Ice Dams Prevention
A house that has been affected by an ice dam.
Ice dams occur when heavy snow buildup melts during the day, and then refreezes at night when temperatures drop.
After several days of melting-freezing cycles, the melted water and ice will work up under the shingles. The water will enter the attic and eventually cause damage to the ceilings, wall and contents. In some cases the ice dam could go unnoticed for an extended period of time, and it could cause significant damage to the building and its contents.
You can take steps to reduce the chance of an ice dam forming on your property:
- Thoroughly clean all leaves, sticks and other debris from your home's gutters and down spouts. By doing this it allows melting snow to flow through the gutters and down the spouts.
- If possible, and if it is safe to do so, try to keep the snow on your roof to a minimum. Try using long-handled devices on the market, often called "roof rakes". This will let you pull the snow off the roof from the ground. Keeping the heavy snow off your roof will help reduce the chance for both an ice dam formation and roof failure.
- All winter long, try keeping gutters and down spouts clear of snow and icicles.
- Evaluate the insulation and ventilation in your attic. Good airflow from under the eaves or soffit, along the underside of the roof and out through the roof vents are critical. The insulation is important, as it helps prevents heat loss from the interior of the home. The venting allows the attic air to stay cold enough to prevent or minimize the freeze/thaw. Consult a reputable roofing and/or insulation contractor about these improvements.
Benefits of Duct Cleaning
A brush running through cleaning the duct.
If you’re like most people, it’s been a long time since you have had your ducts cleaned. And in some cases your ducts may have never been cleaned at all! Duct cleaning isn’t something that many homeowners think about. It is rare that the ducts in a home are inspected regularly, or are routinely cleaned. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends you have your ducts cleaned every 3-5 years. SERVPRO of Casper has many years of duct cleaning experience, and have cleaned hundreds of duct systems.
The Benefits of Duct Cleaning
- You can reduce strain on your system. Over time, your air ducts accrue dust, dirt, and other contaminants, which can disrupt the airflow. So your HVAC system has to work harder, it can result in higher energy bills and possible operational issues.
- Improve air quality. A professional duct cleaning removes pet and human dander, fur, debris, and more from your system. By cleaning the system, it helps prevent the redistribution of dust and fine debris throughout your home.
- Reduce or eliminate odors. Sometimes odors linger throughout your home no matter how much you clean. In some cases, the problem could be from your duct system. If you have this issue, a duct cleaning can either reduce or eliminate the problem.
If you are interested in getting your ducts cleaned, SERVPRO of Casper offers FREE estimates. Call us anytime at 307-235-6558.
How To Stop A Tankless Toilet From Flushing Constantly
Commercial Tankless Toilet
If your commercial tankless toilet is continuously flushing, there may be a problem with the flushometer. The flushometer is the mechanism that flushes the toilet. If the flushing does not stop, the toilet may overflow and that could result in damages.
If the toilet won't stop flushing, try these steps first:
Turn Off Water to Access the Gasket:
To access the gasket, you should first turn off the water. You will then need to remove the cover on the flushometer. You will first need to unscrew the cover on the side of the flushometer and then use a wrench to remove the lid on top. This will expose the gasket, allowing you to remove and clean it.
Clean the Gasket:
The gaskets in flushometers can become covered with sediment due to their constant exposure to water. You should carefully clean the gasket. This includes using a small instrument, such as a needle, to clean out the weep hole. Doing this will improve the vacuum created by the gasket and hopefully stop the continuous flushing.
Reinstall and Test
After cleaning the gasket, you should put it back in its place and reattach the cover. Then turn the water back on and flush the toilet. If the flushing continues, you may have to replace the gasket or call a plumber.
If cleaning or replacing the gasket does not work, call your local plumber so your toilet does not cause a water damage on your property. If a water damage should occur call SERVPRO of Casper for your restoration needs at 307-235-6558.
Different Types of Water Extraction Pumps
Three Different Types of Pumps That Can Remove Large Amounts of Water
There are several equipment options for extracting water. There are differences between a sump pump, trash sump pump, and truck-mounted pumps. The following details can help determine which of these three pump designs is the best choice for a particular water damage scenario.
1. Sump Pump
A submersible industrial pump is a portable solution for removing water. These pumps draw water at a much faster rate than a truck-mounted pump. Sump pumps can be ideal for crawlspaces, and basements with standing water of two inches or more.
