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How Does Water Affect Building Materials?

11/7/2022 (Permalink)

Wooden floor damaged If your home has experienced water damage, SERVPRO is equipped to remediate any restoration need!

How Do Building Materials React to Water?

Water is one of the most dangerous elements to deal with in your home. It can cause damage on every level, from mold and mildew to rotting wood and even termites. Water can also be very destructive to many different building materials, such as wood, plaster, metal, and concrete. Fortunately, there are ways you can protect yourself from these issues.

Swelling Wood

If you've ever had to move a water-damaged piece of furniture and watched it crack, crumble, and fall apart as if there were some sort of zombie virus in the wood, you've experienced this phenomenon firsthand. Wood is porous and absorbs water, which can swell the fibers of the wood as well as cause small gaps between them. When this happens, the wood will shrink back to its original size when it dries out again; however, if too much moisture has been absorbed into a piece of furniture or other household item (especially from water lingering on one side), then it may be irreversibly damaged. As we all know from experience with dishes or clothing that have been soaked in the sink for too long: when you leave something wet for too long, mold growth will occur, and damage is irreversible.

Plaster and Drywall

The other two common building materials are plaster and drywall. Plaster is a very soft, malleable material that can be molded into any shape or form, then set. It's used as the finish coat in most homes and buildings to give them a smooth finish or texture. If water gets behind a wall of plaster, it can swell up quite a bit. However, if you act quickly by drying out the walls with fans and heaters attached to blowers (the same kind used for drying paint), it should be fine after some time passes — if there's no mold growth or damage from freezing temperatures while waiting for drying to occur.

Drywall is very similar to plaster except it doesn't have any give whatsoever: once you put drywall up on your walls, that's where it stays until you decide otherwise! The only way this type of material will crack apart during normal use is if there's too much moisture present within its structure.

Metal

You may have heard the expression, “Water and metal don’t mix.” While this isn’t exactly true, it does illustrate the point that metal can be damaged by water. There are three different ways that this can happen:

  • Cracking of the material due to expansion and contraction caused by temperature changes.
  • Corrosion, which is chemical degradation of a metal surface over time as it encounters oxygen and/or water molecules. This leads to rusting (oxidation), tarnishing (electrochemical corrosion), or pitting (galvanic corrosion).

Concrete

Concrete is a great building material, but it’s also porous and can absorb water. If your concrete isn’t cured properly or if it isn’t protected from water, it can be damaged by water.

Brick

Brick is made of clay and sand. It absorbs water, which can cause bricks to fall out of place or crack when exposed to freezing temperatures. While brick can be dried out, it takes a long time — up to several weeks depending on the size of the area affected. If your brick becomes damaged due to exposure to moisture or freezing temperatures, you may need professional help removing and replacing it.

Water can damage many common building materials, but some can be saved

Water damage is a serious problem. Water can seep into your building materials, causing them to expand or contract and crack. This can cause a host of other problems, like mold growth and rotting wood.

The cost of repairing water damage can be high, with some estimates running as high as $5 per square foot. To avoid this expensive repair bill, you'll want to act quickly when you notice signs of water intrusion in your home or on your property.

If you think that your home or business has been damaged by water, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Downtown Las Vegas. We offer free quotes for all types of restoration services in Las Vegas.

While water damage can be a major problem for building materials and structures, it's important to remember that not all buildings are the same. Different materials react differently to water, so you'll need to know how they're affected before deciding on any course of action. In some cases, it might be possible to salvage your home or business after storm damage. 

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher?

10/5/2022 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher instruction labels set. Instruction extinguisher and protection of fire with extinguisher illustration PASS fire method

Use of a Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is an important tool that every household or business should have. With the right kind of training and education, you can use it to fight fires and prevent them from spreading. A fire extinguisher has three main components: the cylinder (which holds the agent that puts out the fire), the handle (or trigger), and a nozzle for directing the agent at the flames. Here's how each part works.

