Prevent Damage From Ice Dams
Follow our Tips and Prevent Damage From Ice Dams in your Property.
When temperatures drop below freezing, your home may be vulnerable to ice dam formations. These chunks of ice form at the edge of your roof and sometimes in the rain gutter, preventing the water from melting snow from draining away from your home. The blocked water then has the potential for causing a lot of property damage:
- Wet insulation
- Stains on ceilings and walls
- Mold growth
- Paint damage on the exterior of the home
- Structural damage Inefficient heating and cooling
This damage may travel up your roof as heat from your home continues to melt the snow closest to the surface. The newly warmed water collects near the ice block and adds to the bulk of the dam. The key to preventing this type of damage is preparing your Ogden, UT, home before the first winter storm hits.
Several Ways to Prevent an Ice Dam
One of the most effective methods of ice dam prevention is making sure your roof remains cold. Remember that it's the heat from your home escaping through the roof that causes the lowest part of the snow to melt. Reduce heat loss by filling gaps around light fixtures, filling in holes in the walls and ceilings, wrapping plumbing pipes, and repairing damage to chimneys, vents in the roof, and any leaks in the ceiling and roof.
In addition to preventing dams, you'll also save money on your monthly heating and cooling bills by reducing your energy usage.
Increase the efficiency of those tasks by upgrading the insulation in your attic. You should have between 12 and 14 inches of insulation, but some older homes have eight inches or less. While your focus is on the attic, consider adding ventilation to draw in cool air from outside and expel warm air. Reach out to roofing professionals or technicians with plenty of property damage cleanup and restoration experience.
Invest in an Underlayment or Heat Cable
Many areas of the country require an ice-and-water barrier as an underlayment. If your roof needs to be replaced or upgraded, adding this underlayment is an excellent investment against damage from water and other hazards. You could also install heat cables around the roof to melt snow where dams are likely to form. Make sure that gutters are free of debris, so there is a clear path for water to drain.
Clear Snow From the Roof
If you have a flat roof and a heavy load of snow, remove some of that weight from your roof. Heavy snow presents many risks in addition to an ice dam. It is dangerous to climb onto your roof and the danger increases as the shingles become slick with water, snow, and ice, so check your local home improvement store for an aluminum snow rake with an extendable pole. Start along the edges of the roof and focus on the overhangs. You don't need to clear the entire roof; dams are most likely to form on the edges and overhangs.
Don't panic if you find an ice dam on the roof of your home in Ogden, UT, you can hire professionals to safely remove the dam. Your quick response is the second-best way to prevent serious property damage. For the very best results, use these preventative steps.
Electronic Restoration Claims Make the Process Easier
For more information about Electronic Restoration Claims, just contact us.
Whether from flooding, developing mold or a brutal storm, if something happens to your Ogden, UT, business, you want to maximize your insurance claim. Unfortunately, that process may seem complicated and overwhelming when it requires commercial restorative services. Luckily, a service provider with an electronic claims management system that has a team of insurance industry experts is just a phone call away.
The Claims Process
Prior to contacting your insurance agent, it is helpful to understand how the claim process typically unfolds. After the call is made, you can expect the following steps to happen:
- An adjuster from your insurance provider will contact you to schedule a time for an inspection. This will be a detailed assessment of the damage caused by the specific event.
- The adjuster will recommend contacting a restoration company, which will send out a skilled assessor to also inspect the property. Along with assessing the damage, the representative will develop a detailed plan regarding the scope of the work needed.
- The insurance representative will confirm the scope of work required. If choosing the right restoration professional, you will have peace of mind that the two are following the same guideline. This makes it easier to come to a final agreement regarding the insurance claim.
During this initial process, it is also important to discuss other details related to the loss. If your business needs to temporarily locate or will see a loss in income, this may be covered depending on your unique insurance plan.
Why Choose SERVPRO?
