What to Do After a Pipe Break
Call a plumber
Experiencing a flood in your home can be incredibly devastating, both to your belongings and the structural integrity of the house. Bursting pipes, especially during winter, require immediate attention to ensure there isn’t further water damage and that mold doesn’t set in. It’s useful in these cases, especially if the mess is larger than you can handle in a timely fashion, to utilize the services of a professional flood remediation company.
After a Pipe Breaks
1. Turn Off the Water
After you discover bursting pipes, it’s critical that you turn off the water source immediately to stop the leaks from continuing. If you have a few frozen pipes, they might have broken where the ice is, or at another weak place in the pipe. Depending on where the water has already leaked, you may also want to turn off the electricity in any rooms it may have reached.
2. Open a Faucet
After you turn the water off, relieve the pipes of any more pressure by opening a sink faucet.
3. Call a Plumber
If you aren’t familiar with plumbing repair, most plumbers can fix a broken pipe easily. In the meantime, you can temporarily fix the leak using a piece of rubber, a block of wood, and a c-clamp.
4. Clean Up
Cleaning up the excess water as quickly as possible will prevent further damage to your house while decreasing the chances of mold growth. Mold can begin growing within 48 hours, so make sure you can clean and dry out the area as soon as possible. Flood cleanup companies have equipment which can do this in a timely manner.
If you have frozen pipes and you know where the ice might be, you can take a hair dryer to those areas to melt it. Keep the faucet on while you do this, and the flow should increase.
If you experienced widespread damage from multiple bursting pipes in your home in Edgewood, MA, and you want to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance, you will want to take photos of the area and make a list of all damages before starting your cleanup process.
The Basics of a Continuity Plan
With a continuity plan in place, you'll be ready to weather the storm and come out with your business intact
Storm damage, including flooding, can cause serious financial losses when business is put on hold. The loss of incoming revenue, combined with the expenses of storm cleanup services, can add up to a lot of reduced profits. A good insurance policy is a necessary element of surviving the storm, but on its own, that policy isn't enough. You must have a well-thought-out continuity plan in place to keep your customers away from the competition and to maintain a positive revenue flow.
Begin Planning Today
Don't wait until an emergency occurs to think about your response; put together a safety plan as soon as possible. There are four steps you should take in putting together a good plan:
- Identify critical business operations and the resources that keep them going.
- Pinpoint strategies to maintain operations, such as locating a temporary place of business and establishing ongoing communication.
- Put together a continuity team and assign specific responsibilities during a crisis.
- Provide regular training sessions and run exercises so the continuity team and other personnel are prepared for an actual emergency.
Many companies, today, depend on computers and related components. Make sure your continuity plan includes recovery strategies for your IT team and their procedures.
Access Available Resources
Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you put together the strategies and tools you need for successful continuity. These include the talents and skills of your employees, off-site computer services, local flooding and storm cleanup companies, utility providers, emergency response professionals (such as firefighters,) and government systems, including websites with valuable information.
Proceed With Confidence
Take into account the most likely sources of trouble for your business. This should include the severe weather common to Edgewood, MA, and the problems that often accompany your type of business (i.e. kitchen fires in a restaurant.) With a continuity plan in place, you'll be ready to weather the storm and come out with your business intact.
Preparing for Fire Evacuation can Help Safeguard Employees
Hold regularly scheduled drills
As a conscientious and responsible business owner, your books are in order, your inventory is up to date and you have training programs in place for your employees. It is only natural that you have an efficient and orderly escape and contingency plan prepared to safeguard employees in the event of a fire.
What Should an Employee Escape Plan Include?
An evacuation plan should include ways for every single employee to escape from the building even if they are in the restroom or the basement storage area. Here are some good things to implement in your plan:
- Make sure all fire and smoke alarms are in good working order and can be heard from all areas of the building
- Install a fire sprinkler system and make sure it is working
- Place fully charged fire extinguishers of various kinds at key locations
- Hold regularly scheduled drills and have a contingency plan in place to ensure each employee understands how to get out
- Arrange a place where all employees report in to make sure everyone got out
Involve Your Employees
Legally, any employee who feels they are in unsafe circumstances may call without retaliation and report safety concerns to OSHA, who can impose fines or penalties on the business if not compliant. Get inspected in advance to protect employees’ safety and follow recommendations. Get employees involved in running practice drills and get their input for improvements.
