Frozen Pipes Are Definitely A Problem You Can Avoid:
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.
Pipes that freeze most frequently are:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
- Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
- Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing
Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
- Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Avoid Holiday Fires At Home
Prevent Holiday Fires
Each Holiday Season, families gather to celebrate Turkey Day & Christmas by preparing a tons of delicious meals, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “cooking fires” are the #1 cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It's important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stove top.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are drying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire-- oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains-- away from the stove top.
More Winter Holiday Fire Safety!!
Burning Christmas Trees = Catastrophic Damage
Did you know?
Nearly half of holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.
It’s fun to decorate for the winter holidays, but holiday decorations can increase your risk for a home fire. As you deck the halls this season, be fire smart.
- Inspect holiday lights each year before you put them up. Throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires.
- Water your Christmas tree every day. A dry tree is dangerous because it can catch on fire easily.
- Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
- If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be knocked down easily.
Is your toilet leaking...And, what do you do to stop it?
A Leaking Toilet Could Lead To Money Down The Drain
A leaking toilet can become a serious issue in your home. With constant plumbing issues such as this, you might have to deal with a lot of water damage. To help you prevent any more problems, here are a few common reasons why your toilet might be leaking.
Common Ways a Toilet Can Leak
Supply lines direct the water from the toilet into the pipes. Both the joints of this line and the rubber lining can wear out or rupture, which can lead to water escaping and ultimately damaging the area around the toilet.
• Flappers can also become damaged and can lead to a large loss of water in the tank. Sometimes the flush handle gets stuck and allows the toilet tank to continually fill with water. This can lead to overflow and expensive water bills.
• The float is the small ball that floats in the toilet tank. If the float is damaged or cracked, this can mess up the entire flushing process.
How To Identify a Leak
If you notice a bathroom leak but you aren’t sure where the leak is coming from, there is an easy way to identify where the water is escaping. When dealing with a leaking toilet, the tank and bowl are the only two places that water can leak from. Choose one of these locations to pour in a small amount of food coloring.
Wait about an hour before inspecting the surrounding area for the colored water. If the water shows no signs of your food coloring experiment, try the other location of the toilet and test once more. From here, you can make several repairs to prevent any more leaking.
Once you know what’s happening to your leaking toilet, you can act quickly before the leak gets bigger. Some people choose to repair it by themselves, or they call plumbers. Either way, be sure to prevent any water damage to your home.
For more information, visit: http://www.SERVPROnorthoaklandcounty.com//
Do you know how to use your fire extinguisher?
Here are 4 easy steps you should follow when using an extinguisher to put out a fire in your home.
- First, call the fire department if it’s a large fire. Then, if it’s safe to do so… grab the extinguisher.
- Identify Your Evacuation Path - The last thing you want to do is focus so much on putting out the fire that you become trapped in the blaze. Take a moment to look around you and ensure you have a safe escape route to use as needed before pulling out the extinguisher.
- Follow Instructions on Extinguisher - Fortunately, most extinguishers come with easy-to-read instructions printed directly on them. Follow the instructions and make sure you discharge the extinguisher within the effective range listed on the container.
- Back Away From the Fire - It’s possible for a kitchen fire to flare up again even after you’ve put parts of it out, so make sure you back away from extinguished flames instead of moving toward them.
Once the fire is safely put out with a fire extinguisher, call SERVPRO of North Oakland County. We can help repair and restore your home after fire damage has occurred. 248-439-1160.
For more information, visit https://www.SERVPROnorthoaklandcounty.com/
After A Fire... What Do You Do?
After you experience a fire, you may be overwhelmed and unsure about what to do.
Whenever you experience things such as fire damage, smoke damage and soot damage, you will be in need of repairing your property.
Your property getting damaged from a fire can be a bit difficult to cope with at first. There are solutions to this problem. The most effective way to deal with the negative effects of a fire is to contact a restoration company like, SERVPRO of North Oakland County and they will provide fire damage cleanup & restoration for you.
A restoration company, like SERVPRO of North Oakland County, will come to your property and help you resolve any problems that occur from any residential & commercial fire damage. Also, eliminating any smoke smell.
They also have the capability to board up your house or building to provide the protection it needs during the restoration process.
For more information visit: https://www.SERVPROnorthoaklandcounty.com/
Flooded Basement Cleanup & Restoration
How many homeowners have descended their basement steps to find a pool of murky water? Water follows the path of least resistance, finding cracks and holes through basement walls. Flooding can often be attributed to insufficient drainage around basement walls, heavy rains, a faulty sump pump, or a combination of these factors.
SERVPRO of North Oakland County is highly trained in water damage restoration including basement and crawlspace flooding. We have the experience, expertise, and equipment to remove the water and dry your basement properly. Our water removal and drying process emphasizes monitoring and documentation to validate your property is dry.
- 24 Hour Emergency Service
- Faster to Any Size Disaster
- Highly Trained Water Damage Restoration Specialists
- Locally Owned and Operated
Basement Flooding? Call SERVPRO of North Oakland County Today – 248.439.1160
24 Hour Emergency Water Removal Service
Basements can flood day or night, on weekends and even holidays, and that’s why SERVPRO of North Oakland County offers 24 emergency service, 365 days a year. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.
