SPRING HAS FINALLY SPRUNG

April showers bring May flowers, and its already begun. Frequent, heavy showers can lead to flooding, which can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home.

To help minimize damage, use and share the following tips:

  • Fix leaky roofs and foundation cracks immediately.
  • Keep gutters and drains clear so they can do their job by carrying water away from the home.
  • Make sure your sump pump is working properly.  If you don’t have one installed, Invest in a battery-powered sump pump and a garden hose to pump water out of the home.
  • Move valuable items to a higher level of the home.
  • Prevent sewer backup by installing sewer or septic line check valves, which allow waste to only flow one way.

If you experience water damage due to flooding, ServiceMaster Restore® is available 24/7/365 to help you with:

  • Water damage restoration
  • Drying, dehumidification and water extraction
  • Mold remediation
  • Carpet, clothing, rug, and electronic cleaning

We also can help with Fire, Bio-Hazard, Re-Construction and Trauma.

WEEU Golf Outing

Skip Bell, Owner of ServiceMaster is the guy on the far left….   at A WEEU Sponsored Golf Tournament Event.

WEEU Golf Outing

 

Freezing Temps and Frozen Pipes :(

Preventing frozen pipes

Risky locations Pipes are most susceptible to freezing when located:    • In an outside wall.    • Under a sink on an outside wall.    • In an unheated crawlspace.

There are a few things you can do to prevent the problem of freezing pipes:

  • Leave the water running at a slight trickle (the size of the lead in a pencil). The dripping water will keep the water in the pipe from freezing.  Be sure to have both hot and cold valves open.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom base cabinets and let room air circulate.
  • Open base cabinets and place a small portable heater near or in it to heat the pipes.
  • Wrap the problem pipe with electrical heat tape.
  • Insulate problem pipes with foam insulation wrap, especially those that run through unheated spaces.
  • Temper the currently unheated crawlspace by placing a heater in the crawlspace. You just need to elevate the crawlspace temperature to modestly above freezing, about 40°F.
  • Remove the hoses from your outdoor faucets, and then turn off the outside water supply at the shut off valve inside the house. 

Tips on thawing frozen pipes

If a pipe bursts before it is thawed, immediately shut off the water at the water main to prevent further damage!

  • Frozen but not ruptured? If you turn on the faucet and the water doesn’t come out or comes out in a trickle, your pipes are probably frozen. You need to act quickly to thaw the frozen pipe before it bursts.
  • Identify the frozen water supply pipe.
  • Open a faucet supplied by the frozen line, even if you have not found the frozen spot.
  • To find the blockage, follow the pipe back from the faucet to where it runs through cold areas such as an exterior wall, unheated crawl space or in some cases an unheated basement if the pipe is near an outside wall.
  • Often the frozen area of the pipe will be frosted or have ice on it. If the situation is getting critical the pipe may be slightly bulged or look slightly fissured.

Frozen pipe behind a wall

Leave the main water valve near your water meter open when thawing the pipe.

  • If the frozen pipe is behind a wall or ceiling, you’ve got a challenge on your hands. You have three choices:
  • Turn up the heat in the house and wait.
  • Use an infrared lamp or lamps to heat the wall where you think the frozen area is located. Infrared lamps are better than regular heat lamps because the heat passes through the air without heating it, directing more energy to warming the wall and frozen pipe.
  • Tear out part of the wall or ceiling to get at the frozen section of pipe. Then thaw the pipe as an exposed pipe.

Exposed frozen pipe

Never use a flame torch because of the fire hazard it creates. Open flame torches are the most common cause of pipe thawing related home fires.

  • Heat the pipe from the faucet toward the frozen area. This way, the water can flow out as the ice melts and the water pressure in the pipe will force the ice out once it melts sufficiently.
  • If the frozen pipe is exposed, you have several options.
  • Hair Dryer One of the best and safest ways to thaw the pipe is to heat the area with a high power hair dryer. Again, make sure to open the faucet and then heat the pipe working back from the faucet toward the frozen blockage.
  • Heat Lamp or Space Heater Heat lamps and space heaters works well to heat an exposed pipe. You can use an infrared or incandescent heat lamp. Space heaters should be on a low setting.

If the pipe is close to the wall, put a cookie sheet behind the pipe to help radiate heat onto the back side of the pipe.

Burst Pipe Emergency

As soon as you discover a burst pipe:

Turn off the water supply

  • Turn off the main water shut-off valve. You should find this in the basement or where the service pipe enters your home.
  • Drain the system by turning on all your cold water valves.

Call us to repair the damage: ServiceMaster @ 610-374-1881 or 866-679-1919

  • We have staff on call 24/7/365.  We will professionally clean and dry your home.
  • Note: Electrical wiring damaged by water can be very dangerous. We can help with that as well as any repairs created from the water damage.
  • Note: You might need a reputable plumber to repair the burst or frozen pipe.  We can help with that also.

Do what you can to collect and manage the leak. If water has been leaking through for some time and the ceilings are bulging be careful. The room may not be safe to enter.

  • If you notice the leak quickly you can catch dripping water in buckets.
  • Make a hole in the ceiling to let water out.

Turn off electronics/appliances

  • If water leaks near your electronics or electrical appliances, switch off the breakers for each one of them immediately. If it is wet, don’t touch them!

Do you think you may have Mold ?

When you have mold hidden away in your house, a moldy smell might be the only clue that it’s there. Don’t ignore mold odors if you can’t see any mold. You should thoroughly inspect your home before any mold problems get worse.

Common signs you may have mold:

You are suffering allergic symptoms

You notice a mold smell

You have had a water problem, for example: flooding, leaking pipes or a leaking roof

Water stains or discoloration on walls, floors or ceilings in your house

Surface abnormalities like peeling, bubbling or cracking of the paint or wallpaper and/or If your walls are bowed, bulging or warped

If you can see mold growth, even if it’s only small, you should take action immediately. Small mold patches can spread and the fact that there is mold shows that the conditions in your home are right for mold growth.  Visible mold growth could be a sign that there is a much larger problem hidden away from view.  Common places where mold often grows is on substances high in cellulose such as drywall, under carpets, in insulation or in ventilation ducts.

Recognizing Mold

Some mold growth looks white and thread-like. Other mold appears as clusters of small black spots. Mold can be black, gray-brown, gray-green or white in color. Mold growing behind wallpaper made of vinyl can even appear orange, pink or purple.

It’s always best to hire a professional to do the mold inspection for you. Thanks to their experience and their knowledge of spots where mold most often hides, you can be sure that if there’s any mold in your home that they will find it.  Be sure to let them know about any leaks, floods or any other moisture problems you’ve had in your home.

Mold inspectors use special equipment like moisture meters and fiber optics as well as air quality tests. This way they can find any and all hidden mold while barely disturbing your home.  These tests allows them to find hot spots where mold is most likely growing and will aid in determining if they should be looking into hidden areas such as behind walls or in floor/ceiling joists.

ServiceMaster Assured Cleaning is a certified mold remediation company that can restore your home back to a clean safe environment while Restoring Your Peace of Mind. 

If you need assistance or just have questions, Call Us @ 610-374-1881