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The Pros and Cons of Using Drain Cleaners

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

Drain cleaner ads, water pipe detergent with clear pipes section in 3d illustration The pros and cons of using drain cleaners.

The Pros and Cons of Using Drain Cleaners

When water begins to drain slowly, it is a sign of trouble. Without some plan of action, the problem usually gets worse until you are faced with a clogged drain. It is one of the more common plumbing issues you are likely to encounter in Monticello, LA. You have a few broad options for clearing the drain:

  • Hiring a plumbing contractor
  • Using mechanical means such as a drain snake or manually clearing the pipe
  • Pouring a drain cleaner down the drain

Depending on the problem, the first option might be overkill and could cost a bit of money. The second option requires a little bit of knowledge and a few tools, but it often works fine. The third option seems quick and easy, but is it really good for your pipes and your overall plumbing system?

The Dangers of Drain Cleaners
In some circumstances, using chemicals to clear a clogged drain might be appropriate. However, they should be used sparingly and it is a good idea to be aware of their disadvantages. In some instances, especially with fats, oils, and grease (FOG), the chemicals may clear the clog only to have it move further down the plumbing, where it could cause another blockage. Harsh chemicals can also be harmful to the environment, as they end up in lakes, rivers, and streams. Also, the use of a chemical drain cleaner poses a small risk to the user, as inhaling the vapors and getting it on your skin can cause irritation.

The Benefits of Water Damage Mitigation
If a plumbing problem causes water damage to your home, the services of a water remediation company may be beneficial. Trained technicians can handle everything from a water spill caused by a clogged drain to a large sewage backup. Sewage cleaning requires special skills and equipment that most homeowners do not have. Quickly taking care of water damage, whatever its source, prevents expensive damage to your home and removes unsanitary conditions.

How Does One File a Flood Claim Safely and Accurately?

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Filling out a form Complete your flood claim as thoroughly as possible

If your house in Zachary, LA, ever becomes flooded, you need to complete your flood claim as thoroughly as possible. Taking proper stock of the damage your home has suffered means an insurer is less likely to issue a denial.

Staying Safe

When conducting your assessment, it’s crucial that you minimize danger:

Always wear protection such as respirators, knee-high boots, and rubber gloves. You never want to risk exposing yourself to mold caused by the flooding.
Beware of potential electrical damage. Use only battery-powered sources for illumination to avert a nasty shock.
As much as possible, avoid entering floodwater. It may have become contaminated with gasoline or raw sewage.
Keep an eye out for critters. Snakes or insects might have washed into your home, so beware.

Remember that remaining out of harm’s way always comes first.

Making Your Claim
First, notify your insurer to begin the flood claim process. Next, take stock of the damage. This is the most important aspect of your insurance claim, as you need proof behind every piece of observable devastation. Maintain a detailed inventory of everything and take extensive photos. Never throw anything away, just in case you need to provide evidence.
Deploy action before an adjuster gets in touch; you can significantly speed up the claims process by handling matters ahead of time. Arrange your home so the adjuster may easily view every element of destruction. Also, post your contact information in a clearly visible spot so the adjuster can get in touch if questions arise. Once you have completed a Proof of Loss and received payment, you will then be free to reach out to a home repair expert that can return your residence to its previous state, making it look "Like it never even happened."
Inventorying a flood claim can be a challenge, but keep in mind that handling the matter properly means safety as well as proper compensation for any costs you have unfortunately incurred.

What Factors Impact the Speed of Mold Growth After Water Damage?

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall due to humidity Water damage can lead to mold growth if not attended quickly.

What Elements Affect the Rate of Mold Growth After Water Damage?

If your commercial building has sustained water damage of any type in Baker, LA, it's important to act as quickly as safely possible. Mold can begin to appear within 24-48 hours after the water event occurred. Since you can't possibly tackle everything at once, the important question is: does mold grow at the same rate on every surface? Knowing what factors impact the rate of mold growth will help you to establish a plan for having the mold cleaned up. Keep in mind that with so many types of mold, it's important to leave mold clean up to a trained mold removal and remediation specialist who knows how to safely assess the extent of damage that has occurred.


