Frozen water pipe? Here are some tips to help.
Frozen water pipes are a serious risk during very cold winter weather. When water freezes in a pipe it expands and can exert pressure at over 2,000 pounds per square inch. This pressure is enough to rupture almost any pipe filled with water, which provides no place for the ice to expand. A burst pipe can spill several hundred gallons of water per hour, and that equates to thousands of dollars of damage to your home. Pipes are most susceptible to freezing when they are located:
- in an outside wall
- in a cabinet under a sink (especially near an outside wall)
- in an unheated crawl space or basement
If your pipe is frozen but not yet ruptured, you must thaw it right away. There are a few thawing techniques to try, depending on where the frozen pipe is located.
Warning: Never use a blow torch or other open flame to thaw a pipe. This presents a serious fire hazard and can damage the pipe.
A frozen pipe that hasn't burst yet often reveals itself at a faucet: when you turn on the faucet and no water come out or it has slowed to a trickle, there's probably a blockage of ice somewhere in the line. It's time to take immediate action:
- Shut off the water to the faucet locally or at the home's main water shutoff valve.
- Open the faucet that is supplied by the frozen pipe; do this even if you don't know where the blockage is.
- Identify the frozen pipe and locate the blockage: Follow the pipe back from the faucet to where it runs through cold areas, such as an exterior wall or unheated crawl space. Look for areas on the pipe that have frost or ice; it may also be slightly bulged or fissured.
When you find that the frozen—but not yet burst—pipe is behind a wall or ceiling, you've got a challenge on your hands. You have three options for thawing the pipe:
- Turn up the heat in the house and wait.
- Cut out a section of the wall or ceiling to access the frozen section of pipe, then thaw the pipe as an exposed pipe (see next slide).
- Use an infrared lamp to help heat the wall section in front of where you believe the pipe is frozen. Infrared lamps are better than regular heat lamps because they pass through the air without heating it and will direct more energy to warming the wall and frozen pipe.
If the frozen pipe is exposed, you have several options for thawing it. Whichever remedy, use heat the pipe from the faucet toward the frozen area. This allows water to flow out as the ice melts.
- Hair dryer: Usually the easiest and safest way to thaw a pipe. If the pipe is close to the wall, place a cookie sheet behind the pipe to help radiate heat onto the backside of the pipe.
- Heat lamp: You can use an infrared or incandescent heat lamp. As with a hair dryer, if the pipe is close to the wall, use a cookie sheet behind the pipe to help reflect heat onto the pipe.
- Portable heater: A small, powerful heater works great for warming pipes under a kitchen or vanity base cabinet. Direct the heater onto the frozen section of pipe. It will work like a hair dryer on steroids!
- Electric pipe heat tape: Heat tape is a ribbon-like wrap that contains electrical heating elements. You wrap it around the pipe you want to heat and plug it into the wall. The temperature of the tape is controlled with a thermostat. Heat tape can also be used to prevent pipes from freezing in critical areas; you can leave the heat tape on the pipe and plug it in only when needed.
There are a few things you can do to prevent the problem of freezing pipes from occurring again:
- Leave the faucet dripping slightly during the coldest time of the day or night.
- Open the cabinet doors to allow the heated air from the room to reach pipes inside the cabinet.
- Wrap the problem pipe with electrical heat tape.
- Insulate problem pipes with foam insulation wrap, especially those that run through unheated spaces. Note: Insulation merely slows the transfer of heat and will not prevent a pipe from freezing if the surrounding air is cold enough.
- Heat unheated areas with a permanent heater, just to keep the temperature above freezing, or about 40 degrees F. Warning: Do not use portable heaters, which should never be left running unattended.
- Remove garden hoses attached to outdoor faucets (hose bibs or sill cocks). If the faucet is not a frost-proof type, turn off the water to the faucet inside the house and drain the exterior section of the pipe and faucet.
Safety during a Storm
Storm damage information
Severe weather can happen at any time, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:
- 10,000 severe thunderstorms
- 5,000 floods or flash floods
- 1,300 tornadoes
- 2 land falling deadly hurricanes
Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
Know Your Risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms, and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place. If you incur any damage during a storm, we can help! SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade & Hancock Counties. 270-580-2200.
How can SERVPRO help with Fire Damage?
Woman with fire damage
What would you do if you came home after a stressful day at work, and your house is on fire? Or you were about lock up for the night and you smell something burning and the business is in flames in the back room? Well, you’re going to call the fire department first but who is going to take care of all the damage and soot on the inside? SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade, and Hancock Counties will take care of all your worries. We’re trained with all proper licenses to be able to handle fire damage cleanup.
