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3 Tips for Protecting Your Home’s Water Pipes During Cold Weather

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking tap If you plan to leave your home overnight allow warm water faucet to drip slightly.

Protect Your Property When Cold Weather Strikes

When frigid temperatures arrive, they can affect your Mentone, CA, home in many ways. However, one way they can be extremely damaging is when they cause frozen pipes both inside and outside. When water pipes become frozen, they can burst without warning and cause serious flooding that can ruin walls and flooring. Fortunately, there are several ways you can prevent this issue and safeguard your property when cold weather strikes.

1. Search for Air Leaks

When cold air is allowed to seep into your home, it can contribute to pipe freeze and flooding when pipes become cold enough to burst. You can reduce the risk by searching for air leaks inside your home and sealing them with fiber insulation or caulk. Air leaks can be commonly found around vents, loose electrical plating and near joists in unfinished areas, such as utility or mud rooms. If you find air leaks, take the opportunity to check any nearby pipes for signs of wear or damage.

2. Expose Hidden Pipes to Warm Air

Pipes hidden under cabinets, such as those in your kitchen and bathroom, can be more prone to freezing because they are rarely exposed to warm air. Opening your cabinets during freezing temperatures can prevent this and a pipe burst that could result in a serious flood. If you plan to leave your home overnight or for an extended winter holiday, leave the cabinet doors open and allow the warm water faucet to drip slightly, which can prevent these pipes from freezing over.

3. Winterize Your Pipes Before Cold Weather Hits

Taking time to winterize your home during the fall can lower the risk of frozen pipes later on. Have a flood damage and water removal company come in to inspect your water lines and ask technicians advice about steps you can take to protect your pipes now.

Frozen pipes can cause serious water damage to your Mentone, CA, home. Knowing how to prevent this problem could go a long way in helping you save the time and money it takes to make repairs in the aftermath.

What Kind of Storm Shutters Should I Choose?

1/14/2022 (Permalink)

Accordion storm shutter It is a good idea to install storm shutters in your home.

Protect Your Home During Storm Season

People who live far inland typically do not have to worry about needing storm shutters. If you live in the middle of Hurricane Alley, however, where high winds and flooding are yearly occurrences, it is probably a good idea to install storm shutters on your home. Prices of shutters vary according to quality and style. Here are a few options you might consider to protect your home during storm season.

1. Plywood

Plywood is the most basic protection you can get. Although it is heavy and not very pretty, it gets the job done in a pinch. At less than $1 per square foot, it is most likely the least expensive option.

2. Storm Panels

If you want to protect your windows and interiors during the threat of high winds but do not want to leave the panels up the rest of the year, storm panels might be the right choice for you. They cost $7-$15 each and can be removed when they’re not needed.

3. Accordion Style

These storm shutters are bolted to the sides of your windows. They are manually operated, unfolding to protect your windows from wind and rain, and their price ranges from $15-25 per square foot.

4. Rolling Shutters

This option offers protection from wind as well as insulation and privacy. They attach permanently to your home and cost $20-$30 per square foot.

5. Colonial Style

If you are interested in improving the look and privacy of your home in Redlands, CA as well as its level of protection, these shutters add a unique look to your home’s exterior. The price of Colonial-style shutters can be as low as $200 a window or as high as $500 a window depending on materials used.

6. Bahama Awnings

These shutters offer premium protection from storms and from the intense heat from the sun’s rays. They can cost $200-$1000 each.

When high winds rage, you want to make sure you have shutters that protect your home. Fortunately, there are options on the market that fit almost any budget.

Common Questions About Category 2 Water Damage

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

sewage damage in a commercial building If your commercial building suffers any water damage, rely on SERVPRO, we have a trained team ready to help you.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Category 2 Water Damage

If you are stuck with a broken pipe at your commercial establishment in Redlands, CA, you may have heard about Category 2 water damage and are finding yourself left with a lot of questions. Will water pipe repair address the issue? How damaging is this type of water? Fortunately, we have the answers you are looking for. Here are three common questions about Category 2 damage and responses to each.

What Is It?

There are three categories of water damage. They include the following:

  • Category 1 damage, which is also known as “white water.” This is clean, fresh water.
  • Category 2 damage, also known as “gray water.” This is water that sat too long.
  • Category 3 damage. This is also known as “black water.” This water is contaminated.

