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Tips for Snaking a Drain

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

a new plumbers snake tool on a white background If you know how to snake your drain properly, though, it can also be an easy fix.

Tips for Snaking a Drain

If you have a clogged shower or sink in your home in Oak Highlands, TX, it helps to have a plunger handy. Sometimes, however, the plunger doesn't do the trick. If you have a clog that you can't plunge clean, try using a drain snake. Here are a few tips for using one effectively.

Identify the Cause

It's helpful if you know what is clogging your drain before you stick the auger down in it. If it gets too compacted, it could weaken the pipe and eventually cause a pipe break. There are several common causes of clogs:

  • Hair
  • Greasy food particles
  • Soap residue
  • Mineral buildup

Solid objects may offer resistance to the auger until they're broken up, allowing them to be pulled out. Loose particles may break up and simply wash down the drain.

Thread the Auger Firmly

Insert the auger and slowly crank it to move the snake down the drain. You don't want to jam the auger quickly into your clogged pipe, but don't be surprised if you have to apply a little pressure to get it past the pipe's bend. You may also need to apply pressure to break up the clog once the tip of the snake reaches it.

Test With Water Blast

Water remediation experts recommend that you test to see if the drain is open after you have snaked it to avoid an overflow. Even if you are able to pull out the objects that have stopped up the pipe, you still need to test to see if the job is done. Turn the water on as high as it will go to flood the pipe. If the clog is gone, it should drain quickly and easily. If the water takes a long time to go down the drain, try snaking the drain again.
A clogged pipe can be a nuisance. If you know how to snake your drain properly, though, it can also be an easy fix.

4 Ways to Prepare Your Business for a Snow Storm

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Women watching tv and use remote controller When you are expecting a storm of any kind, you should make sure to tune in to the news to keep an eye on any changes that occur

Prepare Your Business for a Snow Storm

If you are expecting a snow storm in Oak Tree Village, TX, it is important to prepare your business for this severe weather. You should take steps to keep both your building and your employees safe during this time. The following are a few ways that you can do this.

1. Watch the News

When you are expecting a storm of any kind, you should make sure to tune in to the news to keep an eye on any changes that occur. It is possible that the storm may get stronger over time or may change direction. You will need to know if this happens so you can adjust your plans accordingly.

2. Inspect for Damage

If your building is damaged, it may get worse during severe weather, so you should perform an inspection beforehand. Check for cracks in the exterior, because these can let in water that can weaken building materials or contribute to mold growth. Make sure that all of your doors and windows are properly insulated and sealed as well.

3. Keep the Building Warm

If the temperature drops during the storm, this can lead to freezing pipes. This may result in a pipe burst that can cause flooding in the building. In order to prevent this, you should keep the building warm even when you are not there. Insulate the pipes and make sure the warm air is able to circulate in the area.

4. Allow Employees to Work From Home

During a snow storm, it is generally unsafe for anyone to be driving. Because of this, it is a good idea to have your employees work from home instead of coming in to the office. Make a plan ahead of time so that everyone knows what is expected.
Even if you are well prepared, your building may still have some damage after a snow storm. If this happens, contact a cleanup and restoration service. They will be able to perform any necessary repairs to your building and belongings.

5 Alternatives to Candles To Keep Your Home Safe

10/12/2019 (Permalink)

Fairy lights Fairy lights are another flameless solution

5 Alternatives to Candles To Keep Your Home Safe

Candles provide warm light and a refreshing scent in your home. They also pose a credible fire hazard. An unattended candle flame can contact a flammable object and create disastrous fire damage. Even though a fire restoration company can help you bring your home back, candle alternatives can prevent these incidents. Continue reading and consider some of the following options.

1. Oil and Wax Warmers

Warmers are safer solutions that deliver both light and a refreshing scent without an exposed flame. They usually have a small dish with either essential oils or wax. The device, powered by batteries or electricity, heats up the contents, providing aroma and illumination.

2. Electric Candles

If you value the light and aesthetic value that candles give, then you might appreciate electric candles. These items operate on batteries. They largely resemble actual candles and generate around the same amount of light, but they can be left alone with no candle fire risk.