1. Assess the situation: is it safe?

Before you can use a fire extinguisher, you need to make sure it's safe for you and others around you. This includes making sure that:

  • The fire is out of control. You should never try to put out a potentially dangerous fire unless there's absolutely no other option—if the situation requires immediate action, then get out of there! If you think it's safe enough to use an extinguisher, proceed as follows:

2. Pull the pin and aim the extinguisher

  • Pull the pin and aim the extinguisher
  • Pull the pin to release it from its mount. Aim at the base of the fire and squeeze the lever fully, aiming towards where you want to send foam or water. Sweep back and forth over the affected area

3. Squeeze the lever to release the extinguishing agent

Now that you have aimed and released the extinguishing agent, it is time to make sure that it does its job. To do this, use a continuous sweeping motion with the hose until you see no more flames or glowing embers. Make sure to aim at the base of any fires so that they are fully covered in foam. 

4. Sweep the nozzle from side to side

Sweeping the nozzle of a fire extinguisher back and forth will help you cover an area with foam, helping to put out flames. Never aim the nozzle at a person, pet, or object as it could damage them or cause injury. Be careful not to get any of the agent as yourself as it can be harmful to your skin. 

A fire extinguisher can help you fight fires, but only if you know how to use one properly.

In case of an emergency, the right fire extinguisher can mean the difference between life and death. But always remember, your safety and the safety of those around is always priority number one. In the case of a fire, here’s what to do:

  • Call 911 immediately. This is the most important step. Take note of how many people are in the room and if anyone needs medical help.
  • Make sure nobody else is going to put themselves at risk by trying to fight the fire on their own.
  • The next thing you need to do is make sure that everyone gets out safely, especially those who might be injured or have mobility issues like seniors or children who aren't able to escape by themselves easily (or at all). 

As you can see, it’s not that difficult to use a fire extinguisher. The most important thing is to take the time to assess the situation and make sure that it’s safe for you to approach the fire before you do anything else. Next, pull out the pin and aim your extinguisher at the flames. Then squeeze the lever so that it sprays out its contents onto any nearby combustibles. Finally, sweep across any areas where embers may remain after being extinguished by this method with another person helping if possible, so as not get burned again while doing so (especially important if using water).

3 Ways To Remove Smoke From Your Home After a Fire

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Thermal fogger Thermal foggers use heat and pressurization to stop harmful particulates in their tracks

Here Are Three Smoke Removal Equipment

After a fire, you want to eliminate all traces of it using effective smoke cleaning methods. Fire restoration professionals in Las Vegas, NV have mastered the art of smoke removal. Here are three common machines they use to restore your home to livable condition:

1.Air-Filtration Devices

After a fire, particulates may linger in the air that is undetectable to the eye but nonetheless cause damage. If these contaminants enter your HVAC system, they can circulate throughout your home. Air-filtration devices use filters to improve the quality of your breathing spaces. The most powerful machines filter the air in several stages to capture both large and small particles.

2.Ozone Machines

Ozone machines are an aggressive way to eliminate smoke damage. The type of air you breathe is known as dioxygen and is comprised of two oxygen molecules. Ozone machines release the more unstable trioxygen, which has three oxygen molecules. The trioxygen easily binds to pollution such as smoke, mold, bacteria, and viruses to destroy the contaminants. This method can freshen your living space through smoke cleaning in a short amount of time.

3.Thermal Foggers

To remove heavy smoke odor, thermal foggers use heat and pressurization to stop harmful particulates in their tracks. The machine generates a dry fog by vaporizing and condensing a special fluid. The dry fog is released into the air and attaches to the porous odor chemicals to deodorize them. Thermal foggers are effective because the fog can reach anywhere that smoke does, including tiny cracks in the walls or floor.

