Your Checklist to Prevent Potentially Expensive Plumbing Problems
How often do you think about your plumbing? It’s easy to take for granted that you can turn on a tap and water will just start flowing, no problem.
Unfortunately, many homeowners overlook issues that could develop into significant plumbing problems, and maybe even expensive water damage.
Because we know how difficult it can be to deal with a major plumbing leak, we want to make sure everybody knows about proper prevention. The good news is that an easy visual inspection or simple test is often all it takes to ensure your plumbing is in good working condition and catch any problem before it becomes as major catastrophe.
Here’s a checklist of 4 common plumbing problems, and what you can do to prevent them from becoming a problem for you:
- Washing Machine
Did you know that the average washing machine will use up to 40 gallons of water each cycle? With that much water pumping through, you want to be sure to check both the supply and wastewater lines about once a quarter.
Be on the lookout for any signs of wear-and-tear or damage – a tiny drip leak could quickly turn into a major water hassle.
One of the biggest wear-and-tear problems for sinks are the seals and washers which will deteriorate over time. When that happens, you may not only be dealing with wasted water but a potential mold problem too.
You’ll want to check under the sink cabinets for any signs of leaking, which could include dampness, deterioration, or odors.
When your toilet starts to wear down, it could lead to higher monthly water bills, or even potential flooding and major water damage.
In order to inspect your toilet, remove the tank lid and flush and make sure all the components (like the flush valve and flapper) are all in good working condition.
One easy way to check for a toilet leak is to add a couple drops of food coloring into the tank. After a few hours, check the bowl – if you see the dye color, then you know there’s a leak problem.
- Showers & Tubs
Showers and tubs are often the most heavily used plumbing fixtures in a home, so it’s important to make sure everything is working properly.
You’ll want to check all the metal components like faucets, drains, and shower heads on a regular basis. You’ll also want to check the seals. If caulk deteriorates, it could lead to a mold problem behind your walls.
If you see any signs of damage or corrosion, or if you decide you’d like a professional opinion, our team of experts here at SERVPRO Hackensack / Little Ferry can help make sure you minimize any water damage. And if you do need more advanced help, know that we have all the specialized training and equipment necessary to handle even a large-scale water emergency.
Why SERVPRO is the Company You Should Hire If You Have to Deal with Water Damage this Summer
Water can be disastrous to your home and property when it flows unexpectedly and/or in large quantities. And the longer it sits, the worse the water damage can get.
SERVPRO of Hackensack / Little Ferry knows from helping thousands of clients, just how hazardous water can be – as well as exactly what can be done to prevent further damage and fully restore your property. Sometimes there are minor water issues you can totally fix on your own. But sometimes the best bet for your long-term investment is to bring in professional water damage specialists, for problems big and seemingly small.
If you’re dealing with water damage this summer, here are 5 reasons why you would want to hire SERVPRO:
- Advanced Training
Our SERVPRO technicians have advanced training and even continuing education so that they are well prepared to deal with the contingencies that come up around water damage.
In training, our technicians learn best practices and focus on the skills and techniques that are needed to thoroughly dry, clean, and restore properties after water damage occurs, ensuring safety and a long-term solution.
- Professional-Grade Equipment
It’s a fact that the longer it takes to extract water and dry affected property, the less likelihood there will be to save those affected items. While you may be able to start the process with a dehumidifier and some fans, you really ought to have professional grade equipment to quickly and fully dry significant water damage.
In addition, the professionals will bring specialized testing gear, such as hydro sensors and moisture meters, which can help determine just how wet your items, floors or walls are, and what would be the most efficient drying method.
- Years of Experience
You may be handy around the house, but water extraction and proper restoration takes practice and know-how. By hiring professionals, you will be getting a guaranteed experience.
At SERVPRO, our average technician has been on the job for years and has seen multiple water damage situations, so they are able to quickly assess your particular situation and put in place the most effective plan to dry your property and minimize the extent of your damage.
- Thorough Assessment
One of the most common mistakes property owners make is to underestimate just how bad their water damage problem is.
