Wednesday, March 25, 2020

How To Handle Water Damage From A Toilet Overflow

Whether it is a malfunctioned pipe or a clog in a bowl, a toilet overflow can cause massive destruction and inconvenience in a home, especially if the water contains waste or contaminants.

There is no need to panic, yet it is important to take necessary actions immediately to prevent further damage and danger to your home and health.

What To Do If My Toilet Overflows

1. Turn Off The Water

The first thing you have to do to lessen the potential for more severe damage is to stop the water from overflowing. Look for a shut-off valve, which is usually located underneath the toilet tank and near the floor and turn off the valve. If the valve is not available on the supply line, you can stop the flow of the water by pulling up the float inside your toilet tank.

Once the flow of the water stops, drain the water from the toilet bowl completely and slowly release the float. However, if there the water continues to overflow, you may need to turn off the main water supply line and consider that the problem may be a backup from either the main sewer line or a drain pipe.

2. Use A Plunger To Remove The Clog

In most cases, a toilet clog occurs in a toilet bowl or trap. A plunger is the most effective tool in fixing a clogged toilet. The up and down movement of a plunger can create pressure that forces the clog to get out of the bowl and pass through the trap to go into the drain pipe.

Avoid using a basic plunger because it might lack the seal necessary in producing the required pressure. Instead, use a bell plunger that can create a more suitable seal for a toilet bowl. Furthermore, apply some layer of petroleum jelly to the plunger to help it create more pressure.

Still, if the water continues to overflow even using a plunger, you should stop plunging. Remember that a plunger works efficiently only in clearing out a clogged drainpipe or toilet bowl. Other than that, a plunger may just make a bigger mess.

3. Use An Auger or A Drain Snake

If using a plunger did not unclog your toilet, you should consider using an auger or a drain snake. Both of them work similarly. Toilet augers are designed to work accordingly with the shape of the toilet and the s-shaped trap. They crawl through the drain pipe and snag the clog. However, in some cases, an auger can break the clog. The clog then directs to the sewer from the toilet.

4. Remove Excess Water And Waste

In the event of a toilet overflow, acting fast is crucial. The longer water and waste sit on the floor the more damage they can cause. Water can seep through the surrounding cabinets and walls and allow bacteria to flourish.

Use a wet/dry shop vac to remove standing water and waste. You can also towels and blankets to remove water. Just make sure to wash them properly after use.

4. Call a professional plumber to fix the problem.

5. Call a professional water damage restoration company to safely and thoroughly clean toilet water damage.

Is Toilet Water Dangerous

Potentially. The water from a toilet overflow may contain microbial or contaminants that can be harmful to you. If the water involved contains some amount of urine, it may be somewhat contaminated. On the other hand, if the water has some solid waste, the contains a significant level of contaminants and that you should wear proper protective gear when attempting to clean up the damage.

How To Prevent Future Toilet Overflows

The most effective way of preventing toilet overflows is the proper use of your toilet. Avoid flushing things like flushable wipes, paper towels, tissue, fabric, soap and sanitary products in your toilet bowl. Do not flush fatty and oily liquids like lotion and cream down your toilet. Oils and fats can accumulate in your drain pipe and eventually cause a blockage.

Furthermore, make sure to perform regular maintenance of your toilet. Check the valves, chains, fill and other components of your toilet to ensure that they are in good condition.

Need Help With Water Damage From A Toilet Overflow?

In the event of a toilet overflow, it is necessary to take immediate action. Even it is possible for you to clean up the damage on your own, at times, it is best to leave it to professionals. The water may contain contaminants that can pose harm to you and your family. The damage may require a safe and thorough cleanup procedure.

The experts at Superior Restoration have proper sanitation procedures and equipment to ensure that your home is back to its original condition and free from any harmful bacteria. Contact our professionals and get a free quote today.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

How Can Water Cause Structural Damage To Your Home?

Your home should be the safest place you can have where you and your family can rest well. But any kind of intruder can leave damage to your home, just like water damage to the structure of your home.

What Is Structural Damage?

Structural damage is any type of damage that weakens the integrity and safety of your home, both interior and exterior. Any type of disaster can cause structural damage to your home, but the most common culprits of this type of damage are high winds and water. In case of water damage, any sorts of water events like flooding, burst pipes, and others can all damage your home’s structure. Knowing how water can cause structural damage to your home can prevent you from dealing with severe damage and can keep you and your family safe by taking action immediately.

Here are the types of structural damage water can do.

Roof Decking – Your roof should be made sturdy but overtime roof shingles and flashing become weak and broken. Any missing or broken shingles and flashing can cause water to seep into your home through your roof and into your ceiling. Water leak from your roof can deteriorate roof decking, joists, and beams. When water continues to seep into your home, wood can crack and even warp, eventually causing your roof to collapse.