3. Book Lights

When using light mainly for visual purposes like reading, book lights are the perfect candle alternatives. These devices come with clips so you can attach them inside books, near desks or on any convenient area. They give enough reading light without consuming too much energy or disturbing others.

4. Fairy Lights

Fairy lights are another flameless solution. These lights are powered by electricity or batteries and can be spread throughout the room to create relaxed, atmospheric lighting. Fairy lights can last for a long time and come in a variety of colors and shapes.

5. Stick Diffusers

There are several options if you are simply looking for an elegant scent for your home. Stick diffusers deliver a strong fragrance without using any power source. Sticks such as reed absorb the scented oil in the bottle and spread out the pleasant smell.
Though candles may provide both illumination and fragrance for your Hamilton Park, TX, home, there are plenty of safe candle alternatives. Using any of these items can prevent a candle fire from destroying your house.

What You Need To Know About Business Interruption Insurance

9/28/2019 (Permalink)

The floor of a building covered with water Commercial water damage in Wilshire Heights, TX

If a major crisis occurs, such as flooding, it may result in you having to shut down your business in Wilshire Heights, TX, for an extended period of time while a cleanup and restoration company makes necessary repairs. While some businesses may be forced to close their doors permanently when faced with this situation, business interruption insurance can help cover the costs during this time period and allow you to reopen as soon as possible.

What Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover

Business interruption insurance typically only covers damage caused by natural disasters, so some issues such as a broken pipe are not be covered. However, this usually only includes natural disasters that are already covered by your policy. For instance, flooding is not covered unless you have flood insurance added to your policy. Additionally, a partial closure is most often not covered.

After submitting a claim and providing sufficient proof, there are several costs your business income insurance can help cover:

  • Lost revenue
  • Rent or lease payment
  • Employee wages
  • Business taxes
  • Relocation costs
  • Loan payments
  • Loss of ingress or egress
  • Operating expenses and other fixed costs


How Much Coverage Do You Need?

Business interruption insurance can be added to your business’s property policy or may come as part of a package. When first buying the policy, you need to determine how much coverage you need if large water damage or another issue ever takes you by surprise. If you set your coverage limit too low, you may need to cover some costs out of pocket. It is important to consider how likely it is your business can be affected by a natural disaster, estimate how much time you might need to recuperate, and consider the availability of other commercial spaces near your building.

Having to close your business due to flooding or other natural disasters is certainly a stressful experience for any owner. Adding a business insurance policy to your current property policy may be your only hope for quickly recovering from the damage.

How To Prevent Mold in Your Home

9/22/2019 (Permalink)

Drywall and subfloor removed from a bathroom wall due to a water leak and mold was found inside walls Bathroom mold damage in Urban Reserve, TX

Mold and water damage can be a time consuming problem in Urban Reserve, TX, so it's best to prevent it before it happens. To control the mold, all you need to do is control the water in your home. As long as it's all going where it's supposed to, you shouldn't ever have a problem!

Problem Areas

In a typical household there are areas that are most commonly found to harbor mold growth. That is because they are rooms of your house that run a lot of water through them, making them more likely places for leaks and accumulating water. These places can also get humid, so be sure to ventilate them well. They include:

  • bathrooms
  • kitchen
  • HVAC system
  • laundry room

Plumbing

Obviously, your plumbing is the culprit behind a lot of potential leakage and water damage. Backed up drains and sewage floods can also be a concern. Look out for even the smallest drip and check under your sinks often. You can also check your ceilings for dripping water that could indicate a pipe leak above. Beware if you notice leaks under your toilet or in shower when you flush.

Outside Leaks

The outside coming in can be another source of water damage. A leaky roof or window can cause big problems later. Even the smallest drip can accumulate over time. Make sure any problems are addressed as soon as you notice them in order to prioritize mold prevention. To keep your house dry and free of humidity you should also make sure your attic and basement are properly sealed and insulated.
Water damage is a huge source of mold growth, so if you take care of it as soon as possible you shouldn't ever see an outbreak. If you do manage to find a mold problem, it is recommended that you call mold remediation specialists so that you do not inadvertently make it worse.