While these steps seem easy, they may be more complicated if are working with a restoration firm that lacks insurance industry expertise or embraces technologies. A nationwide company with localized locations eases the process. From the beginning, the project manager will work closely with the adjuster to create an electronic, detailed, line-by-line list of all work that needs to be done. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and clearly understands the project. Throughout the process, this electronic claim is updated as the work progress and easily accessed by all interested parties. Other benefits include:
- A single point of contact who works with you and your insurance provider, eliminating confusion and ensuring clear, regular communication across the board.
- Since time is always of the essence, you can expect your restoration team to focus on restoring and not replacing, which is beneficial for both the property owner and the insurance company. The work will also be completed with the budget and timeline always in mind.
- As a one-stop shop, it means that coordinating additional contractors won’t be needed. All of the work will be a team of certified technicians, further increasing the pace of the work.
Insurance provides peace of mind that your business will be covered when the unexpected happens. While that may make things easier, the insurance claim can be complicated if you choose the wrong company to complete restorative services. Ensuring that the company is certified, has an electronic claims system and has a point person for the project are all indicators that the work will be done faster and on budget.
The Basics of Fire Extinguisher Use and Maintenance
Knowing The Basics of a Fire Extinguisher can save Lives in your Company.
A fire extinguisher on your commercial property in Ogden, UT, is a powerful tool to stop a fire before it gets out of control. This simple, relatively inexpensive device could prevent injuries and deaths, thousands of dollars in property damage and the possibility of a long and costly business interruption.
The device, however, is not of much use if it doesn't work when needed or if employees do not know how to properly use it. A solid understanding of fire extinguishers can be obtained with some basic knowledge.
The Different Types of Extinguishers
The National Fire Protection Association lists at least five different types of portable extinguishers based on the extinguishing agent inside the canister. Each device works better on certain types of fires. Anyone in your facility who might use an extinguishing device should understand the following information:
- Class A devices work better on fires fed by cloth, wood, paper and rubber
- Class B devices work on fires fed by combustible liquids such as oils and solvents
- Class C devices work on fires caused by energized electrical equipment
- Class D devices are used for fires fed by combustible metals
- Class K devices are used for fires caused by combustible oils and fats
Each device will have information on it indicating its class. Extinguishing agents vary from water to carbon dioxide to foams to dry chemicals. Each device has its pros and cons for use, storage, maintenance and cost.
The Process of Using a Fire Extinguisher
The start of a fire is a poor time for individuals to learn how to use an extinguisher. Your company should train employees ahead of time, as this will facilitate speed and safety. Almost all devices use the PASS method, which consists of four critical steps:
- Pull the pin out of the unit to activate it
- Aim the discharge nozzle at the base of the fire
- Squeeze the handle to discharge the extinguishing agent
- Sweep the nozzle along the base of the fire
When used properly, an extinguisher can be very effective at limiting fire damage. Afterward, your company will likely need the services of a professional fire restoration team from your area. Trained and certified technicians will come to your building and follow the proven principles of a fire cleanup. This will enable your business to move on quickly after a fire.
The Importance of Maintenance
Whether your company is concerned about a kitchen fire or an industrial fire, the extinguishers you have on-site should be maintained according to all applicable codes and standards. This involves such things as clearly identifying areas where extinguishers or located and doing the necessary checks to make sure the devices are not out of date. A good inspection includes looking at the date of manufacture, checking the date of the last hydro test, inspecting for signs of damage or corrosion and looking for cracks in the hose.
Your company will be better off with at least one fire extinguisher on the premises. You should also make sure several employees know how to use the device, and that the unit will be in good shape when it is needed.
5 Common Causes of Basement Floods
Know more about Basement Floods and Avoid Further Water Damage.
You may see a basement flood in your home and think it is no big deal. Over time, however, that standing water can cause major damage to your Ogden, UT, house. Mold and mildew could grow near the liquid, as well.
A flooded basement thus needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Your local SERVPRO franchise professionals can help with the restoration process. They are Faster to Any Size Disaster and will know how to salvage any damaged items.