Ceilings and Walls – Most ceilings and walls in homes are made of either gypsum drywall boards or lathe and plaster. Both of them are made for long-lasting and solid coverings. However, both of them can become soften and crumble when wet. While metal studs won’t be a problem because they are resistant to water damage, wood studs can swell and warp when they stay wet. As a result, walls crack and crumble faster, and ceilings eventually break down because of the force of gravity that causes water to move downward.

Subfloors and Floorings – Floorings are usually built with different materials. Some of them are water-resistant, but any kind of floorings eventually becomes damaged by water. For instance, carpeting easily gets deteriorated if the water stays on the surface for a long time. Moreover, vinyl tiles usually pop out of the floor, laminated flooring and hardwood swell, warp and even crack.

Support Beams, Joists and Columns – These support systems of your home are very important to keep it standing. The beams, joists, and columns of your home are the ones holding the majority of your home’s weight. While beams and joists are placed horizontally across your home to and from as the base of your ceilings and floors, support columns are placed in basements and crawlspaces to hold the weight of your first floor. Any of them can become deteriorated and can even cause ceilings and floors to sag or collapse when they remain wet for a longer time.

Home’s Foundation – This can be the most important structure of your home, yet it can experience water damage in many ways. Over time, when water is uninterruptedly seeping into the foundation of your home, it can become weak. Water can seep through cracks and gaps and if left unaddressed can cause your foundation to crumble and even collapse.

Repairing Structural Damage Due To Water

Any type of structural damage due to water should be addressed immediately. Thus, it is necessary to remove any standing water and dry out the affected area right after flooding or water damage.

If you choose to do the cleanup on your own, you may rent professional pumps to remove the water. Then, place dehumidifiers or air movers to dry up the area. Moreover, even clean water can become contaminated when coming in contact with contaminated materials or when left standing for some period of time. That is why you should wear protective gear like gloves, boots, and masks to protect yourself during the cleanup procedure.

When water is completely extracted, remove the water-damaged materials and dry the area using fans or dehumidifiers.

Hiring A Water Damage Restoration Contractor

In some cases, fixing structural damage due to water can be complicated. Repairing on your own sometimes does more harm than good. Sometimes, you might put yourself in danger while doing the cleanup and repair. Thus, hiring a professional water damage restoration contractor is highly recommended.

They are experts in dealing with water removal and structural drying. A professional water damage contractor, like Superior Restoration, is well equipped with advanced tools and techniques that ensure complete restoration. They will make sure to eliminate any potential issues and prevent mold growth, which is the usual aftermath of water damage. You can rest assured that your home will be back in its same condition before the water damage occurred.

If you are now dealing with structural damage because of flood or any type of water event, don’t hesitate to call us. We respond quickly to any type of disaster. If you want to know more about our emergency water extraction services, you may contact 951-221-4695.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Space Heater Safety Guidelines: Preventing Space Heater Fires

It is the coldest season of the year again. As the temperature goes down, many people find ways to keep themselves and their loved ones warm; pulling out their coat from the storage, fixing their furnace and prepping their home. To many, the best friend they can have in this season is their space heater. But, because space heaters consume a lot of electricity to produce more heat, it has a higher risk of home fires. This becomes one of the concerns of many. But, with proper caution, home fires from space heaters can be prevented.

What You Should Know

Among the many causes of home fires, heating equipment is second on the list, first is cooking. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2014, heating equipment was involved in around 56,400 home fire incidents. These fires resulted in 560 civilian deaths, 1,600 civilian injuries and $1.3 billion in property damage.

To add up, space heaters are involved in 80 percent of home heating fire deaths and 32 percent of home heating deaths. Out of the total number of home heating fires, space heater fires resulted in roughly 360 civilian deaths, 1,020 civilian injuries, and $559 million in property damage.

With all these disturbing facts about space heaters, having a list of space heater safety tips on hand can help keep you, your family and home safe while enjoying the warmth this heating equipment can give.

Reasons Space Heater Fires

Space heaters can cause fatalities in the home. But the most common reasons for this accident are due to human behaviors rather than technical. Check them out;

1. The unit is so close to flammable items like blanket, mattress or bedding

2. Turning the space heater on and leaving it unattended.

3. Dirty or not maintained chimney.

How To Use Space Heaters Safely

Space heaters are one of the most convenient equipment you can have in this chilling temperature. However, proper usage is very critical.