Fire damage, water damage and smoke damage may all occur during a fire and can present hazards to employees if they are unable to escape, or if they try to re-enter the building too soon. As part of your evacuation plan, make sure to have the number of a qualified fire cleaning and restoration service in Cranston, MA on hand so you can quickly get help to board up an unsafe building.
Safeguarding your employees can also safeguard your business. A clear and practicable contingency plan can protect your employees and give you peace of mind.
4 Mold Damage Tips You Need to Clean Up Your Home
Check the floor and walls around the mold for areas that have been damaged
If your business has recently been the site of a spill, leak or flood in Comstock Gardens, MA, it’s possible that black mold has developed in the areas affected by the water. Mold loves cool, damp places, and when water gets into places it does not belong, it can serve as a breeding ground for the mold. If you’ve discovered mold in your business, it is important that you do everything you can to treat and remove the mold as quickly as possible to prevent the situation from getting worse.
1. Shut Off the Water
If the mold you discovered is the result of a leaking pipe in your business, it’s important to address the leak first. Shut off the water to the leaking pipe and either drain and repair it yourself or hire a plumber to handle the repair for you. Preventing more water from getting where it doesn’t belong is an essential part of solving your moisture problem.
2. Turn Off the Air System
Although a fan is a useful tool for drying off an area of your home with a moisture problem that can’t be solved with a towel, if black mold has begun to develop, airflow can present a new problem. The spores of mold can be picked up and transmitted on wind currents, so you should shut off your HVAC unit until the mold is addressed to prevent the mold from getting airborne.
3. Check For Additional Damage
If the leak or flood that caused the mold was severe, it is possible that additional damage has occurred. Check the floor, ceiling and walls around the mold for areas that have been damaged. They may need to be replaced to prevent further mold development.
4. Call a Professional
If you’re unsure of how to properly dispose of the black mold, you should speak with a mold cleanup professional about your options. They may be able to offer advice or handle the cleanup themselves if the job is too big for you.
How Many Fire Alarms Should I Have in My Home?
Ionization alarm detect flaming fires
How Many Fire Alarms Should I Have in My Home?
Having a fire alarm in all the right places in your home in Lippitt, MA, is incredibly important for keeping your family safe during an unexpected fire, and gives you the maximum amount of evacuation time. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides code 72, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, which suggests a minimum number of fire alarms throughout the home in certain locations.
- One in every bedroom
- One outside each sleeping area
- At least one on every level of the home, and more are required for larger homes
Older houses do not always meet these requirements, so look around your house to see if your family has adequate protection. There are two types of fire alarms to be aware of – ionization for detecting flaming fires and photoelectric for moldering fires. It’s good to have a few of each around the house.
When installing alarms yourself, make sure to choose one that has been tested by a laboratory with a good reputation. The NFPA provides a lot of helpful information about fire safety on their website.
- Install the basement fire alarm near the bottom of the stairs.
- Install kitchen alarms at least 10 feet from cooking appliances.
- Mount all alarms high up, no more than 12 inches from the ceiling.
- For ceilings that are pitched, mount the alarm about two to three feet from the peak.
- Avoid placing alarms near windows, doors, or other drafty areas.
For homes that are up to code, it is important to do a little maintenance here and there to keep alarms functioning correctly. It is recommended to swap out the batteries every year, though if you don’t, each fire alarm will let you know with a persistent chirping noise. It is also recommended to replace alarms every eight to 10 years.
If your home has had a fire, the alarms that were closest to the heat and smoke should be checked and may need to be replaced. Fire damage and even smoke damage can affect the sensitive detection equipment inside.
Protect Your Family
Doing a little routine maintenance on your home fire alarms doesn’t take much time, and it will be well worth the effort if an emergency situation presents itself.
