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Common Plumbing Issues in Commercial Buildings

10/5/2022 (Permalink)

toilet paper put in Flush.used paper clogging the toilet A blocked line can cause many other issues, including toilet overflow.

Plumbing Problems in Commercial Structures

Whether you rent space or own a commercial building, you need to understand these common plumbing problems. Some, such as a blocked sewer, are relatively easy to deal with, while others, including broken pipes, require considerably more intervention. Here are some typical situations that you might face.

Foundation Shifts and Cracks

Over time, foundations shift and can crack. This can lead to a number of issues:

  • Incoming and outgoing pipe breaks
  • Outgoing sewage line breaks
  • Flooding
  • Wall and floor damage

Although all of these are fixable, you can only do it at considerable expense. In some cases, your business insurance might cover these. You will have to check your policy.

Blocked Sewer Lines

Many things can obstruct the sewer lines. Everything from flushing the wrong item down the toilet to a piece of concrete falling into an outgoing line at the street level can contribute to this problem. No matter what precipitates it, you need to quickly take care of it because a blocked line can cause many other issues, including toilet overflow.

Broken Pipes

Like a sewer blockage, broken pipes can be disastrous for a business. A blockage may even cause a pipe to burst. When a pipe breaks, it can cause flooding problems. In the case of severely damaged pipes or flooding, you need to call a water remediation company in Glenwood City, WI. These specialists can quickly and effectively clean your business before the water causes other issues such as mold and mildew.

Deteriorating Lines

Depending on the building's age, you might have copper, concrete or even steel and cast iron lines. All of these are subject to deterioration. As pipes decay, they can seep or leak, causing mold, mildew and other serious problems. Periodic inspection of these lines is necessary to keep them functioning properly.
Take care of a blocked sewer or broken plumbing problem immediately since they can ruin your business and building. Although you can't always prevent them, staying alert can help get these difficulties fixed before they interrupt your normal operations.

How To Clean Black Mold in Commercial Air Ducts

9/5/2022 (Permalink)

Dust around air duct. So regular duct maintenance can mitigate this risk.

Air ducts are a haven for black mold. When is the last time you had your ventilation system professionally cleaned? As a commercial business owner, you know that costly repairs can seemingly come out of thin air. This time, they're coming out of your air vents.

Signs of Mold Overgrowth in Air Ducts

Watch out for these classic signs of vent contamination:

  • Black, dusty, hard-to-remove patches around air vents
  • The musty smell upon turning on the AC
  • Itchy, watery eyes and sneezing

It's always possible that mold overgrowth goes undetected. For this reason, it's best to remain vigilant and keep clean ducts.

How To Clean Ducts

Cleaning an air ventilation system is not an easy task. For this reason, it's best to consult a professional right off the bat. Attempting this feat alone is not only time-consuming, but it could be harmful to you and your clients in the building. If not done properly, attempting to remove black mold may accidentally exacerbate the issue. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take instead.

Contact an expert in Prescott, WI.
The right mold remediation professionals will verify that mold is indeed present.
Cleaning will begin, and if spread to insulation, insulation will need to be replaced.
The professional team will use the correct cleaners and tools while disinfecting your commercial air ducts.
Once done, now it's your turn: prevent mold regrowth!

How To Prevent Mold Regrowth

Step five is arguably the most important step. Taking the necessary precautions to prevent black mold from reappearing will save you and your commercial business tons of time, money, and stress. In order to stop the fungus from thriving, you need to first locate the source. What is causing the mold to prosper? Air vents are naturally a breeding ground for mold, so regular duct maintenance can mitigate this risk. Make sure the AC filters are changed out periodically. Reduce moisture and humidity in your commercial space. Use natural air circulation when possible, like opening a window. Keep the aforementioned tips in mind, and mold won't have a chance to damage your livelihood.

3 Mistakes to Avoid During a Workplace Fire

8/31/2022 (Permalink)

People escaping through an exit door To keep the fire from spreading, instruct your staff to use only emergency exit doors

What Not to Do During a Workplace Fire

 Making sure fire extinguishers are accessible and smoke alarms are maintained are crucial steps to take as an employer. If a fire does erupt in your workplace, it’s natural for people to panic. Unfortunately, this can lead to common mistakes that aggravate the situation. To ensure everyone makes it out of the building safely during an emergency, here are a few safety guidelines to remind your staff of during fire training.

Break Windows

Smoke inhalation is a threat to those inside the building. In an effort to access fresh air, some people might open windows or break the glass. However, when oxygenated air from outside rushes in, the intensity of the fire will build more quickly.

