Recent Posts

3 Things To Look for in a Fire Extinguisher

6/23/2022 (Permalink)

Types of fire extinguishers There are different kinds of extinguishers, you need to know your options.

What To Look For In a Fire Extinguisher?

When creating a fire preparedness plan for your Woodlawn, OH, home, you likely know to formulate various escape routes and install smoke alarms throughout the house. Don't forget to purchase a fire extinguisher to help keep fires under control. Because there are different kinds of extinguishers, you need to know your options. Here are three things to look for in an extinguisher.


1. What Is the Extinguisher's Rating?
Not all extinguishers will work on every type of fire. Extinguishers are broken into three different categories: A, B and C. Category A extinguishers are for ordinary items that could potentially cause a home fire, such as wood, cloth and paper. Category B extinguishers are for combustible liquids, such as gas, propane, or cooking grease. Category C extinguishers are for live electric fires. 

2. How Effective Is the Fire Extinguisher?
All extinguishers have a number that precedes their rating. The number is how effective the extinguisher would be against a fire. For example, an extinguisher with a rating of 3-A will be more effective in putting out a wood fire than one rated as 1-A. Fire damage experts recommend paying attention to the numbers listed on the extinguisher and choosing the most effective option to ensure you're always protected.

3. How Big Is the Extinguisher?
The size of the extinguisher will determine how much product it carries to extinguish a fire. Most extinguishers come in 10, five and two-pound options. 10-pound extinguishers are best for areas that aren't constantly monitored and where a fire can quickly grow undetected, such as a garage. A five-pound extinguisher is suitable for a kitchen or laundry area, while a two-pound extinguisher works well to keep in your car or as a spare in a bedroom or closet. 
A fire extinguisher is a vital part of any emergency preparedness plan. Knowing what to look for in one will help you choose the best option to keep your family safe. 

How To Flush Your Water Heater

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

Flushing a water heater Keep your water heater running well for years.

The Best Way To Keep Your Water Heater Working

The best way to keep your water heater working well is to flush out the dirt and sediment periodically. If you follow the five simple steps below, you can extend the life of your heater and reduce the likelihood of expensive repairs.

1. Shut Off the Heater

If your heater is electric, turn off the line at your circuit breaker. Turn the gas off if you have a gas heater to ensure the pilot is out.

2. Attach a Garden Hose

The garden hose should be connected to the drain valve. Make sure the open end is in an area that can handle the sediment and warm water.

3. Drain the Tank

Once you have opened the drain valve, allow the water to drain from the water heater for several minutes. To speed up the process, turn on the hot water faucet in your kitchen. After a few minutes, shut off the valve to the water supply. After the water stops, turn the water supply valve on again to quickly flush the heater and then close the valve again.

4. Turn On Water Supply

After all the valves are closed, turn the water back on. When the stream in the kitchen faucet is smooth with no air escaping, this indicates the tank is full.

5. Turn Power and Heating Element On

It’s critical to make sure the tank is full before you turn the power and heater back on. After you are sure the tank is full, turn the power to the unit back on. Then turn the heating element back on as well.
After those steps are completed, shut off the kitchen faucet. If you encounter a water leak during the water heater flush, contact a water restoration service as soon as possible.
Keep your water heater running well for years in Springdale, OH, by following these easy steps every few months.

Storm Damage: Is It Tax Deductible?

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Green van parked in front a commercial building SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati was called for water restoration services to a commercial property.

Storm Damage Expenses Might Be Deductible

Did you know that your Forest Park, OH, business’s storm damage expenses may be tax deductible? If you filed an insurance claim and the damage was not covered by your commercial policy, it is very likely that you can deduct related expenses from your taxes. Here is the process that you should follow to maximize your deductions.

1. Find out if you are in a disaster area. Go to fema.gov or browse IRS’s Tax Relief in Disaster Situations page to see if your business was affected in a nationally declared disaster area. There may be different, more generous tax rules that apply - some filers even get extensions in this type of circumstance.

2. Calculate your deduction. If you need to, find an online tool or calculator that can help you figure out what your deduction amount should be for nonbusiness storm damage at your commercial building, such as your personal vehicle that was destroyed.