In other words, Category 2 damage started out as clean water damage, but sat too long and became somewhat contaminated. Water from a broken pipe would be gray water of this kind. If you haven’t completed the water pipe repair and the moisture has sat for a couple of days, it may now be Category 2 water.

What Causes It?

As mentioned above, water that sits too long simply becomes gray water on its own. It usually comes from a higher level and seeps through building materials after your building becomes flooded. For example, water that starts on the second floor of your building is usually Category 1 water but then becomes Category 2 water as it trickles down to the first floor.

How Can I Address It?

If you handle your water pipe repair quickly, your clean water will not likely turn into Category 2 water or cause significant damage. Seek help as soon as your building is damaged to prevent a huge catastrophe. If significant damage is already present, your local commercial water damage restoration company should be able to help you complete remediation and drying processes in a timely manner to help salvage your property.

How To Approach Your Homeowner’s Insurance Claim

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

Blue ballpoint pen, two antique brass keys and a home insurance claim from on a plywood clipboard. Take any necessary precautions to protect your home from ongoing damage, as this may not be covered by your policy.

What To Do If You Have A Homeowner's Insurance Claim

Navigating the process of making an insurance claim when your home has incurred damage can be daunting. Fortunately, most insurers have standardized procedures in order to facilitate filing. The following simple guidelines are instrumental in expediting the insurance process in Yucaipa, CA.

1. Preparation

As soon as you notice a problem that could result in a legitimate claim, contact a representative from your insurance provider. Because subsequent remediation steps can take time, beginning promptly is critical. More importantly, claims must be filed within a certain time window by law to be valid. Take any necessary precautions to protect your home from ongoing damage, as this may not be covered by your policy. For example, any standing water from a flood should be removed in order to protect against long-term mold or rot.

2. Documentation

As your agency prepares to send an adjuster to confirm the insurance claim, the claimant should begin to collect proof of the damages. Many providers will want photographs of the affected portion of the home, as well as any receipts for urgent repairs, temporary lodging or other expenses directly related to the incident. A finalized inventory of all affected belongings will be helpful at this stage.

3. Verification

Typically, an adjuster or other employee from the insurance agency will need to visit the home in person in order to verify the claim and its relationship to the homeowner’s existing policy. At this stage, the documentation must be made available to the representative. This should include any estimates from professional repair or cleanup services. For example, a pipe burst would require the adjuster to both see the damaged plumbing as well as any receipts for replacement parts and flooring repair.

Making an insurance claim can be an arduous process, but the peace of mind afforded by a robust policy outweighs any minor difficulties. By familiarizing yourself with the claim procedures, you can be prepared for a number of potential problems.

How To Prevent Space Heater Fires

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

Portable Electric Heater, Halogen Light Heater A burned space heater turns something that is meant for comfort into something potentially hazardous to your home.

How To Avoid Fires Caused By Space Heaters

Space heaters can make your home cozy during cold months, but a burned space heater in your home in Mentone, CA, causes more problems than it solves. In order to reap the benefits and skip the dangers, it’s important to take the appropriate safety precautions when you use your heater.

Establish a 3-Foot Radius

Your portable heater needs a lot of space. The cord is long, and it is designed that way so that you can keep the device at least three feet from the wall. It needs to be placed on the floor on a level area with nothing around it. Everyone and everything should give it a wide berth, including:

  • Children
  • Pets
  • Furniture

If you leave space around your heater, you are less likely to start a fire.

Turn It Off When Unattended

You may be tempted to leave your heater on overnight while you sleep, but this can cause problems. You can end up with a burned space heater if a pet knocks it over when walking through the room. Many space heaters come with an automatic shut-off feature, and this can help reduce the risk of fire. If you are not present and alert, your space heater should be off.

Change Filters Regularly

Just like with any appliance that requires a filter, the air filter on your space heater needs to be changed regularly to prevent you from having to call fire restoration experts for smoke cleanup. The manual that comes with your heater gives you instructions on the kind of filter it requires and how often it must be changed. Keep in mind that the more frequently you use it, the more often the filter will need to be replaced.

A burned space heater turns something that is meant for comfort into something potentially hazardous to your home. By observing safety tips and following the manufacturer’s recommendations, you can enjoy the additional warmth it provides without worrying about the dangers.

The Five Stages of Sewer Damage Cleanup

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

A truck from a restoration company You can count on SERVPRO, our crew offers our emergency cleanup and restoration services around the clock, 7 days a week.

