Frozen Pipes Can Equal BIG bucks!
Frozen pipes can cause big bucks
South Louisiana is about to experience the colder temps of the year! When cold temperatures happen that can cause pipes to freeze. Frozen Pipes can result in costly repairs to you as a home or business owner. The good news is there are ways to prevent pipes from freezing. Here are some tips for this winter. Frozen pipes are a problem by themselves because they prevent water flow, but even worse, frozen pipes can eventually burst, causing damage and potential flooding. There are ways to protect your pipes from freezing. These include:
- Keeping your house warm - If you are leaving for a period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on at your property. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions. The heat doesn’t have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it if you were home but keeping it set above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at all times is a good idea. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.
- Opening faucets - When temps hit the freezing level it is a good idea to allow faucets to drip. Allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure in the pipe. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. With the faucet open you avoid blockage in the pipes.
- Insulation is key - Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.
Great flooding statistics to keep in mind
Flooded business in Baton Rouge Louisiana
According to the National Weather Service (NOAA). "Approximately 75% of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding." NOAA lists that the most common flood hazards in the United States are:
- Flash Flooding
- River Flooding
- Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
- Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
- Ice/Debris Jams
- Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
- Dam Breaks/Levee Failure
Unfortunately, even people who do not live in areas that are prone to flooding may become flood victims at some point. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the US, and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).
Here in Baton Rouge, LA, flooding events are unfortunately common, especially during this time of year. The combination of tropical systems, clay heavy soil (slow to absorb water), and a tendency for severe storms (high amount of rainfall in a small-time frame) provides the perfect recipe for flash floods. Flood insurance is a must for most people throughout our metroplex, particularly those that are close to any creeks or rivers. Follow these flood safety tips to keep you and your family safe during a flooding event.
When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge professionals can help! We can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get your home or business back to normal as soon as possible.
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge professionals are ready to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Protect you business from fires
Popular Baton Rouge restaurant
Most south Louisiana businesses spend a lot of money and time towards many safety topics to help protect the work place. You can preach electrical fire safety at your place of business in Baton Rouge, LA. And practice all you want, but accidents do happen. When an electrical fire first ignites it can start small enough that you can extinguish with a blanket and maybe a fire extinguisher. Be prepared and quick to determine if the fire you are dealing with is able to be put out quickly without risk of injury or damage. Remember that the safety of everyone in the business or dwelling always comes first. If the fire is spreading quickly it can produces dangerous amounts of smoke. Smoke damage can be just as harmful as the fire itself. It can cause deaths, as well as, damage to the business. Smoke inhalation kills more people in home fires than the actual fires do, in most cases. Fire fighters say that if you can not extinguish a fire with in five seconds, call 911 and get out of the work place immediately. Be sure to have an updated evacuation place in place for all employees to follow. After the fire is put out and everyone is accounted for and safe, you can always count on your friendly neighborhood experts at SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge to help you put your life back together.
Emergency Ready Profile for your business
Baton Rouge business post water loss
As many as 50% of Baton Rouge, LA businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
Being prepared for sewer backup in your business
Post sewer backup
When your business in Baton Rouge, LA, experiences damage from a flooded toilet or sewer backup, the sewer cleanup process is a little more intricate than just wiping everything down with disinfectant towelettes. You need to make sure everyone is safe and then call in the SERVPRO professionals. Restoration specialists can dry the area, clean it, and test it to ensure that all harmful microbes and bacteria are gone. Here is what you can expect from this process.
1. Identifying and Repairing Source of Problem
The first thing technicians will probably do is stop any ongoing issues so that the mess does not get larger. Once the flooded toilet has been unclogged or the lines cleared, sewer cleanup can begin.
2. Removing Water and Sewage
The bulk of the water must be removed before anything can be cleaned. Professionals use the proper equipment to remove the water and dispose of it properly.
