Don’t Let a Broken Pipe Burst Your Bubble
Kitchen flood after a pipe burst in a Knoxville,TN residence
When a pipe breaks in your home, you often find yourself dealing with a huge mess. Bursting pipes involve so much more than the break itself; you also have damage from the expulsion of water to contend with in the aftermath. Instead of panicking, however, just take a deep breath and follow these tips to take control of the situation.
Put Safety First
Before anyone can fix the broken pipe or begin the clean-up process, you need to take a few steps to keep everyone safe up until help arrives and while repairs are underway.
- Turn off electrical breakers that may be impacted by the escaping water.
- Shut off the main water valve to keep any damage from worsening.
- Relieve pressure that may still be in the pipes by turning on a faucet.
Failing to address these safety concerns could result in electrocution or more excessive flooding and damage to your belongings. You have to act quickly and decisively to protect yourself and your home before you can move forward with repairs.
Assess the Damage
Depending on the amount of liquid released by the bursting pipes, you can use towels to begin mopping up any standing water on surfaces. Remove your furniture and other belongings from the affected area to prevent further deterioration. Understand that visible wetness is only on the surface. It’s more than probable that you’ll be dealing with harm done by water that has seeped down into walls and flooring, as well.
Fix the Problem
A Knoxville,TN, professional restoration service can best assist you with ensuring that all water damage caused by the break and any lingering moisture is found and repaired appropriately. It’s imperative to get them in quickly to avoid mold growth or secondary damage to your home’s structure. Once the immediate risk to your house is mitigated, you can focus on the logistics of taking care of the original leak source. Bursting pipes can be daunting, but you don’t have to face the recovery alone.
How To Mitigate Fire and Water Damage
Fire damage in Farragut,TN
Firefighters rely on hoses that are capable of dispensing between 300 to 800 gallons of water per minute or more, depending on the hydrant and fire hose. As a result, fire suppression efforts often lead to a combination of extensive fire and water damage in homes in Farragut, TN. Specialized mitigation and restoration methods are necessary to prevent the primary fire damage from becoming rapidly compounded and exacerbated by water. A company that specializes in both types of damage should pursue these three measures to mitigate damage.
1. Remove Water
The water used to put out a fire starts as clean, treated Category One water. Exposure to ash, soot, and smoke quickly degrades this water to Category Three flood water. A mitigation service will start by pumping out the water used for fire suppression.
2. Replace Materials
When no standing water remains, restoration experts can determine which building materials are capable of being cleaned or repaired and which need to be replaced. They will have to assess materials damaged by fire, water, or a combination of these two factors. This process will take longer than restoring either type of damage alone, as water can rapidly intensify the staining that results from fire damage.
3. Prevent Damage
In addition to concerns about structural integrity and air quality, water damage also introduces the risk of mold growth. A service specializing in both types of damage can take measures to ensure that no rebuilding occurs until the location is clean and completely dry, which can lower the likelihood that mold will develop.
If your home has been exposed to damage from both fire and water, rely on skilled restoration professionals with the experience and equipment to address all of the factors involved. Act quickly to notify your insurance provider and contact a water and fire damage restoration service in Farragut, TN.
Keeping Wind Damage in Check
Cover your roof with a tarp to help control water damage in your Bearden,TN building
When the weather turns ugly in Bearden, TN, homes aren’t the only structures are risk. Business owners know they must take steps to protect their companies. While preventing a roof leak is a good strategy for protecting inventory and equipment, you can’t afford to ignore the risks of high winds. Here are four ways to protect your business from them.
1. Reinforce Garage-Style Doors
Garage-style doors often do not fare wear during inclement weather. These doors are usually large and flimsy. If your business has one, you should think about reinforcing it. Lumber or metal rods can increase the chances that your company’s garage doors will ride out the storm without damage. Moreover, if you are expecting heavy rains, you should ensure all doors are securely closed before evacuating ahead of a storm.
2. Clear Trees and Other Debris
Damage to roofing systems can cause a roof leak. If you can keep trees and other debris from crashing through your business’s roof, you are ahead of the game. Consider trimming overhanging branches and removing landscaping waste a few times each year.
3. Anchor Projectiles
Before severe weather hits, you should consider walking around the outside of your business. Pay special attention to possible projectiles. If you see anything that may fly freely through the air during a storm, you should anchor it. Moving hazards inside or using tie-down straps is often an effective approach.
4. Use Tarps and Plywood
Water damage can destroy the inside of your business. If you have a damaged roof or missing shingles after a wind storm, tarps and plywood can help control water damage. Use these until you have time to schedule a total roof repair.