The Sewer Damage Cleanup Process in Five Stages

A sewer backup can cause primary and secondary damage and pose sanitation risks. If you attempt to clean up this damage yourself, you should wear protective equipment such as coveralls, rubber boots, and gloves, as well as goggles and a respirator in severe conditions. Damage restoration professionals can complete the job quickly using industrial equipment and take measures to ensure that mold does not develop. Amateurs and professionals alike should proceed through all five stages of sewer cleanup.

1. Clean Up Solids and Contaminated Water

Gather up and dispose of solid waste. Cleanup professionals can limit the extent of the damage by quickly pumping out solids and contaminated water and treating the area with a pre-cleaning solution to kill harmful bacteria.

2. Tear Out Damaged Materials

Porous building materials can absorb contaminated water, and this moisture may lead to black mold. These materials should be torn out and replaced.

3. Disinfect the Area

The removal of porous materials can pose a recontamination risk. Disinfect the area to eliminate any microbes. Any exposed contents should also be disposed of and replaced.

4. Dry and Dehumidify

During sewer cleanup, thoroughly dry the area exposed to contaminated water to prevent mold or other secondary damage from developing. Ventilate the area, or use a dehumidifier to draw out moisture.

5. Restore the Area

A homeowner should wait until the affected area is completely dry before replacing any building materials that have been removed. Contents can be returned to the home once the restoration is complete.

Whether you experience a flooded toilet or a major sewer backup at your home in Redlands, CA, you may want to rely on the expertise of a sewer cleanup and damage restoration service. Trained professionals can ensure that the area is completely clean and dry as soon as possible to reduce the risks of sanitation issues and secondary damage.

Cooking Safety Tips: Reduce Fires at Home

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire damage is being restored by a specialist Our SERVPRO of South Redlands/Yucaipa team is the local leader in fire damage cleanup and restoration in the Redlands, CA, area!

Cooking Safety Tips: How To Avoid Home Fires

You do not want to start a fire in your Yucaipa, CA, home, nor do you want to deal with the fire damage that could be left in the aftermath of such a disaster. The risk of a fire at home can be reduced by practicing safety in the kitchen. Here are 3 tips to cook more safely so you can avoid a grease fire or another similar disaster.

1. Don’t Leave the Kitchen

One of the most important things to remember is to never leave hot appliances unattended. If you are cooking, make every effort to stay in the kitchen until you are done. You also want to make sure to keep children and animals away from hot or fiery surfaces. Pets and kids do not understand cooking safety and may even accidentally start a fire.

2. Turn Everything Off

When you are done cooking, make sure all appliances are turned off. If you have been using countertop appliances, make sure to unplug them after you are done with them. This is one time where you cannot be too careful, as a piece of kitchen equipment that is left turned on or plugged in can lead to a fire.

3. Keep Flammables Away

This is one of the most important tips for cooking safety: never keep items that can catch fire near the stove top. You may think that an item is secure, but you never know when an accident will happen, causing something to fall on a lit stove.

It’s never a bad idea for a homeowner to take extra safety measures. Being more mindful of your safe operation of kitchen tools while cooking will help you to keep your home safe from fire hazards. Remembering and implementing the three tips above puts you in a better position to make smart choices when cooking at home so you can avoid dealing with a fire and resulting damage.

3 Practical Flood Prevention Strategies Every Community Can Employ

11/9/2021 (Permalink)

Sandbags protecting a neighborhood If your home or business suffers any flood damage, you can call SERVPRO, we are always ready to respond to you.

3 Flood-Prevention Strategies That Every Community Can Use

No community wants to endure a costly flood cleaning project. While numerous flood prevention strategies exist, some measures are expensive, long-term projects, that may not be ideal for smaller communities with limited budgets and minimal infrastructure. However, practical techniques that do not require extensive resources exist to help every city and town, including Redlands, CA, reduce their flood risk.

1. Sustainable Drainage Systems

Paved roadways and concrete sidewalks are common fixtures in most communities. Although they provide convenient transportation avenues, these structures do not absorb water. Grass and other vegetation do, however. For this reason, it’s important for every community to maintain gardens and other greenspaces such as grass fields and parks.