Not all damage is easily visible. Beyond any obvious flooding, water may have seeped through tiny cracks and may have even gone through drywall or flooring.
Without all the right tools and training, you might miss the thorough extent of the damage. But professionals from SERVPRO can and will follow the water problem to the source and make sure nothing is missed.
- Complete Restoration
Fixing water damage is not just a matter of drying out the affected area. After drying, your property still needs to be properly disinfected for safety, deodorized, and often restored in order to be normal again.
Restoration can include everything from a new coat of paint to a thorough structural reconstruction. Our SERVPRO technicians are experienced in getting your property back to pre-damage conditions as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
If you’re dealing with water damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of Hackensack / Little Ferry is always here to help. Our team of restoration experts is available 24/7 to come help you fix any size water damage issue.
SERVPRO Can Help You Clean-Up Smoke and Soot Damage after a Fire
Have you been the victim of a fire? Here a SERVPRO of Hackensack / Little Ferry, we know that every fire disaster is different. Some fires produce a lot of smoke, while others involve intense flames that leave lots of soot and ash in their wake.
Whatever kind of fire damage you’re dealing with, we know that what’s most important is that your recover as much as you can as quickly as possible.
Our team at SERVPRO of Hackensack / Little Ferry approach every scenario with a “restore first” mentality – and our specialized training and equipment makes it possible for us to restore your property to its pre-fire state as well and as quickly as is possible.
If a chemical fire extinguisher or water was used to put out your fire, we will remove any standing water and dry out the affected area as quickly as possible. Sometimes, some of the worst damage in the wake of a fire is the water damage that comes from the firefighting efforts.
Once everything is dry, we vacuum up as much of the ash and soot. Remember that smoke often extends further than the flames, so we make sure to clean in areas nearby to where the fire hit.
Once the loose ash and soot is cleaned up, we ventilate the affected area.
It’s typical for soot and smoke to settle on surfaces in the form of an oily powder. SERVPRO specializes in and has special solutions to clean this residue from your home.
If you’re ever in need of fire damage restoration assistance, you can rest assured knowing that our team here at SERVPRO of Hackensack / Little Ferry is always close by and able to help!
Are You Prepared for a Hurricane?
In case you may have missed it, May 5 -11, 2019 was officially National Hurricane Preparedness week, and this month begins the hurricane season, which runs through to the end of November. So NOW is the time to make sure you are prepared!
One important distinction to know is the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning:
- Watch – there is a possibility a hurricane may impact your area within 48 hours, make sure you have your supply kit, evacuation route, and emergency preparedness plan ready to go.
- Warning – a hurricane is now expected to hit hard within the next 36 hours. Prepare to evacuate and make sure your loved ones know your plans.
In order to make sure you will be prepared before hurricane season arrives, here’s what you should know:
Advance Planning Before Hurricane Season
Here’s what you can do now, before the hurricane season starts:
- Plan your evacuation route and destination. You may want to come up with several options so you can make adjustments depending on the direction of the storm.
- Pack your supplies. Extra clothes, a first aid kit, your medications, copies of your important personal documents, cash, batteries, a flashlight, a phone charger, and bottle of water are good to have on hand.
- Communicate your plans. Make sure your friends and family know your plans to minimize any confusion if disaster hits.
Safety Tips for When A Hurricane is About to Hit
When a storm is imminent:
- Move any outdoor furniture or items to a secure location and trim any trees or plants that may be dangerous.
- Make sure to stay tuned to the latest reports and be ready to leave immediately if there’s an evacuation order.
Returning After an Evacuation
After the hurricane, make sure to be safe in coming back home:
- When you first enter, don’t use electricity, machinery, or matches until you have determined there is no gas leak hazard or any other damage that may pose a risk.
- Wear protective clothing.
- Be on the lookout for wild animals or other pests who may have been displaced by the storm – they’re probably stressed too, which can make an encounter extra dangerous.
- Make sure to document any and all damage for your insurance records.
If your home or business is damaged due to a hurricane, you can at least rest assured knowing that SERVPRO of Hackensack / Little Ferry will be here to help. We have the advanced training and specialized equipment necessary to handle any hurricane restoration project large or small. We can even help you work with your insurance company.
