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Common Reasons Your Toilet Leaks When You Flush

5/20/2022 (Permalink)

Bottom of a toilet seeping water Toilet leaking in Gardere, LA.

The Most Common Causes of Toilet Leaks When You Flush

Toilets are a common source of household floods in Gardere, LA. Understanding what causes a leaking toilet can prevent water damage and help you decide if you need to replace your unit. These common culprits are responsible for leaks every time you flush.

Damaged Tank Flange
The flange pipe passes through the floor, secures the toilet, carries waste to the sewer and seals in odors. A rocking toilet and leaks upon flushing are indications of flange problem with symptoms, including:

  • A soft floor near the toilet's base
  • Water spots on the ceiling beneath the toilet
  • Uneven flooring beneath the toilet

Damaged Flapper
The flapper is a rubber or plastic part that rests over the flush valve. It helps keep water inside the tank and lifts it to release it into the bowl upon flushing. Flapper damage causes water to continue flowing into the bowl after flushing and may cause flooding.

Dry Wax Ring
The wax seal between the toilet and the drain pipe requires replacement when it dries out, contracts and allows water to seep out during flushing. Signs of a leaking toilet due to an ineffective wax ring are an accumulation of water at the toilet's base and water stains on the ceiling below it.

Cracks in the Bowl
Trauma and excessive use can cause a toilet's porcelain to crack and leak with every flush. Cracks inside the bowl can cause a damaging bathroom leak. Therefore, replacement of the entire toilet is usually necessary.

Loose Tank
A loose connection between the tank and base of two-part toilets can cause a leak upon flushing. Tightening the bolts that attach these parts or replacing the rubber seal between them usually fixes the problem.

Improper Installation Can Also Cause a Leaking Toilet
Floods and leaks due to appliance and fixture installation errors are common causes of household water damage that emergency flood services address. Therefore, it is essential to carefully execute each step of the toilet installation process.
If you suspect a leak at your home in Gardere, LA, addressing it quickly can prevent water damage throughout your home.

4 Structural Components Prone to Moisture Problems

4/23/2022 (Permalink)

Corner of a wall next to door hinge with mold growth Black mold growth in Baton Rouge, LA.

Four Moisture-Prone Structural Components

Property owners in Baton Rouge, LA, know a big storm will happen before too long. Ensuring the property is sealed and protected against rain damage is essential to avoiding black mold growing, water losses and potentially expensive repairs. While a certified water damage and restoration company will be able to get your property back to "Like it never even happened," taking preventive measures may minimize the chances of damage happening. To do that, the building envelope—structural components that separate the interior and exterior—must be maintained.

1. Roof

The roof is the main structural component protecting your property. Regular maintenance and annual inspections by a professional are vital to ensuring it does what it should. If the roof is more than 20 years old, it may be time to consider a new one.

2. Doors and Windows

These parts of a building are the most prone to damage. Ensure they always working properly and make necessary repairs as soon as possible. Items to look for include missing screws, loose hinges and worn weather-stripping,

3. Foundation

When it comes to rain damage, finding it in the lower levels of the property is common. Water easily finds its way through any tiny crack or damaged sealant as it follows its natural gravitational path. Along with repairing any damage, ensure the ground outside slopes away from the property.

4. Siding and Masonry

Any gaps, cracks or missing parts open up your property to water infiltration. Signs of siding trouble also include warping and bubbling. For structures with masonry, it may be time for a little upgrade to avoid water issues. It can be reinforced by removing ivy, replacing seals, grouting mortar joints and installing flashing.
As a property owner, you want to keep it in tip-top shape. Regularly inspecting common problem areas and making immediate repairs helps make that happen and minimizes the chances of rain damage.

How To Get Rid of Stubborn Smoke Smells

4/18/2022 (Permalink)

Bottle of vinegar The strong smell of smoke damage can be neutralized with vinegar.

Removing Smoke Odor In Your Home

Whether from a fire or from a bad cigarette habit, smoke cleaning can be difficult and frustrating. No matter how hard you scrub, the smell seems to linger in your Arlington, LA, home and you feel as if your space will never be the same. Here are some steps that may help you get a good start on it before you reach out to a professional odor elimination specialist.

Determine the Source

There are a variety of reasons you may have a stubborn smoke odor in your home. Determining the source will help you decide the best route to get it cleared out. The smell may come from fire damage, years of indoor cigarette smoking, or even from outdoor wildfires near your home. The smell will leach into fabrics and any porous surface in your home, including furniture, clothing, dishes, floors and walls.