3. Read tax publications. Specifically, you will want to use IRS Publication 547, which deals with disasters, casualties and thefts, to make sure that you are following proper procedures when filing your business taxes and deducting damage expenses.

4. Figure out your next steps. If you want to write off nonbusiness damage that occurred on your property during a storm, you will have to itemize your deductions. You will need to utilize IRS Form 4683 and Schedule A, as well as the specific instructions that go along with these tax papers. If you are simply deducting commercial losses, itemization will not be necessary.

If you need help dealing with your company’s upsetting damage in addition to your taxes, a local commercial storm damage company should be able to help. Whether you need cleanup, document drying or more detailed restoration, such a business can help you get yourself, your team and your commercial building back to normal.

How To Prevent Damage From Ice Dams

5/21/2022 (Permalink)

Man removing snow from roof with a rake Use a rake to manually remove excess snow.

Ice Dam Damage: How To Avoid It

During cold seasons in Springdale, OH, outside temperatures often dip below the freezing point. When this happens, various parts of your home's exterior are susceptible to ice. One of the most damaging formations is an ice dam, which is the buildup of frozen precipitation at the edge of the roof that prevents proper drainage. There are several things you can do to alleviate this problem.

Dealing With an Existing Dam
One of the tricky aspects of preventing dams is that you likely don't know they'll be a problem until they occur. Once the first winter storm of the season hits, though, ice on your roof can quickly become an issue. There are several temporary solutions you can try to avoid damage to your home:

  • Use a roof rake to manually remove excess snow.
  • Create channels through the ice buildup with warm water to allow for flow.
  • Watch the attic closely for signs of water damage.

If the first indication you have of the excess ice on your roof is a leak in your attic, you will need water restoration specialists to mitigate the damage and repair the structure. The more quickly the technicians can get to the problem, the less damage you are likely to have in the long run.

Preventing Future Ice Dam Problems
While your homeowner's policy likely includes ice dam coverage, the best solution for this pesky problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Since they form when higher spots on the roof are warmer than the lower areas, the best place to start is by maintaining a consistent surface temperature on your roof. You can do this by ensuring that the attic is well-insulated and air-tight, allowing no warm air to escape upward. Consult an energy professional to test for air leaks when you have your roof inspected.
An ice dam can cause a lot of damage to your home. Prevention begins with good ventilation and insulation so that hot air does not become a problem.

What To Do After a Pipe Breaks

5/12/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a commercial building A pipe burst causes damage to a commercial building in Forest Park, OH.

When a Pipe Bursts, What Should You Do?

A hard freeze, fire, or simply age can cause pipes to break or leak, resulting in a flooded company. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do that will help you clean up quickly so you can get back to work.

Take an Inventory

The first thing that you need to do is take an accurate inventory of:

  • What was lost
  • What needs to be replaced
  • What you need to clean
  • What needs to be fixed

Taking an accurate inventory of what you need to do to get your business back on track is important, especially if you are going to file an insurance claim.

Fix the Break

The first thing that you will want to do is stop the leaking. If it is a small leak from an incoming pipe, you might be able to stop it on your own. If you have a flooded company or an outgoing pipe, you probably should consider hiring a plumber to deal with it.

Begin the Cleanup

Cleaning up after a leaky pipe or sewer line is extremely difficult and time-consuming. In some cases, it is better to hire a professional cleaner in Forest Park, OH. A professional will know exactly what procedures to use, what needs dry cleaning, and what precautions to take. This is particularly true when you are dealing with a sewer pipe break.

Keep Employees Informed

If you have a broken pipe, you will need to keep your employees up-to-date on what they need to do to either avoid or deal with the problems that arise. Keeping your employees informed means making sure they have personal protective equipment when necessary and keeping them up on OSHA requirements. This will help to keep your employees safe, particularly if wastewater is involved.
A broken or leaky pipe and a flooded company are not the end of the world for a business. Fixing the problem can be as easy as making a few phone calls and ensuring that your employees are safe.

Making a Sewage Backup Claim

5/7/2022 (Permalink)

Technician cleaning with a broom sewage water Sewage backup cleanup should be left for the professionals.

