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Plumbing Basics: How to Snake a Drain

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

A new plumber's snake on a white background A drain auger can unclog a wide variety of household fixtures

Plumbing Basics: How to Snake a Drain

Science has not found a way to make self-cleaning drains yet. Until then, a plumber’s snake is your best bet for unblocking clogged pipes. In fact, many homeowners in South Weymouth, MA think of it as a DIY-friendly solution to a professional level problem.
A drain auger can unclog a wide variety of household fixtures including:

  • Sinks
  • Bathtubs
  • Showers
  • Sewer lines

Step 1: Gear Up for the Job

As always, safety comes first in any DIY project. Wear a pair of rubber gloves and goggles, especially if you have used a chemical drain cleaner before. This gear protects your skin from toxins and harmful bacteria that might be in the pipe.

Step 2: Insert the Snake

Next, gain access to the stopped drain by removing its lid with an adjustable wrench. That will allow you to insert the snake until it meets resistance. This blockage could be a bend or the clog itself, and the only way to tear them apart is by doing a little experiment. Tighten the setscrew and turn the snake clockwise while pushing gently. That should get the snake past the bend easily, but a clog will be slightly harder to overcome.
Loosen the setscrew and continue pushing forward until you reach the clogged part. Repeat the above procedure to dig into the debris until you get past it. Also, crank the tool in all directions to clear any remaining particles.

Step 3: Retrieving the Snake

After that little adventure, it’s time to start pulling the tool out, which usually slides out without any problems. If it gets stuck, tighten the setscrew again and turn anticlockwise, while pulling gently. That should help it get around the corner and avoid a pipe break. It is also good practice to clean the tool with a rug as it comes out of the drain. Finally, run water to make sure the clog is behind you.
Now you know how to clear a clogged drain like a pro. You will never have to fork $100 for a few minutes of “work.”

How to Troubleshoot an Irrigation System

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

watering lawn with sprinklers Every irrigation system, regardless of quality, is prone to fail at one point

3 Things To Look Out For When Troubleshooting a Sprinkler System

Irrigation systems fail sometimes, and the result is usually messy. Standing water can soak into a building’s basement, causing flooding – which is never a good thing. On top of that, you will notice a hike in the water bill and damage to the landscape. So, here are three things that every property owner in East Weymouth, MA  should look out for when troubleshooting a sprinkler system.

Broken Supply Lines

A zone is the area covered by a sprinkler while it’s in action. Sometimes, these zones might not get water as expected or even come on at all. If low pressure is the issue, release more water into the system or add a water pump, and the problem might go away. Other causes of broken supply lines include:

  • Pressure from plant roots
  • Timer, solenoid, valve or wire failure
  • Broken sprinkler heads
  • Wrong timer setting

Controller Issues

Many people suspect the control box when they spot irrigation problems. That, however, is usually not a good idea. The settings on this equipment can be confusing for a first time user, and experimenting on it could end up in undesired results. The only sensible thing to do is restart the device and hope the problem goes away. If the problem persists, seek professional help.

Puddles in any Part of a Zone

Most irrigation system controllers let users access each zone individually. There’s also an option to set four watering start times, which usually confuse most people. It’s easy to change start time 1, thinking you are adding time to zone 1. That results in too much watering in one zone, which may cause flooding. To avoid this, learn how to program a controller before touching it.
Every irrigation system, regardless of quality, is prone to fail at one point. That’s why you need to learn these basic troubleshooting techniques that could save your operation from expensive flood damage.

How To Determine if You Have Mold in Your Business

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

After drywall tear out mold was found under the drywall Mold damage in North Weymouth, MA

Do you have an unusual black or brown patch spreading its way along your ceiling or wall? It could be mold, a microscopic fungus that grows in moist environments. When mold growth takes hold and starts to spread, it can fast become a risk for property damage.
Outdoors, mold assists in the breakdown of organic substances in the soil. Inside, however, it is not so welcome; it can damage drywall, wood and other susceptible interior surfaces. Of the thousands of mold species, a few dozen are commonly found inside homes and businesses. Some species, such as black mold, may be toxic. Each appears differently, ranging in color from brownish-orange to pink, green or black.

