Why Your Toilet Leaks and What You Can Do
Once you know what’s happening to your leaking toilet, you can act quickly before the leak gets bigger.
A leaking toilet can become a serious issue in your home. With constant plumbing issues such as this, you might have to deal with a lot of water damage. To help you prevent any more problems, here are a few common reasons why your toilet might be leaking.
Common Ways a Toilet Can Leak
• Supply lines direct the water from the toilet into the pipes. Both the joints of this line and the rubber lining can wear out or rupture, which can lead to water escaping and ultimately damaging the area around the toilet.
• Flappers can also become damaged and can lead to a large loss of water in the tank. Sometimes the flush handle gets stuck and allows the toilet tank to continually fill with water. This can lead to overflow and expensive water bills.
• The float is the small ball that floats in the toilet tank. If the float is damaged or cracked, this can mess up the entire flushing process.
How To Identify a Leak
If you notice a bathroom leak but you aren’t sure where the leak is coming from, there is an easy way to identify where the water is escaping. When dealing with a leaking toilet, the tank and bowl are the only two places that water can leak from. Choose one of these locations to pour in a small amount of food coloring.
Wait about an hour before inspecting the surrounding area for the colored water. If the water shows no signs of your food coloring experiment, try the other location of the toilet and test once more. From here, you can make several repairs to prevent any more leaking. You can also call a professional in Tulsa, OK, to help you out.
Once you know what’s happening to your leaking toilet, you can act quickly before the leak gets bigger. Some people choose to repair it by themselves, or they call plumbers. Either way, be sure to prevent any water damage to your home. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com/.
A Homeowners Guide to Fire Extinguishers
Arm yourself with the right tools to prevent and put out a house fire in Tulsa, OK.
As a homeowner in Tulsa, OK, you are an expert in many areas. When it comes to fire preparedness, you know the importance of having an escape plan, keeping functioning smoke detectors at every level of your home and having a fire extinguisher in case of a home fire. However, do you know which type of extinguisher is best? Do you know what information is relevant when buying a fire extinguisher? Here is a guide to help you decide.
Know the ABCs of Fire Extinguishers
There are many classes of extinguishers, some for residential and others for commercial properties. Each class works best for a different type of fire, and some combine to combat more than one type of fire. Those best for the home setting include a combination of the three classes:
• Class A rating extinguishers work best on fires involving trash, paper, wood, plastics and textiles. The container holds the chemical monoammonium phosphate.
• Class B rating extinguishers are for flammable liquids, such as grease, oil, paint, kerosene or gasoline. This also uses monoammonium phosphate, with the addition of sodium bicarbonate.
• Class C rating extinguishers are used in electrical fires and also use both monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate. Class C extinguishers do not conduct electricity.
• The numbers that proceed the class rating refer to effectiveness and area covered by the contents of the canister. The larger the number, the larger the area it covers.
• Extinguishers come in different sizes. Buy the largest one that you can independently operate. A 5 pound canister is a good choice to keep in the laundry room or kitchen, while a 10 pound extinguisher would be better for a garage.
Arm yourself with the right tools to prevent and put out a house fire in Tulsa, OK. Use a fire extinguisher to combat a home fire only when the fire is caught early and contained. If the fire has spread, promptly exit to safety and call 911. When fire damage occurs, contact a fire restoration specialist and your homeowner’s insurance agent as soon as possible. Ask for guidance on returning your home to pre-fire condition. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com/.
Inspecting a Commercial Property for Mold
A mold inspection can remove at least one of the unknowns before a business adds a building to its property portfolio.
Buying a building is a significant investment for any businessperson, and there are a lot of moving parts to this type of transaction in Tulsa, OK. Though it can be an expensive undertaking, hiring a professional to perform a mold inspection before the sale can head off major problems and remediation costs in the long term.
Where Mold Growth Can Be Problematic
To live in this world is to live with mold. At its best, it makes life better by contributing to the creation of bread, wine, cheese and some medicines, like penicillin. It does, of course, have serious drawbacks as well, though.
Prime spots in a building for a mold problem are well-known:
• Bathrooms are a place where mold can grow in grout, between wall tiles, and in the tub or shower.
