Recent Posts

How To Flush a Water Heater

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a person working on a water heater Flushing a water heater can resolve many minor issues

While every homeowner knows a water heater is essential to daily routines, few understand how resilient these appliances are. Too many people assume when hot water is no longer coming from the system that the heater is done, but that is not the case. Many minor issues can be resolved by flushing the system. To flush the system, you will need to follow a simple process and gather the necessary tools.

  • Screwdriver
  • Hose
  • Drainage area

3 Steps to Flush a Water Heater

1. Turn of the Appliance

Before starting the water heater flush process, you will need to turn off the appliance. Do you have a gas or electric heater? If you have a gas system, you need to shut the gas valve and ensure the pilot is off before continuing. With an electric system, go to the circuit breaker box and flip the appropriate switch.

2. Drain the Tank

With the power off, you can connect the hose to the water heater. Before opening any valves, uncoil the hose and place the drainage end into your designated area outside. Then, to help empty the tank faster, turn on a nearby sink faucet, only the hot water supply. When ready, turn the flushing valve and the supply valve, allowing the water within the tank to flow out through the connected garden hose without refilling.

3. Resupply Water and Power

Once the tank is empty, which you will know from the lack of flow through the hose and the spatter of water from the sink, you can close the flushing valve and remove the garden hose. When ready, close the flushing valve and reopen the supply. With the tank full, go ahead and turn the power or gas back on.

If you run into any issues, do not hesitate to ask for help. There are several mitigation services in Blackfoot, ID, who can help fix your system.
A water heater is more resilient than many homeowners think. Do not assume the worst when the appliance acts up. Instead, try flushing the system.

Mold Damage and Recovering Your Belongings

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

Image of closet and clothes full of mold Save your closet and clothes from mold growth.

When mold damage leads to the deterioration of structural elements of your home, it's only natural for your focus to be on completing any related mold cleaning. However, many homeowners overlook damage to their belongings during this process. Unfortunately, if spores are allowed to remain on furnishings, clothing, books, and other belongings, new growth could occur.

Methods for Saving Belongings From Mold

The good news is that there are several methods available to mold remediation professionals as they address mold cleaning and repair in your home:

  • Wet and dry cleaning
  • Spray and wipe for surfaces that can't stand up to wet cleaning
  • Foam cleaning for upholstery
  • Immersion cleaning that gets cleaning products into all the nooks and crannies
  • Abrasive cleaning for surfaces that require a more aggressive approach

For many of your belongings, such as pillows, the best option is to throw them out and replace them. However, these cleaning methods can be used to save your sentimental and hard to replace items.

Items To Save and Items To Throw Away

How can you decide whether an item is worth saving or should be thrown out? For many of your possessions, you can probably make a quick decision to throw them away because they'll be relatively easy to replace. However, when you get to items such as baby phots, wedding certificates, and childhood mementos, the decision becomes harder. For each of these belongings, consider the following:

  • Do professionals have a treatment method appropriate for the belonging?
  • How expensive will it be to clean it?
  • Is the item important enough to you that you don't mind paying for the cleanup?
  • Will the insurance company pay for cleaning?

If you have a family genealogy record that has been passed down through the generations, you probably won't mind paying to have it freeze-dried and restored. A crocheted baby blanket from a loving family member may be a different matter.

Mold remediation is crucial to protecting your Blackfoot, ID, home from further damage. Happily, there are methods of mold cleaning available to save many of the items you don't want to lose.

How To Prevent Wind Damage to Your Commercial Property

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Image of 2 workers fixing the roof of a building. Regular roof maintenance can keep your building safe from wind damage.

When high winds hit Blackfoot, ID, is your commercial property ready to handle them? From preventing a busted window to stopping a roof leak before it can start, regular roof maintenance and inspections can keep your building and grounds safe from wind damage.

3 Places to Perform Regular Maintenance to Avoid Wind Damage

1. Roof

Wind damage prevention starts from the top down. In order to avoid a damaged roof:

  • Ensure the sheathing and all shingles are nailed down tight.
  • Look for any gaps or missing shingles and fill them.
  • Check that any rooftop elements are secure, such as pipes, skylights and chimneys.
  • Confirm that the roof and walls are firmly fastened to one another, which can prevent an updraft from dislodging the roof.

2. Window, Doors and Exterior Walls

While wind damage may be synonymous with “roof leak” in many people’s minds, it’s just as important to protect the rest of your building’s exterior if you want to avoid making a call to your local wind damage restoration company. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Make sure siding is attached firmly.
  • Ensure that windows are connected tightly, too.
  • Use deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
  • Inspect walls for cracks that might let in water or debris.

