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Replace Your Leaking Toilet in 3 Simple Steps

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Plumber replacing broken toilet in a washroom Installing a new leak-free toilet

Follow The Steps Below and Avoid Mishaps

A leaking toilet can result in structural damage to your home; sometimes, they even require a water damage restoration specialist. But that doesn't have to happen. Tackling the problem early can help you avoid damage and more extensive repairs later on. Luckily, it only requires a few tools and some basic DIY skills to replace an old toilet.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Toilet repair is something that pretty much every homeowner will have to handle at some point, so you will want to have the right tools for the job. Here's what you'll want to have on hand to replace a leaking toilet:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Both Phillips and slotted screwdrivers
  • Small hacksaw
  • Putty knife
  • Bucket
  • Large rag or piece of cardboard

Step 2: Remove the Existing Toilet
Once you have the right tools together, you can begin to address the offending toilet. Using the shut off valve, turn off the water. Flush the toilet to drain most of the tank and scoop whatever remains into a bucket or nearby drain.
Carefully uncover the bolts attaching the bowl to the floor. Using the adjustable wrench, loosen and remove the nuts. Lift the bowl straight up and off the bolts, then scrape the excess wax from the bottom. Place it off to the side on a large piece of cardboard or a heavy towel. Remove any wax remaining around the toilet flange.

Step 3: Install the New One
Now comes the fun part: Installing your new leak-free toilet. Install an appropriate replacement wax ring onto the flange. Note that the closet bolts are installed into the gasket. Place the bowl of your toilet over the bolts and press gently to seat it. Tighten the nuts evenly until it is firmly secured and trim off the excess bolt length with the hacksaw. Now you can install a new water supply line to the shutoff valve and toilet supply, then flush the toilet a few times to check for leaks.
Replacing a leaking toilet is a straightforward process that many homeowners in Palmer Township, PA, can accomplish. Be sure to use patience and follow the steps carefully to avoid any mishaps.

Can Office Electronics Be Cleaned After a Fire?

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Computer keyboard with fire flame and the words DO NOT USE Do not use electrical equipment that has been exposed to heat

The owner of a commercial property affected by fire may weigh the advantages of attempting to have office electronics cleaned and restored or replacing these appliances, computers, and devices to avoid an electrical fire. The following pointers are helpful for determining whether experts may be able to restore device functionality or retrieve important data.

Assess the Level of Damage

Electronics exposed to direct flame or very high temperatures that show signs of charring or melting may not be salvageable. Seek a professional opinion about items exposed to the following forms of indirect damage:

  • Heat
  • Smoke
  • Soot

Content restoration professionals specializing in computer cleanup and recovery can determine whether the functionality of a computer or any other device can be restored or data can be retrieved and transferred to replacement electronics.

Address Heat and Smoke Damage
Temperatures in a building fire peak at thousands of degrees. Electronics exposed to direct flame are likely to be ruined, and internal components may actually fuel an electrical fire. Computers and devices that are not directly affected may suffer damage but still be candidates for cleaning or recovering data.

Advance With Cleanup or Data Recovery
It may be possible to use electronics that have been shielded from immediate exposure to fire. Have content cleaning professionals who specialize in restoring digital equipment inspect these devices before use, as smoke damage can cause an internal film to form and cause short-circuiting, overheating, and an elevated risk of another fire in the future.
The degree of damage that is caused by exposure to direct flame, high heat or soot, and smoke will determine whether content restoration experts can restore the functionality of electronics or retrieve important data from storage media to transfer over to replacement devices. Commercial property owners and occupants should exercise caution with fire-damaged electronics to reduce electrical fire risks at a structure in Churchville, PA.

4 Tips for Protecting Your Home From a Flood

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Breaker box with the word CUT THE POWER! Shut off electricity at your breaker panel

Measures To Take To Increase Flood Safety

Flooding causes billions of dollars in damage to homes and other property every year in the United States. It is not practical to flood-proof your home; however, there are measures you can enact to increase flood safety and reduce flood damage.

1. Locate Electrical Equipment Above Flood Level
Wiring, circuit breakers, switches, and sockets should be installed at least one foot higher than the expected flood level in your area. If your water heater, furnace, or other anchored indoor equipment is not already above the flood level, modify it so that it is.

2. Don't Forget Last Minute Measures
Some flood safety steps should be taken far in advance, but there are still steps you can take when flooding is imminent. Clean debris out of your gutters and downspouts. Shut off electricity at your breaker panel. Place major appliances on concrete blocks. Move furniture, electronics, rugs, and other valuable contents to the top floor of your home. If your belongings get wet, consider contacting a flood restoration company in Stockertown, PA, to clean and dry them.

3. Elevate and Anchor Outdoor Equipment
Fuel tanks, generators, and air-conditioning units located below the flood level outdoors can break free causing ground contamination. Elevate these items above the flood level and anchor them so they can not easily be swept away.

