Preventing Water Pipes from Freezing
Frozen water pipe
Freezing water pipes can easily cause a pipe to burst, this can lead to serious flooding in the home. Manteca and Modesto's areas are particularly prone to freezing pipes because warmer climates usually do not call for as much insulation as colder areas. If insulation is not the issue, frozen pipes can start outdoors where there is no protection from freezing.
The goal is to keep pipes warm enough to stay above the point of freezing. Water generally freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. You can keep your pipes warm a number of ways.
5 Ways to Keep Water Pipes from Freezing
- Keep Heat On
On a cold day leave your heat on even if you will be leaving the home for a longer period. Heat should be at least ten degrees above freezing. Freezing temperatures are dependent upon our altitude. The heat will help prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep Cabinet Doors Open
Usually, pipes are in cabinet areas. On cold days, leave the cabinet’s doors open so the heat coming from your home can keep your pipes warm enough to prevent freezing.
- Allow Faucet to Drip
Allowing your faucet to have a slight drip will relieve pressure in the system. A pipe burst will normally come from the pressure between the blockage of ice and the faucet itself. Keep the faucet open by letting the water run slowly on a colder day. Single handle faucets should be on warm. Duel faucets, hot and cold water, should both be on just enough to allow a slow drip.
- Seal Cracks and Holes
Seal any holes spotted in the interior and exterior of your home, especially where the hole could be letting in cold air.
- Add More Insulation
If you have experienced freezing pipes insulate your home better for preventive measures. Start with checking basements and attics. Pipes can be wrapped with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the freezing likelihood. Added insulation to walls and ceilings may be necessary.
Common Causes of Flooding in Homes
Flooding can happen easily and is more than just a mere inconvenience. Floods in the home are quite dangerous and can cost a homeowner in extensive repairs. Manteca and Modesto homeowners are especially prone to flooding as riverbanks swell, however, flooding doesn’t arise only from bad weather.
Here are six of the most common causes of flooding in the home:
- Clogged Rain Gutters
If gutters are clogged, they can’t do their job. Rain gutters are supposed to allow water to drain from the roof. When a heavy rainfall presents itself, gutters should be clean of dirt and debris.
- Broken Pipes
It only takes a few minutes for a broken pipe to flood a home. Pay attention and look for any minor leaks and know where your main shut off valve is should a busted pipe occur.
- Poor Drainage
Poor drainage goes without saying. If the water sources in your home do not drain properly then flooding is likely. If you notice a slow drain contact a plumber right away.
Make sure that your appliances are properly connected. Make sure there are no leaks or blocks in plumbing that lead to appliances.
- Foundation Issues
If your home has foundation damage, water can easily enter through floors. Come fall season, take a walk around your home’s premises and see if you note any cracks or damage in your house’s foundation.
There is not much you can do about weather caused flooding besides staying aware, having an emergency weather plan, and following any local warnings. Following the steps mentioned will help should you have heavy rainfall.
If flooding does occur, call our professional mitigation and restoration team to help dry the area and restore your home back to pre-flood conditions. We will take care of the water damage in your home ‘like it never happened’.
Restoration Steps after Fire
After a fire, when the fire is put out, and the fire truck drives off what do you do? Every situation is different; however, the steps below will give you a better understanding of what steps are next in recovering after a fire damage emergency.
Fire Damage Restoration Steps
- Contact SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto office once you are safe. Our team will ask specific questions that will help us better handle your needs. We want to ensure that we take care of your home with proper care, with the right equipment needed, and with urgency.
- Upon arrival, our team will inspect and asses the fire damage. Doing so will determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage so that we can develop the best plan to make your home safe again.
- Windows, walls, and roofs are often damaged in a fire. To protect your home from further damage we board up any missing windows or walls. Once that is complete, we will place tarps on any damaged roofs that possess damage. This step should be done immediately.
- If water damage presents itself, the water elimination process will begin right away as well. Our team of professionals will get rid of most of the water in the home and use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove any left-over water, completing the drying process.
