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WHY PIPES FREEZE AND BURST IN THE WINTER

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage WHY PIPES FREEZE AND BURST IN THE WINTER Cast iron radiators were commonly found in homes and buildings built prior to the 1950s.

There are several types of water pipes in a typical home or commercial establishment.  Newer homes built within the past 20 years are more likely to have plastic freshwater supply lines.  The plastic material is moderately resistant to freezing, but once it does freeze, it bursts easily. Copper water supply lines were commonly used in the mid-twentieth century and are still frequently found in homes and businesses.  These supply lines are setup with either 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch piping.  The smaller the piping, the quicker it freezes. 

The OLDER homes in the area, pre-1900 to about 1950, have cast iron pipes. If you have an older home with a boiler heating system, you have radiators like the ones pictured. These radiators are supplied with hot water through cast iron piping that circles the perimeter of the house.  If the boiler ever fails, these pipes are vulnerable to freezing.  One remedy for this is the injection of glycol antifreeze into the system.  Check your system to make sure it is adequately protected.  

When pipes get cold, ice crystals can form inside the pipes, causing them to force a water blockage.  If the pipes freeze solid, also known as a “hard” freeze, the ice crystals will expand inside the pipe, causing a split or rupture.   It doesn't matter what kind of piping it is, if the water freezes completely inside the piping, it WILL burst.   

When the water supply is on, it is pressurized (which is why water comes out when you turn on a faucet.) Once a pipe bursts, water will gush out, causing damage to walls, insulation, flooring, and valuable personal property.  For every minute water is running through a fresh water pipe, it will spew out 3-5 gallons of water.   That is about 200 gallons an hour!  You can see how little time it takes water to do a tremendous amount of damage to your property.

If you do discover frozen pipes before a burst has occurred take the following precautions.

  1. Turn the water supply OFF.  It is usually a lever or knob coming up from a water supply pipe coming up into your home.
  2. Turn your furnace up to 75 degrees.
  3. Open all faucet valves, hot and cold.
  4. Put fans around the house to circulate warm air, directing the warm air into areas where the piping may be frozen.
  5. If necessary, place space heaters in the frozen areas.  

Turn on the water supply briefly for a few minutes - enough time to check the faucets to see if they are running.  If not, turn off the water supply and try again once an hour.

If you have a burst pipe, do NOT leave the water on.  Call SERVPRO of The Twin Ports to get immediate assistance in dealing with the residual moisture.

If you see water where it should not be, it IS an emergency situation. SERVPRO of The Twin Ports is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to any emergency in the Duluth-Superior area.

10 Tips to Prevent Electrical Fires

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

A common cause of house fires is faulty electrical wiring. The following tips should be followed to prevent electrical fires. When in doubt, call an electrician.

  1. Call an electrician to check the fuse box or breaker panel. Ask the electrician to correct any damaged components.
  2. Call an electrician to inspect the wiring. Replace any old wiring if the electrician suggests you to do so and have him wrap any damaged portions of wiring with electrical tape temporarily.
  3. Check for broken plugs or switches.
  4. Do not overload any circuits. Limit the amount of appliances you use and plug only into an appropriate outlet. Note that in most homes, the electrical load on a home is greatest during the evening when family members are consuming electricity using several appliances: cooking; running the dishwasher; watching television in the living room; browsing the internet; listening to the radio; etc.
  5. Avoid “octopus” connections, do not overload plugs.
  6. Unplug appliances when not in use.
  7. Use high quality and high standard electrical products when replacing wires or other components.
  8. Do not use damaged appliances.
  9. Install smoke and carbon dioxide alarms where required.
  10. Do not plug too many appliances into one extension cord. Use only high quality approved extension cords that can handle the load.

5 Ways to Fix and Prevent Frozen Pipes

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Bitterly cold temperatures wreaked havoc on much of the country last week. Unfortunately, not everyone made it through without experiencing frozen pipes—us included!

Here are 5 things that we’ve learned about fixing and preventing frozen pipes:

  1. Pipes don’t always freeze in the same spot. Just because a particular pipe hasn’t been prone to freezing in the past doesn’t mean that it won’t freeze this year, particularly after a week of sustained cold.

  2. A hairdryer doesn’t always do the trick. It’s a good starting point, but sometimes pipes are simply too frozen for this strategy to be effective.

  3. The biggest challenge is when pipes freeze behind a wall. Unlike exposed pipes, pipes that freeze behind a wall are difficult to treat. Try cranking the heat to warm the room. Otherwise, unless you want to start poking holes in the wall, you’ll probably need to call a plumber.

  4. A plumber with a thaw machine will be your savior. A thaw machine shoots electricity through frozen pipes to melt blockages in minutes—and many plumbers have them.

