Prevent Water Damage from Freezing Pipes
This damage caused by a frozen water pipe in the attic in Fort Worth
As winter bears down on Fort Worth, we're going to address some tips on how to deal with the risk of frozen water pipes. The water damage experts here at SERVPRO of Lake Worth / Benbrook have many years of experience in dealing with pipes which freeze, whether those pipes are in a wall, in the attic, in the garage or in your crawl space. Every year, usually right after our first hard freeze, our customers in Fort Worth, Azle, Lake Worth, Benbrook and surrounding areas confront pipes which have frozen and burst.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; this applies to frozen pipes about as well as any situation where that saying might be used. Here are some of our best ideas for preventing this type of damage:
Before winter gets here in force:
- Find the shut off valves for exterior water sources like hose hookups and outside faucets. Close these valves and open the faucets to drain any residual water. Be sure to leave the faucets open all winter.
- Review insulation options for any plumbing in crawlspaces, attics or which is generally exposed to extreme cold
- Keep your home heated above 50 degrees, even if you won't be home for extended periods.
- For faucets inside the home which may have plumbing in exterior walls of the home, leave the faucet on enough to allow a slight drip out of the faucet.
- Leave cabinet doors open if there is plumbing in the cabinet - this will permit the warm air to circulate more evenly across the pipes.
- Keep your garage door closed as much as possible
At this point, you may be asking yourself why you would go through all of that - what's the big deal if my pipes freeze? Well, frozen water isn't really the big deal - it's the stress the frozen water puts on the plumbing. As we all learn early in life, water expands when it freezes. This expansion is what causes the pipes to fail, whether it's a tiny pinhole or a 3 inch long split of a pipe. Then, once the frozen water melts, the water rushes into your home via the breached pipe. Under normal household pressures, a half inch diameter pipe might allow as much as 50 gallons of water to pour into your home every minute.
If all of the preventative steps weren't enough, and your pipes have frozen and are now leaking into the home, turn off the water to the home immediately at the main shut off. Then call the water damage experts at SERVPRO of Lake Worth / Benbrook to assist you with the clean up process.
Responding to Water Damage in Commercial Properties
Damage to drop ceiling in commercial property in Fort Worth
Flooding and water damage events in commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, SERVPRO of Lake Worth / Benbrook will work as quickly as possible to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. Frankly, there are about as many different issues presented by water in your commercial building as there are types of businesses. Each business, and each water damage, is unique. Our team of commercial water damage experts will design a remediation program custom tailored to your needs.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals here at SERVPRO are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call at 817-560-3086 and we’ll be there fast with the help you need!
Keeping New Year's Resolutions
New Year's Resolutions are a time honored tradition - we take the opportunity of the change in the calendar to change our habits. Whether or not our good intentions turn into real change is often decided in the moment the resolution is made, not in the first weeks of the new year. To ensure the best chance of keeping your New Year's resolution, take some advice from goal-setting research.
The wisdom below didn't originate here in our office, but, it is something we try to follow each time we set new goals at SERVPRO of Lake Worth / Benbrook. The essence of the ideas about to be covered have been repeated many times, in many formats - you're likely to encounter them in any article or training session related to goal setting. Why is that? Because they work, at least that has been our experience...
For the purpose of this article, we're using a weight loss goal - modify the lessons as needed to match your individual goals.
You want New Year's resolutions to be SMART:
Specific: Be clear with want you want to happen/achieve. Avoid vagueness. Too much detail is better than too much. Say, "I want to lose 12 pounds total and 3 inches from my waistline" versus "I want to lose weight and look better in clothes".
Measureable: Your resolution should be tracked and your progress measured. Losing weight lends itself easily to this, but, for other types of resolutions, you might need to get more creative on how you measure it. For example, if your New Year's resolution is to spend more quality time with your family (you can be more specific, cant you?), then maybe you will check your social media posts weekly to ensure your posts highlight the time you are spending with your family. Or, maybe you'll make a weekly photo journal of you and your loved ones enjoying each other's time. Whatever your goal, devise a way to measure it and then keep track.
Achievable: Make goals/resolutions that you can meet/keep. Incremental improvement is much easier than making an enormous leap. Setting an unobtainable goal leads to frustration and, likely, abandoning the endeavor. Rather, be realistic with yourself and set your target within reach. If you reach the goal too easily, you can set another, more challenging goal upon reaching the first (just be sure to keep them SMART). So, opt for, "I'm going to lose 15 pounds" versus "I'm going to fit into on my old Army uniform".
Relevant: Resolutions which don't make it into February are usually resolutions made without the proper relevancy. To undergo the changes necessary to keep meaningful resolutions, the desired change has to be relevant to your individual view of your improved life. If you are setting a change goal, the reasons for your change have to be clear to you and you have to have buy in from yourself. Structure your goals around the proper reasons, and you'll find them much easier to reach.
Timed: Put a clock on your resolution/goal, just be sure it is a realistic clock. Much like setting an unobtainable goal can lead to frustration, setting an unrealistic timeline can also lead to failure. However, not having a timeline can be just as dangerous, so, be specific with the timed nature of the resolution. Opt for "I'm going to lose 15 pounds by July 1st" versus "I'm going to lose some weight".
We implement this SMART approach to all of our goal setting at SERVPRO of Lake Worth / Benbrook. We hope the ideas help you reach your milestones for 2018!
Fire and Smoke Damage Experts in Fort Worth present Safety Tips for Extension Cords
Tis the Season... of extension cords.
If your home is anything like ours in Fort Worth, you find yourself making use of extension cords. Lights on the tree, lights on the home, other decorations needing power... the list can expand quickly. Usually, these items end up plugged into an extension cord, and sometimes the extension cords end up plugged into other extension cords!
All of these cords present a number of hazards - the Fire and Smoke Damage experts of SERVPRO of Lake Worth / Benbrook want everyone to have a happy and safe holiday season, so we are offering these safety tips related to extension cords.
- Inspect all cords for damage prior to use. Cords that have exposed wires, frayed or cut insulation, cracked sockets or loose (or missing) prongs should not be used.
- Ensure the cords are designed and rated for the intended use and power load. Indoor/outdoor use, gauge of the cord, gauge of the items plugged into the cord and load through the cord should all be considered.
- Stop using any extension cord that feels hot to the touch - the danger presented by a hot cord is very real. Unplug any hot cord immediately.
- Avoid pinching cords under doors, windows or heavy furniture. Extension cords are easily compromised if the insulation around the wires in the cord gets damaged.
- Extension cords pose a tripping hazard. Keep them out of walkways, doorways or any high traffic area.
- Do not run extension cords through walls, ceilings or under rugs. This may cause the cord to overheat.
- Extension cords should be a temporary solution - if you are using them year round, you should consider upgrading your electrical system in your home.
Here at SERVPRO of Lake Worth / Benbrook, we use extension cords nearly every week. Safely using them is something we train on regularly, and being aware of potential hazards is always on our mind. Keep the safety tips above in mind this holiday season and you should enjoy all of the festive decorations you desire.