Neutralize With Vinegar

The strong smell of smoke damage can be neutralized with vinegar. Begin by placing several small bowls around the area where the odor is strongest. These will begin to absorb the noxious fumes and reduce the smell. You can also boil some vinegar on the stove to speed up the process, allowing it to simmer for an hour or two.

Clean, Clean, Clean

Smoke cleaning will also require you to remove and thoroughly scrub anything that was within the damaged area. All clothing, furniture cushions, or other fabric items should be washed. You'll also need to clean wall hangings and hard surfaces. Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and allow it to sit for a while before vacuuming up.

Use Ammonia

The most stubborn smells may require an ammonia treatment to fully destroy them. You can add some to the laundry when washing clothing, bedding and other fabrics. The stronger smell will be more unpleasant than vinegar, but you can also place bowls of ammonia throughout the home to absorb smoke smells.
Smoke cleaning takes a lot of work, but the time invested is worth it if you can eliminate the smell. Follow these tips to do it right.

Flood Water Prevention Methods

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Constructed barrier - Dams A dam can be built from sandbags to block water.

Methods of Flood Water Prevention

Engineers take considerable leaps to stop high water from flooding city streets and neighborhoods. As a business owner, you should take note of what measures Gardere, LA, has in the event of a natural disaster or flood.

These are some of the common methods:

  • Levees are concrete or sand embankments to prevent water overflow.
  • Dams block water completely, only allowing an area to flood when necessary.
  • Locks allow ships to move from higher water areas to lower areas.
  • Dikes are long walls or ditches that prevent the sea from crossing into cities.
  • Gates can block water when necessary but open and close to permit traffic and water flow.

Unfortunately, none of these methods are perfect. During storm season, don't let your business be caught unawares by high water. You should be ready to reach out to a water damage remediation company as well as familiarize yourself with how your city protects itself.

Unique Barriers

Some cities have devised unique ways to keep floodwaters from entering business and agricultural districts.

The Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier in the Netherlands is designed to open and close completely. When it is open, the water flows freely. As the water rises, the walls close to stop flooding and fill the adjoining pools with excess water. When the flooding recedes, the barriers open again, returning the channel to normal flow.

The barriers on the River Eden in England are a newer solution for flood prevention. They replace traditional sandbags with hydraulic barriers that can be raised or lowered when necessary. The barriers are now computer-controlled to prevent them from accidentally lowering.

Barriers To Protect Your Business

Along with understanding what your city does to protect against a flood, you should also be prepared to protect your business yourself. A dam can be built from sandbags to block water. Retention ponds, like small versions of the Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier's retention pools, and french drains help control pooling water.
When a storm is coming, there are many things you can do to help safeguard your business from high water conditions.

Steps to Take After Your Business Suffers Fire Damage

3/23/2022 (Permalink)

Diner had suffered fire damage, picture shows the aftermath. Clean diner. The aftermath of a fire in Baton Rouge, LA.

Fire Restoration Process

A fire is a devastating incident, and you may feel overwhelmed if your business in Baton Rouge, LA, has been affected by fire damage. There are some key steps you should take in the aftermath of a fire in order to ensure that your business is up and running again as seamlessly as possible. Here are some tips to guide you through the fire restoration process and ensure that everything returns to normal again.

Stay Away From Damage

While you may be tempted to try to repair objects that have been damaged by the fire, it is best not to touch any damaged items in your business. Take the following precautions when surveying the effects of the fire:

  • Avoid washing walls or painted surfaces
  • Do not turn on lighting fixtures if walls or ceiling are wet
  • Keep your hands clean to avoid spreading soot particles
  • Refrain from cleaning damaged electronics

Staying away from damaged articles until a professional arrives can help prevent your business from undergoing further damage.

Call Your Insurance Company

Make sure to call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the fire damage. The faster you inform them of your loss, the faster you can focus on fire restoration and the less likely you are to miss important deadlines. Once you’ve spoken with an agent, you can make a fire insurance claim. Taking care of the logistics after an incident can help you be well informed during a stressful situation.

Turn off Utilities

Until help arrives, it is crucial to do what you can to minimize further damage. Turn off all the utilities in your building, including gas, electricity and water. You can shut off the water at the main valve and turn off gas and electricity at the meter. Once you’ve done this, refrain from using any utilities until a professional has inspected them properly.
Whether you need smoke cleaning services or water removal from firefighting efforts, a skilled fire restoration professional can conduct a fire damage assessment and help bring your business back to normal.