Cleaning Up After a Flood

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

A rolled carpet and someone extracting water from the floor Rug damaged by water

After a flood happens in Vickery Meadows, TX, homeowners may be faced with property losses and damage. Unlike a pipe leak, which is relatively clean water, the cleaning requirements for floodwaters are different. Along with potential black water in the mix, there can also be debris and loosened materials to watch for.

Assessing the Damage

Anything the flood waters touch will need to be addressed. If the flooding is overwhelming, a flood clean professional help you address the problem and provide services to get your home looking “Like it never even happened.” During an initial inspection, in addition to checking flooring and walls, check the following for any contact with the waters:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Carpet
  • Kitchen utensils, plates, cups, etc.
  • Appliances
  • Mattresses
  • Toys

While some of these may be able to be cleaned, such as appliances and furniture, some of them should be thrown away. Things like mattresses and stuffed animals can be difficult to completely clean. If a rug has been saturated more than 24 hours, it may need to be tossed. Any clothes, rugs and furniture should immediately be removed and set out to dry before cleaning.

A Thorough Clean

One of the main cleaning requirements for flood waters is a good flood disinfectant. It will not only eliminate bacteria, stains and odors but also help reduce the potential for mold to grow. Once any wet items have been dried, usually for at least 48 hours, the cleaning process can start. Be sure to clean anything that has been in contact with water and remember to take safety precautions during the process, such as:

  • Wear disposable gloves and clothing.
  • Avoid touching the face or eyes.
  • Refresh cleaning solution when it becomes cloudy.
  • Thoroughly wash hands after cleaning.

While cleaning requirements may feel overwhelming on top of all the other stresses from the flooding itself, it’s important to ensure everything is clean. That will ensure any mold or bacteria is stopped in its tracks before becoming an issue down the road.

How To Prevent Broken Pipes While on Vacation

8/22/2019 (Permalink)

Examine the sump pump

Vacation is supposed to be a time of relaxation, not one that has you receiving a call to head home to Lochwood, TX, and plan for a water pipe repair job. If you want to relax while you're spending a week away with family, you can take steps to prevent a broken pipe from occurring while you're away from home. Simply have a professional perform a full inspection before you leave.

Check All the Pipes

The first thing your inspector should do is check your pipes, windows, and water heater for leaks. He or she will look in several places:

  • Under the bathroom sink and tub
  • Behind the toilet
  • Under the kitchen sink
  • Around all the windowsills
  • Behind and around your water heater

If leaks are found, your inspector will either reseal them immediately or recommend someone to perform more extensive repairs.

Examine the Sump Pump

If your sump pump hasn't been inspected in a while, you'll also need to have someone examine it. A professional can ensure there is no chance of it causing your property to become flooded by examining its overall condition, clearing it of debris, and detecting and repairing issues that create strange sounds. The examiner can also install a battery backup in case of a power outage while you're on vacation.

Have Someone Check on Your Home

Finally, while you're away, it is important to have someone keep an eye on your house. Provide a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor with the keys to your home so he or she can check on things. This is especially important during cold weather that could cause pipes to freeze and burst. Your house sitter should also have directions to follow in case you do need water pipe repair.

A broken pipe at home can lead to a less-than-exciting vacation. By preparing your home before leaving, you help to ensure your time away isn't interrupted by an unexpected problem.

The Essentials of Your Business's First Aid Kit

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

Items in a first aid kit

Items That Every First Aid Kit Should Have

From paper cuts to falls to natural disasters, such as devastating storms or floods, you do not want to think about these instances as a business owner in Lochwood, TX. However, if you have two or more employees, a first aid kit is required by the federal government. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration expects a business to maintain a certain amount of supplies in case of any medical issues or emergencies, and the size and type of the kit depend on the company. The following list enumerates the items that should be in every first aid kit:

1. Bandages

Regular gauze pads
Two large gauze pads
Band-aids
Gauze roller bandage
Two triangular bandages

2. Tweezers
3. Blanket
4. Adhesive tape
5. Latex gloves
6. Elastic wraps
7. Splint
8. Moistened antiseptic towelettes for cleaning wounds
9. CPR equipment to include resuscitation mask, airway or pocket mask
10. Scissors — preferably a bandage scissors
11. Directions for requesting emergency assistance

This is the minimum requirement. There are several websites which sell pre-stocked kits in various sizes.