• Windows that have been improperly sealed can allow moisture into walls or ceilings and facilitate mold growth. A mold inspection can reveal this to a potential buyer.
• Exterior doors without effective seals can allow moisture to collect and harbor mold.
Even slightly high humidity can facilitate the growth of mold. Experts recommend the prudent move of keeping indoor humidity levels below 45 percent.
Why Mold Growth Can Be Problematic
It isn’t only visible mold that can be troublesome to a property owner. Left unchecked, mold can destroy wood because it is an organism that feeds on surface nutrients. Mold that infiltrates drywall cannot be removed, and the affected area must be cut away. Carpets and insulation are also moisture-holding materials that mold can compromise to the point that they must be replaced.
Buying real estate can be a complicated process, and it is impossible to know everything there is to know about a building’s history or future. However, a mold inspection can remove at least one of the unknowns before a business adds a building to its property portfolio. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com/.
How to Check for Roof Damage After a Storm
After a major storm, it's a good idea to inspect your property for damage.
After a major storm, it's a good idea to inspect your property for damage. Your home's main line of defense is your roof, and it takes a beating. Since it's hard to see your roof, be sure to pay special attention to things like dings in your gutters or tears in your window screens which indicate hail damage. Even from the ground, you may see missing tiles or other signs of roof damage, but most leaks don't represent a need for whole roof replacement. Usually, the leak is coming from something requiring only minor roof repair. Find the source of the leak, stop it and clean the water damage.
Find the Leak Source
During storms in Tulsa, OK, wind damage lets the rain into your roof. From the inside of your home, look for stains that indicate the source of a leak and the area that needs roof repair. You may see water stains on your ceiling or coming down a wall. When you see that, get your flashlight and head to the attic to look for the source of the leak in that area. Here are five common sources for a roof leak:
1. Vents and fans
3. Window dormers
4. Vent pipes
5. Unsecured nails and nail holes
Fix Water Damage
To complete your roof repair, start looking for materials that have been damaged by water. Check for discolorations and rotting wood, as well as wet drywall and insulation. If you find mold, you will need to be very careful not to spread the problem during cleanup. A mold remediation professional can help by creating a containment area while working on the water and mold damage. If you haven't found mold, be sure to start drying any wet materials right away. Mold can begin growing on wet damaged materials in as little as 48 hours. Complete drying is critical to preventing mold, and it may take longer than you realize, especially in a humid attic space. Specialists have monitoring equipment that they use to ensure materials are completely dry. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com/.
Helping Your Home Adjuster Helps Home Repair
Insurance claims can be an easy process with proactive action.
After significant damage to your home in Tulsa, OK, your insurance company starts the process of determining adequate compensation and cleanup. As one of the first steps, a home adjuster is sent to personally investigate the damage, declare fault and approve coverage. Adequate preparation for this visit saves valuable time for starting up the cleanup and ensures the coverage is comprehensive.
Prepare Proof of Possession Damage
The representative sent for the insurance claim will ask for information about any damaged property. Researching and gathering records beforehand is very effective at stopping the need to scramble for it during or after the visit. There are several pieces of information that are helpful to have ready to hand over:
• Item description
• Purchase date
• Cost to repair or replace
• Hard copy of receipt to validate claims
• Videos or pictures of the damage and item before damage if possible
Inspect Your Own Home
Your own inspection should be conducted before a professional one. You will notice structural damage that wasn’t there before. As you go through your home, you should take notes on any new damage to structures. The home adjuster can then be guided to minor damage that may be missed and uncovered otherwise.
Multiple contractors can be contacted to figure out the price of materials and labor. It’s typical to reach out to an affordable professional restoration company. You can use all gathered information to understand what costs should look like to determine a fair price. Shopping around simplifies the process if you can offer bids for the work to your insurance that are affordable and dependable.
Throughout the entire process, you should maintain copies of every document sent to and from your insurance for your reference. Written records of names and phone numbers are effective so you never find yourself struggling to recall with whom you spoke to.
Insurance claims can be an easy process with proactive action. By helping out a home adjuster with preparation, you can ensure the repairs are timely and thorough. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com/.