If you have a roof leak or other storm damage, a reputable restoration service can likely help you return your business to its pre-storm condition. Still, with a bit of effort, you can keep wind damage in check.
How Long Does Water Damage Cleanup Take?
Harwood damage in a Deane Hill,TN home
Water damage cleanup can take anywhere from two to 10 days. You should account for the type of building materials and source of water, such as bursting pipes, leaks, or flooding. The extent and duration of the damage may also prolong the cleanup process.
The Building Materials
Certain building materials require special consideration. Hardwood floors, in particular, can prolong the duration of cleanup when there are several factors involved:
- Water permeating the polyurethane coating
- Damaged planks
- Sanding, scraping, or retrofitting of solid hardwood
- Wet plywood subfloor
- Moist concrete under the subfloor
Hardwood flooring should be dry all the way down to the concrete prior to restoration. Other building materials must also be completely dry before being repaired or replaced.
The Type of Water Damage
The source of the water that has caused the damage can add steps to the cleanup process.
- Category One water from bursting pipes is clean and only needs to be dried.
- Category Two gray water should be dried and disinfected.
- Category Three black water requires removal of solid waste, drying, and disinfection.
Once you fix the broken pipe or the other source of damage, call a restoration service.
The Extent of the Damage
Extensive damage due to flooding will probably take longer to restore than a smaller area affected by a backup, broken pipe, or leak. Account for the square footage exposed to water when estimating the length of the restoration process.
The Duration of the Damage
The longer building materials have been exposed to water, the more extensive the restoration process. Standing water that goes unnoticed for hours or days can lead to more severe secondary damage.
Regardless of the conditions in your home in Deane Hill, TN, you can count on the expertise and equipment of restoration professionals. Call a plumber to fix bursting pipes and hire a residential restoration company to eliminate water and mitigate secondary damage.
What To Do Before Help Arrives
A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems.
Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough
professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your local SERVPRO® of West Knoxville and Farragut arrive. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.
Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® of West Knoxville and Farragut
Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.
If the ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans.
Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set
in smoke odor.
How to Restore Damage When a Toilet Floods Two Floors
Water damage on toilet in Farragut, TN
When a toilet floods in a commercial property, the resulting water damage may affect more than one floor. If water works its way down through building materials, it can lead to significant sewer damage that requires restoration. There are five steps you should take to clean up the damage and restore your property to sanitary condition.
1. Clear the Clog or Backup
Depending on whether the toilet is flooding due to a clog caused by inappropriate materials being flushed or a backed up sewer line, you may need to contact a plumber or sewage company. Until the problem is fixed, the leak may continue or become worse.
2. Remove Standing Water
Limit the severity of the leak between floors by eliminating all standing water near the flooded toilet. You will still need to determine the extent of the damage to building materials such as floors and ceilings.
3. Consult Restoration Specialists
Commercial water and sewer damage restoration experts can help you determine which materials will need to be replaced. These experts can also help with cleanup and remediation.
4. Clean and Disinfect the Area
Toilets that flood tend to lead to a leak of Category Two or Category Three water. Category Two water or gray water may contain bacteria or chemicals but does not contain solid waste. Category Three or black water contains solid waste. Either type of leak calls for thorough cleaning and disinfection.
5. Dry the Affected Area
Take measures to dry the area affected by sewage damage as quickly as possible. This can help to prevent mold and other secondary damage from starting to develop.
When you experience sewer damage in a commercial property in Farragut, TN, rely on the skills of professional plumbers and restoration experts. These specialists can resolve the problem quickly and completely, enabling the tenants of the building to get back to business.
4 Reasons You Should Avoid Driving Through Flooded Streets
SERVPRO trailer ready for any storm damage in Farragut, TN
A significant downpour in Farragut, TN, can backup drainage systems and cause waterways to overflow, resulting in flash floods. Traversing a flooded street can be extremely treacherous and should be avoided, if possible, for several reasons.
1. Water Depth
It’s easy to underestimate the depth of standing water. High water levels could stall your engine, eliminating your ability to control your vehicle. Attempting to restart a stalled vehicle could also result in significant engine damage.
2. Washed Out Road
Flood waters can also wash away roadways, removing the surface for your tires to grip. Without grip, you will have no control over your vehicle and will be at the mercy of water currents.
3. Fast-Flowing Water
If you drive into fast-flowing water, your vehicle could be easily swept away, endangering the welfare of yourself, your passengers and the emergency personnel dispatched to rescue you.
4. Dangerous Debris
Swift water currents can also carry large debris. If you enter a flooded street, your vehicle could be struck by floating debris. This could result in serious injuries or significant damage that could impede your ability to escape from the vehicle.