As smoke and heat rise, everyone should stay close to the ground and crawl to the exits to avoid fumes. If exits are blocked, put wet towels under the doors to keep out the smoke instead of opening windows.

Fail to Use Emergency Exits

Fire extinguishers. When a fire starts, people might try to evacuate the building the same way they got in. However, you shouldn’t open any doors leading to the main corridors, especially if the handles are warm to the touch. Flames could be on the other side of these, and opening them could feed more oxygen to the fire and expose people to smoke.

To keep the fire from spreading, instruct your staff to use only emergency exit doors, stairwells, and fire escapes.

Forget to Alert Others

When they hear the fire alarm protection system, some people may think it’s just a test. If they don’t smell smoke or feel the heat, they might fail to take action.

To protect everyone in the workplace, people who see the flames or smoke should yell “fire” to alert others that it is not a drill. Those trained to use fire extinguishers can try to control the blaze while others call emergency services for help. If anyone in the workplace has mobility difficulties, assign someone to ensure they can get out safely during your safety plan design.

3 Ways SERVPRO Helps Insurance Adjusters and Their Clients

8/31/2022 (Permalink)

Air movers drying an exterior wall SERVPRO's professionals take pride in their customer service.

SERVPRO Offers Three Ways to Assist Insurance Adjusters and Their Clients

The restoration experts at SERVPRO are committed to satisfying their customers. Local and national professionals work as a team to help manage the disaster recovery process, from restoring damaged property to working with an insurance adjuster. While the company's headquarters builds and maintains relationships with insurance companies, it is the local representative that will assist onsite in Prescott, WI. Here are three ways that these experts aid adjusters and their clients.

1. Arrive Quickly To Begin Helping
First, this franchise understands that when an accident or natural disaster damages a business, the owners want and need assistance as soon as possible. The company has over 1,900 locations across the United States and Canada, which enables its restoration professionals to arrive at a disaster site in under four hours. Additionally, this time frame holds day or night because these professionals are available to respond 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

2. Inventory for Information
Once on the scene, professional cleanup workers immediately address emergency issues, such as shutting off water and gas lines. After deeming the site stable, the restoration crew works its way through the property and carefully makes a list of every item, noting the degree of damage. In addition, SERVPRO’s employees will photograph expensive items. These photographs of the inventory will help insurance adjusters determine how much their clients will receive for the losses.

3. Pretest To Reduce Insurance Claim Issues
SERVPRO’s restoration philosophy includes pretesting, which asserts that it is better to restore than replace because repairing damaged goods is usually less expensive than buying new ones. After pretesting, SERVPRO’s local representative can work with the adjuster and its client to save money for everyone involved.
SERVPRO's professionals take pride in their customer service. Helping insurance adjusters make their clients whole again is just one way that these franchises contribute to their communities.

The Top 3 Challenges Posed By Large Losses

8/4/2022 (Permalink)

air movers placed on a hallway Drying equipment is placed to avoid further damage.

The Top 3 Challenges Posed By Large Losses

A devastating natural disaster such as a tornado or other severe weather events can result in a catastrophic loss of properties throughout Baldwin, WI. Find out more about the three main obstacles property owners and insurance agents must overcome in order to achieve a timely recovery.

1. Many Properties May Be Affected

Adverse weather such as flooding or a tornado can affect an entire neighborhood, town or city. When these events occur, local restoration franchises and independent remediation firms may all have their resources strained to the limit. The difference among these service providers is that franchises in a national company can share staff and resources to meet sudden spikes in demand for mitigation, cleanup and restoration.

2. Insurance Response Can Be Limited

Insurance agents and adjusters in a region affected by severe weather, or any other disaster resulting in catastrophic loss, may also have claims from many clients to inspect. As a result, it may not be possible to visit every affected property before mitigation is needed to limit the severity of the damage. Relying on a restoration company that arrives on-site within hours and thoroughly documents conditions makes it possible to start alleviating the destruction sooner.

3. Property Owners Must Act Quickly

The severity of storm damage can increase significantly over the hours following an incident. It is important to extract water within 24 to 48 hours to prevent serious mold problems. A local restoration franchise that is part of an extensive network can ensure that mitigation and cleanup measures stay on schedule.

Each of these factors has the potential to hold up recovery from an incident that causes catastrophic loss in Baldwin, WI. Property owners and insurers can avoid delays by relying on a restoration company that has over 1,700 locations across North America. Affiliated local and regional franchises can work together to provide mitigation, cleanup and restoration services after a large loss.