After a fire, you want to repair your home as quickly as possible so you can return to a normal life. Restoration experts in Las Vegas, NV can access the damage and use a variety of smoke cleaning methods to get your property in top condition. Air filtration devices, ozone machines, and thermal foggers are three advanced technologies every professional should have on hand.

What To Know About Storm Damage and Flooding

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Office, boxes on the floor, flooded office A flooded office in Las Vegas, NV

Storm Damage and Flooding

It’s important to know that storm damage and flood damage are different things although both can affect your business. Here are a few things you may want to know about these types of damage.


1. Both Can Occur Multiple Ways

Both flooding and storm damage can occur a number of ways. Storms can bring high winds, heavy rain, hail, and freezing temperatures all of which can lead to damage. Flooding can be caused by a storm too, but can also occur from a pipe break, sewer backup or overflowing drainage. Understanding that these are two separate things will help you be prepared for these event to happen regardless of if the weather is stormy.


2. Both Should Be Handled Quickly

Both storm and flood damage should be handled quickly. This means removing the water so it can’t soak in, and thoroughly drying the area. It’s also important to make sure you know the source so that you can mitigate future problem. Fortunately, a restoration service can help.


3. A Restoration team Can Help

Contacting a local water damage restoration service is an important part of the repair process as these professionals are trained to deal with a variety of water damage types, including storm caused damages and flooding. They can access the damage, make repairs, and restore the property to pre-damage conditions. These professionals can also help with item cleaning, item storage during restoration, and may even be able to repair electronics and help back up important files. Many restoration professionals can also work directly with your insurance agent.


Remember that storm damage and flood damage are different things and business in Las Vegas, NV might be affected by one without the other, or both at the same time. Each type of damage can occur a number of ways and in both cases the damage should be repaired as quickly as possible. Fortunately a restoration service can help.

Causes for and Curing of Leaky Toilets

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Bottom of a toilet leaking A leaking toilet should not cause panic

Know What Causes The Problem And How To Fix IT

Sooner or later, a leaking toilet will plague one of your bathrooms in Downtown East, NV. Before yours begins oozing sewage, know what causes the problem and how to fix it.

Toilet Leak Causes
A bathroom leak may occur for any number of reasons, including:

  • A cracked tank or bowl
  • Rusty pipes
  • A worn flapper
  • Loose or worn out base seals
  • Faulty connectors
  • A maladjusted flush valve

Left untreated, toilet seepage can cause serious structural damage. If floor tile warps or sink cabinets endure discoloration, contact a residential water restoration specialist to get your restroom looking “Like it never even happened.”

Toilet Leak Fix Procedure
Toilets have been known to last more than 40 years with minimal care. Despite their dependability, faults still happen. The below information may help fix your leaking toilet.
Start by tightening the bolts that secure the toilet in place. Remove the caps covering the bolts with a putty knife or screwdriver and then tighten the nuts using a wrench. Keep your aggression in check, as excessive pressure may crack the base.
If the leak continues, try replacing the wax gasket. Turn off the valve and drain as much water as possible. Hold down the handle and remove the remaining liquid with a paper towel and disposable cup. Rock the toilet back and forth until the seal breaks. Remove the toilet and scrape off the old gasket. After loosening the screws used to secure the flange, insert the repair strap. Finally, place the new gasket on the ground and complete reinstallation.
Plumbers disagree on whether caulking should be applied to toilet bases. Some government buildings require it since caulking inhibits bacterial growth. Most abstain, as doing so obscures expanding leaks. If you elect to apply caulk, use one that is resistant to mildew.
A leaking toilet should not cause panic. With a bit of effort, yours will flush properly once more.

Fire Sprinklers Save Money and Lives

7/31/2022 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler Have your fire sprinkler ready in your Fremont Street, NV business.

Three Important Things To Know About Fire Sprinklers

No business in Fremont Street, NV, wants to deal with the destruction caused by fire. One of the best ways to minimize potential damage and associated expenses is to maintain a commercial fire sprinkler system. A sprinkler system is a highly effective fire suppression strategy that can prevent many significant losses.  

