpours are not the only event in nature that can cause flooding in your house. Hurricanes, snowstorms, ice or hailstorms can be sources of water damage, and even fires can be a potential threat due to firefighting efforts. In any of these emergency situations, consider your safety first. After you and your family are out of danger, contact a storm damage and water restoration company that specializes in emergency services. From tarping a roof to prevent further damage to removing the excess flood waters, professionals can walk you through the steps needed to return your home to preloss condition.

  1. Broken Pipe or Line Break

When a pipe burst or water line break occurs, your house can become flooded with clean, uncontaminated water. In this situation, take action immediately to reduce the risk of secondary water damage. A water restoration specialist can inspect the damage and remove the standing water, and they can also dry, dehumidify and restore your home and its contents.

  1. Sewage Backup

A sewer backup is an emergency situation due to the level of contamination in sewage. Immediately leave your home and do not touch the contaminated water. Specialists typically arrive within a few hours with the appropriate equipment to safely remove the water and debris. Your home and possessions will be dried, sanitized and restored.

Whether the cause is from nature or a man-made source, flooding at your home in West Valley City, Utah, should be addressed promptly. When a rainstorm or pipe burst ruins your day, take action by calling in professional water restoration experts. Also, check with your homeowners insurance agent to see if water damage is covered under your policy.

Fire Preparation Tips for Homeowners

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

A smoke Detector. Follow these steps and be ready to avoid Fire Damage in your Property.

No homeowner in West Valley City, UT, wants to face the danger and damage of a house fire. Keeping your family safe during such an event should be a top priority. With a few fire preparation strategies, you can make sure that everyone knows what they need to do if the unthinkable happens.

Tips for Home Fire Prevention and Response

Of course, the best option is to prevent a fire from occurring in the first place. There are several things you can do to make a fire in your home less likely. Even if you employ all these prevention strategies, though, the whole family still needs to understand some fire safety basics.

Maintain Your Home and Habits

Safety starts by preventing potential hazards. Fire restoration experts recommend several tasks that you should turn into regular habits if you own a home:

  • Store flammable liquids away from heat sources.
  • Have your wiring inspected by an electrician once a year.
  • Take preventative measures to keep pests that chew through cords or wires out of your home.
  • Use space heaters and candles responsibly.
  • Restrict smoking to outside areas and make sure that used cigarettes are disposed of properly.

Arm Your Home for Alert and Response

Smoke detectors are crucial for alerting your family when a fire begins. One detector won't cut it, though. The number you need depends on the size and layout of your home. Place one in a central location on every level.

You also need a detector for every sleeping area. Test them at least once a month to ensure they're working and to remind everyone what they sound like when they go into alarm. Replace the batteries at least once a year.

It's also a good fire preparation practice to have fire extinguishers stashed in various areas of your home. At a minimum, you should have one near the kitchen and others in easily accessible common areas on every floor. Everyone in the family should know not only how to use them but also when to stop using them and call 911.

Create an Emergency Fire Escape Plan

Despite all your best efforts, you may experience a home fire at some point in your life. Having a clear emergency plan that involves everyone in the family is your best chance of keeping them safe. Start by walking through your home. Find two ways to escape from every room. Plot escape routes and make sure children know what they are supposed to do.

Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year. This gives all the people in your home a chance to actually go through the steps they need to take in an emergency. Agree on a meeting place that is away from the house and set up a communication plan just in case you get separated. The more you prepare, the easier it will be to remember it if necessary.

Most people will never have to endure a house fire. Every homeowner, however, needs to have a fire preparation plan just in case his or her prevention strategies fail.

How To Clean Valuable Items Damaged by Water in a Home

6/17/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded House. Your Valuable Items are also Valuable for us. Water Damage Specialists are ready to Help.

A broken pipe can cause a massive flood in your house that leads to thousands of dollars in damage. Yet fancy televisions and expensive cars are not always the most valuable items lost during a disaster.

Water can also harm treasured family heirlooms that are impossible to replace. Thankfully, with the help of water damage cleanup specialists, many of these items can be restored.

How To Salvage Items Damaged Due to Water in a Home

Even if you think the water in your West Valley City, UT, house is clean, it may be contaminated by unseen bacteria. You should thus wear the following whenever you touch the damaged items:

  • Protective clothing
  • Nitrile or vinyl gloves
  • Respirator
  • Goggles

Ideally, the remediation professionals will do most of the drying and dry cleaning. Here are some of the materials they can salvage.

Baskets

Twisting or wringing wet baskets could further damage them. Instead, the pros should get rid of the excess water by draining, blotting or rinsing the baskets. They should then put clean cotton sheets or paper towels inside the baskets. This should help the baskets maintain their shapes. The baskets should then be left to air dry.

Ceramics

Water in a home can cause pottery or ceramic materials to break. Do not attempt to glue them back together. Instead, place the broken items into labeled bags to keep everything organized. Once the pieces are dry, the restoration experts can decide the next steps.

Photos

Any wet photos need to be removed from their frames or plastic enclosures. To avoid further damaging the pictures, cut a slit in the enclosures so you can easily pull them away from the photos.

The restoration experts should take any pictures that are stuck together and place them in water. This should separate the photos. The pros will then either freeze- or air-dry the pictures.