4. Modify Your Landscaping
Observe how water flows around your house during a rainstorm. If it is collecting in areas near your home, it can be helpful to modify your landscaping to direct water away from your home. Consider adding features such as swales or rain gardens. If your yard doesn't slope away from your home, you may need to have it graded. Add native plants that increase drainage.
Having a flood safety plan is critical for protecting your family and your home from flood hazards. These four safety tips can help you prepare for a flood situation in your home.

3 Mold Questions Answered

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Hand pointing to mold growth on ceiling Mold damage in Bangor, PA

When your property in Bangor, PA, starts to develop a musty smell, your first worry might be black mold. Before you panic, ask yourself if you know enough about mold to be sure that it is the reason your business needs a good scrubbing.

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that spreads through airborne spores. There are many species of mold, but here are some common types and where they can be found:

  • Aspergillus grows on starchy foods such as potatoes
  • Penicillium cultivates in damp areas like basements
  • Cladosporium spreads in fabrics and carpets
  • Stachybotrys chartarum or “black mold” thrives in wet, humid areas

Identifying mold is not an easy task. Many species look similar and change throughout their growth, so asking a mold remediation specialist is the best way to know what is growing on your wall.

What Causes Mold to Grow?
Mold needs moisture, nutrients and time. All of these can be found in your building. Moisture can come from a leaky pipe or a poorly ventilated bathroom. Mold feeds on cellulose, which is found in building materials like wood and drywall. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it only takes mold 24 to 48 hours to settle. If you have a moisture problem hidden in your ceiling, mold will have the time it needs to grow.

What Does Finding Mold Mean?
When you find mold, look for the water issue that is aiding mold growth and get it repaired. Simply spraying the fungus with bleach will not get rid of all of the spores, so ask an expert for help. Mold cleanup is a process that includes inspection, containment, air filtration and removal of contaminated materials. While extensive, this process ensures that the job is done right.
Any type of mold, not just black mold, is a concern, but by understanding the fungus, you have already taken the first step to keeping it out of your business.

3 Tips To Keep Your Property’s Pipes From Freezing

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Icicles hanging from a frozen water jets, tube, yellow pipe. aged wall background. winter time concept Prevent water damage from frozen pipes in your business

3 Tips To Keep Your Property’s Pipes From Freezing

The last thing you want as a business owner is to open your building on a cold morning and find that your pipes have frozen. Preventing water damage from frozen pipes means being proactive and readying your facility for the oncoming winter in Bethel, PA.

1. Check Your Valves
Shut-off valves are the fastest way to stop water flow, so they need to be checked to make sure they are operating properly and can be shut off quickly in case of an emergency. They are your first line of defense against flooding and help minimize water cleanup for the commercial restoration company you hire for repairs. Inspect valves on your property weekly and repair or replace any that are showing signs of wear.

2. Inspections
Routine inspections will keep your pipes flowing and more fortified from extreme cold. Inspect your plumbing system regularly for any leaks or corrosion. Making these small repairs will help keep your pipes strong in the winter and water damage at bay.
Autumn roof and HVAC system inspections are important, too. Plumbing runs throughout your building, so having your roof in good condition will help keep the cold weather away from them. Testing your HVAC system ensures that while the roof is protecting your pipes, your furnace can keep them warm. Your facility should be kept above 50 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce the risk of freezing.

3. Protect External Pipes
Remember that you might have pipes that run outside of your facility or in indoor areas that are not heated. To avoid broken pipes in these places, insulate them yourself with pipe insulation that can be found at almost any hardware store, or you can hire a plumbing expert to help you.
Water damage is a problem anytime during the year, but even more so in the winter. By being prepared, you can protect your pipes from the bitter cold and keep your facility up and running.

3 Things You Need To Make a Fire Claim

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

chair and furniture in room after burned by fire in burn scene Content damaged by fire in a Forks Township, PA home

3 Things You Need To Make a Fire Claim

Most homeowners insurance companies have the same general requirements for making a claim in the wake of fire damage to a home in Forks Township, PA. No matter who insures your home, homeowners or residents should take the following measures to ensure that most of the costs of cleanup and fire restoration can be offset when a claim is settled.

1. Proof of Damage
Taking photos or recording videos that show the full extent of damage is an essential step toward making a fire insurance claim. It may be particularly helpful to be able to present footage of the same portions of a home intact prior to the fire. Some property owners get in the habit of making recordings every year or six months to support any insurance claims that may ensue.

2. A List of Losses
A list of items that indicates the condition and that is paired with proof of purchase can facilitate the claim settlement process. In some cases, it may be helpful to seek the professional opinion of content restoration specialists with regard to items that could be good candidates for cleaning and restoration.