  5. Running the water will keep pipes from re-freezing. This isn’t just an old wives’ tale! Letting faucets drip during cold spells is the only effective way to prevent pipes from freezing.

What to Avoid When a Temperature Drop in Superior Causes Flood Damage on Your Property

11/25/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What to Avoid When a Temperature Drop in Superior Causes Flood Damage on Your Property Sometimes flood or storm damage remediation entails boarding up your property. Contact our team for effective services.

Ice Damming Can Allow Flooding in Your Superior Home

With winter weather beginning to settle into the Superior area, homeowners should be mindful of the situations that could impact their property in devastating ways. While there is a persistent possibility of freezing to plumbing that could prove disastrous, failure to maintain your roof through the winter season could have equally damaging results. Ice damming is a common situation for metal and shingled roofs, and this situation traps water on your roof until the weight can force a path through this defense into the attic space of your house.

Once your home has a vulnerable point for water penetration, situations that exasperate this penetration point can allow flooding to occur within your Superior residence. Many homeowners are not aware that their roof has become damaged until they see the effects of flooding within their house, and at this point, you need professional assistance that can show up quickly to help you overcome these damages.

Our SERVPRO technicians can arrive quickly to help you assess the full scope of the damage and to protect the elements of your home that can still get salvaged from the water penetration that threatens them. This process begins with the emergency board up services for your attic space to prevent further water penetration into the property. Once this step has gotten completed, we can shift our focus to water extraction and drying approaches.

Fast extraction is critical to preserving as much of the structural elements of your home as possible. Our truck-mounted pumps within our SERVPRO Green Fleet can pull water from your home at a force of 300 psi. This equipment can quickly remove the excess water and allow our technicians to begin drying out the affected areas completely to assess what construction materials can get salvaged.

Flood recovery is challenging for homeowners to contend with on their own, as many of the drying and extraction efforts prove inadequate and allow for secondary effects like mold growth to occur. Trust in the fast response of our SERVPRO of The Twin Ports professionals to help you get your home back to original condition fast. Give us a call today at (218) 727-2575.

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West Duluth Property Owners Turn to SERVPRO for Streamlining Their Fire Loss Claims and Getting To Work

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage West Duluth Property Owners Turn to SERVPRO for Streamlining Their Fire Loss Claims and Getting To Work SERVPRO, West Duluth Fire Damage, Insurance Companies and a Great Cleanup and Restoration

Fast Fire Insurance Claim Estimations at Your West Duluth Home

As disasters impact your West Duluth residence, your responsibility as a homeowner is navigating the terrain of getting your home back to its original condition as quickly as possible. With a fire, this means securing professional restoration services and working with the insurance provider covering your house. As overwhelming as this might initially seem, our team can help you to make it simpler and streamlined to get restoration work started as promptly as possible.

With fire damages in your West Duluth residence, you cannot allow the damages to sit for weeks on end as you scour the internet for the best reviews and ratings of restoration companies. It is ideal to have a service in mind already, but if not, you should focus on the team that provides a comprehensive approach to their restoration and mitigation services. Our SERVPRO team can not only help to preserve damaged elements of your home with our fast response times but also work to make the challenge of the claim process more efficient as well.

Once the first responders and firefighters have left your residence and the fire has gotten extinguished, you should call our SERVPRO team before any other phone calls. This call can get boots on the ground and our Green Fleet of equipment rolling out to your address with an estimator to inspect the full scope of the damage to the property and catalog all losses. We work closely with local and major insurance companies, which gives us a working idea of what documentation and evidence are necessary to validate your claim and our estimations to get the claim you file approved quickly. The Xactimate Program is universally accepted for budgeting restoration services.

We continue our communication with both the insurance provider and the homeowner throughout the restoration process to determine a concrete timeline and milestones that get reached. You can depend on our SERVPRO of The Twin Ports certified technicians to make fire damages affecting your home “Like it never even happened.” Give our experienced professionals a call anytime disaster strikes at (218) 727-2575.

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How SERVPRO Removes Mold From You Lakewood Home

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How SERVPRO Removes Mold From You Lakewood Home Mold damages everything it touches. Call SERVPRO at the first sign of mold in your home.

How Does Mold Remediation Work in Your Lakewood Home?

A chief concern among Lakewood homeowners is how their money gets spent towards improving their houses or to restoring damages that the property has sustained. While many might consider a situation like a mold growth to be commonplace in damp areas of their home, there are potential dangers with allowing the problem to persist or attempting to remove the active colonies on your own.