1. Building Material Composition
Different types of materials are more or less susceptible to rapid mold growth depending on their composition. Natural building materials provide a nutrient source that promotes the growth and spread of mold. Porous materials such as drywall and insulation can also provide food sources for mold since they trap moisture and dust.


2. Water Activity
If you've had a flood, whether due to a natural disaster or a burst pipe, it's pretty obvious that since your space has water damage, there's a good environment for mold growth. However, even high humidity levels can cause mold to grow in your building. Mold prevention in these spaces usually involves running a dehumidifier and checking for places where water may be penetrating the building, such as around windows, under doors, and around pipes.


3. Temperature
Mold will grow the most rapidly at its ideal temperature, which is about 77 degrees Fahrenheit, though certain types can still grow at temperatures as low as 19 degrees. By maintaining a consistent temperature and humidity level, you can prevent mold-friendly environments.
There are a few factors that contribute to the speed at which mold grows even after water damage has occurred. Acting quickly can help to mitigate major problems for your business.

How to Properly Dry Important Documents After Water Damage

6/26/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents Wet documents can be salvaged with the help of water damage restoration experts.

How to Dry Important Documents Properly After Water Damage

Water damage can hit businesses hard. Not only can it require repairs to the building, but also poses issues if important documents seep in moisture. Luckily, wet documents can be salvaged with the help of water damage restoration experts. Here are a few techniques the document drying process consists of in the event your Baton Rouge, LA, business be impacted by water.

1. Freezing Wet Documents
After any flooding event, locate any wet papers of value and get them to a freezer. Taking swift action here will prevent the growth of mold and stop rapid deterioration of the paper. Once you have the document frozen, restoration experts can transport them to a facility with state-of-the-art technology that allows these items to be restored to their prior condition. A specialized vaccuum-dry freezer is used to draw out any moisture from the paper, a method which is commonly used for restoring some museum archive items.

2. Gamma Irradiation
Depending on how much moisture an item retained and the contamination level of the water it had contact with, it's a possibility that molding or bacterial growth has occurred. To alleviate this, experts rely on a process known as gamma irradiation. This entails using powerful radiation to destroy any microorganisms and sterilize the item at hand.

3. Digitize Documents
With proper freezing and radiation, most items plagued by water damage can be restored. But to provide extra peace of mind, digital copies of impacted documents are often created. This gives relief to many business owners who don't have to compromise their documentation again in the event of future water or fire damage.
While it may seem that any papers that get caught in water are a lost cause, wet documents can be dried and saved. Immediate freezing helps preserve them before undergoing gamma irradiation and digitizing to complete the restoration process.

3 Steps To Take After A Sewage Backup

6/18/2022 (Permalink)

Man using sewer inspection camera Plumbers will use a specialized camera that they place into the pipes and can locate the problem in the area.

Three Steps To Take After A Sewage Backup

Whether you have a clogged main sewage pipe or your sewer system gets overwhelmed after a severe storm with significant floods, you could face a sewage backup. When that happens to your Monticello, LA, home, you need to know what to do to keep your family safe. Here are three steps to take after a sewage backup.

1. Call a Plumber To Determine Why the Sewer Backup is Happening
When you find a sewage backup in your home, you first want to call a plumber to determine why the sewer system has backed up. The plumber will use a specialized camera that they place into the pipes and can use to locate problem areas. If you have a clog, they will clear the clog at that time. If your system was overwhelmed by heavy rainwaters, you'll need your system pumped to prevent further problems.

2. Determine if the Area is Safe to Go Into
When dealing with a sewer backup, it's essential to evaluate the situation before you attempt to start cleaning up. If your problem is limited to a simple bathtub backup, you'll be fine to handle things yourself. Ensure that you use protective equipment and a bleach-water solution to clean and sanitize your bathtub. However, if the sewage spill is more widespread, always err on the side of caution and contact a water damage restoration company to clean up for you. The longer the sewage sits, the more widespread the damage will be, so contact a company as soon as possible.

3. Stop it From Happening Again
Regular maintenance of your system is vital to help prevent a sewer backup. Have a plumber scope your pipes and remove any buildups or clogs every year. If you have a septic system, ensure that you keep your gutters clean of debris to avoid flooding your drain field, which could cause your septic system to get overwhelmed.
Dealing with a sewage backup can be a stressful situation. However, following a few simple steps and relying on the pros will help you get your house back to normal in no time.

