Recent Posts

Never See Montezuma’s Ominous Waters in Your Basement: How To Prevent Sewage Backup

9/16/2018 (Permalink)

The Memphis, TN, area is in a flood zone; therefore, some level of flooding is expected every year, but that does not mean that a sewer line backup resulting from storm damage must be detrimental to your home. While sewer cleaning helps ensure that lines are clear and free of obstruction, routine plumbing maintenance may not eliminate the concern of a sewage-filled basement. Fortunately, four tools can be used to help ease your mind.

1. An Overhead Sewer

While expensive and requiring professional installation, an overhead sewer is a comprehensive defense system against potential backflow. This system utilizes a sump pump arrangement which depends on an ejector pump to force excess water collecting below the floor level into a secondary pipe, preventing any interior damage.

2. A Backwater Valve

Another costly option requiring professional installation is a backwater valve. This type of valve is connected to the sewer lateral and prevents backup by closing its valve and forcing the sewage to flow up and away from the exterior of the house.

3. A Single Standpipe

A simple and cost-effective prevention method is known as a standpipe. True to its name, the standpipe is a single pipe placed upright in the basement floor drain and sealed with rubber caulk. This solution does not prevent sewers from backing up, but it does give sewage a place to go without contaminating your entire basement.

4. A One-Way Drain Plug

Another simple option is a one-way drain plug. These plugs install quickly and are relatively inexpensive. They are designed with a float that plugs the drain opening when water levels get too high; thus preventing any sewer backflow from entering the basement.

While basement flooding and potential sewage backup may be concerns for homeowners in flood zone areas, the use of any of the above tools can soothe the nerves. However, as this type of damage is not 100 percent preventable, it doesn’t hurt to consult with flood specialists.

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3 Common Issues That Cause Water Damage in Commercial Buildings

9/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Common Issues That Cause Water Damage in Commercial Buildings Office Water Loss

When you purchase commercial property, you often take on the quirks and issues of the building. Most of these things will be harmless, but some can become problems later on. Leaking pipes and corroded sewer lines are just two of the myriad of difficulties that could cause your building in Memphis, TN, to experience water damage.

Old Lines

If the pipes and sewer lines under and around your building are leaky, you can lose a lot of water, causing your water bill to skyrocket. It can also cause damage to your foundation or the basement if your building is equipped with one. Several different issues can occur in the pipes and lines under your building:

• Copper pipe break
• Pipe pinhole leak
• Corroded iron sewer lines

If the line is too old to fix, it may have to be replaced. There's no reason to take out leaking pipes, however, if they can be fixed. It usually costs less money to fix them as well.

Leaky Fixtures

Pipes in the walls can break, causing water damage to the inside of the wall and soaking the insulation. Leaky supply lines and a toilet backup can cause problems as well. This damage typically calls for professional remediation, unless you catch it very early and get it fixed before it can destroy anything. Vigilant maintenance is your best protection against costly repairs.

Foundation Damage

A common water issue that many people forget about is a cracked foundation. Groundwater and even runoff from your landscaping maintenance can seep into your foundation, causing the cracks to become bigger. It's important to have foundation problems taken care of quickly so that plumbing systems and the structural integrity of your building are not compromised.

When you own commercial property, you have to keep an eye out for leaking pipes and other problems that could cause water damage to your building. Catching a problem early may help you avoid damage altogether.

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Identifying Mold: How To Know When Black Mold Has Invaded Your Home

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Identifying Mold: How To Know When Black Mold Has Invaded Your Home Identifying different types of mold in Memphis may require an expert.

Black mold. It's one of those scary things that homeowners hear about but hope to never have to deal with. Unfortunately, this type mold can develop anywhere, in just about any home, and as quickly as overnight. If you discover mold in your home and want to know whether it's the black variety or something far less sinister, contact Memphis, TN, mold remediation experts to schedule a thorough mold inspection.

Know How To Identify Mold

When trying to determine which type of mold you're dealing with, there are certain features you should look for. They include the following:

• Smell
• Symptoms
• Appearance

Here is more detail on what to be on the lookout for.