3. Outdoor Property

When high winds are on the horizon, it can be easy to forget about your building’s outdoor elements, such as sheds and dumpsters, as well as the potential for damage from nature. Before you finish battening down the hatches, take the following steps to secure your surroundings:

  • Move any inventory, supplies and equipment that you can inside.
  • Be sure all outbuildings are anchored to the ground.
  • Ensure all signage is adequately anchored to the ground or the building.
  • Keep nearby trees trimmed and remove dead branches promptly.
  • Inspect any other outdoor elements, such as fencing, lights or dumpsters, to ensure that they’re secure.

Regular maintenance is crucial for preventing a roof leak or ruined equipment during a storm. Taking a few minutes every month to check in with your commercial property’s defenses is well worth the effort in the long run.

Steps for Dealing With Sewer Backup

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a plunger Sewer backup can affect more than just your plumbing.

Storms are notorious for overtaxing municipal waste systems, and this can lead to sewer backup in your home in Blackfoot, ID. Here is a step-by-step overview of the cleanup process.

4 Steps To Deal With Sewer Backup

1. Assess Damage

Obviously, if you have extensive damage to your home after the sewer backs up, you need professional assistance. If the sewer damage is contained in your toilet, sink or bathtub, however, you may not think you need someone else to help clean it up. However, bathtub backup isn't a normal occurrence. It doesn't happen if there's not an underlying problem that causes it. Calling your plumber and sewer damage restoration experts for an assessment is the first step toward full resolution of the issue.

2. Fix Problem

Once the professionals have identified the source of the flooding, they can better determine the procedure for fixing it. Sometimes, it's a matter of taking care of a clog in your pipes that prompted the sewer backup. They may have to replace worn-out valves or install upgrades to help prevent future backups. When the problem itself has been fixed, the cleanup crew can begin decontamination.

3. Clean Area

The cleaning process starts with removal of ruined materials. If your bathtub overflowed onto the floor, for example, technicians will likely need to tear out tiles, floor pads and drywall that are saturated by the contaminated water. Then they thoroughly disinfect any remaining surfaces to ensure that all bacteria are eliminated.

4. Repair Home

The restoration process is not complete until your bathroom looks the way it did before the flood. Builders begin by replacing the materials they had to discard during cleanup. Then they make sure that the replacement parts match the unaffected area around it to restore its former aesthetic.

Sewer backup can affect more than just your plumbing. If your home is damaged during a storm, hiring the right professionals helps you return it to normal.

How To Prepare Your Hotel for a Fire

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a chef cooking with a frying pan and fire of top. Avoid grease fire damage

A hotel fire probably isn’t on the day’s itinerary, but if you’re a hotel manager, you need to know to handle the unexpected. That includes a fire in a guest room or other location on your Pocatello, ID, property. Follow these three fire prevention tips to make sure you and your staff are ready in the event of a fire.

3 Tips To Prevent Fire Damage

1. Identify High-Risk Areas

Perform a walk-through of the property and look for hazards such as damaged appliances in kitchen areas or break rooms, faulty wiring and damaged outlets. As you perform your assessment, pay special attention to how guests with different mobility needs would exit in the event of a fire.

2. Evaluate Existing Fire Safety Measures

In addition to assessing high-risk areas of your hotel, you should also inspect the fire safety elements that are already in place, such as smoke detectors, fire alarms, fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems. Exit routes should be clearly labeled and posted around your entire hotel, including in each guest room, and these paths should be bolstered with functioning lighting and signage. These fire safety implements should be tested regularly to ensure that they work correctly in the event of a hotel fire. All exit routes should be kept free from debris and other obstacles as well.

3. Create a Fire Prevention Task Force

Appointing fire wardens makes it easy to delegate tasks, communicate and ensure that all bases are covered if a blaze breaks out. Assign duties and train staff members to carry out essential fire safety tasks such as operating fire extinguishers, leading guests to safety and contacting a fire restoration company.

Part of being a hotel manager is anticipating every scenario that guests and staff can throw your way. Preparing your property for a hotel fire is just one way to continue providing guest service excellence while maintaining a safe, secure workplace for your team.

Protect Your Hardwood Floor From a Burst Pipe

10/15/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a person mopping a hardwood floor. Mopping up water.

