Don't Let Heavy Rains Cause Sewer Backup
When there are heavy rains, an abundance of water and debris end up in municipal sanitary sewers, which can overload the sewer system. When there is more water than the sewer system can handle, excess water can flow backward into your home's sewer line and subsequently overflow into your basement. This is extremely common in our area.
Growing tree roots may pose another danger to your sewer line after storms. Tree roots may grow quickly over the summer months due to the increase in rain. Tree roots can pierce the pipes as they search for nutrients found in sewage. Within the system, roots continue to grow and may cause broken or blocked pipes.
Signs of a Clogged Sewer Pipe
- Slow drainage in toilets, showers, or sinks
- Bubbling noise as you flush toilets or shower/sink drains
- Another drain backs up when you flush toilets
- The smell of sewage (rotten eggs or sulfur)
- Lush, green spots in your yard above the septic tank or broken pipes
Sewer backups should be considered an emergency since the water may contain viruses, bacteria, and other microbes that can cause serious illness. SERVPRO of Fort Smith has the specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean contaminants like sewage. We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Large Format Drying Equipment
While all jobs are treated with the same importance, whether it is your Grandma's basement or you kid's Elementary School, not all jobs can be done with the same equipment. This is why at SERVPRO of Fort Smith we have specialized large format drying equipment to tackle large commercial jobs.
While we still use a lot of the same air movers, dehumidifiers, negative air machines, etc. there is other equipment we add for these large jobs. This equipment includes large trailer mounted generators, as well as large trailer mounted desiccant dehumidifiers.
This allows us to rapidly speed up the drying process in situations where time means everything. Often times, these commercial structures are large office spaces, factories, hospitals, schools, and many others facilities. All of them need to be open as quickly as possible, and our team uses our resources to make that happen.
If you have a loss at your facility, call SERVPRO of Fort Smith at 479-452-8282 and allow us to get you back to pre loss condition as quickly as possible.
Back to School Safety Preparedness
SERVPRO is Here to Help
Each new school year brings its own set of changes and challenges for parents, guardians, and children. As a parent or guardian, you may be trying to figure out of modes of transportation and schedules for your young one. Your child, on the other hand, maybe worrying about who they’ll sit with at lunch or if they’ll have classes with any of their friends.
These are all common and worthy worries, however, there is one important precaution that is often overlooked: an emergency preparedness plan. Below are a few tips to help you plan in case of an emergency
- Teach your child what to do in case of a fire: get low to avoid smoke inhalation or feeling doorknobs for heat before opening them. Have a fire escape plan in place.
- Have a designated meeting place outside of your home
- Designate a person (preferably not local who may be affected by the same disaster) that everyone can call if you are separated.
- Practice drills!
- Put together a first aid kit with enough food and supplies to last you a few days. Here is a link for what should be in the kit
- In the event of an active shooter, teach your child to “run, hide, fight.” Click here more information about what to do in the event of an active shooter.
- Teach children how to call 911
- If you’re unable to pick up your child from school, establish a pre-discussed “password” for the person that will be picking them up.
- Always familiarize yourself with the school’s emergency and lockdown plans and procedures.
- If your child requires any medication, have extra doses stored in the nurses’ office in case they may have to spend the night at the school.
Disasters can happen at any moment. Preparedness is the key to ensuring you and your family make it out safely. While SERVPRO of Fort Smith is “ready for any sized disaster” we want to make sure you are too.
For additional information, check out the resources below:
FEMA - Preparing Children for Disasters
Preparing Kids for Natural Disasters
How To Recognize and Clean Up Black Water Damage
How to Identify and Repair Black Water Damage
Three hundred gallons per day: That’s how much water the average American household uses, most of which is indoors. What happens when it doesn’t go where it’s supposed to? When water escapes the confines of the pipes and tanks that hold it, severe damage can occur. The kind of damage done is divided into three categories based on the type of water and the possibility of harmful effects:
- Clean water
- Gray water
- Black water
What's the Difference Between Black and Gray Waters?
While clean water comes from water pipes and is clear of any substances, black and gray water are contaminated. Also called category 2, gray water is residential wastewater and contains quantities of physical, chemical, or biological elements such as soap and other residues. It does not contain feces. Possible sources include a washing machine, dishwasher, or bathtub. Untreated, this category can develop further contamination and be reclassified to the next level.