Common Locations for Indoor Mold

Moist, porous surfaces are ideal for mold growth. These are a few locations you might find mold in your business:

  • In or near refrigerators
  • In or near washing machines
  • On drywall
  • In crawl spaces
  • On books and paper products
  • In carpets
  • Near any type of water leak or water damage

Your eyes and your nose are the best mold detectors. That musty odor in high humidity areas, such as laundry rooms or crawl spaces, could be mold. Any type of stain on your walls or ceiling that changes size or shape could be an indicator of mold.

What To Do if You Find Mold

If you smell or see an indicator of mold growth in your North Weymouth, MA, business, the best course of action is to have the area inspected by a trained mold remediation specialist. A professional can help determine what cleanup precautions and restoration are needed.
Once you inspect the symptomatic area for additional water damage and assess the toxicity level of the mold, a professional service may be your best strategy. Allow experts to help you safely and swiftly remove your mold problem so you can restore your property and your operations to business as usual.

3 Reasons Why Immediate Emergency Response Is Necessary

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Security fence displayed on a street, three green SERVPRO vehicles getting ready to respond to an emergency SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster

Why a Fast Response is Essential When Emergency Services are Needed

A disaster will not wait to strike your business in Weymouth Landing, MA, until a time that is the most convenient. Rather, emergencies can present themselves at any time, including weekends, holidays and in the middle of the night. This is why working with a 24 hour emergency response team is crucial for the moments when you least expect it. With over 1,500 franchises locally owned throughout the nation, SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster. Here are just a few of the reasons why a fast response is essential when emergency services are needed.

1. Damage Mitigation

If your business has experienced damage due to a storm, fire, flood or other cause, water and smoke can continue to spread throughout the building causing even more harm. From seeping into drywall and flooring to saturating belongings and furniture, water damage can get exponentially worse by the minute. SERVPRO is always open and ready to respond to your call within a 24 hour timespan.

2. Reduce Costs

One of your main concerns in a disaster is minimizing costs and preventing loss. When assisting your business, SERVPRO’s first priority is to get water or smoke out of the building and to secure the area with immediate roof-tarp and board-up services if necessary. An inventory can be taken of all your belongings and assets, and the emergency response team will strive to restore whatever they can.

3. Reopen Quickly

Having to close your business to make repairs can have a significant financial impact on your business. In fact, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 40% of businesses are unable to reopen after a disaster strikes. As a preferred vendor for most insurance agencies, SERVPRO can help you can quickly and easily get back to business without a hitch.
When affected by a disaster, you need to have an emergency response team you can depend on. With 24 hour service, seven days a week, SERVPRO will never fail to help your business return to its original condition.

Understanding Smoke Damage After a Commercial Property Fire

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

Man wearing white helmet, inspecting building after fire damage Fire damage inspection in a Hingham, MA building

Understanding Smoke Damage After a Commercial Property Fire

Almost any fire restoration company will tell you that fire damage is not often as bad as smoke damage. Smoke and soot damage create unique obstacles for cleaning experts, especially when it comes to odor removal. However, to clean commercial spaces, there are several line items that a professional must consider when working with smoke odor.

  • Safety
  • Type of Fire
  • Timeline
  • Removal

Safety

Smoke can be a highly corrosive substance. While most people believe that smoke and soot are only the remnants of burnt wood, they would be mistaken, especially in commercial fires. Fires in commercial buildings produce fumes from melting plastics, chemicals, fabrics, etc., which means air quality in a building can be toxic. Therefore, if you are going to enter your property after a fire, consider wearing an appropriate mask and gloves. Beyond wearing the proper safety equipment, it is a good idea to ventilate the property, which a restoration crew will do for you in most scenarios.

Type of Fire

While many people do not realize it, there are different types of fire. Granted, you may have heard of chemical or electrical fires, but there are also high and low oxygen fires, which play a vital role in the difficulty of removing smoke damage. For example, high oxygen fires tend to produce a drier smoke, which is easier to remove. However, low oxygen fires produce are more dense and damp smoke residue, which presents a challenge for remediation. Beyond the fire type, the use of excessive amounts of water creates incredibly humid environments, resulting in the pores of wood structures opening and accepting smoke and soot residue deep within.

Timely Removal

The longer you wait to begin the restoration process of your property, the more damage your facility is likely to sustain. Therefore, it is vital to hire smoke cleaning and restoration experts in Hingham, MA, as soon as possible after the initial disaster to reduce and mitigate further property loss.
Smoke damage and odor are challenging to remove. Therefore, it is worth hiring a capable remediation company to perform the task.