Once the remediation is complete, you should take steps to prevent another flood from occurring. That means finding out exactly what caused the flood. Here are five common sources of basement floods and how to prevent them.
5 Common Causes of Flooded Basements
1. Poor Drainage Installation
When identifying the cause of your basement flood, check the location of the downspouts in your drainage system. They may drain toward your home or be placed within six feet of the basement. In either scenario, water from the downspouts could flow past the weeping tile and into the basement.
Have a plumber move the downspout so it empties into your backyard or street instead.
2. Improper Sealing
If your basement often floods during heavy rainstorms, the floors and walls of the room may not have been sealed properly. The seals need to be strong enough to withstand severe weather. A construction expert can help you strengthen the sealing if necessary.
3. Eavestrough Debris
When debris and leaves clog the eavestroughs, water could overflow from them and leak into the basement. Luckily, this problem is fairly simple to fix. Simply grab a ladder and clean the eavestroughs, or hire a professional to do it for you.
Sometimes, even unclogged eavestroughs overflow because they cannot handle the volume of rain that your area experiences. In this case, you need to replace your eavestroughs with bigger ones.
4. Clogged Manifold
Sometimes, basement floods occur for reasons beyond your control. For instance, your property could overflow with water if there is a clog in the manifold that links your house to the sewer system. Besides harming your basement, this could also damage the foundation of the home.
If you suspect that this issue is causing floods on your property, contact local authorities so they can address the problem.
5. Unsuitable Home Location
A home should be built on top of a sloped area so water can drain away from the property. If your house is experiencing numerous floods, it may be located at the bottom of the terrain. You do not necessary have to move, however. That is because the slope of a land typically becomes more level over time due to erosion.
While not every basement flood is preventable, you can take steps to reduce the chances of one of these disasters occurring. First, you need to understand what led to the flood in the first place. In some cases, you can lower your flood risk by making alternations to your home. Other times, you may need to implement more drastic changes. If you make adjustments and water damage still occurs, SERVPRO professionals can help with the cleanup.
How To Estimate Fire Damage
Make a good Fire Damage Estimate by Following These Steps.
When a fire breaks out in your commercial building in Ogden, UT one of your first calls will be to your insurance provider. You will also want to contact certified fire restoration experts so that you can get an estimate for the cost of cleanup.
The more thorough and accurate an assessment they can make, the easier it is for your insurance company to process. Here are some items you can expect to find on the list.
The first step after the assessment is making sure your property is secure. Fire may bust windows and leave gaping holes in the roof as well as the exterior walls of your building. Technicians use board-up services to prevent several potential problems:
- Animal Intrusion
Another security measure that some restoration teams offer is 24-hour security. This may be necessary if the board-up process is delayed by weather or another factor to ensure that your building is safe overnight.
Before the work on your building can begin, the technicians must remove all the items left inside. Office furniture, electronic equipment, furniture, textiles and documents must be relocated to assess whether they are salvageable. You want to make sure that the transfer process is included in the estimate so that you don't end up paying it out of pocket after your claim is filed.
Extraction and Removal
After a fire, there are two main problems that the cleanup team has to tackle. First, they must extract the standing water that is left over from the process of dousing the flames. They tear out all the saturated materials, such as drywall, flooring and ceiling tiles. Prompt removal of these items helps prevent secondary damage such as mold growth.
Then, of course, the parts of the structure that have fire damage must be removed. Burned joists and charred beams need to be taken out carefully so that the team can assess where temporary reinforcements need to be placed. This helps them save as much of the building as possible.
Soot and Smoke Cleanup
Another vital aspect of the commercial fire restoration process is getting rid of smoke, soot and the odor they leave behind. Mitigation experts use special chemicals and equipment to make sure they get into every crack and crevice to remove the grime left behind by the fire. This process is typically applied to even the parts of the building that weren't burned because smoke can easily travel beyond the affected area and leave damage in its wake.
After all surfaces are cleaned and dried, the reconstruction of your building can begin. Hiring a team that handles both remediation and restoration means that all the itemized costs can be contained in one report. This makes the claims process more efficient for both you and the insurance company.
