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6 Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes in Your Home or Business

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 6 Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes in Your Home or Business Freezing and bursting pipes are not only an inconvenience but can also cause serious water damage to your home or business.

Iowa winters come with freezing temperatures and plenty of ice and snow, easily causing pipes to freeze. Frozen pipes are a problem because they prevent water flow and can eventually burst, causing damage and potential flooding in your home or business.

Water has a unique property, it expands as it freezes. This expansion causes an immense amount of pressure on whatever is containing it. No matter the strength of the pipe, expanding water can cause pipes to break. The good news is, there are ways to prevent pipes from freezing.

Which Pipes Are Most at Risk?

Pipes that are exposed to the outside elements and are along the exterior walls of your home. These pipes may need extra protection during the winter, which include the following:

  • Outdoor hose hookups and faucets.
  • Swimming pool supply lines.
  • Lawn sprinkler lines.
  • Water pipes in unheated, interior locations such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages and kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
  • Pipes running against exterior walls with little or no insulation.

Preventing Frozen Pipes (Internal)

  1. Maintain Heat When TravelingIf you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and prevent any water inside from freezing.
  2. Cold Water Drip- When the weather is below freezing outside, let the cold-water drip from the faucet. Allowing water to run through the pipes (even at a trickle) helps prevent pipes from freezing. When a pipe freezes the pressure created between the blockage and faucet will cause the pipes to burst. Leaving the faucet open will help avoid blockage in the pipes.
  3. Insulation- Adding insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces will help maintain higher temperatures in these areas. Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeve to help decrease the chances of freezing.
  4. Seal the Gaps- Gaps may occur where the pipes come into the building and allow cold air in, which can expose the area where your pipes are most vulnerable. Seal these spaces/gaps with foam insulation or caulk.
  5. Open Cabinet Doors In some homes the kitchen and bathroom sinks can be located against an exterior wall. Locations such as these are not insulated as well and cold air from outside can freeze the pipes beneath the sinks. To help fight the influx of cold air, leave the cabinet doors open to assist the movement of warmer air.
  6. Keep Doors Closed: Close garage and basement doors, by keeping them closed it’ll help keep the temperature a little warmer in these areas and keep out the wind. This is important if there is a water supply line travelling through them, as these spaces are more at risk in freezing temperatures.

Preventing Frozen Pipes (External)

  • Drain External Water Lines: Close internal valves that supply water to the exterior and drain water lines from the outside.

Water Damage Cleanup from Frozen Pipes

Once the main water valve is shut off  and the pipes are repaired, SERPVRO of Mason City can be there to help with the cleanup and restoration. The longer the water sits in the building materials, the more potential for damage and mold growth.

SERVPRO of Mason City is licensed, experienced, and available 24/7 when it comes to returning your home or business to its preloss condition, “Like it never happened.” As soon as we arrive, the cleanup and restoration process will begin immediately.

SERVPRO® of Mason City is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call us at (641) 424-3382

Top Causes for Business Fires in Commercial Buildings

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Coffee makers, toaster ovens and microwaves produce more than delicious beverages, snacks and hot meals. They can be frequently blamed when it comes to retail establishments catching fire. Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association show that emergency personnel respond to over 17,000 retail conflagrations yearly and rings up to be over $600 million in property losses. Appliances aren’t completely to blame: human error, arson, and equipment malfunction round out the list of possible causes.

Human Error

The best preventative for human error, is to ensure all employees and visitors know how to properly use all electrical equipment and assign designated smoking areas with secure places to extinguish cigarette butts.  A huge fire breakout can be caused by the smallest mistake. Like a coffee pot accidentally being left on or a cigarette butt that wasn’t completely extinguished.

Arson

Unfortunately, the leading causes of a commercial building fires are set by people with bad intentions. There are many reasons why people commit arson including, malcontent employees, vandalism and the desire to collect insurance money. A sprinkler system can help minimize the damage of a commercial fire. Arson not only affects business owners but creates a risk of injury for employees and firefighters, and possibly result in job loss for workers.