Black, or category 3, water is grossly contaminated and carries high levels of biological waste such as feces, urine, and medical or other unsanitary materials. It is the most serious category. Several possible sources are broken or ruptured sewer/septic lines, backed-up toilets or other clogged sewage lines, or storm surges. This type of water damage poses the highest risk and requires fast and specialized cleaning and restoration to prevent further problems.
What Can You Do About Black Water?
A leak or flood of unsanitary material, and the resulting damage to your home, can be frustrating and stressful. Residential water contamination of all types, especially that which is highly polluted and requires sewage cleanup, needs remediation as quickly and effectively as possible. Due to the potential for health risks and progression, cleanup should be left to restoration professionals. Improperly cleaned and dried items can cause more damage over time, such as mold, foul odors, and even structural damage.
Black water can pose immediate and long-term risks to health and property. Seeking professional cleanup services in is the best way to mitigate any risks and bring you peace of mind.
How Safe Is It to Handle Each Type of Contaminated Water?
Types of Contaminated Water
Contaminated water can take many different forms. Some homes will experience a flood of predominantly clean other while other abodes have to contend with black water. No matter what type of water came out of the supply line, you need to take quick action to have professionals remedy the situation right away.
1. Clean Water
While Category 1 water is called “clean” professionally, it may still contain substances that make it unsafe to drink. This type of water generally comes from a sink or tub. It may even pick up contaminants from the ground. For instance, tub water that overflows may pick up particles from the flooring outside of the tub. While you should avoid getting any Category 1 water in your mouth, it should not cause any ill side effects by simply pooling there.
2. Grey Water
Grey water, also known as Category 2 water, often comes from washing machines, dishwashers and sump pumps. It will contain physical, biological or chemical contaminants, but it will not consist of any fecal matter. Bacteria will likely be in it, so it can result in health complications if someone touches it. Sometimes even simply being exposed to this kind of contaminated water can result in health problems.
3. Black Water
Black water is the most dangerous type of water to be exposed to. Houses fill with this when water backs up from the septic tank, meaning there will often be fecal matter within the water. It can be extremely dangerous to be exposed to Category 3 water for an extended period of time.
No matter which category of water you have in your home you need to get it removed immediately. Standing water, regardless of the type of contaminants within it, can result in mold development. The contaminated water, as well as walls and other items exposed to the moisture, will need to be removed posthaste.
3 Things To Include in Every Fire Escape Plan
Three Things To Include In a Fire Escape Plan
A fire can happen out of nowhere and devastate your life. While you likely hope that nothing bad ever happens to your home, you always want to err on the side of caution and prepare for the worst. That way, you and your family will know exactly what to do if disaster strikes. Here are three things to include in your fire escape plan.
1. Know the Exit Routes
Because you won't know where the fire is coming from when you put your fire preparation plan in place, you need to map out several routes out of your home. If you have windows on the second floor, make sure you plan for ways to get down to the ground. If necessary, purchase emergency ladders to keep in multiple rooms upstairs, so there is always one accessible.
2. Gather Home Fire Mitigation Items
No fire escape plan is complete without ways to alert you of a fire and help you try to control it. Install smoke detectors in each bedroom and the main living areas. Additionally, it's always helpful to have a fire extinguisher on hand. Depending on the size of the fire, it may not put it out completely, but it could give your family the time they need to get out safely.
3. Compile a List of Important Numbers
Fires can spread quickly, and you might not have time to grab your phone while escaping. Instead of only keeping all of your important numbers on your phone, write down a list of emergency contact numbers to use in case of a fire and keep the list near multiple emergency exit points. Include phone numbers of friends and family members and a fire damage restoration company that will address the fire's aftermath.
Putting together a fire escape plan might seem like an unnecessary step. However, if a fire hits your home, you'll be thankful you took the time to prepare.
Protecting Your Commercial Building After a Fire
Your business is your lifeline, so it is understandable that following a fire, your desire is to protect it from further destruction. Fire damage can also mean it is a safety hazard, so in the first place, you don’t want anyone getting inside and becoming hurt or looting your building – a common problem following damage to a business. Fire cleanup needs to wait until your insurance company is alerted, but there are some things that need to be done right away.
What To Do Immediately After the Fire
The first things you should do if a fire breaks out are to get everyone out of the building as quickly as possible and to call 911 to send firefighters. No attempts should be made to re-enter the building once the fire is out. Even though you may be tempted to go look around, you should notify your insurance company and call for local fire restoration professionals to come and board up and secure the building against the weather and looters. There are several methods that can be used to close openings.