2. Trash Pump
Trash pumps are great for pumping up water in crawlspaces that have a lot of mud or debris. A strainer on the end of the pump ensures that this equipment does not suck up debris that is much larger than leaves or twigs.
3. Truck-Mounted Pump
A diesel truck mount is another solution for extracting standing water. This truck relies on industrial hoses to suck up water from any flooded location. They will have a black water tank on board that will transport this water to an appropriate disposal area. These pumps are most commonly used for any type of standing water that is less than two inches deep.
If you run into any type of flooding problems give SERVPRO of Casper a call. We have all the right pumps to get the water out of your home or building.
Some burnt materials, and a house that was saved by following the safety guidelines.
In Wyoming, our lack of summertime rain makes for very dry conditions. When the grass and weeds get dry enough, it takes very little to ignite a wildfire. It could be a cigarette that is thrown out the window, chains from trailers dragging and sparking, an unmanned fire from a camp fire, or a bolt of lightning. Any one of the these scenarios can set a wildfire, and when it’s dry, it is hard to get the fire under control.
There are a few things that can be done to help save properties from a wildfire.
Within 30 Feet -
- Clear combustible materials like pine needles, branches, and dead leaves.
- Cut down any tree limbs that are at least 15 feet from the ground. This will help prevent the spread to your property line.
- Keep any kind of vegetation off your building.
- Place flammable lawn furniture in storage when not in use.
- Use gravel instead of wood chips. Try to avoid using flammable décor.
Within 30-100 Feet -
- Cover pathways or driveways with gravel or rock. They are good materials for a “fuel break”. You want fuel breaks on your property, as they will help stop the spread of the fire.
- Cut branches that are 8 feet or closer to the ground
- Get rid of combustible vegetation
Within 100-200 Feet -
- This is where if you can store firewood or scrap wood.
- Still clear combustible vegetation
- When planting trees, keep them far apart so the branches don’t touch.
If you run into a situation that you have a fire or smoke damage from a wildfire, call SERVPRO of Casper. We will provide a free walk-through assessment on your house.
Hotel Water Damage
Bathroom, and hall floor with standing water.
We received a call from a local hotel around 8:00 at night to respond to a water damage emergency. The hotel had checked a guest into a room on the 4th floor. The guest overflowed the bathtub, and it ran down all four floors. To make matters worse, the hotel had recently completed extensive renovations on two of the floors. We were asked to extract the standing water, and use equipment to stabilize the situation for the night. Our crew arrived quickly, removed the excess water, and placed dehumidifiers in the affected areas.
The next day, the hotel authorized complete water damage services. Our crew returned, did more water extraction, pulled vinyl baseboard, and placed air movers. We were able to get all the affected areas dry in 4-5 days. Because this hotel contacted us right away, we were able to save more materials, they got their rooms back quickly, and their customers got a good night’s sleep.
If you have a water damage, call SERVPRO of Casper right away. The longer it soaks, the more extensive the damage can become.
Tornadoes are not all that common in this part of the state, but they do exist. When a tornado strikes in Wyoming, it is usually in an open space like a field. However, they have touched down in towns before. In the unlikely event of a tornado occurrence near you, here is what to do if you are in a mobile home versus a traditional home:
Have a radio for weather alerts and updates nearby, and make sure you have fresh batteries on hand.
Get to the lowest level of your home, such as a basement or storm cellar. If you don't have a basement, go to an inner hallway or a closet, or the bathtub in a bathroom.
Stay away from all windows and glass doorways.
Cover your head and eyes with a blanket or jacket to protect against flying debris and broken glass.
Use stairs only. Do not use an elevator because the power may fail, leaving you trapped inside.
Keep pets on a leash or in a crate close by.
Before going outside, be certain the storm has passed.
Stay in the building you are in. Attempting to out run a tornado to get to a different location is dangerous.
Mobile homes are not safe during a tornado. You need to evacuate. Even mobile homes equipped with tie-down systems cannot withstand the force of a tornado's winds.
Listen to all local watches and warnings, and take them seriously. If need to, try to get into the basement of a near by home or building.
If no shelter is immediately available, find the lowest-lying area near you and lie flat down in it, covering your head with your hands. Do NOT try to outrun the tornado.