Smell

Mold has a very distinctive odor, one that is heavily musky and pungent. If you detect a heavy mildew smell in your home, chances are that you're dealing with a more toxic form of house mold.

Symptoms

Black fungi can be extremely harmful to a home and can eat away at its materials and structure until the very foundation becomes compromised. As the mold feeds on materials such as drywall and lumber, you may begin to notice the following symptoms:

• Dark rings or spots on the ceiling
• Visible growth on the walls
• Excessive moisture on or around building materials
• Crumbling drywall
• Sagging ceilings

If one or all of these symptoms are present, you may be dealing with black house mold.

Appearance

A quick mold inspection by a trained professional can help you determine whether or not you are dealing with black mold. It often thrives in environments that are constantly exposed to moisture (though this is not always the case). This type of fungi looks different from others and is characterized by a black or grayish hue, but it can be many colors. It often appears as slimy.

If you suspect that your home is infested with mold, reach out to your local mold remediation experts to schedule a mold inspection. Because of the fungi’s toxic nature, you should get an accurate diagnosis and begin remediation efforts as soon as possible.

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Understanding the Difference Between Mitigation and Restoration

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Understanding the Difference Between Mitigation and Restoration Basement flooding after a severe storm hit the area

If storm damage affects your commercial property in Memphis, TN, you need to do what you can to get your site back to normal. When you work with a local flood cleanup company, you may hear a lot of confusing terminology. Some companies may talk to you about mitigation while others talk about restoration. What's the difference?

Mitigation

Mitigation is the initial cleanup right after a storm damages your property. This quick action may include the following:

• Boarding up holes in the roof
• Covering broken windows
• Removing standing water
• Creating a safety perimeter around the property

When you call in a flood cleanup company to tackle mitigation, the professionals will do whatever they can to stop the damage from getting worse. If your roof was left with a hole in it, for example, more rain may be able to enter your building. The mitigation process stops this from happening.

Often, this course of action is required before any restoration efforts can begin. After mitigation is done, you may still be able to see signs of damage and your building may not be ready for everyday activities to resume.

Restoration

Restoration, on the other hand, is a much slower process. A restoration company has to make sure the initial problem has been completely resolved. If a storm flooded your building, for example, the team would make sure all the water is removed and your entire space is properly dried out before starting any of the refurbishment efforts. Once that's done, they start cleaning up soot, removing damaged items and making necessary repairs. After the restoration is complete, your building should be back to its former glory and ready for regular business to resume.

After a storm damages your commercial building in Memphis, TN, you may need to undertake both mitigation and restoration. A flood cleanup company should be able to help you plan and tackle both types of storm repair.

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5 Ways to Keep Your Business Secure After a Fire

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 5 Ways to Keep Your Business Secure After a Fire This building suffered from a small fire

After fire damage, your Memphis, TN, business building may be unattended until repairs start. Protecting it in the meantime is beneficial towards preventing additional losses. By adhering to these five tips, you can secure your business to ensure you can reopen without added hurdles.

1. Retrieve Important Documents and Valuables

If it’s safe to enter, it’s best to gather up anything that may be detrimental if stolen or lost. This includes safes, money, computers or important business documents. They should be relocated to a secure location until they can be safely returned.

2. Board up the Building for Safety

Protecting the windows and covering major holes in the property prevents unwanted intruders. This stops natural forces like rain from entering your commercial property. Water damage further weakens the structure’s integrity and puts it at risk of further deterioration.

Additionally, sealing off extra entryways removes easy access to sneak inside your building. The protection complicates looting and vandalism. Criminals are deterred with an increased risk of being caught.

3. Contact Lenders, Customers and Partners

Fire damage that causes a building to become inoperable will change how you work with business partners and customers. They are likely wondering how operations will change, so phone calls or emails should be made explaining what will change in the meantime. This can also lead to others lending a hand to help your business with its temporary needs.

4. Gather Documents for the Claims Process

Hopefully, you’ll still have access to receipts or statements about the costs of items lost to a fire. During the process, these should be printed off and gathered in a single place to relieve the burden of proof later. This should include photos and videos of the property, so you can prove the damage later if necessary.