3 Proactive Ways To Minimize the Risk of Commercial Plumbing Issues

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

Clogged toilet, toilet paper on toilet bowl. Clogged drains are easy to recognize and easy enough to fix.

The Risk of Commercial Plumbing Issues

When you encounter plumbing problems, you could be looking at small problems or big ones. A clogged drain, for instance, is not the same as a broken pipe. Businesses in Baldwin, WI, and across the country would benefit from employing proactive methods of looking after their plumbing systems, diminishing the potential for future issues. Here are three proactive ways to ensure your commercial plumbing system keeps working properly. 

1. Check Your Drains Often
Clogged drains are easy to recognize and easy enough to fix. When you see water beginning to back up in the toilets or sinks, you could employ a chemical or chemical-free solution, a wire hanger or a plunger. Typically, you'll pull out whatever's creating the clog, or the solution will flush it through the rest of the system.

2. Utilize Appropriate Water Pressure
If the water pressure in a building is too high, it could lead to broken seals, damaged fixtures and leaks. High water pressure applies stress to the pipes, but you can monitor it by attaching a hose bib gauge to your outside spigot. You're looking for water pressure between 40 and 80 psi. If you get readings above 80, you may want to install a pressure reducer.  

3. Find a Plumber Who Is Versed in Various Plumbing Problems
Eventually, your plumbing system will alert you that something is wrong. The rule of thumb is the faster the fix, the better, but plumbing systems are complex, and most of their components are hidden. A trusted, experienced plumber can recognize issues quickly and prevent a small issue from affecting the rest of the system. If, for instance, your water bills are higher than normal and there are soft, mushy spots on the lawn, you may or may not consider a broken water main, but your plumber will likely pin it down immediately.
In the event of broken pipes or high water pressure, you'll need water damage restoration professionals. In the meantime, employing a proactive approach to your commercial water system can reduce your risk of experiencing plumbing problems. 

Steps To Replace Your Leaking Toilet

7/15/2022 (Permalink)

Bottom of a toilet seeping water A leaking toilet in New Richmond, WI.

How to Replace a Leaking Toilet

Replacing a toilet is not always necessary, but sometimes toilet repair is not enough to fix your leaking toilet. Inspect for water damage on the walls and floors before replacing your toilet. If you discover there is damage, contact a water damage restoration company in New Richmond, WI, so professionals can handle the remediation. Once you’ve determined there is no water damage, you can replace your toilet following these steps.

1. Remove the Old Toilet
Turn off the water to the toilet using the shutoff valve. Flush the toilet to drain the water from the leaking toilet. Continue to hold down the handle until the water no longer drains. Sop up the remaining water in the tank with a towel or a sponge. Use a cup to remove any water left in the bowl. Disconnect the water-supply tube. Take off the caps of the closet bolts and remove the nuts. Lift the toilet off the floor and place it aside on plastic or cardboard.

2. Prepare for Installation
Scrape off the old wax gasket. When putting a new wax gasket on the closet flange, make sure it is centered. Apply plumber’s tape or a light coating of pipe-joint compound to the fittings on the water-supply tube.

3. Install the New Toilet
Lift the new toilet by the bowl near the seat hinges. Carry it over the flange and set it on the wax gasket aligning it with the closet bolts. Press down firmly on the rim of the bowl. Place the washer and nuts over the closet bolts and tighten until snug. Repeat pressing on the bowl and tightening the nuts until the nuts are no longer loose. Cut the bolts using a hacksaw and replace the caps.

4. Attach the Water Supply
Connect the water-supply tube to the toilet and the shutoff valve. Turn on the water and flush the toilet a few times. Prevent another leaking toilet by pressing on the bowl and tightening the nuts again. Use the toilet for several weeks, then retighten the bolts.
Allowing professionals to tackle any water damage is advised, but following these steps will ensure a properly installed toilet.

How To Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

7/3/2022 (Permalink)

Dripping faucet Allow water to drip from any faucet

Winter storms can wreak havoc on your house, so practicing proper winterization and flood prevention techniques is crucial during the colder months. Did you know that most floods are not caused by excess rainwater but rather from a burst pipe resulting from frozen water in the line? Read on to learn how you can prevent storm damage and keep your house damage-free this winter.

How Do Pipes Freeze?

Unlike other liquids, water expands as it freezes. Therefore, if standing water is left in pipes before winter arrives, it will likely freeze and expand as the temperatures outside drop. Pipes that commonly freeze are:

  • Outdoor pipes that are uncovered and vulnerable to the cold.
  • Pipes located in unheated rooms like the attic or garage.
  • Pipelines that extend along the outside of the house where there is no insulation.