- Smoke and soot must be removed from all surfaces. We have specialized equipment and use specific techniques to make sure that your home and belongings are restored to the pre-fire state. Once smoke and soot are eliminated we will make sure odors left behind are taken away with industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
- The area must be cleaned and sanitized, we make sure your home and belongings are taken care of by using various cleaning processes that are defined to work best for your fire crisis.
- The final step is to restore your home to pre-fire condition. This may call for replacing drywall, painting walls, or installing new flooring.
When a fire emergency strikes, contact SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto for your restoration needs. We are like a one-stop shop in your mitigation and restoration tasks.
Top 4 Safety Tips to Avoid a Fire This Holiday Season
Cooking is the number one cause for fires
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are more fires in the winter months than any other time of the year. This makes perfect sense as it is colder in winter. We turn to our heating systems like space heaters, fireplaces, woodstoves, and other heat devices to keep us warm.
Not only do we have our heat running to keep us cozy but most of us opt to bring in the holidays with a lot of food. Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations call for a lot of cooking. The number one cause of home fires happens to be just that, cooking! No need to skip on your favorite savory meals this winter in hopes to prevent fires this holiday season, just take a few extra precautionary steps to avoid fires.
Here are some tips to avoid cooking fires.
- If you must leave the kitchen while your stove or oven is on have someone else in the home check on food while you are away.
- If no one is available to check on your food while you step away, a good tip from safebee.com is to carry one of your oven mitts when you step out of the kitchen. Doing so will work as a reminder to go back to the kitchen to tend to your food.
- Children and pets should not be in cooking areas without supervision.
- Ensure when cooking you wear close-fitting clothes and make sure that your sleeves are tightly rolled when stirring food. Clothes often catch fire when they hang close to the stove burners so just be mindful of this.
Taking these steps will decrease your chances of having a cooking fire.
If you should have a stove fire what now? In the event of a fire and if it is safe for you to do so, turn off the burner immediately and cover the pan with a lid. Do not use water, baking soda or flour to extinguish grease fires. Another great tip is to not carry burning pots or pans through the house as they can easily spread the fire to other parts of the home. If your oven catches fire, turn off the oven and keep the oven door shut.
Have an emergency evacuation plan and call 9-1-1 as soon as it is safe for you to do so. Once all is settled and the fire is extinguished call SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto for your fire damage restoration needs.
8 Tips to Prepare for a Heavy Rain or Windstorm
Be as ready as you can be for coming storms if you live where heavy rains or winds are predicted. Heavy rains lead to water leaks through the roof and ceilings, soaking walls and furniture while flooding floors. How can you best prepare and protect your home and belongings?
8 Tips to prepare for a storm
- Gutters can get clogged with leaves and other debris. Clean out gutters and waterspouts before rain season and after each rain. Leaves and debris are often pushed into gutters as they wash down from the roof after it rains. Look for loose gutters and replace those.
- After a storm, take a quick look to see if any large debris, like tree branches, has fallen on your roof. If you find anything large that needs removal, hire a professional to get rid of it. If there is no sign of debris, from ground level, check your roof for broken, loose, or cracked shingles or tiles and for any bubbling or blistering in shingles or tiles. Use binoculars if need be. If you spot any damage hire a professional for repair.
- Inspect the siding of your home. Check for cracks or holes and seal in any leaks that you come across.
- Weather-strip your home. Windows and doors let in cool air if weather-stripping needs to be replaced. Minimize heat loss and ensure that your weather-stripping is not damaged. Replace if needed.
- Consider a backup generator. If there is a power outage, an emergency generator can keep a few lights and appliances on for a few hours up to 24 hours.
- Cover outdoor furniture, barbecues, and any outdoor equipment with heavy tarps. Secure tarps so that heavy winds do not expose or damage your belongings.