5. Begin Restoring and Fixing Your Property

With the assistance of a professional commercial property restoration company, your business can receive proper fire cleanup. By protecting your business before a restoration company can begin work, you save yourself unnecessary repairs for everything except the fire damage. By always being smart and proactive, your business will thrive.

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How To Replace a Toilet

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Replace a Toilet Leaking Toilets can cause water damage to your Memphis home

If you have a leaking toilet in your Memphis, TN, home, you need to start making repairs as soon as the problem presents itself. Sometimes repairs are not enough to keep water from building up in your house. When this is the case, you may want to replace the toilet. Replacement can help you avoid major damage that would require you to work with a professional water remediation team.

1. Turn off the water. Before you can replace the old toilet, you need to get the field ready for work. This means turning off the water that goes to the toilet by twisting the shutoff valve. You may need to temporarily turn off the water to your entire house. If you skip this step, the liquid can spray into your bathroom.

2. Drain the water. Once you know no more water will be introduced to the toilet, you need to remove any that still remains. Flushing the handle allows you to drain extra water from the fixture, which can reduce the overall mess of the project.

3. Disconnect the supplies. Disconnecting the water supply hose will free the leaking toilet from its surroundings. Your plumber can help you make sure all the hoses are properly disconnected.

4. Remove the fixture. The next step is to take the entire toilet out of your bathroom. The cleanup professionals can help you carry the heavy, awkward fixture out of the house.

5. Install the new toilet. The final step in this toilet repair is to put in the new fixture. Because you want to make sure the installation is done correctly, you should turn to a plumber. This professional can help you hook up the supply lines to avoid a leaking problem in the future.

No one wants to deal with a leaking toilet. Doing a replacement can help ensure you don't have to hassle with standing water in your bathroom in the future.

The Tricky Relationship Between Fire and Insurance

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Tricky Relationship Between Fire and Insurance Fire Damage in Memphis Tennessee

A standard insurance policy for residential fire damage typically covers most common causes of home fires and damage. The coverage can include cooking fires, electrical short blazes, and overheating Christmas light flames. The average policy can also cover fires resulting from lightning, theft, and vandalism. However, there are two types of fire damages that are not generally covered in Memphis, TN, however. The two exceptions are arson insurance fraud and a vacant home fire.

Arson Insurance Fraud

A deliberately set fire is known as arson and is a criminal offence that is punishable by fines, restitution, and prison or jail time. Although torching is generally a result of burning someone else’s property or home, there have been individuals found guilty of setting fire to their own buildings with the following items

• Matches
• Combustible fluids
• Incendiary devices

Insurance companies do not pay for intentionally set building fires because there has been a long-standing tradition of people paying to have the structure destroyed in order to collect insurance money. Insurance investigators now typically inspect the scene of suspect fires before paying any money to the insured.

Vacant Home Fires

Vacancy is legally defined as a building that has been unoccupied for 30 or more consecutive days. Furthermore, if the insurance company proves the home was vacant when the fire started, the policy will not cover the home fire damage, and no pay-out will be awarded to the insured.

There is one exception to the rule, and that is a vacant home insurance endorsement. Fire repair and restoration experts recommend the additional coverage because it often includes theft, hail, vandalism, wind, and fire damage to vacation homes. Year around coverage is required for this type of endorsement.

Insurance Coverage Inspections

If you have a home fire and an insurance inspector is part of the investigation, do not be overly concerned. Insurance companies have become leery of fire damage claims because so many fraud cases have occurred in the past two decades. If you find yourself working with an insurance fire inspector and your fire damage claim is denied, remember you can appeal the finding.

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What is Black Water, and Why Is it a Problem?

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What is Black Water, and Why Is it a Problem? Sewage backup can flood your home and damage can be devastating

While areas of the world are more prone to flooding problems than others, water damage can occur in any home. You may not think too much about these issues, but if you understand the potential consequences of a flood, you would do everything in your power to protect your home and property. One of the biggest concerns you should have is sewage getting into your Memphis, TN, home.

Black Water Facts

Black water is so named because it is flood water mixed with raw sewage. It is formed when sewage lines break or when excess water finds its way into sewers and then makes its way into homes or onto streets. This type of water can also come from overflowing toilets.