How To Prepare for Winter

As winter looms in River Falls, WI, be sure to properly winterize your home to avoid the need for storm damage repair. Empty your swimming pool, and blow out all sprinkler water lines. Drain your hoses, and open the spouts of all outdoor hose bibs to allow them to empty. Consider adding insulation to your attic, garage, basement, or any other uninsulated areas that contain pipelines.

How To Avoid Frozen Pipes

In the winter, be mindful of keeping garage doors closed to keep the cold air outside. In the bathroom and kitchen, open cabinet doors to keep plumbing fixtures warm. Further, if temperatures approach freezing, allow water to drip from any faucet connected to an outdoor pipeline; you are less likely to experience a frozen pipe if a small amount of water moves through it. Finally, even if you're leaving town, keep your thermostat set to a temperature above 55 degrees F. While your heating bill might be higher, it is still much cheaper than a burst pipe.
Winterizing your home is a relatively easy chore that can save your home from catastrophic damage. Avoid a burst pipe this winter by following these simple and helpful tips.

Where Do Different Types of Flood Damage Come From?

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded basement A flooded basement in River Falls, WI.

What Causes Water Damage?

Heavy flooding can cause serious damage to your River Falls, WI, home, but did you know there are different types of issues it can cause? Depending on the source of the water, your home and its contents may experience a wide variety of problems. Learning what causes water damage and why may help you call for the right type of assistance when these floods happen.

Outdoor Floods
When outdoor floods occur, the water source is usually from a variety of sources, such as:

  • Local creeks
  • Ponds
  • Clogged sewers

These floodwaters usually carry dangerous bacteria, animal offal and sewer contents. Because of its contents, professionals mark this water as Category 3 or black water. You should avoid handling this type of water if it enters your home and call a professional flood restoration service for assistance.

Indoor Sink and Toilet Floods
Flooding that occurs from an indoor source, such as a sink, washing machine, or toilet, may have different grades of cleanliness. For example, if the flood comes from a broken refrigerator line that is used to make ice, this is a Category 1 flood situation that should not be harmful. However, if standing water from a clean source sits for more than 24 hours, it can break down rapidly and grow bacteria. This can cause it to become dangerous to handle. Toilet water is usually considered a Category 3 flood and typically requires the assistance of a flood mitigation and restoration service.

Flood Damage In Basements
When spring thaws occur, they can affect your home's gutters and cause ice dams, which may result in serious water leaks inside your home from the gutters not draining water away properly. Basement leaks and floods are quite common, and depending on how long the water stands in the room, it may be either a Category 2 or Category 3 flood.

Different types of flooding in River Falls, WI, can affect your home in a variety of ways. Generally, avoiding the water until you can call for assistance regarding its removal is usually the wisest course of action.

Common Places Mold Grows in Commercial Buildings

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth in the corner of a wall Mold damage in a commercial building in Hudson, WI.

Common Places Mold Grows in Commercial Buildings

It does not take much for mold growth to occur. Mold is often found in dark, isolated spaces plagued by moisture. Mold can be costly and time-consuming to clean. The best defense against mold is to do everything possible to prevent it from ever happening. Here are a few places to check for mold in your building in Hudson, WI.

Common Places You Expect To Find Mold

Moisture, a surface, darkness, and organic nutrients from dust are all that is needed for mold to grow. Any area that has frequent exposure to water or high humidity can easily become infested with mold. Places you might expect to find mold include:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Carpets
  • Windows
  • Water heaters
  • Air conditioners

Mold may not be out in the open in these areas. Remember that it thrives on darkness. Look under carpets, behind doors, inside devices, and within any cracks and crevices if you smell or otherwise suspect mold.

Places You May Not Think To Look For Mold

The common places you expect to find mold are the places you expect to find water and moisture. The places you may not think to look for mold are the areas of your building you do not associate with water at all. Areas that are rarely seen and are only occasionally inspected are common spots for overlooked mold growth. As these areas are left unchecked for long periods of time, unknown water damage can quickly turn into mold. Ceiling tiles, wall cavities, and wallboard damaged by leaks can easily become infested with mold. They are rarely explored and provide dark, enclosed environments. Ductwork and electrical equipment exposed to moisture or humidity can provide ample places for mold to grow.
Mold growth is pervasive and silent. It can spread before you realize that it exists. Conduct regular inspections of your building to keep mold at bay. A mold restoration specialist can help with cleaning and mitigation of the problem, but once mold is found, it is virtually impossible to eradicate.