Mold damage can affect your Lakewood home in a variety of ways, but in summation, it poses the most significant risks to the structural integrity of the affected materials it feeds upon and poses potential health effects to occupants of your home exposed to the colony. Our SERVPRO professionals can help you to remove this colony and to restore the damaged elements of your home.

From the moment that our experienced team arrives on the property, we get to work in assessing the full scope of the damage that your home has sustained, and what areas require isolation to prevent the spread of the colonies. This isolation takes place with the use of negative air chambers and air scrubbers, trapping active mold spores within the confinements of the small proximity of the workspace.

Removal of the colony can happen in numerous ways, from spraying the anti-microbial solution on the materials and sanding them until the entire hyphae have gotten removed or tearing out the affected materials when the damage has become irreparable. Our SERVPRO technicians have the mindset of preserving the original materials of your home before seeking to provide cause for reconstruction, so our measures begin with what solutions have the smallest overall impact on your life.

Mold is nothing that a homeowner should face on their own, especially when you understand the risks of allowing it to grow and thrive uninhibited. No matter if you are looking for peace of mind that mold has not colonized in your home, or you have growth that has spread into many areas of your property, our SERVPRO of The Twin Ports remediation specialists can help you. Call us any time at (218) 727-2575.

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Do you Struggle With Water Damage on Your Duluth Property?

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Do you Struggle With Water Damage on Your Duluth Property? Water damage at your location can prevent a home or a business from feeling comfortable and smelling clean. Contact SERVPRO to remediate.

Remediating Water Damage in the Duluth Area

With the recent changes in the economy, Duluth residents are taking the risk and starting their businesses. Many are repurposing closed properties as their new place of business. That can save start-up owners higher rents, but when a plumbing failure happens, it can shut down the new business permanently unless they can quickly repair the damage.
 
In this situation, remediating Duluth water damage means speed. For SERVPRO, that means removing the water with pumps and extraction wands is only the beginning. The key tasks for us are to lower the inside humidity and dry the facility as rapidly as possible without accidentally causing secondary damage.
 
Our technicians start by setting up dehumidifiers. The industrial machines we use can remove 25 gallons of water from the surrounding air each day, depending on how much moisture is present. To augment their effectiveness, we also set up box fans at the entrances and exits to pull the damp air inside and force out it of the building.
 
With the devices in place, SERVPRO team members begin drying the floor and walls. They finish the floor with mops and squeegees to push any trace amounts of water off the surface and out the nearest door. To speed up the process, they also install air movers at key points to direct warm, dry air across floors. We use the same devices to force air across walls and other surfaces to force out moisture, so it is either captured by the dehumidifiers or drawn outside by the fans.
 
At the same time, other team members examine building material for damage. If there are any drywall or sheetrock panels, we recommend replacing them if they have already begun crumbling while still in place on the wall framing.
 
If wood support structures were affected, it might be necessary for our restoration specialists to sand down surfaces that cracked or split due to the excessive water. For interior wall framing, we can replace damaged pieces. If major supports were affected, the business owner needs to bring in a general contractor.
 
As a locally owned office, SERVPRO of The Twin Ports understands the needs of small and large businesses to stay open for every customer. If you need our services, call us today at (218) 727-2575. We are here for you.

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Why it is Important to Prepare for Water Damage to Your Duluth Business

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Why it is Important to Prepare for Water Damage to Your Duluth Business Excess water can unexpectedly close a business. Use our Emergency Ready Plan and Profile (ERP) to plan a response for an emergency.

Prepare For Emergency Water Damage To Your Duluth Business

The last thing a Duluth business needs is a water damage loss, particularly if it takes you by surprise. Water risks are everywhere in the Northland, including the dozens of rivers and creeks that flow into the big lake, the many kinds of precipitation that fall on your property year round, and the myriad of internal plumbing, roofing or gutter systems, and water-using equipment and appliances that can spring leaks. Plan with us to prevent a business threatening water damage disaster.

Our Emergency Ready Plan and Profile (ERP) helps develop a concise blueprint for responding constructively to avoid significant losses when water intrudes inside your Duluth company. We come to your commercial building to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your setup. After the inspection and a discussion with you about your concerns and priorities, we make suggestions to safeguard essential records, inventory, and business equipment from water losses.

The SERVPRO ERP mobile app offers you another chance to customize your preparedness plan even further. Use the app to identify crucial components of your operation that a water disaster exposes to damage. Share with us the names of key employees or managers whom you designate as agents who can act on your behalf. List vendors and contractors who could help us help you get a water-damaged version of your business quickly back into operation.