1. They're Activated by Heat, Not Smoke

A sprinkler system is not activated by smoke. Instead, the heat generated by fire rises to the ceiling, where the sprinkler heads are located. Sensors recognize the change in temperature and trigger the release of water. Only sprinklers in the area of the fire will be activated. It is possible that only a single sprinkler head will deploy.

2. They Use High-Pressure Water

The pipes that feed the fire sprinkler system are filled with pressurized water at all times. There will be no delay between the activation of the system and the release of water. The volume of water from even a single sprinkler can help contain a fire, which reduces fire and water damage to the rest of the structure. By the time the fire department arrives, the fire will likely not have spread further. It may even be extinguished by the sprinkler system.

3. They Can Minimize Cleanup After a Fire

Minimal fire sprinkler cleanup is another key advantage of a sprinkler system. While there will still be fire and water damage, it is likely to be much less extensive than what you'd find in a building without a sprinkler system. The fire damage should be limited to the area where sprinklers activated. The water damage from sprinklers is far less intrusive than water damage caused by fire hoses.

Any fire will cause structural and water damage. The primary benefit of a fire sprinkler system is that inevitable damage will be kept to a minimum, resulting in saved dollars and saved lives.

3 Important Flood Safety Tips

7/23/2022 (Permalink)

Flashlight, portable radio, batteries, water bottles and a first aid kit Make an emergency kit.

Flood Safety Tips

When there is severe weather in Showboat, NV, it is important to stay safe. If you wait until an emergency occurs, it may be too late, so you should make sure that you are prepared beforehand. Here is some flood safety advice that you should keep in mind when it is storming or flooding.

1. Make an Emergency Kit

If you know that there may be a storm in the area, you should gather a few things in case it becomes an emergency. It is possible that the power may go out, so always keep a flashlight and extra batteries in your kit. A radio can be helpful as well, so you can keep track of the weather. Always include canned foods and bottled water and store these in a safe location.

2. Avoid Flood Waters

When considering flood safety, it is a good idea to stay inside, as driving can be dangerous. If your home has more than one level, you should stay on the upper floors in case the waters enter the house. These waters are considered Category 3 or black water which means they are highly contaminated. You should avoid coming into contact with them and never consume any food or beverages that have been in the water.

3. Relocate if Necessary

While one of the most important safety tips is to avoid driving on a flooded road, there are some cases when you may need to evacuate your home. Ideally, this would be done before the streets become unsafe for travel. Keep updated with the news to determine if this is something that you will need to do.

During a storm, flood safety is an important thing to consider. Use these tips to ensure that you and your family are prepared for any emergencies. If your home is damaged during the disaster, contact an emergency restoration service to perform mitigation and repairs.

How To Clean up After a Water Heater Leak

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

closeup of a rusty and leaking water heater Never put off fixing a leaking water heater or cleaning up the mess left behind.

You probably rely on your water heater every day. For cooking and showering, this appliance is more than a convenience. However, it's also prone to causing problems, including flooding. A leaking water heater can send gallons upon gallons of water all over your floors, possibly affecting a variety of materials and items in your home. Knowing how to mitigate these challenges can save you a lot of time and money.

Take Care of Objects in the Area

If you don't discover a failed water heater as soon as it starts having problems, the damage may be too severe. As soon as you notice water leaking from this appliance, make sure you get all items out of the area. These include:

  • Carpet
  • Furniture
  • Electronics
    Clothes

Reduce the Risk of Shock or Electrocution
Everyone in Winchester, NV, knows that water and electricity don't mix. Before you start looking at the broken water heater, turn the power off in your home. If possible, work on the water heater without touching the water. Wear proper protective gear such as gloves and boots.

