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Beyond Routines: 4 Tools to Prevent Basement Flooding and Backups

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Beyond Routines: 4 Tools to Prevent Basement Flooding and Backups Clean up bathroom down the hallway after a sewage backup in Oak Court, TN

How To Prevent Flooding

A sewer backup can cost thousands to repair and remedy. In Oak Court, TN, regulations and even insurance policies may require a contract with an emergency restoration company due to the contamination of black water and the subsequent health risks. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent this type of flooding.

  • Regular Sewer Cleaning
  • Biannual Inspections
  • Routine Debris Removal

Beyond these basic routines, there at least four tools you can install as preventative measures.

1. Backwater Valve

Requiring a licensed plumber for installation, a backwater valve is installed at the exterior of the building and connects to the waste line. The valve allows sewage to exit a property, but it closes and blocks sewage from backing up into the home.

2. Standpipe

A standpipe is just as it sounds. It is a pipe that stands a minimum of 3 feet out of a drain and is sealed around the base. When a backup occurs, the water rises in the pipe but does not spill out onto the floor, unless the flood is especially deep. A standpipe does not require professional installation.

3. Overhead Sewer

Another tool requiring professional installation, the overhead sewer works in conjunction with a sump pump to eliminate the risk of storm damage due to flooding. In this system, the sump pump forces water into overhead pipes that are connected into the wastewater lines, where the water flows out and away from the home.

4. One-Way Drain

A one-way drain is the simplest of all the preventative measures. This tool uses a floating mechanism to block the drain, preventing backflow. If water begins backing up, the float seals the floor drain. When water subsides, and pressure normalizes, the float lowers and allows for normal drainage.

A sewer backup can cause a significant amount of damage and can leave homeowners scrambling for solutions in a reactionary way. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to be proactive about this type of dilemma. While routine maintenance and inspections are excellent ways to ensure functionality, the four tools above offer the ability to prevent significant damage when all else fails.

How Many Fire Alarms Do I Need?

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How Many Fire Alarms Do I Need? Every floor of your house in Court,TN should have a fire alarm

Your first line of defense against fire includes safe practices in your home. That begins with prevention through safe practices when using fire, heat and electricity. Your second line of defense, however, is the fire alarm system in your home. Yes, you need more than one smoke detector in your home in Oak Court, TN. Practices have changed in recent years and, if you have been in your house awhile, you may not have enough alarms to keep up with the current safety standards. With fire prevention week coming up, take the time to ensure your family is protected by following updated recommendations for locations of fire alarms in your home.

  1. Place alarms inside every bedroom.

  2. Make sure to install one just outside every sleeping area.

  3. Every floor of your house should have a fire alarm.

  4. Place a unit near the kitchen, but at least 10 feet from the stove.

  5. All fire alarms should be mounted high on walls no further than 12” from the ceiling.

How many alarms should you have?

It depends on how many floors and how many bedrooms. If you have a 3-bedroom house on one story, you may only need four, but if the bedrooms are on different sides of the house that may mean a fifth fire alarm is needed.

A good tip is to put the kitchen alarm on a wall just outside the kitchen, so you aren’t becoming desensitized by too many false alarms from cooking. An early warning can mean preventing a full blaze. Cleaning up a little smoke damage is much preferable to losing your home in a fire.

Once a fire starts, you only have a few minutes to get out of a building. Well-located alarms will give you the warning you need to get your family out fast. If you need help with cleanup from a fire, smoke or soot, look for a professional recovery team that can handle all stages of fire damage recovery, from cleanup to rebuilding.

Flood and Disaster Planning: Protecting Your Building from Flood Damage

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Flood and Disaster Planning: Protecting Your Building from Flood Damage Install preventative measures like a sump pump in your Berclair,TN company

The risk of flooding is worrisome enough without tacking on the losses caused by potential flood damage. For businesses, continuity of operations is essential to both profitability and longevity, which is why protecting assets from natural disasters, like a flood, may be the most crucial element of business planning. Read below for some disaster planning tips.

1. Install Preventative Measures

Storm damage can be detrimental to businesses, especially when that damage results in operational interruptions. Companies can minimize these risks by installing preventative measures, like sump pumps and backwater valves. Additionally, with the creative use of landscaping and exterior structures, businesses can erect barriers and drainage levels around exteriors to help prevent flooding.

2. Elevate Essential Equipment

To minimize potential flood damage, businesses should elevate essential equipment. Computers are not the only pieces of fragile equipment. Boilers, generators, and other major appliances should be lifted to protect against floodwater contamination and mold growth.

3. Move Business Operations

If currently operating in an area prone to flooding, it may be worthwhile to move operations to a less risky locale. While there is an expense of moving, there can be many benefits. Aside from the possibility of lower insurance rates, a business can benefit from the security of eliminating a substantial risk of business interruption.

4. Call for Professional Evaluations

If operations are well-established and a move could potentially disrupt and hurt the business, then it may be beneficial to call for a professional property evaluation in Berclair,TN. Many restoration companies offer these evaluations to help a company decide on both appropriate preventative steps to take in securing the business and an emergency readiness plan in the event of a disaster.