To be able to give you the best result we can, it’s best that we start as soon as we have approval from adjuster. We have a “pack away” with customers permission, we pack up personal items, we clean items and return them at the end. We have non-salvageable sheets and we bag up what we think is not savable and with your permission, we trash them. After everything has been removed from the house, we clean the ceiling with a sponge and that removes soot off ceiling. Then, we use a two-step method of cleaning the walls. We go through the affected walls and our crew work together as a team, one will go through the wall with the first chemical and then the second person will wipe with another chemical. We also, clean the HVAC units in your home to make sure all the soot, smoke, and any other debris that could be in the system gets cleaned out. We clean all the furniture that was in the house and remove soot. Once we are finished inside the house, we clean all floors if they didn’t get removed from damage. We will also provide one more specialized service at the end of cleaning process to get rid of any other smell that didn’t get completely out during the cleaning process. If you have a fire in your home or business, let the professionals help you! SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade, and Hancock Counties. Contact us at 270-580-2200
Do you have Water Damage at your commercial building?
Office with water damage
Commercial Water Loss projects are costly not only because the expense of the restoration can be higher based on the larger size of the project, but also from the potential lost business that will be a concern if normal operations are disrupted.
SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade, and Hancock Counties has worked with many commercial customers over the years who have been concerned that the restoration process could be expensive from the point of view that their customers will not be able to continue using the business during the recovery.
Routinely, SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade, and Hancock Counties will work with the business owner to schedule the restoration work to minimize potential lost business.
One way to handle this challenge is to perform the restoration during off peak-business-hours so normal operations can continue during the day with a minimum of impact. We were able to arrange this work plan with two medical centers. They had water damage that required SERVPRO to work after business hours, working through the night and early morning. Our crews were able to get the medical centers up and running by the following Monday morning, saving the business operational time.
Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification - IICRC
In the fire and water restoration business, it is important to perform all work in accordance with industry standards. Standards create a set of best practices to ensure restoration work is effective, and protects the health and safety of both workers and occupants. In the restoration industry, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the certifying body in the United States.
The IICRC develops and maintains standards for many facets of property restoration. It is the most utilized technical information in the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. IICRC is ANSI-accredited, and recognized by some local, state and federal authorities.
Certification classes are taught by IICRC-approved instructors. There are over 25 certifications and continuing education requirements to maintain certification. This helps us keep all certified technicians refreshed and updated on any changes that may arise in the industry. SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade and Hancock Counties is an IICRC Certified Firm. We are listed in the IICRC global locator, which is accessed by consumers and industry professionals.
A list of Certifications that is offered:
Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
Applied Structural Drying Technician
Building Moisture Thermography
Commercial Carpet Maintenance Technician
Carpet Cleaning Technician
Commercial Drying Specialist
Color Repair Technician
Floor Care (Hard Surfaces) Technician
Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician
House Cleaning Technician
Odor Control Technician
Rug Cleaning Technician
Resilient Floor Inspector
Resilient Flooring Maintenance Technician
Carpet Repair and Reinstallation Technician
Senior Carpet Inspector
Stone, Masonry and Ceramic Tile Cleaning Technician
Trauma and Crime Scene Technician
Upholstery and Fabric Technician
Wood Floor Maintenance Technician
Wood and Laminate Flooring Inspector
Water Damage Restoration Technician
If you want to learn more about the IICRC, please visit IICRC.org.
What do I do when I have water damage?
Water damage can come from a plumbing leak. What will you do when you find this? Call SERVPRO!
Many of us do not know the first steps to take in the event of water damage in our homes. SERVPRO has over 40 years of leadership and training in cleanup and restoration services. SERVPRO has put together a few Do’s and Don’ts to help in the event of water damage in your home.
Water Damage from Clean Water
- Shut off the source of the water as quickly as possible.
- Turn off any circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the breaker box is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping & blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
- Remove any documents, computers and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
- Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards are at risk.
- Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches or circuit breakers are exposed to water/
- Leave books, newspapers. Magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
- Leave oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
- Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove excess water. This could cause electrical shock or damage the vacuum cleaner.
- Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors.
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceilings are wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need:
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of COVID-19, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff performs on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages the cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tablets. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
• Kitchen/Food Areas
• Retail Spaces
• Water Fountains
• Sales Counters
• Carpets and Rugs
• Stair Handrails
• Elevator Cars
• Playground Equipment
• Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends the usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to COVID-19.
Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of COVID-19, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning: (270)580-2200. If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today –
SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade and Hancock Counties
Preparing Our Youth For Disasters and Emergencies
Kids preparing for storms in schools
When the unexpected happens, will your child know what to do? Disaster can strike anywhere, usually with little to no warning. If your child is put in an emergency situation and doesn't know how to react, they could be severely hurt and may even feel significant anxiety that can follow them for years. With the proper education, though, your child can feel more secure, confident and helpful in the event of a disaster.
Preparing Our Youth
Ultimately, it takes the whole community to educate our youth through preparedness tips and advice. With everyone doing their part, children will understand the seriousness of an emergency situation and strive to become leaders in their classrooms and neighborhoods, ensuring that everybody is prepared for the next disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross and the Department of Education have worked together to create the National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education a document that outlines a vision for prepared youth in the United States, and how communities can turn that vision into a reality. This document seeks to educate youth and their parents so that communities are better able to prepare for, respond to and recover from future disasters.