Steps To Take When Filing a Sewage Backup Claim

Did you know that most sewer backup claims are covered by homeowners’ insurance policies? If you are facing such a backup in your bathroom, you are probably not in the best state of mind and could use some help figuring out the claims process. Here are the three steps you should take when filing a sewage backup claim.

1. Contact your home insurance agent. Taking this first step is very important after facing a sewage disaster. Even though most policies cover these types of backups, you will need to be certain of the extent of your coverage and whether or not you have to pay a special deductible.

2. Get in touch with professionals in your area. You will likely need to contact a certified plumber to help with toilet and other sewer backup issues. You should also call a local Cincinnati, OH, water damage restoration company for help with salvaging and repairing any moisture damage that is present.

3. Keep good records of the restoration process. Take photos and keep a list of any damage, and make sure that you keep all of your receipts during repair and cleanup to show to your insurance company. After everything is fixed up, take even more photographs for your records and for insurance purposes.

If you follow these three basic steps, you will be in a better position to have your claim approved by the insurance company. Keep in mind that an adjuster will most likely need to see the property at some point to verify what kind of sewer backup damage is taking place. A water incident such as this is very stressful for any homeowner, but it can be less so if you take the time to put a claims plan in place and bring in the advice and assistance of local professionals who can help you get your home back in order.

Understanding the Process of Fire Damage Restoration

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

Inside of a home damaged by fire Residential fire damage in Springdale, OH.

Fire Damage Restoration

Nothing compares to the devastation a family feels witnessing the aftermath of a residential fire. While emergency services can ensure the safety of the family, they cannot protect the belongings that hold sentimental value. A fire restoration service in Springdale, OH, has a greater chance of recovering contents of emotional value, and it does so through the salvage and restoration process, in five steps.

1. Emergency Assessment

Most restoration services will have a 24/7 emergency contact line. Once reached, the service will send out a project manager to assess the scene. These professionals will inspect structural integrity and devise a safe and effective recovery plan.

2. Water Removal

Because of fire hoses, fire restorations often require significant water removal, and the damage cleaning will involve some tasks typically reserved for water disasters. For example, before the fire cleaning can commence, a restoration crew will need to use pumps or shop vacuums to remove excess water. The team will often follow this up with dehumidifiers and air movers to dry out the house.

3. Debris Removal and Inventory

While a recovery team will remove obvious trash - those items beyond repair - they will also take care to set aside anything that is salvageable or could hold sentimental value. Fire restoration is not only about rebuilding a structure; it is about maintaining memories and the sense of home.

4. Smoke and Soot Cleaning

People often make the mistake of believing that smoke damage only occurs on the surface of objects. However, smoke and soot will often make their way into the cracks, crevices, and nooks-and-crannies of appliances, computers, furniture, and so much more. Experienced restoration specialists will take the necessary time, using disinfectants and commercial cleaners, to ensure no smoke residue remains in your home.

5. Restoration

With all the cleaning complete, the restoration crew can resecure the structure and get the house ready for occupancy. All finishes will be restored, and the home will look like nothing ever happened.
Nothing can prepare a family for the devastation of a residential fire. While the sight is enough to leave anyone feeling hopeless, don't give up. Fire restoration seems miraculous with a trusted service.

3 Ways To Fix a Leaking Commercial Toilet

4/12/2022 (Permalink)

Bottom of a toilet seeping water A leaking toilet in Cincinnati, OH.

How to Repair a Commercial Toilet That Is Leaking

A leaking toilet can cause severe water damage to your Cincinnati, OH, establishment. While you wait for SERVPRO's disaster response team to arrive and fix the damage, you will need to deal with the leak itself. Sometimes the repair is simple, while other times it requires a more complex process. Try the following procedures to get your unit functioning properly again.

1. Find and Fix Minor Problems

While some leaking water or even a puddle surrounding the toilet can feel intimidating, you might not always have to perform intensive toilet repair to fix it. After you use a piece of cloth to absorb the liquid, wait and see if the problem persists. If it does, pinpoint the origin of the leak. The water could be emanating from a defective supply valve, a damaged tank or a supply tube. If these are not the issues, then try to carefully tighten the bolts that secure the bowl to the ground.