Additional Safety Tips
Avoiding flooded roads is the best course of action. However, if you are not able to find an alternate route, take extreme caution and follow these safety tips:
- Drive slowly but steadily through the water
- Try to drive in the middle of the roadway where the water may be shallower
- Avoid driving through areas with downed power lines
- If your vehicle gets washed off the road, abandon it for higher ground
A Dangerous Situation
Floods are dangerous, can cause significant destruction and often require extensive cleanup and restoration efforts. Most travel tips advise avoiding flooded streets because navigating flooded roadways can damage your vehicle’s engine and potentially endanger the lives of everyone inside the vehicle. If you cannot find an alternative route, drive cautiously and be prepared to abandon the vehicle if it becomes trapped in high water.
How To Control Mold Growth in Your Home
Bathroom covered with mold in a Knoxville, TN home
Mold thrives in moist environments. While many homeowners in Knoxville, TN, may not worry about it, certain conditions inside your home may make it more susceptible to mold growth. To minimize the risk, you should address leaking pipes, water damage and existing moisture points quickly and efficiently.
After a Flood
If your home sustains water damage from a flood or burst pipe, you must quickly remove saturated items and dry the affected area to prevent mold growth. Use a shop vac to soak up water and open windows to increase air flow. You can also use fans and a dehumidifier to expediate the process. For additional protection, mix once cup of bleach with one gallon of water and spray the mixture on hard surfaces in the affected area.
Be sure to thoroughly assess your carpets and drywall. If your drywall is wet, water may seep through to the insulation. When wet, both materials can harbor mold, so you will need to replace them. As an additional safeguard, you may wish to install mold-resistant drywall. However, you must ensure that the area is free of moisture before completing this repair.
Quickly repairing even small water leaks is an important mold-prevention strategy. To further reduce your home’s mold risk, follow these tips:
- Dry soaked materials within 24 - 48 hours
- Inspect caulking around sinks and tubs and replace if cracked or deteriorating
- Clean and repair gutters
- Direct water away from your home’s foundation
- Improve air circulation inside your home
High humidity can also expediate mold growth. One telltale sign of high humidity is condensation. If you notice condensation on widows or sills, you should apply weather stripping or a plastic film to reduce cold drafts. Increasing ventilation and using a dehumidifier can also help reduce the humidity level inside your home.
Mold prevention often requires a proactive approach. However, a flood or burst pipe can happen unexpectedly, creating significant water damage. To reduce your risk of mold under these circumstances, you may wish to consult a professional cleanup and restoration team equipped to handle a variety of situations, including mold remediation.
SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH PREPARE NOW
This year for National Preparedness Month, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. “Disasters happen” and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods but entire communities. Learn how to be prepared.
Make and Practice Your Plan
Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with your family before, during and after an incident? Do you have an emergency supply kit?
Make sure your family is informed and practiced in your emergency plan. Be sure to sign up for alerts and warnings for your area, and download other necessary apps to stay informed, such as the FEMA app.
Learn Life Saving Skills
Do you or someone in your family know CPR? Could you turn off your natural gas if necessary? Do you know how to take cover in an earthquake? Knowing these life-saving skills could mean life or death in an emergency situation for you, your family or your neighbors.
Check your Insurance Coverage
Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster? Evaluate which hazards are relevant to your area and obtain the appropriate insurance for your home, business, or other property and become familiar with your coverage.
Save for an Emergency
Are you prepared financially in case of a disaster? Does your family have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses after a flood or fire? Check out FEMA’s Emergency Financial First Aid Kit for an in-depth document to help you identify and compile important documents and account information all in one spot. Just search “EFFAK” on fema.gov for the free PDF. Whether its flood, wildfire or extreme winter weather, we must work together as a team to help ensure our families, businesses, places of worship and neighborhoods are prepared. Contact your local SERVPRO® of West Knoxville to find out how they can help make it “Like it never even happened” if disaster strikes in your life.
National Day of Service and Remembrance SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
In honor and memory of those who died on September 11, 2001, as well as the survivors and First Responders, National Day of Service and Remembrance was established in 2009 as a day of reflection. Led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, this is a day to come together as Americans did following the events of 9/11 to help neighbors in need and to honor veterans and First Responders in your community.
On this day and every day, SERVPRO® salutes those heroes who arrive in the greatest times of need and stand strong in the face of disaster. These heroes are the First Responders who keep our communities safe in trying times.
Give back and make a difference in your community this year. To find a volunteer opportunity near you, or to register your National Day of Service and Remembrance event, visit nationalservice.gov/911day