How to Prepare Youth for Emergencies and Disasters with Nine Steps
The National Strategy document indicates nine crucial steps that people and organizations at the local, state and federal levels should take to create a strong and prepared youth community. Here's how you can help prepare young people for several types of emergencies and disasters:
- Make it important. Elevating the importance of youth preparedness learning programs in schools and civic organizations allows children to recognize that being prepared is crucial throughout every area of the community.
- Evaluate. If existing youth preparedness programs aren't up to par, develop guidance, tools and up-to-date protective actions in order to ensure that the children in your community are given proper direction.
- Support. Communities, organizations and schools should be able to prepare children without facing unnecessary resistance or interference.
- Create. Establish a relationship between local youth and the first responder community, so that your kids can understand how first responders react in emergency situations. Your kids can also learn from their own heroes what they can do to help in a disaster.
- Link. Connect youth preparedness to family and community participation, so that your child can become an advocate in your area.
- Make school preparedness key. Schools, by their nature, promote broad community participation already, so adding preparedness programs that include curricula, drills and exercises for all local disasters can help children understand what to do when faced with a crisis.
- Build and strengthen. Creating and maintaining partnerships among stakeholder agencies and organizations allows your community to receive up-to-date information about youth preparedness best practices. Local leaders can also be advocates to discuss your community's needs, especially if your area is prone to certain natural disasters.
- Identify. Find opportunities to insert youth preparedness education into youth culture, such as using social media or local ads to initiate a conversation about the importance and effectiveness of preparedness programs.
- Design. Create a sustaining model that designs, develops and delivers valuable programs to train youth in your community. Since certain areas are known to have specific recurring natural disasters, it's important to create a plan that's unique to your community's needs.
By implementing these nine priority steps in your community, your children can receive training to help them feel confident when faced with a disaster. Giving them the tools they need to understand how to prepare for, respond to and recover from several types of emergencies – from fires to floods and more – can make all the difference when disaster actually strikes.
What Makes SERVPRO Stand Out
As a restoration company, our aim is to be the trusted resource among clients. We ensure that we follow industry standard protocols. Our staff members go through IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration) training to be best prepared for all the services we offer. They are also certified with OSHA, Lead, and Asbestos awareness. We maintain a large inventory of equipment for residential and commercial work. The extensive list was added to this past week with more equipment being sent to our team. Air movers, dehumidification equipment, air scrubbers, specialty drying equipment including desiccants and generators all help complete the work in a timely manner. Lastly, our team members utilize technology and client documentation to make sure that everything is recorded properly. Our proprietary software that documents and records all the essential information is needed to make sure that these pieces are easily accessible.
Halloween Fire and Safety Tips
For kids, Halloween is often one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. Dressing up, trick-or-treating, candy, parties, hayrides and corn mazes make for great fun and amazing childhood memories. Unfortunately, Halloween has become a holiday with increasing numbers of home fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), decorations were the first item ignited in an estimated average of 860 reported home structure fires every Halloween between 2009 and 2013. These fires resulted in an average of 13 million dollars in direct property damage per year. At such a high cost, it’s crucial that you take the necessary steps to help prevent a fire from igniting in your home this season.
To help you enjoy a safer holiday, follow these important Halloween safety tips from the experts at SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade & Hancock Counties.
HALLOWEEN SAFETY: DECORATIONS
Use these tips to help prevent your Halloween decorations from catching fire:
The traditional jack-o-lantern features a smiling or spooky face that’s illuminated from within by a candle. Placing candles inside a cleaned-out pumpkin is a fire hazard. In fact, any lit candle left unattended is a Halloween fire hazard. If they’re inside pumpkins, they can tip over, ignite surrounding materials and cause a fire. To stay safe, use a battery-operated candle or LED light to illuminate your festive pumpkins.
Using paper bag luminaries or lining a mantle, porch stairs or windowsills with lit candles can create an eerie effect for Halloween night. However, this type of decorating is a fire hazard and poses a risk of injury to you and your guests. To help prevent a fire from decorative candles, replace them with battery-operated, no-flame candles that still provide the same spooky ambiance.
Some decorations, both inside and outside of your home, can be dangerous if left near a heat source. Straw, hay bales, corn stalks and other dry materials are flammable. To protect your home from a fire, keep these decorations away from any kind of heat source, including fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, candles and outdoor fire pits.
HALLOWEEN SAFETY: YARD MAINTENANCE
Halloween has the potential to bring plenty of residents through your lawn. To help keep trick-or-treaters and their parents safe, check that your yard is properly maintained and has adequate lighting. Before night falls, complete these tasks:
- Remove large amounts of debris, including leaves or sticks, to help reduce the risk of trips and falls.
- Check that the exterior lights are working properly, including any path lights or Halloween decorations.
- Ensure that steps and railing are secure, if necessary.
By following these tips, you can help keep everyone safe. We hope you have a happy and fun Halloween this year!
Unfortunately, accidents still happen. In the event that a fire broke out in your home, call on the experts at SERVPRO of Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade & Hancock Counties. We’re available 24/7 every day of the year to get your home back to normal after a disaster. With the proper expertise, tools and innovative equipment, we can restore your home fast. Learn more about our residential fire and smoke damage removal services before the unexpected happens.