3. Identifying Salvageable vs. Contaminated Items
After most of the contaminated water is gone, individual items are evaluated. Some may be able to be cleaned and saved, but others will have to be bagged and thrown away. Before discarding any items, make sure you take photos to prove the loss to the insurance adjuster who decides how much your policy covers.
4. Drying and Cleaning
Next, the technicians will finish drying the building with water extraction equipment. They may have to remove parts of the wall or any insulation that was affected by the contaminated water and replace it with clean drywall. Anything that remains must be disinfected with chemicals that have been specially formulated to combat the contaminants in the sewage.
The final step is vital for making sure that the effort from previous steps was effective. Technicians test for contaminants and hopefully declare your building safe.
Once everything has been cleaned and tested, items can be moved back into place. The completion of the sewer cleanup process means you are back in business.
Protect your home from electrical fires
Home electrical fire
Electrical fires cause millions of dollars in damages, while also claiming lives in the process. There are so many possible causes for these types of fires. One of these causes can be faulty wiring through out the house, and overloading connection for more than they were designed for. Improper use of extension cords and power strips can cause a situation. Even something as simple as small animals chewing through wiring in the wall can cause a fire.
You can prevent electrical fires in your Baton Rouge, LA home by following a few safety tips. When purchasing a used heating appliance, make sure the temperature switch will shut down the equipment if the thermostat fails. When doing duct work, make sure you use a licensed professional. Anywhere there is an electric current, there is a chance of a fire. By the time you see or smell smoke, the electrical fire may already be out of control. SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge wants you to stay safe and take action immediately to repair and replace faulty wiring in your home to reduce the risk of an unwarranted situation. Know the signs before the fire even starts.
The most common causes of home fires
Home fire in Baton Rouge La
Fires contribute to millions of dollars’ worth of property damage each year in South Louisiana. Knowing the most common causes of household fires can help your family better prevent these types of damages in your home. According to the NFPA, the leading causes of fires in homes from 2010-2014 were:
- Cooking Equipment - 46% of all fires
- Heating Equipment - 16%
- Electrical Equipment - 9%
- Intentional - 8%
- Smoking Materials - 5%
Almost half of all home fires result from cooking. While that number is concerning, many cooking fires can be prevented through general awareness and by following proper procedures. This is particularly important with the holidays coming up. Here are some tips to help you prevent a fire damage from occurring in your kitchen:
- Never leave your cooking food unattended, especially if you are broiling, frying, or grilling. Use a timer to remind you when you are using a stove or an oven.
- Avoid leaving anything flammable – such as oven mitts, plastic bags, paper towels, or pot holders - close to your stove or oven. You should also not cook when you are wearing loose clothing.
- Install a fire alarm close to your kitchen, and be sure to test it each month.
- Avoid a flammable grease buildup by cleaning regularly, particularly in the oven and on the stove.
- Turn off all cooking appliances when you are not using them, and double check the kitchen prior to going to bed to make sure everything is off.
- To be prepared for any cooking related fires, buy a Class K fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen.
Call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge for additional information.
Stop the spread of mold
Mold found in a Baton Rouge home
Finding mold growth in your Baton Rouge, LA, home can be an unpleasant surprise. Whether a leaking pipe or water line caused mold to grow or your home recently suffered flooding that allowed fungi to thrive, you now face the challenge of eradicating it. However, to prevent the spread of mold contamination, there are a few steps you can take before a qualified fungus removal and restoration service comes in to treat your home.
1. Avoid Touching the Mold
If you find patches of mold in your home, it is wise to avoid touching them. This can release fungi spores into the air and allow them to settle elsewhere, where they may colonize and grow anew. They may also travel to other parts of your home on your clothing once they break away from their food source, so you may want to close off the room or rooms where mold contamination is present until help arrives.
2. Turn Off Your Air Conditioner
Once you discover you have a mold problem, you may want to shut off your air conditioner. While your HVAC system can be helpful in lowering humidity levels in your home to prevent mold growth, it typically has no effect on growths already present. Turing off your air conditioner can help slow the spread of spores, which travel easily through vents and air ducts.