After investing in a wood floor, a pipe burst can be a very frustrating and expensive experience. In addition to worrying about structural damage and wet belongings, but your wet floor could become warped and stained. Water is one of the worst causes of damage to hardwood, especially.

How can you avoid this type damage to your Blackfoot, ID, property?

3 Ways To Protect Your Hardwood Floor From Water Damage

1. Routine Maintenance

Naturally, preventing water damage begins with the way you care for your floors on a daily basis. You can do several easy things to avoid damage from daily mishaps:

  • Pick up wet rags, damp carpeting, and any other source of moisture as soon as possible. Better yet, provide a place for those items to go instead of on your wood floor. Make sure that any spills are wiped up right away.
  • Monitor the humidity levels in your building and adjust them as necessary. Summer temperatures usually bringing higher humidity levels, and winters tend to be dryer. Neither situation is great for your hardwoods.
  • Use appropriate cleaning products for your floor; there are many specifically intended to care for hardwoods. As you clean, avoid leaving puddles or wet spots behind.

Unfortunately, you can't prevent all damage, so you need to know what steps to take following a pipe burst.

2. A Quick Response

The key to preventing serious harm is understanding that a quick and immediate response is crucial. Start by shutting off the water at the main shutoff valve to the building. Next, provide ventilation, so the water and moisture can begin to evaporate. Contact water damage cleanup and repair professionals and your insurance provider for some general tips and warnings.

3. Mops and Towels

After taking these steps, it's time to start carrying out and mopping up any water. Be very careful when handling water-logged possessions. These can be very heavy, and you could cause further damage if possessions aren't handled correctly. A pipe burst can cause a lot of trouble for your floors, but your quick response can prevent lasting damage.

4 Things Not To Do After a Flood

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded living room. Call SERVPRO of Blackfoot/Pocatello when unwanted water from a flood or broken pipe invades your home.

When unwanted water from a flood or broken pipe invades your Blackfoot, ID, home, one of the first things you should do is call your local water damage restoration company. While you wait for help to arrive, remain calm, stop the water source if it’s safe to do so, and avoid making a potentially dangerous mistake.

Avoid Making This 4 Dangerous Mistakes After a Flood

1. Don’t Enter Areas With Structural Damage

Water and building materials are like oil and water: They don’t mix. If you notice signs of structural destruction or decay, such as cracked, warped or sagging drywall or wood, leave that area alone until it can be surveyed by professionals.

2. Don’t Enter Areas With Electrical Damage

If you spot visible damage to wires or evidence of water in home electronics, steer clear not just of those items but the entire room. Instead, go shut off the power to the house.
While drywall and water don’t mix, electricity and standing flood water do. Because H20 is an outstanding conductor of electricity you should avoid operating any electronics or appliances while standing on wet carpets or other types of flooring as well.

3. Leave Sewage Water Alone

Sometimes, a toilet or a broken pipe in or near the bathroom is to blame for flooding. When this happens, leave any displaced dirty water alone. Water involved in this area of your home is likely filled with bacteria and other contaminants.

4. Don’t Try To Remove the Water With Your Vacuum

You should never try to suck up water with your regular vacuum. Doing so carries the risk of not only electrocution but also destroying the vacuum cleaner itself. If you have a wet/dry vacuum, however, that is typically safe to operate.

The next time your home suffers from a broken pipe or surprise spring flood, don’t panic. Enlist the help of a Blackfoot, ID, water damage mitigation company in order to restore normalcy as quickly and safely as possible.

3 Basic Steps To Avoid Storm Damage

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded backyard. Avoid storm damage in your home.

Whether it's a warm season or one with low temperatures, there's still the possibility of heavy storms and harsh weather conditions, such as powerful winds, a lot of precipitation, and rising flood water. While you probably don't have a lot of control over the weather, there are several things you can do to control the amount of damage your Blackfoot, ID, home and property experience:

3 Steps to Protect Your Home From Storm Damage

Trim Your Trees and Shrubs

Heavy branches and dead limbs can break away during a severe storm. As they are blown about by the wind, these branches can cause a lot of damage to the windows and exterior of your home. A mix of heavy rainfall and strong winds may cause trees with shallow root systems to fall over. Prune and trim your trees and shrubs consistently to avoid this type of damage.

Clean Out the Gutters Around Your Roof

It's easy to forget about the possibility of debris and damage in the gutters, but this situation can lead to a lot of water damage. When the gutters get clogged, water doesn't flow away from the home as it should. This is one common cause of a flooded building. Clean the gutters as each season passes, and if there's been a lot of heavy winds and rain, clean them out more frequently.