2. Floodplains

Low-lying land adjacent to rivers and streams is prone to flooding. Instead of utilizing these areas for development, consider maintaining them as a floodplain. This may be an efficient flood prevention strategy because a floodplain acts as a natural water retention zone that can collect a significant amount of water. Floodplains also help slow rainwater runoff. Both benefits may minimize water overflow into surrounding communities, helping to prevent potentially devastating water damage to local homes and businesses.

3. Sewer Systems Free of Debris

In most areas, rain water is diverted into the sewer system. A significant storm can quickly inundate and overwhelm the system, increasing the community’s flood risk. The situation is further complicated if storm drains and sewer lines are contaminated by trash and other debris. For this reason, every community should take proactive measures to eliminate garbage, sediment and tree roots from sewer lines and drainage channels.

Recovering from a flood can be a lengthy process, especially if the damage necessitates extensive cleanup and restoration initiatives. While no community can fully eliminate their flood risk, these practical flood prevention measures can help protect the interests of residents and business owners by reducing the likelihood of a devastating and costly flood.

Two Types of Fires You’re Likely Not Prepared For

10/31/2021 (Permalink)

Prepare Your Home From a Fire

A home fire can destroy everything you own, and insurance is the best way to ensure you are compensated for damages. However, what if your house is vacant during the fire or is subject to arson? In these circumstances, insurance does not usually cover damage you incur. Residents in Yucaipa, CA, are preparing by taking decisive action to protect their homes and their pocketbooks.

Ensure Your Property Isn’t Vacant

Insurance policies have varying definitions of what constitutes a vacant property, but generally it means a property that has been unoccupied for 30 days or longer. Holiday homes only used for a few weeks each season may fall into this category. If you vacation or travel extensively, whether for business or pleasure, the insurance company could consider your home vacant if a fire occurs during your absence. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t get caught off guard by the finer details of your policy:

• Verify the exact number of days your property can be left unattended without being declared vacant.
• Prove that you were home at least once within the specified period as an extra precaution.
• Purchase vacant home fire insurance if you cannot guarantee that you will be around before the window of time expires.

Don’t Fall Victim to Arson

If you experience a fire that is purposely set, the damages may not be covered by insurance. Arson constitutes insurance fraud; in other words, it’s starting a home fire on purpose to collect insurance money. If investigators discover that your home has deliberately been set ablaze, then the insurance company can reject your claim.

Luckily, most homeowners don’t set fire to their own homes, so all you need to do is take some common-sense precautions to prevent others from doing it. Install basic security cameras around your property, particularly near flammable structures. Keep multiple fire extinguishers on your property and consult with experts on how to fireproof your home.

The stakes are too high to be caught off guard by a home fire. You stand to lose everything if you are not prepared. Fortunately, with the right research and preparation you can be ready for anything.

How To Prevent Mold in Your Swamp Cooler

10/31/2021 (Permalink)

You’ll never guess how swamp coolers got their name – and it’s not because they’re more effective in swampy areas. In fact, swamp coolers work less effectively in swampy areas. There are many running theories about how these alternatives to air conditioning came to be known as “swamp coolers,” but the chief theory is that the name comes from the swampy smell that rises when you have a leaking swamp cooler or don’t clean your swamp cooler well enough. And of course, that swampy smell rises from our number one enemy in Mentone, CA: mold.

Keeping Mold Out of Your Swamp Cooler

Because swamp coolers use water and convection to cool the air, they’re very vulnerable to mold infestations. If the standing water inside a swamp cooler begins to stagnate, the cooler begins to leak, or condensation begins to form on the outside because of temperature differentials, you may find your swamp cooler crawling with mold. To keep it clear:

1. Immediately inspect a leaking water cooler. Puddles forming underneath can prompt mold growth. If your leaking water cooler is beyond salvation, you may need to replace it.

2. Periodically empty and change the water in your swamp cooler. Fresh water is less likely to prompt mold growth than dirty or stagnant water.

3. Wipe the condensation from the outside of the cooler. This is particularly important in humid environments, and can also make sure your swamp cooler functions at max efficiency.

4. Frequently clean and dry out your swamp cooler. Dirt and grime mixed with water? Are a perfect recipe for mold. Meticulously clean your swamp cooler on a regular basis. This can mean fully emptying it and letting it dry out, and wiping it down thoroughly inside and out. You may even have to disassemble it to expose damp interior parts to the sun and open air, but anything is better than letting your swamp cooler live up to its “swampy” name.