Make Sure Your Home Is Prepared for Summer Storms
Summer is a time spent outdoors, enjoying time with friends and family at backyard barbecues.
Summer can also bring potentially dangerous weather conditions in the form of summer storms that can wreak havoc for homeowners. In order to minimize any damage to your home and property, here are some steps you can take now to help prepare for when the next storm hits:
Trim Large and/or Dying Trees
Some of the worst damage that can happen to a home during a major storm is the result of falling trees.
While the weather is nice, make sure to inspect all your shrubs and trees and remove any branches that has a potential to fall onto your home. If you suspect a tree is dying, you may want to consult with a tree specialist to ensure it won’t be dangerous during a major storm.
Make Sure Your Gutters are Clean
As in any season, keeping your gutters clean of leaves and debris not only helps protect your siding and landscaping, it can also help prevent costly water damage to your foundation.
Make sure to inspect where the downspout meets the gutter system as this is a spot where clogs frequently occur.
Secure Your Outdoor Furniture
If you have the space, the best option is to bring the furniture inside until after the storm has passed.
if not, make sure you have tightly secured any furniture on your patio or lawn. Consider using heavy duty chains or wires to connect your furniture to stakes. Or, try tying multiple pieces of furniture together with bungee cords so that their combined mass and weight can function like a natural anchor.
Put Together an Emergency Kit
If you’re wondering what you should have on hand in an emergency, here are the 15 minimum supplies recommended by the American Red Cross:
- Non-Perishable Food
- Radio (battery-powered or hand-crank)
- First Aid Kit
- Multi-Purpose Tool
- Personal Hygiene & Sanitation Items
- Copies of Personal Documents
- Cell Phones & Chargers
- Emergency & Family Contact Info
- Area Maps
Know Your Evacuation Plan
Lastly, in case the storm turns out to be severe, make sure you have a safe place to take shelter. Communicate with your family and make a plan well in advance so everyone is prepared.
If your home is damaged by a storm, call the restoration professionals of SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry as soon as you can. A quick response helps to minimize and prevent further damage, reducing costs. We have the specialized expertise and equipment to help you quickly dry and restore your home to its pre-storm condition.
Be Aware of Mold in Your Commercial Space
Mold growth is NOT a new subject. In fact, many commercial structures end up closing their doors to business for months due to mold contamination. That is why in any large facility the importance of maintaining that facility to deter water leaks, moisture problems and poor air quality should be the main focus.
Most mold growth is discovered after we get called to remediate a water issue, and we discover it growing behind removed material such as sheet rock, sink vanities, cabinetry, etc. In many instances, the mold growth has gone undetected for months, if not years.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the key to mold control is moisture control. Solve moisture problems before they become mold problems.
Mold Prevention Tips
- Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building as soon as possible.
- Watch for condensation and wet spots.
- Prevent moisture due to condensation by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
- Keep heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, flowing properly and unobstructed.
- Vent moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
- Maintain low indoor humidity, below 60% relative humidity (RH), ideally 30-50%, if possible.
- Perform regular building/HVAC inspections and maintenance as scheduled.
- Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours.
- Don't let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.
Potential health concerns are also an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth.
Obviously staying on top of moisture issues is the key to keeping mold under control.
Should your commercial building need mold remediation, remember that SERVPRO has specially trained technicians that can handle the job. No job is too large or small, and we are available 24/7.
Your Guide to Drying Carpeting after Flooding and/or Water Damage
If your home or business has been damaged by flooding or a water leak, your carpeting may be a soggy, water-logged mess. When this happens, it’s imperative to dry the carpeting quickly in order to prevent damage to your walls, sub-flooring or any other structural elements of your building. The good news is: the drying process is one you can often start on your own until the professionals get there.
Here at SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry, we know how devastating water damage can be to a home or business. As a leader in professional restoration services here in this community, we want to help make sure you mitigate any damage that may occur to your property due to a water problem.