- Make sure your trees are trimmed. Trees weaken with droughts, and when the rain comes, weak trees can snap or uproot. The cities of Manteca and Modesto are susceptible to this more so than other cities as droughts are imminent during summer months and heavy rains come winter months.
- Make sure you have a disaster supply kit. Important documents should be stored in the cloud. Ensure you have home insurance in case your home is flooded even if you are not located in a high-risk area. Anything could happen, a pipe may burst, heavy rain can cave in a roof, etc. Make sure you are covered.
Checking Your Roof After a Storm
Check your roof to ensure it does not need repair. If you wait for a leak to present itself, the problem will be worse, damaging more than just your roof but your ceiling, walls, floors, and perhaps belongings inside the home. After heavy rains, hail, or wind checking your roof for any damage can save you money on house repairs.
Different style roofs call for different methods when inspecting your roof. No matter what style start your inspection on the exterior of the house. For safety reasons, do not go on your roof to do this; you can do a quick check at ground level. Take a quick walk around the home, make sure there is no large debris on your roof. After that checks out, use binoculars if you feel the need. If you witness large debris or damage, call a professional to address the issue.
See if you spot loose, cracked, or broken shingles. If there is bubbling and blistering in the shingles, this shows that moisture has traveled to the interior of the shingle. Replace any damaged shingles as soon as you can. Doing so will help you avoid leaks and any further structural damage.
Wood Shingles or Wood Shake Roofs
Wood shingled roofs or wood shake roofs are less common than asphalt shingled roofs. These roof types are often chosen for aesthetics but can be more troublesome should there be damage. Broken, separated, cracked or damage to the shingles or shakes is what you seek. Replace these as soon as possible; if you do not, it can lead to a leak causing extensive damage.
Tile roofs are expensive but are more fire-resistant. These roofs provide more protection against heavy winds and last longer. Seek broken or chipped tiles. Do any tiles appear as if they may have separated? Water can seep between tiles if there is separation. If any tiles are separated or flew off, repair them right away.
Flat roofs are made using waterproof materials, these are usually found in commercial buildings. Water puddles, indents, or tears in the seams where water could seep in are all signs damage may be present. Make sure gutters and water drains are working as flat roofs do not have self-draining as they do not incline like other popular roofs.
Look for dents in metal roofs. IF the dent has any openings, the roof needs repair. Also, spot any signs of rusting and any separation between metal roof panels.
Once you have looked around the exterior of your property, take a peek at the interior. See if there are any signs of damage. Are there any leaks or soft spots in the ceiling? Check walls for any water damage. If you spot water damage, contact a professional mitigation company. If water sits, mold and mildew will grow. This can lead to high cost, reach out to your chosen mitigation company at the first sign of water damage.
What to Include When Building an Emergency Supply Kit
Storm season is fast approaching and we all must be prepared. It was not that long ago, just in 2016, that South Manteca was in jeopardy of widespread evacuations due to the San Joaquin River threatening to break the banks of the local region. Before a storm strikes prepare yourself at home, at the job site, and even in your vehicle.
Home and Work
Loss of heat, power, phone, and shortage of supplies are your main concerns in a storm. You need at least a few day supplies of the following:
- Extra batteries
- Pet Food
- First-aid supplies
- Heating Fuel
- Fire extinguisher
- Smoke alarm
- Carbon monoxide detector
- Food that doesn’t require refrigeration
- Heat sources such as a fireplace, wood stove, or space heater
Fully check the following to ensure your car is winterized before the winter season begins.
- Check fluid levels
- Ensure lights work properly
- Make sure your heater works
- Test windshield wipers
- Keep gas tanks near full
Keeping your gas tanks near full will assist if you must make an emergency.