The roof can be tarped to prevent wet weather from entering
Sheets of plywood may be fastened over doors and windows
Lay wooden studs in the tracks of windows and doors to prevent them from opening
Remove valuables to a secure location for storage
Fire damage can make your building more vulnerable to looting and weather damage as openings may be created by segments of the structure falling during a blaze, a firefighters battering ram through a wall or door to get water inside or even exploding chemicals. All of these openings are a potential threat to security and an invitation to a looter. Boarding up is critical to help maintain a secure building.
If you are dealing with fire damage in get the help you need to walk you through the process and stay by your side until the restoration is complete. Fire cleanup and rehabilitation of your commercial building can help make things as good as new.
How a Tornado Forms
There’s no denying that tornadoes are a destructive force; but how does something that destructive form? The UCAR Center for Science Education has a good explanation for what causes tornadoes to occur. We hope that knowing how these funnels of terror form might help in some way.
The first thing to note is that a tornado won’t form unless the circumstances are just right. As noted in the post on the UCAR site, “Air rising in thunderstorms can begin to spin when it's affected by winds blowing it in different directions. It starts to rise and is pushed to the side by wind. It rises a bit more and is jostled again by wind moving in another direction. Winds moving in different speeds and directions at different altitudes cause the rising air to start spinning.” They go on to say that this is most likely to happen in massive storms called supercells. However, it is important to note that not every instance of spinning air like this will result in a tornado. It is just that if there is a tornado, these are the factors that most likely will be the cause.
It is also important to note that spinning air near the ground is also necessary for a tornado to form. What that means is that Gusts of warmer and cooler air rise and fall as they blow. The right amount of air like this is what causes air near the ground to spin. If this continues the air will pick up speed as it is drawn inward. This is the air that will begin to move across the area it is in and can be tilted vertically. When that happens, that is when the gusts can be considered a tornado.
While this is a lot of information and some of it may seem scary, it’s important to know that not all thunderstorms will produce tornadoes. If a tornado does occur, just remember to follow any safety plan you have in place and stay calm!
Cleaning Up Water Damage
Pipes Burst, Drywall Rots, and Mold Breaks In!
These are all facts you have to deal with when confronted with a water damage. Water can save your life in the desert but can be a real pain when it is gushing into your living room.
Once the source of the water damage is located and fixed you are not out of the woods yet. Actually, most consider this when the real work starts. You have to make sure the water is completely gone as soon as possible before mold sets in (which can be as quick as 48-72 hours).
SERVPRO specializes in water damage clean up in the Fort Smith area. We have the right equipment to handle any size job quickly and efficiently. Our trained and certified technicians are here to help you out 24/7/365 for when you might be in over your head!
SERVPRO of Fort Smith 479-452-8282
The Most Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Mold Growth
If you’ve discovered mold growth in your home, you may have a lot of questions you want answers to, such as where did it come from, is it dangerous and how can you get rid of it? Mold is frustrating, but it is not uncommon. If you want to know more about the fungi that has invaded your home, this post contains answers to some of the most common FAQs regarding mold.
- What is mold?
- Is mold dangerous?
- Where does mold come from?
- How can you decrease and prevent mold?
What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungi that grows in both indoor and outdoor areas. Mold is one of those organisms that can thrive in typically uninhabitable environments, such as in dark places with high humidity or, in more rare instances, in extremely dry environments.
Is Mold Dangerous?
Mold growth is dangerous in that it can eat away at your home’s foundation and structure and, over time, render it uninhabitable. If you do not deal with water damage and resulting mold in a timely fashion, your floorboards may become week, your ceiling may start to sag and your drywall may begin to crumble. These are all hazards that could pose a threat to your safety and well-being.
Where Does Mold Grow?
Mold typically thrives in dark, damp environments, but it has been known to flourish in dry environments as well. If you suspect that there is mold in your home, begin by checking in areas in which there is high humidity, little ventilation and little natural light.
How Can You Prevent Mold?
You can prevent mold by fixing moisture problems as soon as you notice them and by working with a mold remediation team. The best thing you can do to prevent fungus growth is to keep water damage at bay.
If you discover mold growth in your home, you may be feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. If the problem is new, however, don’t panic, as damage is probably minimal. Do call your local remediation team for cleanup and prevention assistance.