Documents and Books

Important papers and documents can also be restored via freeze-drying. The restoration experts may have to rinse the materials first. The books should then be stacked spine-side down in strong containers. The containers will then be stored in a freezer that has a frost-free setting. Depending on the extent of the damage, the drying process could take weeks or months.

Art

Any pictures or art pieces behind a glass frame should be removed from the frame if possible. From there, the documents can be air-dried. If the item is stuck on the frame, keep it in the glass and turn it frame-side down to dry.

Paintings, meanwhile, should remain on the stretcher bars during the drying process. The pros should use distilled water and a clean sponge to remove any dirt or debris. As long as the paint is not flaking or cracking, the cleanup experts can blot the back of the paintings and then air dry them away from sunlight or heat. The paintings should instead be placed face-up on a surface that allows air to flow under the stretchers.

Even irreplaceable baskets, ceramics and photographs can be salvaged if they are harmed by water in a home. Emergency remediation specialists should help you enact the above strategies for restoring these items.

How To Stop a Leaking Toilet

6/8/2022 (Permalink)

A leaking Toilet. Our Professionals know how to Stop a Leaking Toilet. Just follow our Tips.

It's never a good sign to discover a puddle of water on your floor in your West Valley City, UT, bathroom. You know you have a job ahead of you if it's originating at the base of your toilet. Fortunately, though, there's a good chance you won't need a plumber. A leaking toilet can definitely be a hassle but is often a relatively simple fix. Discontinue use until it gets repaired because the problem can quickly worsen. Here are a few steps to resolve the issue if your toilet is leaking from the base. 

Toilet Repair Steps for a Base Leak

1. Determine the Cause of the Leak

There are several reasons why your toilet has started leaking. Even a tiny leak can turn into a disaster if left, so it's critical to find the problem and repair it as soon as possible. The toilet is not the most sanitary place in your home, to begin with, but excess moisture can also lead to secondary damage like mold. An issue like this usually requires the services of water damage restoration professionals.

2. Inspect the Inside of the Toilet Tank

Carefully remove the lid from the toilet tank and keep an eye on the float and inlet valve. The inlet valve, also known as the fill valve, brings clean water into the toilet tank and bowl from the water supply line. Then, the water empties out of the tank and into the bowl when you flush.

The float on the inlet valve goes down and back up with the water, which allows the water to go into the tank. It controls the quantity of water allowed to flow into the bowl. If the inlet valve or the float are not working correctly, the result can be a leaking toilet. 

3. Tighten the Base Bolts

A toilet has bolts on the base to hold it securely to the floor. You may notice the toilet rocking back and forth if the bolts are loose. An unsteady toilet isn't the worst problem resulting from loose bolts. The wobbling can break the wax seal between the toilet and the septic pipe. This will likely result in a leak at the toilet's base.

To tighten the base bolts, remove the plastic lids that are on top of the bolts. Two tee bolts must be tightened to properly create a water-tight seal. These bolts will keep the wax ring in place. 

4. Replace the Wax Ring

The wax ring attaches the toilet to the drain and seals the water from seeping into the bathroom floor. The ring could be worn or damaged, which is a sign that you need to replace it. Ensure with the hardware store employee that you get the right ring to fit your specific type of toilet, as they can vary from different toilet models. You can also take the old ring with you.

Whether an old toilet or a newer one, it is always possible for it to malfunction. Therefore, it's good to know some tips on handling it beforehand in case you have to deal with a leaking toilet.

4 Steps of Action To Take After Storm Damage

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded home The Specialists suggest you these Steps of Action After Storm Damage.

Whether you live in an area where the seasons bring an increased risk of hurricanes or an area where a home flood is more likely to occur because of broken pipes, you need to know how to respond after your home has been affected by flooding. Heavy rains, aging pipes, and backed up sewer systems are all potential causes of flooding in West Valley City, UT. Dealing with water or storm damage can be summed up in several vital steps:

Steps to Dealing With Storm Damage

  1. Begin Drying Out Your Home

    This may require shutting off the water to your home. It could also entail using buckets, mops, towels, or wet/dry vacuums to remove water. It's a good idea to open windows (if it's dry outside) and gather fans to circulate the air and prevent moisture from settling on surfaces.

    2. Contact Professionals for Advice About Proceeding

    There's a lot of potential for errors and further damage when the sheetrock, carpeting, and other elements of the home are covered with water. Call your insurance company for a better understanding of what your policy covers and whether there are specific steps you should take. This is also a good time to call a storm or water damage restoration company. These professionals have resources, training, and tools to appropriately handle cleanup and repairs.

    3. Separate Items To Save and Discard

    When it's safe, carry wet belongings outside where they can dry. Separate items with too much damage for repairs but don't haul them off yet. It's important that the insurance adjuster can see what you've lost in the home flood.

    4. Dry and Disinfect Your Belongings as Quickly and Thoroughly as Possible

    It doesn't take long for mold to start growing. If you've stuffed your wet clothes in a plastic bag, for instance, mold may set in within 24 hours. Instead, get your clothes, blankets, and similar materials in for laundering as quickly as you can. Some furnishings, such as mattresses and the pad under your carpet, are prime environments for mold.

It's very important to resist taking steps after a home flood until you've spoken with your insurance provider and restoration professionals. Prompt action is required, so get into contact with the pros as soon as you can.