Store Your Belongings in Waterproof Containers

Many homeowners pack family mementos, off-season clothes, camping supplies, tools and machinery, and seasonal items in cardboard boxes in their basements and garages. Unfortunately, strong winds and a lot of rain can send flood water into those areas of the home. Protect your belongings by storing them in waterproof containers and keep them off the floor when possible.

What else have you done to prepare for an emergency? Do you have phone numbers for emergency responders, your insurance company, and local water damage cleanup professionals? Do you know how you'll respond if flood water fills your basement? Take time today to come up with a plan.

The 4 Step Fire Remediation Process

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Image of black smoke coming out a building on fire. Commercial fire damage can be devastating.

Dealing with fire damage to your commercial property is devastating, and without business interruption insurance, it is even more challenging. However, that does not mean that all hope is lost. A fire remediation company in Pocatello, ID, can help you recover and move on from the damage. Before reopening your business, you will need to address the issue of smoke damage and soot damage through the restoration and remediation process. Most mitigation companies follow a necessary four-step process.

  • Water Removal
  • Debris removal
  • Structural Analysis
  • Restoration

4 Steps  Most Mitigation Companies Follow For Fire Remediation

1. Water Removal

Many people fail to acknowledge the level of water damage that can occur during a fire. Whether suppression from sprinkler systems or flooding caused by the use of fire hoses, your building will likely have extensive pooling. A restoration service will address the issue by using pumps, shop vacs and other tools to move the excess water. They will also use dehumidifiers to remove moisture in the air and building materials.

2. Debris Removal

When the facility is dry, the company will get to work removing any debris. Some examples of waste may include equipment, furniture, carpeting, drywall and ceiling tiles. The restoration crew will also perform fire and smoke cleaning as they prepare for the restoration phase.

3. Structural Analysis

Before the team moves onto the restoration phase of the project, they will need to make sure that the facility can handle the repair. Sometimes, A fire affects the structural integrity of the building, and the only thing left to do is remove sections of the structure. Depending on the level of fire, water and smoke damage to your building, a team may need to restructure some elements.

4. Restoration

Finally, the crew will rebuild your facility. The objective is to return the property to pre-disaster conditions. The final stage may take only a few days or multiple weeks.

If your company experienced a fire, then consider reaching out to a restoration company for assistance. Regardless of your insurance coverage, you will need help returning to normal after the fire and smoke damage.

Prepare for Winter Storms

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

Image of house and yard covered with snow Winter storm

When winter brings freezing temperatures, you may feel relieved to get back to your warm, comfortable home each day. Unfortunately, that cold weather that feels so uncomfortable to you can also cause considerable damage to your home. As you prepare your wardrobe for an upcoming winter storm, think about protecting your house as well.

Prepare Your Family for Emergencies

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that homeowners keep the following items available before storms arrive:

  • Multiple snow shovels
  • De-icers (choose those that are safe for pets)
  • Fuel for your electricity and source of heat, such as firewood or a generator
  • Extra blankets and warm clothing in case you can't run your appliances
  • Shelf-stable food and water
  • A battery-powered radio with extra batteries

It's a lot easier to focus on home maintenance when you know that you're prepared to keep your family safe during a winter storm.

Winterize Your Home

There are many ways that a blizzard can cause home and roof damage. As you prepare to winterize your home, start with these five steps:

  • Make sure that siding, exterior shutters, and roof elements are secure. Look for damage to any of your home's exterior materials.
  • Clean the gutters and make sure they are free of debris and in good working condition. Ice jams can cause a lot of water damage to the inside and outside of your home.
  • Look for air leaks and repair them. This will keep moisture outside, keep your home warmer, and keep your utility costs lower.
  • Insulate exposed plumbing. Consider insulating interior pipes that are located near outside walls.
  • Trim trees and shrubs that are located near your home. Falling branches can cause damage to the roof, siding, windows, and other elements of the house.

Once you have these five steps completed, it's time to turn to other tasks such as insulating windows, cleaning out the fireplace, and stocking up on hot chocolate. You may want to check in with home damage cleanup and repair professionals for more suggestions.

Stay Safe This Winter

A winter storm can bring a lot of unpleasantness. Make sure you, your family, and your Blackfoot, ID, home are prepared and protected, so you are ready to survive the worst that blizzards, snow, and heavy winds bring your way.