Fifty percent of the businesses that close even for a few days due to water or other damage find it hard to survive the slowdown or stoppage a disaster inflicts. SERVPRO works with you to devise ways to keep operations at least partially open as we help your recover from commercial water damage. Your clients and customers rely on the services and products you provide. Preparing for the worst and exploring ways to limit the adverse effects of a water catastrophe is smart business policy, rewarding your company with renewed confidence from your constituency at a time when other businesses might be floundering.

SERVPRO of The Twin Ports stands ready to help you prepare for all kinds of natural disasters and human errors that result in water damage to your business. Call us at (218) 727-2575 to set up a consultation that results in a comprehensive Emergency Ready Plan and Profile.

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Team SERVPRO is At Your Service When Things Go South in Your Duluth Home

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Team SERVPRO is At Your Service When Things Go South in Your Duluth Home If storms bring flood waters to your Duluth property, call our SERVPRO team right away.

Reliable Help For Flood Damage In Duluth

Lake Superior spreads out beyond the horizon north and east of Duluth, a vast inland freshwater sea that can create what locals call a “Noreaster,” featuring gale force winds and heavy rainfall. Storms with significant precipitation are frequent in the fall, and your home can suffer major flood damage after such an event. Our skilled crews and powerful equipment make the difference when we take on your flooding project.

The hilly terrain in Duluth exacerbates the power of the flood damage becoming more severe as the water roars down steep streets and terraced yards into homes and garages. We delivered excellent flood restoration results for our community during historic flooding events in recent years and are eager to help with your flood damage needs today.

Strong winds bring down trees, sometimes onto your home, opening holes in siding and roofs that let in torrential rains. SERVPRO provides board up and tarping services to secure your flooded property, and to limit the amount of additional water that might invade. Once the building is stable, we begin pumping out the water. If electrical outages add to the challenge, we utilize power generated equipment from our vehicles.

After the majority of the water evacuates, our crews switch to truck-mounted extractors, using wands and extensions to access flood waters trapped in cavities behind walls, in cinderblock cells, or in other recesses. Full basements are the norm in the Northland, and SERVPRO works hard to remove all the water possible before switching to structural drying techniques.

Our technicians are well-trained in striking a balance among air movement, temperature, and dehumidification when drying out the flooded areas. Consistent monitoring of the moisture levels of flood-affected buildings is essential to completing a high-quality flood restoration. The SERVPRO team never rests until your home looks and feels “Like it never even happened.”

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

If the gales of November bring flood waters to your home, SERVPRO of The Twin Ports is ready to remove the water and restore the damage. Call us day or night at (218) 727-2575 to schedule an assessment and restoration plan.

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Enjoy Your Lakewood North Shore Water View without Mold Worries Thanks to SERVPRO

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Enjoy Your Lakewood North Shore Water View without Mold Worries Thanks to SERVPRO Loving Your Mold Remediated Home on Lake Superior with the Help of SERVPRO

Reliable Mold Damage Remediation Up The North Shore in Lakewood

When Lakewood is your home, Lake Superior is often viewed in the distance, and the big water is never more than a mile or so away. Many small creeks and rivers run through the area, and the lake effect rains and snows take a toll on the roofs and gutter systems on homes, hobby farms, and businesses. Whether you live in a 100-year-old home tucked away in a rural corner or newer construction with a priceless view, mold growth can be a problem. We can help.

The North Shore area of Lake Superior features pockets of persistent dampness, and Lakewood Township homes are at risk of mold damage. Close to nature, often surrounded by forests, bogs, and marshes, mold spores are everywhere in the great outdoors seen through the windows of these north woods homes. Mosses grow freely on roofs, clogging gutters along with pine needles, and leaves, sending water trickling inside houses along the eave line or through the siding. If the moisture is not controlled, mold spores activate and multiply into complex colonies. Our Applied Microbial Remedial Technicians assess your mold damage scenario and devise a plan to manage it.

SERVPRO follows the protocol developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to complete abatement of mold infestations. We do not overstate the health dangers of mold, preferring our customers consult with medical practitioners if they feel ill or impaired when mold proliferates in their home. At the same time, we want to follow established procedures that keep residents safe and prevents moldy debris from spreading throughout a building as we remediate it.

We inspect your property, testing if indicated, finding the moldy areas, and design a containment system for the space. Heavy duty plastic sheeting provides a physical barrier, and the addition of a negative pressure air scrubbing machine and ductwork seals the places we find and remove mold away from the airflow moving through the rest of the house. SERVPRO uses mechanical means to scrape and brush mold off surfaces. Even porous materials infested with hyphae, the rootlike growth of the mold, recover from a mold infiltration when we use safe but efficient abrasives like soda blasting to remove the mold.

Manage the moisture, and you minimize the damage mold does to your home. Contact SERVPRO of The Twin Ports at (218) 727-2575 to set up a microbial damage assessment.

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