Effective Flood Prevention for Your Business

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

Two roofers inspecting a damaged roof Have a professional inspect your roof

Flood Prevention Plans for Your Business

If you are a business leader, you understand the importance of preparation. This doesn't just apply to your daily work but to emergency management and safety as well. If your company is located in an area in Weymouth, MA, where floods are common, it's imperative that you adopt flood prevention plans to reduce the risk of water damage to your building. Don't take chances by neglecting your well-being. There are some steps you need to follow to keep the water away.

Look Outside
Flooding often comes from Mother Nature. Large storms can bring heavy rains or even cause nearby rivers or canals to overflow. If your building is vulnerable to flood damage, you could be in trouble. Make sure you look at the following areas on your business property:

  • Clear debris from rain gutters and downspouts; make sure they are diverting water away from the building.
  • Inspect the roof for leaks or damage.
  • Have a professional inspect the foundation for cracks or weaknesses.

Maintain the Plumbing
A broken pipe is one of the most common reasons people need to call a professional water removal team for flood cleaning. At least once a year, you should work with a plumber to look at the plumbing system in the building. If you detect leaks, or if the pipes are failing, replace them immediately.

Take Defensive Action
if you see that rough weather is on the way, you may have to take flood prevention measures right away. If a hurricane is on its way, cover your building's windows with plywood or shutters. Purchase a sump pump system and have additional pumps on hand in case of flooding. Have a plan in place to evacuate your building and move equipment to safe ground.
Flood prevention should begin today. If you are ready to combat water damage, you can reduce the chances of your building suffering terrible damage.

Should I Worry About Water in my Crawl Space?

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe Anytime you have a leaking pipe on the floor or ceiling, you should check your crawl space for water

Reasons Why Water May Invade a Crawl Space

A wet crawl space can cause problems for homeowners. Most people do not go under their homes unless there is a need, but it is a good idea to check them periodically for mold and standing water. If you find a problem, it is important to remedy the situation quickly so that mold does not spread throughout your home. There are several common reasons why water may invade a crawl space in South Weymouth, MA.

1. Over-Watering

When a hose that is up against the house is left running, the excess water can flow down under the house and cause flooding. To avoid this, ensure the right amount of water is used and that flowerbeds have proper base layers installed to keep water away from the foundation.

2. Poor Ground Sloping

The ground around your home should be sloped so that water runs away from it. Water that runs toward your home or pools near the foundation is likely to create a wet crawl space. Although builders usually build with this in mind, the dirt can erode over time, changing the path of the water. To protect your home, the ground should be sloped for at least 6-8 feet from your home and have a slope of at least 6-8 inches.

3. Leaking Pipes

A water leak from inside your house can work its way down and flood your crawl space. Anytime you have a leaking pipe or notice a water spot on the floor or ceiling, you should check your crawl space for water. If any is found, it should be addressed as quickly as possible to avoid mold growth. If left untreated, mold spores could begin spreading throughout your home in as little as 24-48 hours.
If you find you have a flooded or wet crawl space, a professional water remediation company can help identify the source of the moisture. Using specialized drying equipment, they can remove the water and repair any damage.

Some Items Must Be Discarded After a Fire Even if They Appear Undamaged

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Colorful pills and medicines in the hand You should throw away any medicines left in a fire-damaged home

Some Items Must Be Discarded After a Fire Even if They Appear Undamaged

If you are the unfortunate victim of a fire in East Weymouth, MA, you’ll have a handful of things to do once the flames are out. Unless your home has been completely destroyed by fire damage, at some point you will want to sort out what can be saved from what must be discarded. The temptation is to not throw away anything that seems to be untouched by fire, but it may not be that simple.

High Heat Can Play Havoc With Sensitive Items

Many food items subjected to heat just a little higher than room temperature will have to be thrown away. Objects may include edible items stored in

  • Plastic
  • Paper
  • Cardboard

All can be spoiled by a combination of soot, toxic chemicals and heat. Plastic may not seem permeable, but when it’s even slightly heated, microscopic pores can open.
You may be surprised to find out that well-sealed items should be considered spoiled and dangerous when exposed to high heat. Properly sealed containers, such as factory or home canning, will spoil when exposed to as little as 100 degrees for about an hour or even 75 degrees for a prolonged period.