  • When selecting a space heater, choose the one that has been tested and certified by the national-recognized testing laboratory. These space heaters have undergone testing to ensure that they meet specific safety standards. Moreover, manufacturers of these space heaters are required to provide instructions and care information to the customers.
  • Choose a space heater with a guard surrounding the heating equipment. This protection helps keep pets, children, and clothing away from the space heater.
  • Buy a heater that is suitable for the area you want to heat.
  • Before using the space heater, make sure to read the manuals. Follow the instructions and if possible, show everyone how to use it properly.
  • Inspect the heater, plug, cord, and outlet for any signs of damage. In any of these conditions are existing, make sure to contact an electrician immediately.
  • Do not run cords under rugs or carpets to prevent them from getting damaged and cause home fires.
  • Plug your space heaters directly to the wall outlet. Do not use extension cords to power your heater or never plug multiple devices in the same outlet to help prevent overheating.
  • If using an extension cord is necessary, make sure to use a heavy-duty cord with a mark of a #14 gauge, or use a larger wire (a #12 gauge). The incorrect size of the cord may lead to a fire hazard.
  • Check outlet, plug, and cord for overheating. If any of them are hot, stop using the heater right away and have it inspected by a professional.
  • Follow the 3-foot safety rule. Place the heater far from flammable materials like curtains, hanging materials, trash bin, carpet and so on.
  • DO not leave the heater unattended when using. Unplug the heater when you have to leave your home or going to sleep. Portable space heaters should be used only to provide temporary supplemental heating and should never be left unattended.
  • Never use electric heaters to thaw pipes or dry clothes.
  • Position the heater on a stable surface (preferably on the floor) to prevent it from flopping.
  • If you must place the heater in a carpeted space, make sure to put it on a non-conducting surface like a ceramic tile. This type of surface provides a safety margin to all sides of the heater.
  • To keep the heater from getting damaged, do not operate it in humid areas of your home such as bathroom or kitchen.
  • Never touch a heater with wet hands to prevent electrical shock.
  • Keep an eye on your children and pets when you running your heater. Make sure that they don’t get too close to the heater.
  • Make sure that your heater is safe and in working condition. Never use a defective heater.
  • Install working smoke detectors on each level of your home and test them regularly.

Taking safety measures can greatly reduce your risk of having your home damaged by a fire. But, accidents can and do happen, to anyone. In the case your home has been damaged by a fire, contact professional fire damage restoration company, Superior Restoration.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

What Causes Water Damage To Attic and How To Prevent It

Attics might not be as useful as living rooms when friends and relatives visit your home. But if it is used for storing your personal belongings, protecting it from water intrusions is vital.

Like the basement you have under your home, your attic is also one of the most common areas prone to water damage. Because attics are not regularly visited by its owner, water damage continues without interruption for some time. By the time it is noticed, water has already done extensive damage to your property such as saturating attic insulation, rotting wood including rafters and joints, mold growth, deteriorating ceiling and water intruding the living space beneath it.

What Causes Water Damage To Your Attic

Roofing Leaks

Roofing leaks can be a cause of several factors, for instance, lack of maintenance, poor construction, and storm damage. When the roofing system does not function properly in preventing water from entering the house, water damage to your attic will most likely happen.

However, pinpointing the roof leak might require a thorough inspection. Water travels distance from the point where it actually drips. That is why it is best to have a qualified roofing contractor to locate the area and repair the damage.

Leaky Plumbing Directed Through The Attic

Leakage from water supply lines, whether it be a small leak or a minor seepage, is highly undesirable. Aside from the consistent attic moisture, leaks can indicate pipe deterioration and if not treated in time, can lead to rupture causing the ceiling to sag and collapse and can cause water damage to the living spaces underneath it.

Quick response and fixes are needed for any sort of leaking pipes.

Consistent High Humidity

As the temperature gets warmer during the day, humid air is collected in a confined area, just like in an attic. When the area cools down at night, the air forms condensation. Condensation becomes a problem that results in mold growth, structural damage and wood rot.

To prevent this from reoccurring, you should open all the vents and make sure that they are free from objects such as insulation. 

Roof Ice Dams

Ice dams occur from the build-up of snow and ice, then form at the edge of the roof. As these ice dams are formed in hail, they block the gutter and prevent water to properly drain off the roof. As a result, the water that pools to the gutter backs up on the roofing system and leaks to the attic causing water damage to the attic itself, ceiling and even causing mold growth and content loss.

How To Prevent Water Damage To Your Attic

Taking some time to inspect your attic occasionally and following these tips can keep you from facing water damage to your attic.
  • Check your roof. During heavy rains, water can see through broken shingles or leaky flashings. Make sure to fix any problem and repair any broken shingles.
  • Prevent Pipes To Rupture. Some water supply lines are directed through your attic. If you notice any signs of leaky pipes, you should repair them before they get ruptured.
  • Control Attic Condensation. Warm air from the living spaces can penetrate and gather in the attic. You can install ventilation vents to cool the air during summer (to prevent humidity) and warm it during winter (to decrease ice dams occurrence). Moreover, you should seal cracks, leaks and other openings in the ceiling to prevent water vapor to penetrate to your attic.
  • Insulate the attic with appropriate insulation.