Here’s your step-by-step guide to start drying your wet carpeting in order to prevent further damage:
Identify and Stop the Source of the Water Problem
There’s no sense in doing the work to dry out your carpeting if will just continue to get flooded. While you’re working on figuring out the cause of your water problem, see if you can find a way to at least prevent further water damage.
Remove Any Standing and/or Excess Water
Once there’s no more water coming in, your next step is to start to remove any standing or excess water.
A useful tool is a wet/dry shop vac which can be used to suck up excess water from a saturated carpet.
Separate the Soaked Carpeting from the Floor
Once you’ve removed most of the water, now you will want to separate the carpet off from the floor.
Begin along a wall, pulling away from the tack strips and moving across the room. Be careful not to use too much force in handling your carpeting, as wet carpeting is more fragile than normal and more likely to tear.
Once you’ve pulled up the carpeting, you’ll want to dispose of the carpet padding. (Carpet padding is typically inexpensive and generally easier to just replace than to try to dry out).
Dry, Dry, Dry!
Once the carpeting is separated from the flooring, it’s time to do your best to dry both completely.
It’s often useful to move the carpeting to another totally dry area. Use high-powered fans and/or blowers on both the flooring and the carpeting. Although a household fan may work in a pinch, if you can rent a professional-grade blower, the process is typically much faster and more likely to end with a positive outcome.
It is also useful to use a dehumidifier to remove the excess humidity and speed up the drying process, however typical models are not sufficient enough on their own.
Clean the Floor and Sub-Flooring
Make sure to thoroughly sanitize the subflooring to prevent mold growth and odors. Ideally, a medical grade sanitizer is best in this kind of situation, but you can also try a solution of one-part bleach to one-part water.
Bring In Professional Restoration Services
Because SERVPRO has specialized equipment that can do a job faster and more efficiently, even if you start with extraction and dehumidification, it is in your best interest to call the professionals who will do the job completely and safely.
Why SERVPRO Can Help If Your Water Bill is Too High
It can be normal for your water bill to fluctuate from month to month. You may be watering your lawn more in the spring or summer, just filled up your swimming pool or added a new pet to your family. As long as you know why your water bill is higher, there probably isn’t a problem. However, sometimes you may notice an unexpected increase…and that could be a sign of water damage
Here at SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry we know how disastrous water damage can be to a home or business.
To help you prevent severe water damage to your property, here are 4 common kinds of leaks to look out for that may be causing your water bill to be too high:
A leaky faucet may just release a few drops of water, but if you wind up with a severe leak you could be wasting as much as 20 gallons of water every day. That’s why it’s important to check each faucet to make sure there are no visible signs of a leak.
One way to check is by placing an empty cup underneath the faucet and making sure no water collects. You’ll also want to take a look at the piping in the cabinets underneath the sink, and don’t forget to check your outside hoses and water sources as well!
Plumbing leaks can sometimes be difficult to detect as many of your pipes may be hidden behind walls or above the ceiling. Still, you can at least make sure to check all the visible fittings and fixtures for any signs of damage or leaking, as well as pay attention to the ceiling and walls.
A continuously running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water every day and cause your water bill to soar.
One easy way to check if you have a leak is to dispense a few drops of food dye into the tank of your toilet. If you see the color start to come into the bowl, that’s a sign of a potentially bad leak.
Purification Systems / Water Softeners
If you use a water softener or purification system, that could be the cause of your bill increase. These systems tend to produce more waste water than other plumbing systems.
If you water bill is suddenly high, you want to make sure that these systems are working correctly and not producing excessive water waste.
However, if there is a problem with a leak, you want to find it quickly before the problem turns into major water damage.
Here at SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry, we can be there quickly to help you if you do have water damage. Our local team is made up of the best advanced technicians with the training and equipment needed to handle any size disaster.
5 Things To Do Immediately After Storm Damage
Storm damage can happen any time of year, but during the winter, the effects of storm damage can be particularly brutal. Heavy snow and ice can lead to roof damage that might ruin the structural integrity of your home and cause leaking. Strong, bitter winds might cause fragile trees to collapse.