Medicines Are Destroyed by Default

You should throw away any medicines left in a fire-damaged home. The plastic won’t keep the smoke damage out, and the heat degrades pharmaceuticals rapidly.

Clothing Can Take a Little More Damage

Any clothing or textiles should be considered on a case-by-case basis unless there are significant toxic chemicals involved. If you have any doubt, throw it away. If it wasn’t directly heat damaged, you could try to clean the item using water mixed with trisodium phosphate. However, follow the directions on the TSP container precisely, since the chemical can be very hard on skin if used improperly.
If you’ve had a fire, contact a professional bonded fire cleanup company in East Weymouth, MA, who can help you from tarp up all the way through the restoration. They can also provide advice on what you can keep and what you should throw away.

How To Tell if You Have Toxic Mold in Your Home

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold on a wall in a house Mold damage on wall house

Is there a strange brownish-orange stain slowly creeping its way across your bathroom wall? It could be household mold. When mold takes hold in your home, it can be a mild annoyance or a serious problem requiring professional remediation. This discussion about mold toxicity and black mold may help you decide how to address the problem.

Household Mold Facts

Mold consists of tiny, microscopic fungi that can be found nearly anywhere, inside dwellings and out. Most species are brown, orange, green, pink or black and may appear in patches on walls and other porous materials.

Where Mold Is Found

Mold becomes a problem when high-humidity environments allow it to flourish and multiply on porous, interior surfaces. Certain areas of your home are more conducive than others to mold growth:

  • bathrooms
  • crawl spaces
  • carpets
  • drywall
  • books
  • refrigerators
  • water-damaged areas

If you see signs of mold in your South Weymouth, MA, home, it’s important you discern whether it is potentially hazardous. Black mold has become associated with toxicity because one of the most toxic species has a greenish-black appearance. It’s important you don’t try to diagnose the problem yourself as any color of mold can be hazardous under certain conditions.

What To Do if You Suspect Mold in Your Home

If you think you may have a mold infestation, it’s recommended that you have your home tested before attempting any mold cleanup. Certain species can be hazardous to your property and your health, and your local mold remediation service can assess for toxic mold and make recommendations for safely removing it.
If your test shows toxic mold, you will generally want a professional team to safely remove the problem. If your mold test is non-toxic, the experts can advise you about cleaning up and addressing the root of the problem.
If you have suspicious splotches or musty smells in your home, the culprit is probably a non-toxic mold species. Even a black mold patch can be non-toxic, but it’s important to find out for sure. Your best strategy is to call a mold specialist for an evaluation, so you can have your home to normal as soon as possible.

Can I Clean Up Black Water Myself?

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Toilet with black water on tank and brown water on toilet bowl Sewage back up water on toilet

Your sewer backed up, leaving a smelly, water damage mess. Can you clean it up yourself? It’s natural to want to tackle something as seemingly minor as a sewage leak yourself. But it’s a bad idea. That’s because sewage is a top source of black water - a dangerous type of wastewater that can have serious effects on your health. Keep reading to learn more about this dangerous substance and the right way to handle a sewage leak in your Weymouth Landing, MA, home or business.

What is Toxic Water?

If you’ve ever driven by a sewage facility, you’re familiar with the unpleasant smells that surround the area. There’s a reason for that - toxins. From urine and feces to myriad bacteria, sewage water contains countless contaminants. When those contaminants encounter water, the result is black water. It can have numerous sources, but the key ones are:

  • Toilets - for instance from a broken pipe or other toilet component
  • Flood water - from rivers, streams and the ground which may have contacted human or animal waste.

If ingested, such water can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, eye infections and even more serious side effects.

Cleaning It All Up

So black water is dangerous - but bleach can fix it, right? Not quite. Bleach and other household cleaners can remove stains, but they can’t address the contaminants and germs that remain. Instead, when toxic water is suspected, you should isolate the area of contamination and contact professionals. A professional water damage and remediation company will use equipment designed to remove the water and properly decontaminate and dry materials to eliminate the risks.
A smelly sewage leak is an inconvenience that nobody wants to face. But cutting corners when it comes to toxic water is not a chance worth taking. Contact a professional water removal company to address water damage in your business and rest assured that you’re safe.