How To Prepare Your Building for Spring Thaw
As spring temperatures plummet at night, there’s still a risk of a frozen pipe bursting.
As temperatures begin to rise and ice starts to melt, most people are happy to welcome the spring. While warmer weather is a welcome change, the spring thaw in Tulsa, O, can cause flooding in many communities. If you want to avoid calling in a water damage mitigation specialist due to a spring flood, there are some steps you can take to protect your building from water damage during the spring thaw.
1. Remove Snow
If you have a significant amount of standing snow around your building and covering your roof, you should consider removing it before it melts. Removing the snow from around your building’s foundations can prevent the ground from becoming saturated and seeping into your basement. Likewise, a buildup of snow on your roof can cause frozen ridges to form around the edges of your roof which can prevent water from draining off when the snow melts. This can result in roof leaks that cause water damage. Call in a professional to clear your roof of snow to make sure your business isn’t at risk.
2. Check Gutters and Drains
Check the gutters, drains and downspouts around your building. Make sure gutters and drains are clear of debris that may have accumulated over the winter season. Your downspouts should direct draining water flow away from your foundation. This will allow meltwaters to drain away from your building and prevent leaks.
3. Back Up Your Sump Pump
If you lose power during a spring storm, your sump pump won’t be able to deal with the rising water table. Connecting it to an emergency backup generator or replacing it with a battery-powered sump pump could save your building.
4. Insulate Your Pipes
As spring temperatures plummet at night, there’s still a risk of a frozen pipe bursting. Wrapping insulation around any outside pipes or pipes in exterior walls can prevent this from happening. While a water mitigation specialist in Tulsa, OK, can restore your building after a pipe burst, it’s better if you never have to call them at all.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com/.
What You Need To Know About the Flood Cut
A flood cut may not be ideal, but it is better than further contamination.
If your building was recently flooded, your Tulsa, OK, water restoration team has probably informed you that they need to perform a flood cut. While that may sound bad—after all, anything with the word "cut" in it cannot be good right?—it's actually a relatively simple and inexpensive procedure. It's also often necessary post flooding.
What is a Flood Cut?
A flood cut is a procedure performed to separate the damaged sections of a wall from the undamaged sections. It is necessary for several reasons, the biggest of which is that it prevents further contamination. Most professional flood cuts are made 12 inches above the water damage line. Any less and you risk adulteration despite having made the cut. After a flood, flood cuts are performed to:
• Remove all traces of water damage and restore your building to pre-flood condition
• Ensure that all contaminants are removed both internally and externally
• Get rid of all accumulated bacteria
• Restore walls to pre-flooding appearance
A flood cut is not always necessary, but it is common. Usually, professionals recommend flood cuts when flood water is categorized as two or three flood water. Category two water refers to water that contains known contaminants, such as water from a dishwasher or washing machine. Category three water refers to black water, or water from sewage backup. The goal of drywall cut is to get rid of contaminants and ensure that a home or building is safe to return to after a flood.
Flood Cuts Prevent Further Damage
A flood cut may not be ideal, but it is better than further contamination. If want to ensure that your building is safe for occupants, and if you want to prevent a major restoration such as a complete wall tear out, talk to your Tulsa, OK, storm restoration team about performing a flood cut. A flood cut may be the quickest way for you to return to business as usual post-flooding. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com/.
Is Security Fencing Necessary After a Commercial Fire?
Putting up fencing is an important part of responding to a fire at a commercial property in Tulsa, OK.
After firefighters left the scene, the security of a commercial property that has experienced a fire becomes the responsibility of the owner. In addition to boarding up open windows or holes in the roof or walls, owners should also control access to the property by putting up a security fence. Here are three reasons why security fencing is necessary in the wake of a fire.
1. Insurers expect owners to secure commercial properties. If you leave a commercial property that has been damaged by fire open and unfenced, you may have a difficult time filing claims for fire damage. Insurance companies expect you to do everything within your power to limit the extent of damage and loss to the best of your ability. This includes putting up a security fence for the duration of the restoration period.
2. Security fencing limits further loss from theft or vandalism. A property that has suffered fire damage can attract looters and vandals. Additional types of damage may occur if you do not fence off a property that is awaiting remediation. This damage is not directly caused by a fire and may not be covered by commercial property insurance policies.