After a Flood: The Do’s and Don’ts

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Flood water in a home level of water reaches the stairs Flood damage in a home in Zachary, LA.

The Do's and Don'ts After a Flood

After a severe storm ravages Zachary, LA, safety should also come first. While you may be eager to determine the amount of damage your home has received from flood water, wind and other issues, some key things should and shouldn’t be done.

Flooded Home Do’s
If your home has sustained significant flooding, it is best to evacuate and not re-enter until it is deemed safe by the professionals. Once you have been given the go-ahead to re-enter, below are a few steps that should be taken next:

Document the damage for your insurance company. This includes taking videos and pictures, as well as retrieving important documents.
Any food, medicine or other consumables that have been touched by flood water should be discarded.
Verify that water is safe before drinking. If you are not certain, boil it beforehand.
Open doors and windows to get enhanced airflow.
Avoid using any electrical equipment that could have sustained damage.
If possible, begin extracting water and drying out affected areas.

Water Damage Don’ts
Knowing that safety is of the essence, avoid just imping in and tackling the water issues. If there is extensive water in the home, it is best to contact a certified mold, water and storm damage restoration company for an assessment and to handle the cleanup process. Stormwater often means that there are potential toxins, contaminants, microorganisms and other substances that will require specific safety gear and industrial-grade equipment. Water may also be lurking in hidden areas. Even if you think you have cleaned up a small issue, there could be mold starting to grow out of sight. When getting your home back to preloss condition is the priority, it’s best to let the experts handle the mess.
After the flood water starts to go down, it’s easy to want to rush in and start the cleaning process. Keeping safety in mind and following the above tips helps ensure the cleanup process goes safely and smoothly.

3 Tips for Fire Hazard Mitigation While Cooking

5/30/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm Smoke detectors can alert you to the danger so you can evacuate in time.

Three Tips for Preventing Fires While Cooking

According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 2014 to 2018 U.S. fire departments were called to approximately 172,900 home fires connected to cooking activities. Kitchen fires are the leading cause of residential fires in the nation and can result in serious fire damage that may require the services of a professional restoration business in Baker, LA, to deal with. It is important to take safety precautions to lower the likelihood of a devastating event like a grease fire occurring. Here are three tips for doing so.

1. Keep Flammable Items/Substances Away From the Cooking Area While Cooking
If you have your stove or oven on, combustible things like wooden utensils, oven mitts, oil-coated spatulas and food wrappers can easily go up in flames, so it is important to move them out of the danger zone. Grease splatters, puddles and buildup also easily catch fire, so it is important to keep your work area clean.

2. Install the Appropriate Equipment
There are some things your home needs in case of a fire:

  • Carbon monoxide monitors
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire extinguishers

Having these valuable tools can help you identify and handle such situations before they become too severe, or at least alert you to the danger so you can evacuate in time.

3. Don't Leave Fires Unattended
This is one of the most important tips. You do not ever want to walk away from cooking food. If you need to take a phone call, go to the bathroom for a prolonged period of time or leave the proximity for some other reason for longer than a couple of minutes, you should turn the range or stovetop off.
These are not the only fire safety tips you should heed. However, they are important ones. Fire, and by extension cooking, is not something to be taken lightly. Because of this, it is best not to cook while tired or distracted, particularly if you are frying something or using grease.

How Security Fencing Will Protect Your Commercial Property After a Fire

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

Fence A security fence acts as a great deterrent.

How Would Security Fencing Protect Your Commercial Property?

If you are dealing with the aftermath of a devastating fire or another damaging event on your commercial property, there are many issues you must handle. In addition to making renovations and covering costs, you must also consider protecting the property from further damage.

Advantages of a Security Fence
There are many reasons to install security fencing around your property before you begin renovations to your building.