Before you file a claim with your provider after a fire, make sure you have a comprehensive estimate of every task it will take to restore your building to its former glory. Including the whole process helps you get the money you need to get back to business more quickly.
How Does Water Affect Building Materials?
Prevent Water Damage by Following these Tips.
Discovering water damage in your Ogden, UT, home can be overwhelming. Sometimes it can even be more stressful than the disaster that initially led to the loss. Excess moisture can cause various types of deterioration; the structural makeup of the affected material is a huge factor in determining the extent of the damage. Some materials are much more absorbent than others.
Unfortunately, many materials used to build homes are quite porous. These materials include wood, drywall and insulation. Considerable damage can result from the intrusion of excess water from a flood, burst pipe, leaking roof or another catastrophe. What if this happens in your home?
6 Steps for Dealing With Water-Damaged Materials
Unfortunately, every second counts when it comes to water's effect on many materials. This means that it will probably be impossible to prevent some loss. Therefore, the focus will be on mitigating the deterioration. There are some basic steps to take to lessen the risk of significant damage after a water disaster.
1. Shut Off the Electricity
First, remember to shut off the electricity to the affected area. Even very shallow standing water can carry an electric current that can harm you on contact.
2. Extract Standing Water
It's essential to extract all excess water as quickly as possible. Typically, the best way to do this is to use a wet/dry vacuum. Unlike a regular vacuum or mop, a wet/dry vacuum also lets you safely and efficiently remove wet debris.
3. Remove Flooring Materials
Your flooring will probably not be salvageable if you've had standing water. Water-soaked wood floors can swell and buckle if they are left to sit. Carpeting and padding typically won't be salvageable if saturated because they are usually impossible to dry completely quickly enough to prevent damage. You will also need to inspect the subfloor, dry it, or replace it before reinstalling flooring.
4. Tear Out Wet Drywall and Insulation
Soaked drywall and insulation should be torn out and replaced. Drywall is very porous and can soak up water like a sponge. It can be extremely tough to dry entirely in time to prevent permanent water damage and mold growth. Wood cabinets can also swell with water and must be replaced.
5. Begin Drying the Affected Area and Contents
First, you will need to remove anything that isn't salvageable to eliminate as much excess moisture as possible. Mold can begin growing within 24 hours, so it's essential to use multiple drying techniques. There are several ways to dry the area and contents: fans, heaters, dehumidifiers. You can also open doors and windows to allow fresh air to flow through, as long as the humidity outdoors is lower than indoors.
6. Call the Professionals
You will need to hire flood damage restoration professionals to thoroughly inspect the area and clean and sanitize it. After the plumbing repair, the remediation experts will ensure that everything is completely dry and free of mold growth. Ultimately, they will return the site to its pre-flood condition and perform a final inspection.
Floodwaters from a disaster, such as a supply line leak, can begin showing water damage immediately. Knowing the steps to take after a flood is vital to your family's safety and your home's security.
IICRC Certification: What It Means to You
IICRC certified cleanup and restoration companies will the best option when suffering property damages in Ogden, UT.
Property damages are nearly always frustrating to Ogden, UT, homeowners because the damages affect both home and work life. In a rush to get things corrected, sometimes homeowners rush into contracts with unreputable cleanup and repair businesses. Fortunately, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (generally referred to as the IICRC,) provides training and certification to professionals, so homeowners can recognize trustworthy restoration companies.
What Does the Institute Offer?
When you find a cleanup and mitigation company with IICRC certification, you can be sure of a few important facts:
- The restoration company and its individual employees have completed classes, trainings, and standardized exams.
- Technicians and related professionals continue to complete coursework to maintain certificates.
- Companies abide by standards established by the Institute.
The contractor trainings and exams are offered consistently throughout the year, so professionals can update their credentials. Continuing education opportunities are an important aspect of providing modern services to keep homeowners, their families, and their property in safe conditions.