Restock any supplies as needed to keep the inventory current. Keep a checklist in the first aid kit and make notes each time an item is depleted. Also, keep track of anything that has an expiration date. Once the date has passed, throw the item away in the proper manner. Although bandages may expire, they can always be used in an emergency to stop bleeding.

OSHA states larger businesses need multiple first aid kits. For those industries which do not have an in-house clinic, business owners are encouraged to have employees take classes in basic first aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Automated External Defibrillators. The American Red Cross has several classes and will also come to your office for on-site training. A storm damage restoration specialist can give you the information to make the best decision on what kind of emergency kit your office needs.

Protecting Your Business After a Fire

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

Roof tarping in Northeast Dallas, TX

Protecting Your Business After a Fire

If your Northeast Dallas, TX, business has undergone fire damage then you may be wondering how best to proceed with fire cleanup and protecting the property. Here are a few steps many experts recommend to help you along the way.

1. Call Your Insurance

One of the first things you should do is contact your insurance agent. That way they can begin getting everything they need together for your claim while you begin the documentation process. Your agent may also recommend a restoration service who can help you with the cleanup process while protecting the property from further harm.

2. Contact a Restoration Service

When conducting a fire cleanup it's recommended that you contact a fire restoration service to help with repairs. These services often have the materials and equipment necessary for dealing with a variety of types of damage that often occur with a fire, including water, smoke, soot, and fire damage. They can also help with protective measures around the property to help keep further damage from occurring while repairs are underway.

3. Protect the Property

A restoration company will often offer tarp services in order to protect the property until a roof repair or other repair needs can be met. This is done to keep inclement weather from causing further damage, and to keep animals out of the damaged space. The method used may depend on the damage type and location.
When protecting your business property and performing a fire cleanup, one of the first things you may want to do is contact your insurance agent. They may be able to recommend a fire restoration service who can help repair any damages that may have occurred, as well as work with the agent throughout the process. You will also want to take steps to protect your property from further damage such as tarping or boarding over damaged areas.

The Truth About Cleaning Mold With Bleach

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Apply vinegar to the mold

When it comes to the correct way to handle a fungus cleanup job, there are many misconceptions people have that can lead to an inadequate cleaning job and an even larger mold problem. One common error people make when cleaning mold is using bleach on the affected surface believing that it is effective at killing mold. Here is some information on why you should never pull out this chemical when removing fungus and how to correctly handle mold growth in your business.

Can I Clean Mold on My Own?

If you have found mold growing in your business in Oak Tree Village, TX, you will need to first determine if the fungus cleanup job is small enough to handle on your own or if you will need the help of a mold damage cleanup company. If mold has just been found in a small, concentrated area, the following methods can be effective:

  • Spray area with hydrogen peroxide
  • Apply vinegar to the mold
  • Scrub surfaces with a baking soda solution

It is important to remember that a mold problem can often be worse than it looks. While keeping humidity levels low, addressing leaks, and cleaning up spills can help prevent mold from growing, if a problem does exist it’s often best to call in the professionals to cleanup mold.

Does Bleach Kill Mold?

While bleach is effective for addressing a variety of cleaning needs, getting rid of mold is not one of them. This chemical is not very effective at killing mold and loses its effectiveness over time. Additionally, it can only address mold on the area’s surface and will not get rid of any fungus that has made its way into a porous material, such as wood.
While no one wants to find mold growing in their business, proper fungus cleanup can stop mold in its tracks and prevent the problem from getting worse. Just make sure to leave ineffective chemicals in the cabinet, and don’t hesitate to call in the professionals.