Safety Concerns - Curiosity entices many people, both young and old, to explore a deserted structure. Damages caused by fire will undoubtedly present many opportunities for injury. Tripping over broken structures or falling into crevices are only a couple of the concerns. Someone who is injured may also seek legal counsel, which could be very costly to your business.
Vandal Issues - There are those who may look to benefit from an unprotected building by stealing anything that could be salvaged. A security fence acts as a great deterrent.
Wild Life Concerns - Many small animals, such as raccoons and mice will more than likely occupy the open space very quickly. This can cause more damage to the property.
Insurance Compliance - Some insurance plans require that the property is secured with fencing before renovations can begin. A non-fenced area can become more damaged and cost more to renovate. In this case, the insurance company may not cover any of the damages after a fire at your property in Baton Rouge, LA.

Steps to Take When Installing a Fence
Talk with your insurance agent about the optimum fencing for your location. They will consider many issues when determining the best fit, including the property location and the size of the overall property. Wire mesh and chain link options are two of the choices available. Your fire restoration service can help you install the security fence.
Keep your building protected and reduce further damage after a fire with secured fencing around your property.

How To Keep Water Heaters in Good Condition

5/20/2022 (Permalink)

Connecting a hose to water heater Flushing a water heater

The last thing you want while taking a shower is cold water gushing out of the showerhead. Your first inclination may be to buy a new heater. There are easy instructions, however, that can help prolong the life of your heater in Monticello, LA, for many years.

Routine Maintenance on Your Water Heater

Conducting routine maintenance on your unit will reduce the risk of failure. If your heater malfunctions and you experience water damage, call a water restoration expert right away.

Test the Temperature-Pressure Release Valve - This valve regulates the pressure and temperature in the tank. To test it, put a pail below the discharge pipe. If water isn't released when you lift the lever, the valve must be replaced.
Check Electrical Connections - Periodically inspect the connections to ensure the unit is working properly.
Clean Sediment Within the Tank - As sediment builds up inside the tank, it can block the pipeline. If left unattended, it can also create cracks in the tank. Flushing the tank will reduce these risks.

Steps on Flushing a Water Heater
Performing a water heater flush may sound complicated, but it is really quite simple if you follow these steps.

Make sure the heater is turned off, then locate the drain valve and attach a garden hose to it.
Open the drain valve to release the water. While the water is flowing, turn on the hot water faucet in the kitchen or bathroom.
After several minutes, close the water supply valve and allow the water to continue draining until it stops
Once completely drained, make sure all of the valves are closed. At this point, turn the water supply on.
Check the faucet and wait until the water begins flowing smoothly again. This means that the water heater tank is full.
Turn the power and heating element back on.

Perform some routine maintenance on your heater to keep it running smoothly for years.

4 Tips for Preparing Your Business's Exterior for Storms

4/23/2022 (Permalink)

Hand with a glove cleaning a clogged gutter Keep your gutters clean.

Four Storm-Proofing Tips for Your Business's Exterior

Your commercial business insurance and relevant riders are all lined up to carefully cover your company for this year's stormy season in Zachary, LA. Your employees are knowledgeable about all of your safety protocols, and you've inspected the interior of your site for vulnerabilities and moved all important documentation out of potential flood zones. How about exterior maintenance? While it might feel like a lost cause to try and perform any repairs or make improvements when big storms are imminent, protecting your building from the outside can make a big difference in how well it withstands a storm's lashing. Here are four tips.

1. Secure Loose Objects

Complete a thorough exterior building inspection, starting with loose objects that could be tossed by winds and cause more damage. Antennas, trash cans, hanging signs, and benches could all become projectiles that damage your building. Secure them outside or bring them indoors.

2. Protect All Glass

From individual windows to large glass storefronts, protect your business by using storm shutters. There are many types available at various price points. At the very least, use duct tape over the glass to prevent shattering.

3. Clean Out Downspouts

Cleaning downspouts, gutters, and drains is probably a part of your regular exterior maintenance routine, but going over them an extra time right before a big storm ensures that water can drain away from the building properly.

4. Look for Entry Points

Keeping your building maintained regularly ensures that you don't have huge repair projects right before a storm. Check the roof, windows, doors, and foundation for any possible points of entry for water. Plus, if you do have to call a water damage restoration company to help clean up after a storm, you can be sure that the damage was a result of the storm and not poor maintenance.
Exterior maintenance of your building is an important part of your storm preparedness plan.