3. Security fencing restricts access to prevent additional damage from occurring. A fire-damaged property is a liability. Even if a passerby is just curious to see the extent of the damage, they may cause further damage by walking on the carpet, compound other aspects of fire damage, or injure themselves on the site.
Putting up fencing is an important part of responding to a fire at a commercial property in Tulsa, OK. If you are unable to put up a security fence that will keep intruders out, contact a fire damage remediation company that provides board-up and fencing services. This additional step can end up saving you time and money during the restoration process. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com/.
When Nature Becomes an Art Critic
Mold cleaning is difficult when it comes to a prized piece of artwork.
When mold begins to overtake your paintings, it can feel like nature is criticizing your taste in art. What’s actually happening, though, is that the paint – particularly in older paintings – and canvas are fertile breeding grounds and food for mold to devour, and the climate in Tulsa, OK, may even be contributing to that. So is it possible to save your paintings with mold remediation and mold cleaning, or are they lost forever to the ravages of time and mold damage?
You Can Save It – But Stay Away from Chemicals and Water
Your first instinct may be to attack your paintings with bleach and soapy water. This can ruin your paintings even worse than the mold. Acrylics are water-soluble and will begin to dissolve; oils can react poorly with bleach and other chemicals. You might save the canvas, but you’ll lose the art. Cleaning a painting suffering from mold damage is a delicate process involving:
• Dry brushing. A soft bristle brush can be used to dry brush and remove multiple types of mold, although one should be gentle.
• A mild mix of alcohol and water applied only to the back of the painting; applying to the front can dissolve the paint.
• Careful wiping with a barely-dampened cloth with water and no chemicals. Don’t use a cloth wet enough to cause damage to the paint.
• Sunning to destroy the mold. Be delicate with this, as sun exposure can also ruin paintings. Use sunlight as a deterrent in short periods before returning to cleaning with dry brush methods again.
Prevention Is the Best Measure
Mold cleaning is difficult when it comes to a prized piece of artwork. While some can be restored, it’s better to avoid altogether by preventing mold exposure with your precious art. Keep your art stored in a cool, dry place above any normal flood levels for your area. If necessary, contact art preservation specialists about mold cleaning and prevention. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com/.
Say Farewell to Cigarette Smoke in Your Home With These Tips
Though these steps are effective in milder cases, in more severe cases, you may need to call in the professionals.
Not much is worse than the smell of lingering cigarette smoke in a home or building. If you recently purchased a home that is contaminated by the smell of nicotine, or if you have recently quit smoking and want to free your home from the odors of your past habit for good, there are a few home deodorization tips you need to know. Before you get started, however, there are a few supplies you need to gather:
• Baking soda
• A gallon of vinegar
• Clean towels
• A bucket
• A strainer
• An ozone machine (in extreme cases)
Wash Fabrics With Vinegar
If you’ve ever been to a bonfire or spent even an hour in a smoke-infested environment, you know how badly cigarette smoke can affect fabrics. The first step toward freeing your home of the odors of nicotine is to wash any easily removable fabrics, such as drapes, blankets and bedding, in warm water and vinegar.
Clean the Carpets
While your linens are in the wash, sprinkle generous amounts of baking soda over your home’s carpet and upholstered furniture. The best way to do this is to dump baking soda into a strainer and sprinkle it throughout your home. Let the baking soda sit for 30 to 60 minutes, and then vacuum it up.
Wash the Walls and Hard Surfaces
While you’re waiting for your carpets and upholstery to absorb the baking soda, move on to the next phase of home deodorization: cleaning the hard surfaces. Mix 75 percent vinegar with 25 percent warm water and scrub the solution on all of your home’s hard surfaces. Only file one-third to one-half of your bucket at a time, as the water will get dirty. You don’t need to be meticulous in this step, as even a light layer of vinegar removes the smoke odor.
Though these steps are effective in milder cases, in more severe cases, you may need to call in the professionals. A Tulsa, OK, smoke remediation team can use an ozone machine to rid your home of the worst of the smell, and a local contractor can seal your home deodorization efforts with a fresh coat of pain. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com/.