Commercial Sprinkler System
A commercial sprinkler head
A commercial sprinkler system is a critical protective system in a variety of buildings. They are in hotels, restaurant, schools, and other facilities. The following are 4 reasons why it is important to have a sprinkler system in a commercial or multiple-dwelling setting.
Sprinklers Save Lives:
Having a sprinkler system can help buy time for people to evacuate from the property safely. The National Fire Protection Services has no more than two deaths per year on record with a building that has a functional sprinkler system.
A functional sprinkler system can not only save lives, but it can save the property as well. There will still be some fire, smoke damage, and the obvious water damage, but the property will still be standing and the damage will be limited.
Reduces Insurance Premiums:
Not only can a sprinkler save lives, and the property, but some insurance companies will offer a discount on the premiums due to reduced risk.
After the system has been installed, the required upkeep is very low. The requirement for a sprinkler system is to do an annual inspection. A qualified profession will make sure all the heads and the rest of the system are in good working order.
If your sprinkler system should go off, it is important to remove the water quickly. SERVPRO of Casper can help you get your facility back in good order.
Flood Watch, Warning, Emergency Definitions
A sign that says flood
Spring is here, and so is the rain. There are some years we don’t get a whole lot of rain, and then there are years we deal with intense storms known as microbursts.
A microburst is a localized thunderstorm that is accompanied by significant precipitation. In Wyoming, our soil and drainage systems are not designed to take on a lot of rain at one time, compared to other parts of the country. Because of this, flash flooding may occur. So it is important to understand what a flash flood watch, flash flood warning, and flash flood emergency is. With this knowledge, will better understand how to handle the situation. According to the National Weather Service, this is what they mean.
Flash Flood Watch: When conditions look favorable for flash flooding. A WATCH usually includes several counties. This is the time to start preparing for possible flooding. Consider where you would go if water began to rise.
Flash Flood Warning: When dangerous flash flooding is happening or will happen soon. A WARNING is a smaller, more specific area. It can be issued if the excessive heavy rain is going to cause failure to a dam or levee. You need to act quickly. Flash floods are an imminent threat to you and your family. You could have only seconds to move to higher ground.
Flash Flood Emergency: For the exceedingly rare situations when extremely heavy rain is severe and is a threat to human life, and cause catastrophic damage. Emergency officials are reporting life-threatening water rises, requiring water rescues/evacuations.
Care for Your Water Heater
A homeowner that is maintaining his water heater.
Most people think that once their new water heater is installed, that it does not require routine maintenance. But that is incorrect. There are a few things you should do to maximize your water heater’s efficiency and longevity.
Here are some maintenance tips:
1. Test the Temperature-Pressure Release (TPR) Valve
Shut off the power (or gas control) and the cold water supply valve. Place a bucket under the pipe connected to the TPR valve. Lift the valve’s tab to let some water out, then let it go. If the water keeps flowing, drain a little bit more water and install a new one.
2. Check the Anode Rod
Connect a hose to the tanks drain cock and let out a few gallons of water. Get a 1 1/16-inch socket and place it on the rod’s hex head on top of the water heater, and unscrew the rod. If its less than an ½ inch thick, or coated with calcium, it is a good time to buy a new one. If you install a new rod, make sure you apply teflon tape the threads, and securely tighten the new anode rod.
3. Flush the Tank of Sediments
As you are working on the heater and already have some of the water drained, drain the rest of the tank into a bucket. Stir up the sediment on the bottom of tank by briefly opening the cold water supply valve. Drain and repeat until clean water comes out.
4. Adjust the Temperature
When you have located the temperature dial, unscrew its cover. Adjust the dial to 120 degrees. For every 10 degrees the temperature is lowered, you can save up to 5 percent in energy costs.
If you are not going to be home for a few days, turn the water heater down or off. This will help save money as well.
5. Insulate the pipes and water heater body
Buy 3/8 – inch thick foam pipe insulation that fits the pipes. Buy enough to cover the hot and cold water pipes. Insulating the cold pipe will help with condensation during the summer time. When wrapping the water heater with an insulation blanket, do not cover the top of the unit.
Be sure to check on your water heater regularly for any rusting, calcium build up, or malfunctions. It is easy for the bottom to rust out, or one of the fittings to rust on the top of the unit and cause a water damage.