How Does SERVPRO's Electronic Claims Service Help?

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

Tablet and cel phone. SERVPRO's electronic claims service offers more security than paper records stored in an office.

SERVPRO's Electronic Claims Service

When your Arlington, LA, client files an insurance claim on their damaged property, it's critical to get the process under way as quickly as possible. Over the years, SERVPRO has become a trusted leader in the damage mitigation and restoration industry.
SERVPRO's electronic claims service provides several benefits:

1. Easier Collaboration

When information passes through the hands of insurance agents, adjusters and damage restoration professionals, it helps to have all the data in one location. Unlike paper documents, electronic files provide everyone access, allowing for collaboration without the risk of data loss. An insurance agent can prepare a claim by reviewing the electronic claims system. Damage information and photos are just a couple of parts of the electronic claims service, along with access to nationwide comparisons.

2. More Security

SERVPRO's electronic claims service offers more security than paper records stored in an office filing cabinet. Security teams back up and monitor the digital files. Not only is the information protected from being physically destroyed (e.g., by fire), but its confidentiality is also more secure.

3. More Accessibility

Data related to the insurance claim can be easily viewed and inputted from the office or in the field by everyone involved. The insurance agent, adjuster and remediation specialists can access it via smartphone, tablet or computer.

4. Less Risk of Errors

Everyone engaged in the claims process sees updates online through the electronic claims service. This ensures that all remain on the same page, reducing the chance of mistakes. Fewer mistakes mean a more accurate compensation value so the restoration can be completed as quickly as possible.

5. Quicker Resolution

When restoration professionals submit detailed data regarding damage and the cost estimates, the agent and adjuster can also view it. This real-time exchange makes for a much faster resolution than the traditional claims process, in which information is typically distributed through the mail.
The longer the insurance claim process, the more damage can affect the property. The SERVPRO electronic claims service ensures that it's handled quickly and efficiently.

Prevent Plumbing Disasters by Staying Proactive

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

Vacuum extractor, wet floor, wet carpet Commercial water damage in Gardere, LA.

Four Ways To Prevent Plumbing Disasters

Being proactive when it comes to plumbing problems is a great way to prevent disasters and extend the life of your business’s plumbing system. Conversely, ignoring minor signs and waiting for disaster to strike can lead to costly repairs and additional damage. If you want to save money, and perhaps save your sanity, learning how to stay ahead of your plumbing issues is especially important in Gardere, LA.

1. Find a Professional Plumber

Even before you become aware of any potential issues, it is a good idea to get the contact information of a reliable plumbing service. Knowing who to call in the event of a broken pipe or similar emergency can save you from the headache of scrambling to find one later when the need is urgent. It is also recommended to have the number of a commercial water cleanup service available, in the event of an unforeseen water disaster.

2. Schedule Routine Inspection and Maintenance

Routine maintenance is important for ensuring your plumbing system is working properly. Plumbers will advise you on proactive measures, such as upgrading old equipment that is no longer reliable. Upgrading can save you money in the long run by helping you avoid leaks and other damage.

3. Fix Small Problems

Take care of minor plumbing problems like dripping faucets and slow draining sinks before they morph into expensive issues. Dripping faucets may not seem like a big deal, but they can run up your water bill over time.

4. Watch Your Monthly Usage

Keeping an eye on your monthly water bill can help you spot problems that go unnoticed to the naked eye. If your bill skyrockets without any explanation, you could have an underlying problem, such as a faulty pipe behind your walls or a major leak in your water main.
Being proactive is one of the most effective ways to ensure you catch plumbing problems in your building before they start. Investing the time and money to maintain a good working system will far outweigh the cost of major repairs down the road.

The Importance of a Claims Inventory Service

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

Car from a restoration company With highly-trained professionals that are always available in many locations across the country, SERVPRO is an obvious choice.

What A Claims Inventory Service Is And Why It's Important

Making an insurance claim is an important step for homeowners to take after their home in Baton Rouge, LA, is affected by flooding, fires or storms. However, the claims process can be overwhelming. Working with a restoration company that has a claims inventory service can improve the process in a variety of ways.

1. Organizes Documentation

Insurance companies often require a myriad of information, including photographs, receipts and forms after a disaster occurs. Keeping track of various documents can be difficult for homeowners whose households are damaged. However, working with SERVPRO, a restoration company that uses a claims inventory service, ensures that adjusters and homeowners can clearly see what has been documented.