Emergency Supply Kit
After winterizing your vehicle, pack a winter storm survival kit and make sure it includes the following items:
- First-aid kit
- Dry clothes
- Tool kit
- Tow rope
- Battery cables
- Water to drink
- Windshield scraper
- Compass and roadmaps
- Flashlight and batteries
- Mobile phone
- Mobile phone batteries
- Mobile phone chargers: wall plug charger, car charger, and portable charger
- Sand or cat litter in case you need traction
- Water container for your vehicle needs
- High-calorie food that does not need to be refrigerated
- Paper products such as tissue, toilet paper, paper towels
These are just some basic needs to keep you safe until help arrives. Do what you can and be prepared in case an emergency arises.
How to Prevent Home Fires
Fires can be preventable. Educate household members and take safety measures to avoid household fires, this can save your life. The following are some simple steps used to avert a fire event.
- Smoke outdoors, especially in homes where oxygen is used. Oxygen can be explosive and will cause a fire to burn faster and hotter.
- If you do smoke indoors, ensure you do not smoke when sleepy, under the influence of alcohol, or when on medication. Many house fires start with sleepy or careless accidents.
- Butts go in an ashtray and should be completely put out.
- To ensure all cigarette butts are cooled, when discarding, soak in water before dumping them in the trash.
- Do not leave the stove unattended when cooking. When frying, grilling, or broiling foods be extra cautious. Leaving the kitchen shortly requires you to turn off the stove.
- Children should learn to stay away from the stove unattended, at least three feet.
- Do not wear baggy clothes and ensure your sleeves are rolled up when cooking.
- BBQ grills should be at least 10 feet away from the home, this includes being 10 feet away from overhanging branches and patio ceilings.
- Teach children the danger of fire and teach them that fire is a tool and not to be played with.
- Ensure lighters and matches are out of your children’s reach and sight.
- Do not leave children to their devices when meals are being cooked or when candles are lit in the home.
Electrical & Appliance
- Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
- Replace all damaged or worn appliance cords right away.
- Do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
- Three-prong plugs belong in three-slot outlets. Don’t force them into two-slot outlets or a two-slot extension cord.
- Lights that flicker or light switches hot to touch need to be replaced.
- Keep combustible objects three feet or more from portable space heaters.
- Keep any combustible liquids away from heat sources.
- Portable generators are to be used outdoors only and should only be refueled outdoors and where well ventilated.
- Your portable heater should come equipped with a thermostat control mechanism and should switch off on its own if the heater falls over.
- Use crystal clear K-1 Kerosene in kerosene heaters.
- Do not overfill kerosene heaters.
- Only use kerosene heaters in a well-ventilated room.
Fireplaces & Woodstoves
- Check for any damage to your fireplaces or woodstoves
- Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually.
- Use fireplace screens that are heavy enough to stop any rolling logs and that is big enough to cover the opening of the fireplace to catch any flying sparks.
- The fire must be out and cool before leaving the home or going to bed.
These safety measures are a good start to being preventing a fire in your home.
6 Steps to Repair and Restore Water Damage
SERVPRO Water Cleanup
As leaders in the water damage industry, SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto has advanced training, expertise, and a vast amount of hands-on experience to handle your water damage concerns. We specialize in drying your home and restore it to pre-water damage conditions quickly.
6 Steps of the Water Damage Repair and Restoration Process
1 - 24-Hour Emergency Contact
As soon as you call SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto, the restoration process begins. We are open 24 hours a day for any water emergency that comes your way. With water damage, an immediate response is needed. The longer the delay, the more severe the damage, even hours can be a major problem.
2 - Inspection and Damage Assessment
SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto team will identify and stop the water source. Once the source is contained, our team can then check the water for any contamination. Once the water is checked for contamination, we can begin the restoration process using the proper guidelines and equipment for the category type.
3 - Water Removal/Water Extraction
Water extraction can begin once inspection and damage assessment is complete. Water will be removed from the premises at this step of the mitigation process. Using powerful pumps and truck-mounted vacuum units allows for the removal of thousands of gallons of water from your property if needed.
Fun Fact: A ½ inch broken pipe will expel at 7 gallons per minute. Do the math… If left unchecked in one week’s time, 70,560 gallons of water could easily flood your home or business.