Here at SERVPRO of Hackensack / Little Ferry we’re committed to help keep this community safe. We understand how challenging it can be to deal with storm damage. As a leader in the restoration industry, we’ve been helping homes and businesses in this area for over 10 years. We have the advanced training and equipment needed to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.
When you’re dealing with storm damage, it’s important to act quickly to minimize problems. Here are 5 things you should do immediately in the wake of storm damage:
Winter storms can quickly create hazardous conditions, such as collapsing roofs or damage to your windows and/or walls. Leaking can cause water damage that can ruin carpeting, furniture, and building materials, leading to an environment full of potential dangers.
While it can be tempting to want to rush in and save what you can – don’t forget that your first priority is to stay safe!
Be sure to shut off the main gas line if you smell gas, and be on the lookout for slippery surfaces, exposed nails, broken glass, and other possible hazards. If you decide to enter the affected area, you’ll probably want to wear protective clothing and slip-resistant shoes. Depending on the extent of the damage, it may even be necessary to arrange an alternate place to be while your property is being restored.
Call Your Insurance Provider
Contact your insurance provider as soon as you can to notify them of the damage. Your insurance company will send an adjustor to check on the state of the damage and determine payments for repairs.
Here at SERVPRO we’ll even work with your insurance provider to help you process the claim. Just let us know when you call!
If it is safe to move around or near the affected area, try to photograph the damage so that you have an additional record of evidence for your insurance company. This can help make sure you will be fully compensated.
Check if You Qualify for Federal Disaster Assistance
Depending on the severity of the storm, the federal government may have declared your property to qualify for disaster relief assistance. You may be eligible for aid or a low-cost loan for restorations
When a severe storm hits, it’s a good idea to call for professional restoration services as quickly as you can.
Your restoration services will begin with the basic tasks of inspecting your property and securing it to make sure it is safe. The damaged area will then be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized and restored as soon as possible so you can hurry up and get back to normal life.
Smart Home Devices Prevent Fire Damage
If you’re a cautious homeowner, you want to take smart measures to prevent fire damage to your home. In the 21st century, there are new Smart technologies for your home that can make these preventative measures easier than ever to manage.
SERVPRO of Hackensack / Little Ferry is committed to helping homeowners in this community keep their homes and properties safe. That’s why we love these kinds of technological advances that you can hook up to your WiFi network and smartphone to keep you and your family safe. If these devices detect something dangerous, you can get alerted right away so that you can hopefully take care of the issue before it becomes a major disaster
Here smart home devices that can help you prevent fire damage to your home and property:
Smart Fire Detectors and Smart Smoke Alarms
You can set up these cutting-edge fire detectors so that they will automatically send an alert to your smartphone if the temperature reaches a certain point or if there’s a sudden rapid rise in temperature. These devices can even be connected to your centralized security system for greater precision and control.
You can also get Smart alarms that detect smoke or carbon monoxide. Some of these devices will even shut down your HVAC system if smoke is detected to prevent further complications. If you connect these devices with a Smart security system, they can also automatically alert the fire department in case of emergency, no need for anyone to have to dial 9-1-1.
Smart Electrical Outlets
These are outlets that you can turn off remotely using an app on your smartphone. This can be good protection in case you’re worried you forgot to shut off lights or appliances.
Some of these outlets can even be controlled by voice commands when you are home, so that you can turn off electricity even from another room.
If you’re the kind of person who has a tendency to forget to change the batteries in your smoke alarms, you may want to invest in Smart batteries.
Most of these batteries are compatible with multiple kinds of alarms and detectors, and they will send you an alert when the battery gets low.
Smart Kitchen Shut-Off Devices
Kitchen fires are a leading cause of fire damage to homes. These Smart devices can help prevent such fires by automatically turning off the oven or stovetop.
These Smart devices are typically motion sensors that are installed to a kitchen cabinet. If you leave the kitchen, the device will start a timer, and if you don’t return before the timer counts down, the device will automatically shut off your oven.
All this 21-st century tech can go a long way to helping you keep your home and family safe. If, however, you do experience water or fire damage, know that SERVPRO of Hackensack / Little Ferry is always here to help. We have all the advanced equipment, training, and knowledge needed to restore your property ASAP.