2. Remove the Defective Flange

If these steps do not fix the leaking toilet, it is likely a case of a defective flange. You can confirm this theory by removing the toilet. Shut off the water supply and drain the tank. Disconnect the water supply tube from the shutoff valve. Move the bowl to rip off the wax gasket and gently set it aside. Scrape off the remaining wax from the flange and inspect the part. If damaged, replace it with a new flange and a new wax gasket. Place the bowl back, aligning it with the flange, followed by the remaining components.

3. Install a New Toilet

Sometimes the problem with the leakage extends beyond the flange or any single part. If you have an old toilet with outdated components you cannot easily replace or fix, you will need to install a new unit. Just follow the same removal steps and install the new one carefully.
There are many ways to resolve a leaking toilet, from simple fixes to complete toilet replacement. Conduct these steps carefully or call professionals and ensure they follow proper procedures.

Keep the Focus on Cleaning After a Fire

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

Six woman cleaning contents that have experienced fire damage The crew works diligently to clean and restore contents.

Cleanup Process After a Fire

If your company has experienced a commercial fire in Green Hills, OH, there will come a time when you will need to assess what is salvageable and what will need to be completely replaced. Many items will be damaged from the effects of fire, smoke, water and soot. This includes walls, flooring, ceilings, uniforms, electronics and fixtures. The good news is that many items can be restored through professional services such as dry cleaning, fabric restoration, dehumidifiers and other advanced techniques.

How the Process Works

After a business fire, you will want to follow a number of steps to get the ball rolling. It all starts with working with a quick-acting team that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. Once the team is on your premises, it will conduct the following:

  • Inspection and fire damage assessment
  • Securing of the building with boarding up and roof protection
  • Water removal and drying if necessary
  • Smoke and soot removal
  • Cleaning and sanitizing
  • Restoration

The best content cleaning services make sure all materials are free of odors and contaminants. With the use of industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment, everything should be brought back to pre-fire condition. Dry cleaning may be used for clothes, while ultrasonic cleaning may be used for non-porous articles.

Why Speed Matters

It is important that the cleaning process is thorough and professional, but speed is also critical. When your business is shut down, it’s difficult to keep revenue coming in. That places a burden on your bottom line, so the faster things move, the better. For a while, you may need to consider content storage for items that are related to your business. This keeps them out of the way and prevents further damage.

Many of the items that make your company function properly, such as work clothes and uniforms, can get damaged in a commercial fire. Dry cleaning can make them like new again and save the expense of replacing them all.

Do Landlords Have To Pay For Fire Damage to Commercial Property?

3/24/2022 (Permalink)

Window frame burned and window broken due to fire damage Repairing a commercial property after a fire is usually more complex.

Do Landlords Have to Pay For Commercial Property Fire Damage?

If you own a commercial building in Mount Healthy, OH, you may be wondering if you have to pay for the cost of any fire damage to that space. As with an apartment fire, it depends on exactly what was damaged.

Structural vs. Personal Property Damage
The owner of a commercial building is responsible for any damage to the actual property. This includes:

  • Plumbing
  • Electricity
  • Emergency restoration services

The tenant, meanwhile, has to pay for any damages to personal possessions such as furniture or electronics. The one exception is if the tenant can prove that negligence by the landlord led to the fire. In that case, the property owner may have to reimburse any costs incurred by the tenant.

Insurance
Thankfully, your company may not have to spend its hard-earned profits to repair structural fire damage to a building it owns. If you have premises liability coverage, your insurance provider should pay for most or all of the costs. Your company may just have to pay the deductible.

Responsibility for the Fire
If a tenant in a residential building actually caused an apartment fire, the tenant typically pays for the damages. The same is true for commercial building fires.
Your insurance provider will thus contact the tenant’s renter’s insurance company for compensation if it is believed that the tenant was responsible for the fire. If the tenant does not have renter’s insurance, your insurer may contact the tenant directly for reimbursement.
You may even want to put language in your lease agreements stating that any tenants that cause a fire to the building will have to pay your insurance deductible. This could save your company money.
Repairing a commercial property after a fire is usually more complex than fixing the damage caused by an apartment fire. With a good commercial property insurance policy and some help from experienced restoration professionals, the impact on your business’ profit margin will be minimal.