Removing most of the water right away is necessary, as this helps reduce drying time. The quicker the drying process takes, the less the likelihood of permanent water damage and mold and bacterial growth.
In this stage, belongings will be packed and moved if needed. Carpet and padding are inspected to determine if it needs removal.
4 - Drying and Dehumidification
There is a science to the drying and the dehumidification process, proper training, and experience is required. Our team uses room measurements, temperature, and humidity levels to dictate the equipment to use and how the equipment will be used for the task at hand. We monitor the drying process using moisture meters and dehumidifiers to ensure the area is dry enough before proceeding to the next step.
5 - Cleaning and Repair
Professional cleaning is most likely needed at this point. Walls, flooring, ceiling, furniture, upholstery, clothing, and even other belongings may need attention in the cleaning or repair process. When there is flooding, and water damage odor removal and deodorization are needed too.
As leaders in the water damage industry, SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto has advanced training, expertise, and a vast amount of hands-on experience to handle your water damage concerns. We will dry your home and restore it to pre-water damage conditions. We will ensure to document the drying process and validate to your insurance company that the work is complete.
6 - Restoration
SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto’s goal is to have your home or business in the same shape, or better, it was before.
Emergency Building Services
With water damage, immediate concerns are taken care of first. Emergency building services are often needed to temporarily to protect the area and to stop more damage from happening. Protecting the area can be as simple as placing a roof tarp, board-up, temporary fencing, move-out / pack-out, temporary warehouse space, repairs, and minor building services. The goal is to protect and preserve what we can.
Repairs and Minor Building Services
Repairs may be needed, depending on the damage caused. To get your home or building back to pre-water damage condition drywall removal and installation, hardwood floor repair, tile floor repair, painting, carpet repair and installation, building services and reconstruction may be needed.
Building Services and Reconstruction
SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto simplifies the restoration process. We offer mitigation and rebuilding services. Being qualified and experienced in the entire process can save time and keep costs low for you.
7 Home Fire Safety Tips
Fire Safety Symbols
A fire safety plan can save your life and can aid in saving you unnecessary costs. Fire emergency planning is essential. According to the National Fire Protection Association, an “estimated $23 billion in property damage occurred as a result of fire in 2017, a large increase, as this number includes a $10 billion loss in wildfires in Northern California”. Be prepared and practice these fire safety methods before an emergency occurs in your home.
7 Fire Safety Tips for the Home
- Install the correct number of fire alarms for your home. Test each fire alarm at least twice a year and replace batteries at least once a year.
The National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72) requires that newer homes have hard-wired interconnected alarms with a battery backup on each level of the home and in each hallway. Wire your alarms together. Wiring your alarms together allows for the alarms to all sound at the same time once one goes off.
The same metrics should be followed in older homes, install fire alarms at every level of the home and in all sleeping areas. Connecting fire alarms is ideal in older homes, just as expected in newer home models. If you are asleep and dangerous gases are in the air, you wouldn’t be aware unless you heard the fire alarm. Having alarms nearby allows you to act fast. The quicker you can respond, the better for you and your home’s safety.
- Children need to know the sound of a fire alarm. When an alarm goes off, children need to understand what steps to take to exit the home.
- Keep fire extinguishers in the home. Replace them when they expire
- Define escape routes in case of a fire. Have two plans of escape just in case the fire blocks the original planned route. Each family member in the home should understand where to meet outside of the home once they make it out and then what the steps are to take to get fire emergency services.
- Practice planned fire escape routes at least twice a year. It is as easy as pressing the smoke alarm button to test it and practicing escape routes dependent upon where household members are at in the home at the time of testing.
- Make sure children can call 9-1-1.
- Teach residents in the home how ‘STOP, DROP, and ROLL’ in case clothing catches fire.
These fire safety tips can help save lives and help save on costly repairs to your home. The quicker you can get out and the quicker you can call 9-1-1 for fire rescue is imperative.