Helping Your Home Adjuster Helps Your Home Repair
Insurance claims can be an easy process with proactive action.
After significant damage to your home in Metro Detroit, your insurance company starts the process of determining adequate compensation and cleanup. As one of the first steps, a home adjuster is sent to personally investigate the damage, declare fault and approve coverage. Adequate preparation for this visit saves valuable time for starting up the cleanup and ensures the coverage is comprehensive.
Prepare Proof of Possession Damage
The representative sent for the insurance claim will ask for information about any damaged property. Researching and gathering records beforehand is very effective at stopping the need to scramble for it during or after the visit. There are several pieces of information that are helpful to have ready to hand over:
• Item description
• Purchase date
• Cost to repair or replace
• Hard copy of receipt to validate claims
• Videos or pictures of the damage and item before damage if possible
Inspect Your Own Home
Your own inspection should be conducted before a professional one. You will notice structural damage that wasn’t there before. As you go through your home, you should take notes on any new damage to structures. The home adjuster can then be guided to minor damage that may be missed and uncovered otherwise.
Multiple contractors can be contacted to figure out the price of materials and labor. It’s typical to reach out to an affordable professional restoration company. You can use all gathered information to understand what costs should look like to determine a fair price. Shopping around simplifies the process if you can offer bids for the work to your insurance that are affordable and dependable.
Throughout the entire process, you should maintain copies of every document sent to and from your insurance for your reference. Written records of names and phone numbers are effective so you never find yourself struggling to recall with whom you spoke to.
Insurance claims can be an easy process with proactive action. By helping out a home adjuster with preparation, you can ensure the repairs are timely and thorough. For more information, visit: http://www.SERVPROnorthoaklandcounty.com/
How To Check For Roof Damage After A Storm
After a major storm, it's a good idea to inspect your property for damage.
After a major storm, it's a good idea to inspect your property for damage. Your home's main line of defense is your roof, and it takes a beating. Since it's hard to see your roof, be sure to pay special attention to things like dings in your gutters or tears in your window screens which indicate hail damage. Even from the ground, you may see missing tiles or other signs of roof damage, but most leaks don't represent a need for whole roof replacement. Usually, the leak is coming from something requiring only minor roof repair. Find the source of the leak, stop it and clean the water damage.
Find the Leak Source
During storms, wind damage lets the rain into your roof. From the inside of your home, look for stains that indicate the source of a leak and the area that needs roof repair. You may see water stains on your ceiling or coming down a wall. When you see that, get your flashlight and head to the attic to look for the source of the leak in that area. Here are five common sources for a roof leak:
1. Vents and fans
3. Window dormers
4. Vent pipes
5. Unsecured nails and nail holes
Fix Water Damage
To complete your roof repair, start looking for materials that have been damaged by water. Check for discolorations and rotting wood, as well as wet drywall and insulation. If you find mold, you will need to be very careful not to spread the problem during cleanup. A mold remediation professional can help by creating a containment area while working on the water and mold damage. If you haven't found mold, be sure to start drying any wet materials right away. Mold can begin growing on wet damaged materials in as little as 48 hours. Complete drying is critical to preventing mold, and it may take longer than you realize, especially in a humid attic space. Specialists have monitoring equipment that they use to ensure materials are completely dry. For more information, visit: http://www.SERVPROnorthoaklandcounty.com/
Inspecting A Commercial Property For Mold
A mold inspection can remove at least one of the unknowns before a business adds a building to its property portfolio.
Buying a building is a significant investment for any businessperson, and there are a lot of moving parts to this type of transaction in Metro Detroit. Though it can be an expensive undertaking, hiring a professional to perform a mold inspection before the sale can head off major problems and remediation costs in the long term.
Where Mold Growth Can Be Problematic
To live in this world is to live with mold. At its best, it makes life better by contributing to the creation of bread, wine, cheese and some medicines, like penicillin. It does, of course, have serious drawbacks as well, though.
Prime spots in a building for a mold problem are well-known:
• Bathrooms are a place where mold can grow in grout, between wall tiles, and in the tub or shower.
• Windows that have been improperly sealed can allow moisture into walls or ceilings and facilitate mold growth. A mold inspection can reveal this to a potential buyer.
• Exterior doors without effective seals can allow moisture to collect and harbor mold.
Even slightly high humidity can facilitate the growth of mold. Experts recommend the prudent move of keeping indoor humidity levels below 45 percent.
Why Mold Growth Can Be Problematic
It isn’t only visible mold that can be troublesome to a property owner. Left unchecked, mold can destroy wood because it is an organism that feeds on surface nutrients. Mold that infiltrates drywall cannot be removed, and the affected area must be cut away. Carpets and insulation are also moisture-holding materials that mold can compromise to the point that they must be replaced.
Buying real estate can be a complicated process, and it is impossible to know everything there is to know about a building’s history or future. However, a mold inspection can remove at least one of the unknowns before a business adds a building to its property portfolio. For more information, visit: http://www.SERVPROnorthoaklandcounty.com/