The Dangers

When water creeps into your home—whether it’s a small amount or a few feet deep—you should worry about water damage to your flooring, walls and possessions. But sewage in the water can be just as problematic. Because this type of water carries feces, urine and other harmful substances, it poses a major health risk to you and everyone in your home. If you come into contact with this water, you could become seriously ill. If someone ingests any of the water, it could be fatal.

What Can You Do?

The best way to prevent sewage from getting into your home is to call upon a specialist to examine your plumbing. A technician can ensure that your septic system and all the plumbing systems in your home are sound and intact. If this water still infiltrates your home, call a professional immediately to clean it up. Also, leave the affected area as soon as you can.

If your home experiences flooding, be on the lookout for water damage and for the potentially devastating black water. Follow these guidelines to identify this type of water and to protect yourself from it.

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Take These 5 Proactive Steps To Prevent Mold in Your Rental Home

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Take These 5 Proactive Steps To Prevent Mold in Your Rental Home Mold prevention in rentals in Memphis, Tennessee

Mold is a voracious eater that thrives on organic materials and can quickly expand from a small hidden colony of fungus to thousands of spore-producing colonies. When you have a rental unit, it can be difficult to monitor and deal with mold’s growth, but you can be proactive in Memphis, TN, and fight mold before it appears. Here are just a few of the many steps you can take to aid in mold prevention in your rental home.

1. Increase air flow inside the property. The flow of fresh air can be achieved by opening windows and turning on air conditioning or dehumidifiers. As the air circulates, the movement can inhibit moisture and mold growth.

2. If your rental home has a basement, prevent condensation. Musty basements are often filled with dank, dark areas that lack circulation necessary to prevent colony growth. Install fans or dehumidifiers to enhance air circulation and remove excess moisture.

3. Promptly deal with plumbing leaks to prevent long term water damage. Once your tenant notifies you of a plumbing problem, call a water restoration team and ask them to repair the broken pipe and remove the flooded water. The longer the water sits, the more chance there is for mold to grow.

4. Diminish moisture in bathrooms by hardwiring the exhaust fan to the light switch. By reducing the amount of liquid in the air after showers, you can prevent condensation from feeding hidden mold spores. Mold prevention can be essential in moist bathrooms.

5. Inspect gutters and downspouts twice a year. As gutters fill with debris, rain can backup and overflow onto the ground near the building. Downspouts can also move and redirect water near the building instead of away from it. Pooling water can breed mold in basements and crawlspaces.

Mold prevention in a rental unit can be difficult unless you become proactive. Since property owners have limited access to their tenant’s homes, request your tenants contact you at the first sign of mold growth. Together, you can prevent future mold damage to your property.

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What To Do When You Have a Flood

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What To Do When You Have a Flood Flood Damage in Memphis, TN

When your home in Memphis, TN, floods, the experience can be overwhelming. Having a checklist to go through when you have water damage can help you get the assistance you need and fix the problem quickly. Here are some first steps to take when you find yourself needing water cleanup services.

1. Contact the Professionals

The first thing you should do is call your insurance company and water restoration experts. Professional repair personnel can help you assess the damage and provide a game plan for restoration, and the insurance company can send an adjuster to estimate how much your claim is worth. Having someone already in place who is going to repair the damage gives you a backup for the amount it is going to cost.

2. Take Pictures

It is important to have a record of the water damage in your home. To the extent that it is safe to do so, take as many pictures as possible of the problem. This can help verify your claim with your insurance company. Here are some examples of items to photograph:

• Source of the leak, such as broken pipes or supply lines
• Walls and floor that show signs of damage
• Belongings that are affected by the excess water and humidity
• Survey of the whole area that the flood touches

3. Keep Your Family Safe

The most important thing to remember, however, is to keep you and your family safe. If possible, turn off the source of the water and shut down power to the area. Do not enter standing water, particularly if it is near a power source or may possibly contain sewage. Leave the bulk of the assessment to the professionals.

Water damage can seem devastating, but a plan to work through it can make it feel more manageable. Loop the professionals in who have experience in water cleanup early on in the process, and they can help you keep the problem under control.

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