Extract the Water
It doesn't take long for a leaking water heater to leave a significant amount of water in your home. If the water covers a small area, you can gran a wet vacuum and remove the water on your own. However, if the water spreads throughout the area, you should contact a professional flood remediation company. The professionals have the right equipment and skills to do the job right.

Drying and Sanitizing
Removing the water isn't enough. To discourage the growth of mold and mildew, you need to make sure the ground, walls, and other nearby materials are completely dry. The pros will use fans and dehumidifiers to do this. The team will also use powerful chemicals to disinfect all places where there was water.
Never put off fixing a leaking water heater or cleaning up the mess left behind. Following these steps can ensure your safety.

How To Replace a Leaking Toilet

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Bottom of a toilet seeping water How do you know when it’s time to replace a leaking toilet?

How do you know when it’s time to replace a leaking toilet? If you see water stains on the floor around the base of your toilet, or if you experience an open-drain smell or a moving seat when you sit, you may need to replace the toilet.
This is a simple toilet repair, and anyone can do it. Local water damage restoration experts in Medical District, NV, recommend fixing water leaks promptly to prevent expensive repairs to your home’s floors and ceilings.

Five Steps To Replace a Toilet

You’ll need a few tools: a wrench, a putty knife, an old towel, a sponge and a bucket. Gather your tools, then follow these simple steps to replace your toilet.

1. Shut Off Water
Usually, there is a shut-off valve next to the leaking toilet. If not, there will be one in the basement.

2. Drain Water 
Flush the toilet to empty the bowl and the tank. There will be residual water in the tank; use a sponge to soak it up. Get the tank as dry as possible.

3. Remove Toilet
Closet bolts hold the toilet in place. They’re under those little plastic caps by the floor. Remove the covers, then remove the nuts from the closet bolts.
Rock the old toilet back and forth to break the seal underneath. Lift the leaking toilet up off the bolts and set it aside on your old towel.

4. Set New Seal and Toilet
Remove the old wax gasket from the flange (the metal ring around the drain), and scrape off as much of the residual wax as possible.
Place a new wax gasket down, centered on the flange. Set the new toilet on top of the gasket and press down. Replace the nuts on the closet bolts. Sit on the toilet and shift your weight to settle the toilet into the wax seal. Tighten the bolts again.

5. Reconnect Water Supply
Attach water supply line to new toilet, turn the water back on and test for leaks.

What You Should Know About Emergency Ready Profiles

6/20/2022 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO emergency ready profile An emergency ready profile (ERP) is a plan of action that details your facility’s key points.

Emergency Ready Profiles

Many businesses do not survive a disaster. Those that do survive most likely have a disaster preparedness plan in place. A key component of any disaster preparedness plan is the emergency profile. This profile contains crucial information that business owners and disaster mitigation experts can use to guide a business through a disaster and help ensure a smooth recovery.

1. What Is an Emergency Profile?
An emergency ready profile (ERP) is a plan of action that details your facility’s key points, such as water main and shut-off valve locations, power sources, priority areas, vulnerable areas, and contact information. It also identifies the chain of command and who authorizes cleanup and restoration work. Pertinent photos and diagrams are commonly included in the profile.

2. What Are the Advantages of Having an ERP?
Having an emergency profile speeds up the recovery process after a disaster. With the profile, the disaster mitigation team knows what has to be done and how it will be done and can begin work right away. The profile also instills trust and confidence among your clients, customers, suppliers, and employees if they know you are prepared and not likely to be shut down by a disaster.

3. What Is the Best Tool For Creating and Sharing Your Profile?
The ERP app, available for both ISO and Android devices, allows you to create, store, and share your emergency profile across platforms. Users can easily input and update information in the app, and that information can be instantly shared between business owners and members of the disaster mitigation team.
Business owners in Downtown, NV, can contact SERVPRO to arrange for an assessment by disaster mitigation and restoration professional. These folks can walk you through the process and give you peace of mind knowing your business can weather any disaster.