What Types of Classes Are Available?
Some of the classes offered by the certification institute include a mitigation certificate and water damage restoration training that includes education concerning basic containment, mold mitigation procedures, and techniques for drying a variety of structures. A mold certification course may cover the basics of identification or how to test for and abate mold growth.
Why Hire Institute Certified Professionals?
You may have a Ogden, UT, neighbor or two who are pretty familiar with construction techniques and general home upkeep. When you really need to know that the work to your home is done correctly, however, it's best to find a cleanup and reconstruction company that is IICRC certified.
You'll experience a lot of peace of mind knowing that there aren't hidden pockets of mold growth or structural elements of your home that have been compromised.
Working with trained professionals who hold a mitigation certificate gives you confidence that you've done everything you can to keep your family safe and healthy.
Ensure Mold Doesn’t Spread With Professional Mold Remediation
Prevent Mold Spread and Avoid Mold Damage by Following These Tips.
If you come across black mold in your Ogden, UT home, it’s one problem that needs to be addressed immediately. While the first thought might be to grab some bleach and start scrubbing, this makes the problem worse and often leads to a reoccurring problem. It’s ideal to consult with a professional mold damage restoration company before tackling a mold problem to ensure it is taken care of properly.
A Pesky, Lurking Fungus
Mold spores are everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Luckily, they require the right conditions to come out of their dormant stage and begin to spread. Unfortunately, a home is an ideal place to find that perfect environment. These spores, which are not visible to the naked eye, need the right temperature, moisture and food, which is any organic material.
Once spores have that perfect environment, they quickly begin a never-ending cycle. That means new spores are forming and becoming airborne to find another location in the home to start the process again. Unfortunately, this may be happening without any physical signs. Below are common reasons for mold to grow:
- Consistently high humidity
- Leaky pipes
- Damaged roof
- Condensation buildup
- Improper ventilation
- Damp or wet clothing
- Damp basements or foundation
The Benefits of Mold Remediation
Once a home has black mold, proper mold cleanup is vital to ensure the problem doesn’t persist. If that happens, it creates poor indoor air quality and may turn into a more expensive problem.
A hidden issue, such as behind walls or underneath the flooring, will eventually start to affect the home’s structure. Ensuring that doesn’t happen requires expertise, innovative methods and industrial equipment. A mold professional has everything needed to get your home free of mold. The remediation process typically involves the below steps.
An inspector will perform a visual inspection, as well as take surface samples for testing and conduct air quality tests. Once the extent of the issue is determined, a remediation plan will be created.
Ventilation and Containment:
The affected area will be properly sealed off to ensure that the spores don’t spread. Air scrubbers and other air filtration devices will also be used to capture the spores, further helping to keep them only in the infected area.
This step involves the laborious work of cleaning and disinfecting. A professional will have a multitude of tools and industrial-grade cleaners to properly eradicate the problem. Once this task is finished, a solution will be applied to deter future mold growth.
Repair Source and Damage:
Whether the issue is a hole in the roof or an improperly sealed basement, the source of the problem will be fixed. Any other damage caused by the mold will also be repaired or replaced. In many cases, this will require tearing out carpet and drywall.
Once black mold is discovered, it's not a simple case of wiping it away and moving on. This pesky fungus continues to grow and spread to other areas of the home where the conditions are ideal. To avoid a small problem turning into a big one, it's best to trust the cleanup to a professional.
5 Important Smoke Alarm Questions
Learn How to Use your Smoke Alarms by following these Tips.
While you may not spend much time thinking about it, a smoke alarm or detector is an important part of your Ogden, UT, home. This small device can help keep you and your family safe and can alert you to a fire before it causes devastating damage. The following questions can help you get the most from your alarms.
Important Smoke Alarm Questions to Consider
1. What Kind of Smoke Alarm Should You Have?
Not all devices operate in the same way. When buying a new smoke detector, you will usually have two options. Photoelectric and ionization alarms are better at detecting smoldering and flaming fires respectively. Because of this, it is a good idea to have both types in your home.
