Don't let this happen to you!
One of the earliest signs of a frozen pipe is when no water comes out of your faucet when you turn it on. If you notice that, head first to the basement and check to see that the water is still turned on and that you don’t have a leak. Once you’ve confirmed these two things, continue your inspection to make sure one of your pipes has not burst.
If your search reveals that your pipes are frozen but none have ruptured, you have two choices:
- Call a plumber to help thaw your frozen pipes. This is a good idea if you don’t think you can safely thaw the pipes yourself, you don’t know where the frozen pipes are or you can’t access the frozen area.
- Attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself. Be aware this option can be dangerous if not done correctly.
How to Fix Frozen Pipes
If you attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself, keep the following tips in mind:
- Keep your faucet open. Water and steam will be created during the thawing process, and your pipes need an opening to discharge this. Keeping the faucet open also allows for moving water to run through the pipe, which will expedite the thawing process.
- Apply heat to the section of the pipe that is frozen. This can be done by wrapping an electronic heating pad around the pipe, heating the area with a hair dryer or both. If you lack either of these items, using towels soaked in hot water will help as well.
- Know what not to do. Never use a blowtorch, propane or kerosene heaters, a charcoal stove or any other open flame device to thaw your frozen pipes. You should also avoid using a space heater unless you are sure the area is clear of any flammable material.
- Continue applying heat until water flow returns to normal. Once you have successfully thawed the pipe, turn on other faucets in your home to check for any more frozen water pipes.
- Take swift action if the frozen pipes are located inside an exterior wall. Cut a hole in the wall toward the inside of the house to expose those pipes to warmer air.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
While you can’t control the weather, there are things you can do to prevent pipes from freezing. To prevent pipes from freezing and causing major damage, follow these steps:
- Disconnect any hoses from the outside of your home, drain the hoses and store them in the garage. Make sure to close the indoor valves supplying these outdoor access points.
- Insulate the area around vents and light fixtures. This helps prevent heat from escaping into the attic.
- Open kitchen cabinets. This allows the warm air to circulate around the pipes.
- Allow your faucets to drip cold water on the coldest days. The movement will make it harder for the water to freeze.
- Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Never let it fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you leave your home.
- Ensure you have proper seals on all doors and windows.
Should your pipes burst.... Turn off you water and call SERVPRO of South Park / West Mifflin
Before the First Snow Falls
Are you ready for this?
Before the first snow falls, you’ll want to freshen up your car emergency kit, check the antifreeze and throw in that bag of kitty litter in case you need a little extra traction.
And speaking of traction: How are your tires?
If you think your tires aren’t up to the job of winter driving, it’s time to swap them for a set of snow tires. Here’s what you need to know.
How do snow tires work?
Winter brings some of the most difficult driving conditions including slush, black ice and snow. Unlike regular tires, snow tires were created to endure these harsh conditions. Snow tires have a deep tread and special pattern that provides extra grip and traction. The design packs the snow while they’re moving to avoid slipping.
While they are great at withstanding snow, they are even better with weathering the cold. A snow tire’s rubber formula allows them to remain flexible, even at the lowest of temperatures, which helps ensure optimal performance in snow and ice. This is especially helpful when you’re trying to slow down or stop on an icy road.
Tread depth, pattern and tire compound are three things you’ll want to consider if your car needs snow tires.
Spring is trying to get here!!!!
Winter takes its' toll on your roof
As the weather begins to change for the better, take some time to look into your roofing needs before they become larger problems.
Roofing problems may cause problems on the inside of your home. slow leaks into your home will result in water remediation and or MOLD remediation.
Performing some preventative maintenance will help prevent bigger problems down the road.
If you can't do the preventive maintenance on your own, then call your local roofing company.
Spring Preventative Maintenance
? Walk the roof and look for foreign debris and excess dirt build up
? Check gutters to ensure leaves or other debris are not causing back-up or leakage
? Look for cracks, splits, or tears in roofing material
? Inspect roof mounted units, pipes, and vents for cracks or failed termination
? Ensure sealants and flashing are secure
? Remove overhanging tree limbs to eliminate possible damage to the roof surface
SERVPRO of South Park / West Mifflin Says Keep the Focus on Fire
The American Red Cross (ARC) cites statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration1 showing nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays, claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage.
SERVPRO® of South Park / West Mifflin cautions home owners to follow some important ARC guidelines for holiday decorating and entertaining to make sure that the glow in their holiday celebrations is from twinkling lights and not a costly and potentially deadly fire.
- Place Christmas trees and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat
sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles.
- Purchase flame-retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure
that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as
possible by giving them plenty of water.
- Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not
use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s
- If you are celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, keep flammable items, including curtains
and holiday decorations, at least three feet away from your candles. Place your menorah
or kinara on a non-flammable surface, such as a tray lined with aluminum foil, to catch
the melting candle wax. Never leave lit candles unattended.
- Ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave and
always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
If, in spite of all your precautions, a fire does break out, the most important thing you can do to
help save lives is to install and maintain smoke alarms throughout your property. Having a working smoke alarm reduces everyone’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half. The ARC is joining with fire departments and community groups nationwide to deliver and install a limited number of free smoke alarms in homes for those in need. Contact your local ARC chapter for more information. http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/prevent-homefire #Our-Partners
The disaster response professionals at SERVPRO, a national leader and provider of fire and
water cleanup and restoration services, witness the devastation that home fires can cause far too
often. They also know that when fire causes a loss of life, there is no “remediation” possible. To
keep the focus on fire prevention, rather than fire restoration, SERVPRO has teamed up with the
American Red Cross by supporting the ARC Disaster Responder2 program, and in particular the
Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. 2 http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/prevent-homefire
Water damage service in Pittsburgh
Water trapped in a ceiling from a broken pipe in the upstairs bathroom
Water Damage Restoration
When your home is flooded by nature or a broken water line, it would be best to call only the professionals. They in turn have the expertise to mitigate the effects water damage can do to your home. Aside from that, they will also preserve and even restore.
We have the necessary equipment and also the expertise to handle just about any challenging water damage situations. Plus, we are available 24/7.
We carry a variety of water removal equipment that is top of the line. We have moisture detectors to measure moisture saturation. We also use infrared camera to identify where the water comes from. Plus, we also have submersible pumps to get rid of the water and portable extraction units.
Most important is our technicians are thoroughly trained and certified by the IICRC, the most respected organization in our industry
Remember that when you call SERVPRO there is no job too big or too small and when we are done it is
"Like it never even happened"
SERVPRO of South Park / West Mifflin Figure Out the Cause of the Mold growth before Beginning the Remediation Process.
Moisture problem not corrected and MOLD Flourished
Even when residents find evidence of mold, many of them ignore it or try to cover it up. Most people believe that a little mold is not a problem and can be covered up with paint. This belief is wrong and may affect the integrity of a home’s structure. Mold needs moisture to grow. When you remove the source of the moisture, the mold will not continue to flourish. There is no point in starting the mold remediation until the source of the moisture has been eliminated. After years of experience in the Pittsburgh area, SERVPRO knows what mold can do to a home. Each year, millions are spent to clean out mold growths and to restore or repair damage to structural and personal property. If the problem is identified and corrected in the early stages, the amount of damages can be minimized.
By the time homeowners first see or smell it, there is the possibility of contamination which has permanently compromised the structure. When this happens, our technicians quickly isolate the affected area. We seal off entry points with plastic sheeting and the air conditioning vents to prevent the spread of mold spores in the air. Removing affected property is simple, but time-consuming. Our technicians carefully remove affected building materials. To prevent a spread of the contamination, all affected debris is bagged, taped and removed from the structure. Stopping and removing mold from your home is a process that needs to begin at the first sign of a problem. Regardless of how far the mold may have grown, SERVPRO of South Park / West Mifflin is here with the experience and training needed to restore your home to its original condition. Call today at (412)653-3388 for an inspection and estimate.
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week!
SERVPRO of South Park / West Mifflin is a Certified firm under the EPA LBP (lead based paint) to conduct Renovation,Repair and painting activities.
We Proudly support National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
The following is an excerpt direct from the EPA:
The National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week theme, "Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future," aims to help individuals, organizations, industry, and state and local governments to work together to reduce childhood exposure to lead. EPA, along with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), promote educational activities during the week.
This year we've added a focus on testing children for elevated blood lead levels. Lead can enter the body in many ways, and children’s blood lead levels tend to increase rapidly from 6 to 24 months if exposed. A simple blood test can detect lead.
Fall is in the Air
Beautiful Fall Pittsburgh
As the weather begins to turn, it's the perfect time to ensure that you, your home and automobiles are prepared for the colder weather. Take a minute to read from our winter preparation check-list. Don't wait until the last minute! Making sure you are ready for winter could save you on costly repairs.
Winter Preparation Check-list
? Your roof should be free of debris that may clog gutters. Debris can also cause damage when blowing around the roof surface and pose a blow off risk to customers and the public.
? Be sure downspouts are secure, and able to bare normal ice and snow loads. A lack of positive drainage in the winter time can cause ice dams and roof leaks if not addressed prior to the winter.
? Check the condition of your tires. Do they have enough tread to get you through the winter? Is it time to change over to snow tires?
? During infamous Pittsburgh winter storms, low lying branches can break from the snow load and damage your roof, break windows, knock down your power lines. It is very important to identify these hazards now, and have them taken care of.
? Do you have a good snow shovel? Do you have ice melt and/or sand? Do you need to have your snow blower serviced? Do you have ice scrapers in all of your vehicles?
? Lastly, have you turned off all your water lines that go to the outside? Have you drained your hoses? If you have a sprinkler system, have you had it winterized?