Equipment

Equipment such as boilers, furnaces and water heaters are vital to the functioning of a commercial building, but when improperly installed or incorrectly maintained, the risk of a fire happening can be high. Sometimes fires due to human error, such as when combustible materials being stored too close to a furnace, boiler or water heater.

In the event of a commercial fire happening, ensure that your business has a proper fire safety plan in place to help ensure safety. SERVPRO of Mason City can assist by providing you with a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile, which will give you a quick reference of important building details and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program. Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company. 

We Specialize in Basement Flood Clean-up After Storms

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

We Specialize in Basement Floods Clean-Up and Restoration After Storms

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your  basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - (641)424-3382

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Mason City and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (641-424-3382

Restoring your Commercial Property

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Restoring Your Commercial Property
We're here to help
Flooding and water damage events in Mason City commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Mason City

SERVPRO of Mason City specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Summer Sunshine and Safety Tips! Fire up your grills!

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association to keep you and your family safe all summer long.

When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire, and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
SERVPRO of Mason City wishes you a safe and happy summer!!

Summer storms could leave your business in ruins.

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

How quickly your business is able to return to normal operations after a tornado, fire, or even a flood often depends on emergency planning. It is easy to think that such emergencies are unlikely to hurt your business, because truly they aren't a terribly common occurrence. That said, it is even easier to just take the time to prepare for anything.

Even though every situation is unique, your business can still be prepared. Your commitment to emergency planning will help support your employees, customers, industry colleagues, your local community, and even the country. Additionally, it protects your business investment by giving the facility and company a better chance of survival after various emergencies.

Be informed:

Know what kinds of emergencies might affect your business and devise a plan to deal with them

Develop a Business Continuity Plan:

Plan which staff, procedures and equipment are undeniably necessary to keep operating. Plan a backup plan for everything. Make a procedure for what to do if your facility isn't accessible or if there are utilities disruptions.

Make Your Emergency Plan:

Evacuation procedures, shelter-in-place plans, communications procedures for before, during and after an incident. Make them. Practice them at least once a year.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

Promote Family and Individual Preparedness:

Emergency preparedness is a chain reaction. Preparing your business will encourage your employees to prepare their families, their families will encourage their friends, friends encourage other community members, so on and so forth.

Flooding and Sewage Water

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

It's definitely not the most pleasant problem to talk about, but sewage backups or leaks are very real and very serious issues you could face in your home or business.

 Sewage water should be assumed to be contaminated and hazardous at all times (until one of our professionals determines otherwise). Sewage water is typically referred to as category 3 black water. This classification is due to the dangerous contaminants in it. It's important to note that sewage water has the ability to appear clean. This is an instance of top water. If sewage runoff looks clean, it's usually because the waste and contaminants have sunk to the bottom. This water is still categorized as black water; not for the color, but for the risk it carries with it. In most cases of any standing water in your home, it's crucial to understand that just because you can't particularly see the contaminants or just because the water looks clear...doesn't mean that it is safe to try to mitigate yourself.


Our SERVPRO of Mason City crews are specifically trained to deal with hazardous water and how to clean any harmful remnants once the water is drained. Without that training, your knowledge is your most powerful tool to keep you from putting yourself at risk upon spotting standing water in your residential or commercial property.


If you experience sewage backup or sewage related flooding, let us be your first call. We make it, "Like it never even happened."

Flooded Basement from Storm

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flooded Basement from Storm Floating basement items

Dry Out Your Property After Flooding

When a city is founded beside a river, it provides an excellent source of running water, but the city also has the potential of sustaining flood damage during storms. The unique geographic position that some homes hold near the river means that they also run the risk of flooding during an unusually severe storm. Excessive rainwater, intense winds, and debris that are carried by the rushing water make this situation dangerous for the longevity of your home. Fortunately, once the storm settles, and the water returns to the river, professional help nearby is only a phone call away. 
 
A wayward rock breaking a window is an easy way that water can rush into your living room and cause flooding in your Mason City home. The hardwood floors, expensive furniture, and electronics are all in danger from the moment the water touches them. Unfortunately, the longer the water sits without removal, the more damage it can cause to your precious belongings. 
 