3 Things You Should Know About Flood Water
There are three categories of water that you may be dealing with
Understanding the Type of Water You are Dealing With
If you experience water damage after a storm in Coventry, MA, it is important to understand the type of water that you are dealing with. Depending on its source, the best way to handle it can vary greatly. Keep the following information in mind if you find yourself in this situation.
1. There Are Three Categories of Water
Not all water damage is the same. There are three categories of water that you may be dealing with. The first comes from a sanitary source and is considered to be clean. The second may have slight contamination and carry chemicals or other irritants. The third is highly contaminated and is considered to be hazardous.
2. Flood Waters Are Always Category 3
If the water that entered your home came from a flood, then you are dealing with Category 3 water. Because this water comes into contact with sewage, it can carry a large amount of bacteria and can be harmful to your health. It can also carry mud and debris that can cause damage to your home.
3. You Will Need to Clean Your Home Thoroughly
If Category 3 or black water enters your house, you will need to clean everything that it touches. Hard surfaces are relatively simple to disinfect, but objects made with porous materials, such as books, stuffed toys and upholstered furniture will sometimes need to be thrown away and replaced. Because of the amount of contamination present in the water, if you cannot thoroughly clean the item, it is not safe to keep it.
If you have category 3 water damage in your house, then you will need to hire a cleanup and restoration service to sanitize the area and perform any necessary repairs. You might be tempted to do this on your own, but because of the contamination level of the water, this is not a good idea. A professional company is trained to handle these situations and will have the necessary equipment to clean your house properly.
Fire Sprinkler Inspections and Testing: What You Need To Know
For fire sprinkler cleanup contact your Washington, MA fire damage remediation team
As a business owner, you have a responsibility to your employees and your customers to keep them safe in the event of a fire or other disaster. Though you cannot prevent disaster from occurring, you can mitigate injuries and loss with the aid of a properly working fire sprinkler system. To ensure your fire suppression system is working properly, you should perform routine inspections and tests.
How Often Should You Inspect Your System?
Because there are various components of your sprinkler system, you should abide by an inspection schedule. The National Fire Protection Association provides a simple guide you can use when examining your sprinkler components:
- Weekly or Monthly: Inspect the gauges in the deluge, pre-action and dry systems once a week. Gauges on the wet system can undergo inspections once a month.
- Quarterly: You should inspect the alarms on a quarterly basis. Alarms include the valve supervisory alarms, water flow alarms, control valves, supervisory signals and hydraulic nameplates.
- Annually: On an annual basis, examine the pipes, fittings, hanger/seismic bracing and information signage. You should inspect the backup fire sprinkler system once a year as well.
- Every Five Years: An internal inspection of your sprinkler system is only necessary once every five years.
In addition to performing routine inspections, you should also test the various components of your fire suppression system. Below is a testing schedule by which you should abide:
- Quarterly: To ensure your devices are ready to work in the event of a fire, you should test all the mechanical devices on your system on a quarterly basis.
- Semiannually: On a semiannual basis, you should test the pressure switch and vane devices.
- Annually: You should perform a thorough test on an annual basis. This should be a complete systems test, and your maintenance technician should perform physical examinations of all components of your system.
- Every Five Years: If your system is exposed to extremely high temperatures and harsh conditions, you should inspect or replace all gauges on your system every five years.
For more information regarding fire sprinkler testing and maintenance, consult with your local fire unit. For fire sprinkler cleanup, contact your Washington, MA, fire damage remediation team.
4 Steps To Take When Cleaning Up After a Sewer Backup
Sewer overflow is considered a Category 3 water situation
Four Steps to Take During a Sewer Cleanup from a Flooded Toilet
Sewer backups are common occurrences in commercial buildings in West Warwick, MA, so it is important for building managers and property supervisors to understand how to deal with the Category 3 water flooding the floor. Here are four steps to take during a sewer cleanup from a flooded toilet.
One of the first things to do when dealing with standing water in any room is to turn the electricity off to that area of the building. This can prevent electrocution to those trying to clean the area.
Since sewer overflow is considered a Category 3 water situation, it is essential to contact a local water damage and prevention service. With the proper equipment and tools, the team can quickly dispose of the bacteria laden liquid.