You may also be able to find devices that use a combination of both technologies to ensure it has the best chance of alerting you to a fire.
2. How Many Alarms Do You Need?
A fire could start in any area of your house. There are many potential causes, including backed-up dryer lint, an unattended candle or a kitchen accident. Having alarms in several places makes it more likely that you will be alerted to a fire quickly, reducing the amount of fire damage restoration needed. There are some basic rules that you can use to determine where to put them.
There should be at least one detector on each floor, including basements and attics, in each bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
3. How Often Do Alarms Need To Be Tested?
While smoke detectors are designed to last a while, it is important to test them regularly to ensure they are still working as intended and that the battery is still functioning. You should do this at least once a month.
4. What Should You Do If the Alarm is Beeping?
It can be easy to think of a beeping alarm as an annoyance, but don’t ignore it. Beeping can indicate that there is a problem with the device that could reduce its effectiveness. A common reason for beeping is that the batteries are low. If this is the case, replacing the batteries should stop the noise.
The alarm may also go off if it needs to be cleaned or if there is an issue with the wires or other internal parts.
5. How Often Should You Change the Batteries?
How often an alarm needs to have its batteries changed depends on what kind it uses. If you have a device that uses a 9-volt battery or AA batteries, these should be changed at least every six months. Backup batteries in hardwired systems that use your home’s electricity should also be replaced twice a year. However, many newer alarms use lithium batteries that don’t need to be changed at all and will last for the life of the device.
Because they play such a big role in keeping your family safe during a fire, each smoke alarm in your house should be well-maintained, and there should be a sufficient number of them in the home. Test them regularly and change the batteries as needed to ensure that these important devices are working properly in case of an emergency.
Why Your Business Needs Flood Insurance
Learn More about Flood Insurance by Following These Tips and Avoid Storm Damage in your Ogden, UT Commerce.
While many business owners may be aware that they need insurance in general, they may not understand exactly why flood insurance is important. The reality is that it can protect your business in ways you might not expect, even if you don't live in a flood zone.
If you are wondering what the benefits of this kind of insurance are, here are some things to consider.
Important Tips to Consider as regards Flood Insurance
1. It Can Help Save You Money
One of the primary benefits of getting flood insurance is that it can help save you money. If your business floods, the repairs can be costly and more extensive than they might seem right off the bat. Even though some may think that they could repair flooding damage on their own, the reality is that it can be complex to manage and that water damage professionals are often much better equipped to deal with it.
Having the right coverage can prevent you from having to cover the costs of repairs on your own. Not only that, but it can also protect you from potentially having to shut down your business altogether because of a loss of revenue. With insurance that covers flooding in Ogden, UT, you can help ensure that you are looking out for your business and protecting it from taking a hit due to unexpected costs.
2. It Can Reduce Closure Time
Another benefit of making sure that you are properly insured and have the kind of commercial insurance that you need is that it can help reduce closure time overall. When you are able to have all damage repaired quickly because you are well-covered, it can translate to less time closed, and less time being out of operation. Not only that, but you will also be better enabled to protect all of your assets and business equipment. This means that your revenue won't have to take a hit and that you won't have to slow down your business due to damage or other losses like you might if you weren't fully covered.
3. It Can Protect You From the Unexpected
Some may think that they don't need this type of insurance because they don't live in an area that is prone to flooding often. However, even if you live in an area that isn't known for flooding, it can still be possible to sustain flooding damage. Unexpected natural disasters can occur in a variety of locations and climates. Not only that, but flooding within your building can also occur due to plumbing issues. A leak or a busted pipe could easily cause flooding within your building. This is a risk that those with older buildings are particularly susceptible to, and need to be aware of.
To ensure that you are taking proper care of your business, you need to prepare for the unexpected. For many, this means making sure that you have flood insurance in addition to other forms of coverage. Taking this extra step for your company can not only help you save money, but it can also help maintain your business's stability, as well.