Flood damage can be a significant worry of business owners, especially in this area, but taking precautions to secure the business can help alleviate that stress. By installing preventative measures, elevating equipment and preparing a readiness plan, business owners can drastically reduce the risk of damage without having to move operations.

3 Signs You May Have a Sewage Problem in Your Home

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Signs You May Have a Sewage Problem in Your Home Learning to spot signs of sewage problems at your Oak Court,TN home can help you avoid future damage

Water problems in your Oak Court, TN, home can cause financial setbacks and other problems that keep you up at night. This may include an old plumbing system that backs up frequently or arranging for sewage cleaning services when your toilets spill over. Catching problems early could lower the risk of flooding and overflow, but you can often prevent these difficulties when you learn to spot the signs of potential sewage trouble.

1. There Is Overflow During Showers

If your toilet backs up and overflows when you run the shower, this can be a sign of a serious clog in your plumbing. If the excess water cannot drain the usual way when the shower is running because of a clog, it may run into the toilet line and cause the bowl to overflow. If a toilet overflow occurs each time you turn on the shower, you may want to call in a plumbing service for sewage cleaning and to have your lines inspected.

2. There Is a Lingering Sewer Smell

Keeping your bathroom clean is probably high on your list of housekeeping priorities, but if a foul odor persists even after you scrub your toilet, you may have a sewer problem. Damaged or cracked pipes could be sending this smell back into your home and could eventually cause your toilet to spew sewer contents up the line and into your bathroom. Asking a plumber or flood damage and restoration company for advice and assistance may prevent a troublesome and messy cleaning job.

3. There Is Inconsistent Flushing Power

If your toilet has become sluggish and does not flush completely, a clogged pipe may be to blame. However, you may also want to check the unit’s flapper or look for a leak around the base before calling a plumber to remove a potential clog.

Sewer issues in your Oak Court, TN, home can be costly in terms of water removal and sewage cleaning. Learning to spot the signs of a possible problem can save you time and money and help you avoid future damage to your home.

How to Restore Your Home After Flood Damage

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to Restore Your Home After Flood Damage Commercial property flooded by pipe break

When water leaks in your home, the first step towards addressing the problem is to identify the level of the damage. The easiest way to do so is to make a list of all the damaged items. You can also classify the damaged items into several categories in the quest to identify the salvageable and non-salvageable items. Before you start sorting these things, you have to get rid of the water. Damage storage tanks can cause the seepage of water in home ceilings and attics.

You need a suction pump to eliminate the water.

While doing so, examine the hidden areas as well to see whether you can find some pools of stagnant water. Once you pump out the water, you need to dry these surfaces. Start by mopping the entire home and eliminate the dirt to avoid staining the surfaces. Once you clean the house, you need to eliminate the moisture.

Elimination of water in home ceilings and attics
As such, it is vital to hire a professional contractor to undertake the water cleanup, drying, and restoration. In most cases, people sign up for home insurance. If you invest in home insurance, ensure that the policy covers you for water damage. Water and flood damage can be difficult to quantify since you have to take all the electronic goods into account. In addition, you can mitigate the damage by mounting the electronic goods on the walls. Whenever you have a leakage of water in business attics and ceilings, water cleanup is one of the most important mitigation procedures.

Elimination of water in business establishments
The presence of water in business carpets and other surfaces can cause a host of respiratory complications. Drying and water cleanup are mandatory since the humid air can cause several respiratory problems as well as mold growth. Engaging a professional water extractor can help you to eliminate the water and dehumidify the air. Besides vacuuming the surfaces, you can blow hot air onto the walls and ceilings to remove the excess moisture. In most cases, replacing a gypsum ceiling is mandatory since this material cannot withstand the water damage. You will also have to replace the electronic goods that come into contact with the water. When you estimate the cost of home restoration after water damage, you will realize that the expenses might escalate to thousands of dollars. While extracting the water in home floors and ceilings, you must consider the cost of drying the surfaces as well. The percolation of water in home electronics can cause extensive damage.

Protect the electronics

If the electronics are on the floor, the flood damage could be enormous since these delicate items are not resistant to flood damage. Remember to call your insurance company immediately. If the insurance company does not send an agent to your home, you need to take photographs and keep the samples of the broken items. Water cleanup is mandatory during restoration since it helps you to come up with the requisite mitigation initiatives. If you encounter some leakages of water in business premises, it is vital to contact your insurance company to cater the cost of flood damage.

Flood damage mitigation

While undertaking the restoration, you need to think about the mitigation as well. The contractor will take the following precautions while repairing your home to avert such a problem in the future:

  • Avoid absorbent materials and choose stone, tile, waterproofed wallboards, and sealed concrete. Such waterproof materials will come in handy if you are looking to protect your home from damage in the future.
  • Use stainless-steel nails and galvanized fasteners
  • Install the PVC carpeting in the basements and other submerged areas that might be at the risk of flood damage
  • After drying the surfaces, take the necessary precautions to protect your main power supply from water damage. When the electrical conduits encounter the water, the damage could be tremendous.
  • Insist on the water-resistant glues when fastening the building materials 

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.


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.


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.


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 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, 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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