Should You Be Concerned About Attic Mold?

Since the attic is a confined area that is composed of a high level of humidity and is not properly ventilated, it is an area of the home that provides a favorable condition for mold to grow.

But, should the occupants be concerned with mold growing in a confined area like an attic? Definitely, yes. Simply, because, mold in the attic does not stay in the area forever. Mold releases airborne spores that travel to other spaces of the home.

According to some studies, mold spores from active mold can migrate to confined areas that are constructed with just an ordinary or common residential method. This will allow mold to spread and grow in other parts of the home.

Moreover, contaminated air can be formed in the attic due to mold growth. The colder air that travels naturally to the lower levels of the home causes the contaminated air to leave the attic through tiny holes and gaps. This can cause allergic reactions and illnesses to people who are vulnerable to mold.

Due to the factors that contribute to mold movement, it is important to prevent mold from growing in the attic.

Water damage is a serious condition that is associated with mold growth. For ordinary homeowners, these two are stressful and difficult to deal with. But, don’t worry. Our team is here to help you. We are experts in dealing with water damage restoration problems and mold growth. We will assure you to bring your home back to its inhabitable condition. If you have any questions about water damage and mold growth, please call us today.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

What Happens If You Paint Over Mold

Painting is one of the things you can do to beautify your home. It can be a good way of refreshing your home. But what about you spotted molds while doing the process? Can you paint over mold? That is the big question now.

Unfortunately, the answer is NO. Painting over mold may be an easy and quick solution in solving the existing problem, but, that could be far from reality.

Painting over mold does not solve the problem. It only hides that insightful view but it will make the problem worse. Molds will continue to grow and create more damage such as saturating porous materials.

Let us further discuss the effects of painting over mold.

What Happens If You Paint Over Mold?

Mold is not a stain that has to be hidden. It is something that has to be cured and not to be ignored. Mold, even if you try to hide it by painting, will find its way back and can spread widely. You might be able to cover the stain, but its effects would still prevail its way in your entire home.

There are two things you have to keep in mind when painting over mold;

Paint does not kill mold. Though painting over mold or other fungal blotches might cover the stain, it won’t effectively kill mold. It can be a temporary solution. In some cases, paint can help in mold growth, especially when you paint over water damage.

Mold-resistant paint only works best proactively, not reactively. A lot of stores have been selling and promoting mold-resistant paint. It has become popular among homeowners. But, why is it not named “mold-proof paint”? – Simply because manufacturers of this kind of product understand that no paint can kill and remove mold forever. The mold will appear again and again. Mold-resistant paint can only work best for the uninfected area. This type of paint can help you prevent mold from developing.

Remember that mold is a silent killer. It can cause severe damage to those who are exposed to it. Do not let this myth overtake the problem. Hire professionals to properly find and resolve the cause of mold growth.

Proper Mold Remediation

Painting over mold can be cheap, but it can be useless. When dealing with molds, it is best to hire professionals to properly resolve the problem. You can address it on your own, however, if you are not trained or not knowledgeable, you might create more danger to your home and put your family at a higher risk. You can expect the following from professionals during the mold remediation process;
  • Evaluate the type of mold you are dealing with
  • Repair or replace mold infected areas or other surfaces.
  • Thoroughly clean and remove mold.
Aside from painting the new drywall, professionals will also address the reasons for mold growth. They will do it by;
  • Removing high level of humidity
  • Cleaning up mold spores
  • Fixing water damage problems
  • Pulling out drywall and other surfaces that were soaked in moisture
  • Suggesting repairs and changes
Hiring a mold remediation company can be a little bit costly, but doing this will properly solve the problem. You won’t just save money from doing something useless, but you will also limit any harm mold can bring to you, your family or even to your tenants.

Liability Issues

Mold is an issue of health. If someone gets exposed to it, they might develop illnesses such as skin irritation, allergies, and others. Those who have respiratory problems are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of mold.

If you are a landlord or a contractor, you must address the problem. If you tried to cover up mold by painting the infected area, your tenant can sue you and put you liable for all the damages and reparations.

If you are selling the home, it is best to inform the buyer of the mold issues. It may lower the value of your home, but it can keep you from having legal problems.

Choose Superior Restoration For Mold Remediation

Like water damage, a mold problem can be very stressful. Do not worry! Superior restoration can help you. We are a team of expert professionals that handles all sorts of mold problems. We will make sure that your home is safe and livable.