Anyone attempting a sewer cleanup of the overflowing water must wear protective safety gear. Boots, gloves, overalls, and protective outer clothing can keep the bacteria away from the skin. Specialty equipment is needed for sewer liquid removal, so the water can be sucked into a sealed system by the professionals once they arrive.
Cleaning and sanitizing the area may be one of the most important steps in the restoration process. Items should be removed from the floor, and a special cleaner may be used to prevent contamination or the possible spread of any illnesses from the polluted water. This can also keep your company OSHA compliant.
Knowing how to handle a sewer backup when it occurs can help prevent standing water damage to the area, as well as possible contaminants from soaking into the space beneath the flooring.
Additionally, calling a team of professionals is often the best way to make sure the sewer cleanup is handled properly, and the area is sanitized to a professional standard. If you have any questions about removal procedures, call your local water damage and prevention service, and get tips on how best to handle any future situations.
3 Things To Know About Flood Cleanup
Flooded home in Oaklawn, MA
If your Oaklawn, MA, home has suffered a pipe break, then you may be looking at performing a flood clean-up. During this process there are several important things to know.
1. What Category of Water You’re Dealing With
When conducting a restoration after water damage, it's important to know what category of water you are dealing with. Water is commonly separated into three types. White water which is clean uncontaminated water, grey water, which is water that has been used for things like cleaning and may include soaps or other non-harmful contaminants, and black water which is highly contaminated often with sewage material. Flood water is usually considered black. The more contaminated the category, the more sanitation and safety steps may be required.
2. How the Flooding Occurred
It's also important to know how the flooding occurred. The steps needed for taking care of a pipe break are different from those used when dealing with storm flooding. Knowing the source of the flooding can allow you to either fix the problem, or take proper mitigation steps in the event of future possible issues.
3. How To Clean Up Safely
Knowing what safety steps need to be observed is important for any flood cleanup. In most cases you may want to contact a water damage restoration professional to conduct the process for you. These professionals already have the tools and equipment needed to take care of any damage in your home correctly. This may mean removing debris, replacing carpet, preventing possible mold growth, sanitizing the area, and taking mitigation steps for the future.
When cleaning up flooding after a pipe break it's important to remember several things. Know what category of water you're dealing with so that you can go through the proper sanitation procedures. Know what the source is so that future problems can be mitigated, and consider what safety steps need to be observed. If you have any questions a professional may be able to help.
Bread and Mold: An Unavoidable Abomination
Mold growth on bread
Bread and Mold
Everyone has likely been there. You are in the mood for a tasty sandwich, and you go to grab the recently purchased loaf out of the bread drawer, only to find it splotched with green fuzz. Bread mold is a common catastrophe in most homes, and unfortunately, there is little anyone can do about it. True, there are ways to slow the development of mold, like putting it in the fridge, but some of those ways make a loaf go stale faster. The best way to slow the process of mold growth and keep your bread fresh is to pay attention to the environment it is being stored in.
Moisture contributes to fungus growth, meaning that to slow the process of growth on your bread, you should store it in a dry space. However, bread also contains moisture which means that it will always be a breeding ground for fungus. Mold spores are everywhere, and if your bread is somewhere comfortable for spores to land and feast, then your bread will turn quickly.
The occurrence of bread mold can be slowed by choosing appropriate storage options. A drawer is most likely not the best place for your bread because it is a dark place. Also, if that drawer is near a dishwasher or an oven, then it becomes a warm place as well. Mold thrives in dark, warm areas.
Also, while there is such a thing as fridge mold, most mold spores do not like the cold and cannot thrive in such an environment. However, your bread will not do well in these conditions either. Bread will go stale faster in the fridge, but depending on how often you consume bread, the benefits may outweigh the cons.
If you consistently experience rapid molding of bread, then you may want to contact a mold remediation specialist in the Meshanticut, MA, area to assess your home. Sometimes a moldy loaf of bread can indicate other problems.
Bread mold is unavoidable. However, focusing on storage conditions may slow the rate of development.