3. Leave Moldy Items Where They Are
If any clothing, books or furniture in your home have been affected by mold, it is wise to leave them as they are until remediation and restoration technicians arrive. These SERVPRO professionals can advise you on what can be salvaged and give you tips for how to preserve your belongings until they can be treated and cleaned properly.
Preventing mold contamination in your Baton Rouge, LA, home once you discover an infestation can be challenging. However, when you know which steps to take to reduce the spreading of fungi spores, it may be simpler for cleanup technicians to treat and destroy existing mold.
Mold facts 101
Moldy bathroom floor in Baton Rouge
Mold is the name given to over 100,000 filament filled fungi commonly found on organic materials. Fungus spoils food, clears rotting forests, and adds life to the soil in Baton Rouge, LA. Ranging in a variety of colors, including black mold, the colonies all look for food and moisture to survive; however, if moisture is unavailable, the spores can dry out and go into a survival mode that allows them to live until an available source of water appears. Then the spores begin to act like seeds as they are blown around to find a food source and create a new colony. That is why hundreds of spores are found everywhere, both indoors and outdoors.
As one of the earth’s most important outdoor recyclers, the fungi are constantly looking for more food and water as they send out thousands of spores. Because the spores are always on the move, some colonies of mold occasionally find their way indoors. Normally, mold won’t find a home indoors unless the building has a moisture problem or a high level of humidity. Dark colors of green and black mold` are especially fond of damp bathroom and basement walls.
Preventing mold growth is a matter of controlling moisture and condensation indoors. Although this sounds like an easy step, keeping areas dry that are susceptible to high humidity levels can be extremely difficult. Poorly insulated windows or cold-water pipes can be a problem, as can crawl spaces and damp basements. Since warm air contains more moisture than cold air, warm humid conditions can be an open invitation to fungi growth.
If extensive mold colonies are in your building, you may want to contact a professional mold remediation and evaluation team to remove the growth. By addressing the mold cleanup, removing the moisture, and rectifying ventilation issues, the team can provide an area free from microbial fungi and black mold. Most types of fungus have a voracious appetite and can quickly continue to spread if left unchecked.
Saving your personal belongings post-flood
Flooded South Louisiana home
Cleanup after a flood is different than any other type of cleaning. If your home has been hit by a storm, hurricane, or levy break, you know it can be a nightmare. Sifting through personal possessions soaked in filthy black water can be difficult, and while the items may be filled with memories, they can also now carry contaminants. Once content cleaning begins, it can be difficult to know what can be saved and what needs to be discarded. Here are a few simple rules for cleaning up after a deluge.
1. If an item can soak up water, think of it like a sponge filled with potential toxins. This includes clothing, bedding, carpets, and couches.
2. Nonporous surfaces can often be cleaned with a disinfectant. Special care should be taken to remove any possibility of mold or mildew growth.
3. If two surfaces touch on a nonporous item, the possibility of mold or mildew rises astronomically. Think oil paintings in frames, handles on metal cabinets, and plastic drawer bins.
4. Textiles can often be salvaged if they can be washed and dried within 48 hours. There are exceptions to fabric content cleaning, however. It is not recommended that wool, leather, and silk items be washed. Often, wool can shrink, leather may crack or lose its shape, and silk can become brittle after being in a dryer.
5. If you have access to a working bathtub immediately after a flood, you can often save nonporous objects. Soak small items of metal, plastic, or other manufactured materials in a disinfecting solution until you have time to deal with them.
6. Freeze damaged heirloom books, framed pictures, or important papers in plastic bags. This may allow more time to contemplate conservation efforts such as photocopying.
Consider contacting a flood restoration specialist team in Baton Rouge, LA, to help with content cleaning and item removal after a saturating water disaster. Knowledgeable experts can provide drying and dehumidifying equipment and bring in a workforce to assist with cleanup efforts.