Wood can warp and blister when exposed to water while it absorbs it, and electronics can short out. Allowing this water to sit stagnant for even a couple of days runs the risk of letting microbial growth to occur. Mold growing in your home can cause further damages and thus eat more expenses to remediate. It is best to call for help as soon as you find flood water in your home. 
 
Here at SERVPRO, we strive to get to your home as soon as we can after your call. Our technicians  bring industrial quality trade technology to your home so they can extract the water as quickly as possible. Using tools like extractors, submersible pumps, and wet/dry vacuums allow SERVPRO to remove the water swiftly. Acting immediately is what lets us move onto drying out your home. 
 
When the river in your city floods and causes damage to your home, do not pause. Phone SERVPRO of Mason City at 641-424-3382. Let us help you return your home to its pre-flood state. 

Call SERVPRO for a mold inspection after water damage

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Call SERVPRO for a mold inspection after water damage Mold growth just a day after water into there basement in Mason City.

Call SERVPRO after Water Damage to Help Prevent Mold Growth

Sometimes a slow leak occurs inside your home causing damage that goes unnoticed. Many times people do not know that water damage occurred until they notice a foul mildew smell or see the presence of black mold. Once mold exists, spores created by the fungus can travel to other rooms inside your house.

The spores easily become air-bound and travel to other areas of your home, possibly creating an issue with fungi in other areas besides the source. SERVPRO's technicians know how to mitigate mold. We always follow a strict set of procedures when mitigating fungal issues so that the fungus does not spread into other areas of the home or complex.

Water damage scenarios create increased moisture that makes a good environment for mold development. Mold needs water, food and the ideal temperature to form and become a problem. Mold feeds off of any organic materials including paper and wood.

Various strains of mold grow in different temperatures. Some rare mold strains develop in extremely cold or hot temperatures. However, most types of fungi develop between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most types of fungus need incredibly high levels of moisture to survive. Although, some mold strains exist in rooms that have a relative humidity of 65%. When trying to prevent mold growth after a water damage situation, we attempt to drop the relative humidity below 65%.

The time it takes for mold to develop depends on the conditions. Some forms of fungus grow within twelve hours of a water damage problem taking place. Other molds grow into colonies but take between 24 and 48 hours to develop.

Most houses offer many food sources for a fungus. Outside dirt, drywall, carpet, and paper all offer mold growth opportunities if the moisture levels and the temperature inside are ideal. The more time that passes, the worse a mold problem can get.

If water sits inside your home for a long time, then it spreads to areas where microbes already exist and cause mold to develop. For help preventing fungus growth, call SERVPRO  of Mason City, IA 24/7 emergency service.  

Fire with water damage

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire with water damage Source of the fire started here with the electrical.

SERVPRO Technicians Have Experience and Training to Restore Your Home after Fire Damage

There is nothing that can make you overwhelmed quite as much as witnessing the effects of a recent fire in your residence. While you might not exactly know how to rectify the damages that you see, you are fortunately not alone to have to figure it out on your own. One of the main concerns with more considerable fires is the water damage that is often present after the fire occurs.

While you might be able to identify many of the content in the  home following the blaze, there are still multiple issues that require a trained eye and specialized equipment to locate and assess. For as critical as water damage restoration is to specific house fires, having trained technicians like our SERVPRO team can help you to understand the full scope of the damage that the home faces and the best approach to restoring it.

When it comes to contending with the water damage that you could experience in your home after firefighting efforts have completed, our SERVPRO technicians must scope out the farthest reaches of this damage with the use of thermal imagery from an infrared device. Once this persistent water gets found, drying and dehumidification efforts can begin. This process typically involves the use of air movers and dehumidifiers.

One of the primary reasons that addressing this type of damage first before anything else is the hindering nature of this kind of issue to the rest of the fire restoration process. Apart from this, the warmer temperatures annually throughout this region of the country, combined with the dampness and moisture of the incident, could allow for compounding damages like mold growth to occur on top of the long list of fire damage restoration tasks to complete.

While you might not always think about water damages after a fire to your home, this is one of the first things that our experienced team of specialists looks to resolve when we get dispatched to your restoration project. Our SERVPRO of Mason City technicians are available 24/7 to help you through any disaster your home might experience at (641)424-3382