2. Access to Information

Sometimes, an insurance agent or a homeowner needs access to information quickly. However, it can be easy to misplace important documents that are related to the insurance claim. A restoration and cleanup company that has a claim inventory service will allow everyone involved to view relevant information as needed. Homeowners and agents can use the information found on the claims inventory service to make the best decisions throughout the restoration.

3. Quicken the Claims Process

If making a claim takes a long period of time, it’s possible that more damage may occur to a home. In addition to adding to the stress of adjusters and homeowners, a long claims process can ultimately increase the cost of the claim and can prolong the restoration procedure. A claims inventory service that keeps all documents organized and accessible increases the chances of a quick claims progression and can make the restoration run more smoothly.

Making and managing an insurance claim doesn’t have to be complicated. SERVPRO uses the latest technology and helps insurance agents and their clients with a claims inventory service that keeps documents organized, is easily accessible and can ultimately quicken the process of making a claim.

How Can You Prepare for Flood Damage?

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

an office with flood damage If you are having flooding issues and suspect storm or water damage, give SERVPRO a call on our 24-hour service line.

What Can You Do To Prevent Flood Damage?

Mother Nature is unpredictable, but even when you can’t prevent or predict flooding, you can still be prepared. Flood damage and storm damage can cause costly and catastrophic losses that many commercial businesses struggle to recover from. With appropriate preparations, you can minimize loss of property, inventory, and livelihood.

1. The First and Best Preparation Is Prevention

If you’re selecting your first commercial location, one of the best things you can do is choose a site that’s both advantageous to your business needs and positioned strategically in a low-flood zone. Historical flood data in Gardere, LA, can tell you which areas are less likely to deal with flooding and runoff.

If you’re already established, though, you can still mitigate damage by ensuring your property is water-tight. Check weather stripping and sealing, and where applicable, use waterproof coatings and paint.

2. Stock Up on Sandbags

When you know bad weather is coming, it helps to have sandbags on hand. Sandbag your doors and windows to create a watertight seal and prevent windows from breaking inward. You can also sandbag your walls if you have enough, particularly if you’re worried about water damage or about walls breaking inward under heavy flooding.

3. Seek High Ground

If you have the ability to move inventory, furniture, and office equipment to a higher floor in the event of a flood, take advantage to keep your investment safe. Migrate anything that isn’t fixed in place. Organize and label everything neatly as needed; you may also need to create a labeled floor diagram to replace things after.

4. Check for Leaks

Although sandbagging will help prevent some water intrusion, check your entire property for leaks. This includes checking your ceiling. Sandbags can’t prevent roof leaks, which can cause major storm damage and make the work of restoration specialists even more difficult. One good way to test if areas are watertight is to check if they’re airtight. You may notice drafts already, but you can also use a can of air to check any seams or jointed areas.

Keep Your Pet Safe in a Home Fire With a Pet Evacuation Plan

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

Escape plan Keep your pets and family members safe by having a well thought out plan if a fire emergency ever does occur.

With A Pet Evacuation Plan, You Can Keep Your Pet Safe In The Event Of A House Fire.

If a fire occurs in your home in Erie, CO, your first priority should always be to get yourself and all your family members out safely. While you should leave belongings behind until a fire restoration company can retrieve them, you will likely not want to leave your pets behind. It is important you have a plan in place to evacuate your pets in case a fire emergency ever occurs. A good place to start is by including your pets into your home escape plan.

5 Pet Preparation Tasks You Should Complete

Preparation is key when it comes to protecting your pets in a fire. In case your pets are in an unsafe location that you or your other family members can’t get to, there are several steps you can take to better the chance of their rescue:

  1. Place your pet near a door so firefighters can quickly save them.
  2. Keep an updated pet alert window sling on the front window of your home.
  3. Set aside a disaster supply kit just for your pet in the case of a fire emergency.
  4. Place important pet ownership documents and proof of vaccinations in a fire box.
  5. Teach your pets the “Come” command so you can easily direct them towards you.


Creating Your Pet Evacuation Plan

In addition to these important pet safety tasks, you will need to create a pet evacuation plan for your pets. Assign a specific individual or two to being in charge of retrieving the pets. If your pets are located in a specific part of the house during the night, identify several different routes to that location. Lastly, make sure to practice the evacuation plan several times.

Keep your pets and family members safe by having a well thought out plan if a fire emergency ever does occur. While your pets might be able to escape safely on their own, you can increase the chance of their rescue with these tips!