3. A Fire Restoration Estimate
An expert calculation of the cost of restoring fire damage and additional measures such as smoke cleaning is helpful when making a claim. For the best results, homeowners may want to schedule an inspection with a restoration company that is a preferred vendor for many insurers.
As you prepare to make a fire damage claim, it can be helpful to document damage in photographic or video format, list items along with their condition, gather proof of purchase and get a professional estimate for cleaning and fire restoration costs. No matter which insurer holds a homeowners policy for a residence in Forks Township, PA, these measures can be helpful for covering more of the cost of cleaning and restoring damage.

How To Stop Mold From Spreading

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Stairs of a basement, mold growth on basement walls Mold damage in a Pen Argyl, PA home

As a homeowner, the last thing you want to see is black mold in your Pen Argyl, PA, house. Mold spores feed on fibers and plants, and they can grow on your home's building materials and furniture. Spreading mold can thus cause thousands of dollars' worth of damage.
The trick is to stop the mold before it spreads. Below are some tips for doing so.

How Mold Grows

First, you need to understand how mold multiplies. Mold is a fungus that travels in the air via spores. The spores then breed on organic surfaces, including:

  • Dirt
  • Leather
  • Soap scum
  • Paper

Mold grows particularly quickly in warm and wet areas. The fungus is thus particularly common in damp areas of the home, such as the basement, attic and bathroom.
Mold also appears most frequently when the temperature is between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. However, mold can grow when it is as warm as 95 degrees or as cold as 32 degrees.

How Mold Infestations Occur
Since mold spores move through the air, a small area of mold can quickly become a larger problem. You should thus try to eliminate the mold as soon as possible. However, using improper techniques can make the issue worse by spreading mold throughout the rest of your house.
You should thus contact mold remediation specialists as soon as you see evidence of the fungus. Professionals will know the proper way to contain and remove the mold.
Since mold thrives in wet locations, mold infestations are typically evidence of a moisture problem. To stop the mold from multiplying, you should find and eliminate the source of the water. Restoration professionals can usually help you with this task, as well.
Even a small amount of mold in your home can quickly multiple and destroy your house. If you find this fungus in your residence, contact professionals who can address the problem without spreading mold.

How To Handle Water in Your Light Fixtures

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

Water in a light fixture If you ever suspect water in light fixtures, call professionals immediately to fix the problem

After enduring a heavy rain storm in Easton, PA, it's important to inspect your home for damage. Many water leaks remain hidden in the ceiling or inside the walls. These hidden leaks usually don't become visible until severe damage has already taken place. Water in light fixtures isn't something you would normally look for after a storm. If left unattended, however, it can cause serious damage to your home.

How To Handle Water in Your Light Fixtures

If you spot water in any of your home's lighting fixtures, you must act immediately.

Shut off the electricity - Turn off the electricity at the breaker box. Verify that the electricity is off by testing a dry electrical source. A voltage tester that is designed for non-contact use is ideal.
Turn off the water supply - If you know that the water is coming from a pipe that is broken or leaking, shut off the water at the main shutoff valve.
Contact a plumber - Call a professional right away to determine the cause of the leak and to repair the problem.
Call an electrician - It is critical to contact an electrician when you spot water in light fixtures. The expert is trained to remove the damaged fixture and replace it with a new model.

If water has caused damage in your home, you must contact a water damage repair service to assess the damage. The professional provides the tools and equipment necessary to repair and restore your property and belongings.

What Causes Water To Pool in Light Fixtures?
A faulty roof is the main cause for concern. When water leaks through the damaged roofing materials during a storm, it eventually makes its way through the ceiling and into light fixtures and ceiling materials. Visible ceiling damage leaves a stain or discoloration on the ceiling materials.
If you ever suspect water in light fixtures, call professionals immediately to fix the problem and restore your home.

Don’t Let a Power Outage Halt Your Business

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Broken snapped wooden power line post with electrical components on the ground after a storm An unexpected power outage could potentially result in devastating consequences

What To Do If There's An Unexpected Power Outage?

Your business might typically run like a well-oiled machine, but what happens if the power goes out? An unexpected power outage could potentially result in devastating consequences like losing important documents, hardware or income, in general. Prepare your business well in advance to keep operations running as smoothly as possible.

1. Cloud Backup
An automatic cloud backup solution can protect essential files, whether there’s a power surge, outage or a computer malfunction. By choosing an automated backup solution, you don’t have to remember to back up; you can set it to perform backups multiple times each day. If anything happens, you’re easily able to recover valuable information you could’ve otherwise lost.

2. Generator
A commercial standby generator is an excellent option for defeating an electrical interruption, especially if it’s for an extended time. You could also get a portable generator. Your business needs to keep running as normal as possible. A generator will allow that to happen. Generators are usually powered by propane or natural gas. They can immediately switch on automatically when your power goes out. Generators can be pricey, but they can prove to be well worth the investment in the long run.

3. Computer Backup Battery
Storm damage can often cause an unexpected power outage that can potentially last for days. You can still keep at least your most essential business operations running until its return. It may not be ideal, but getting a backup battery for your computer(s) is a good solution for keeping things going until restoration professionals arrive on the scene.

4. Mobile Hotspot
Setting a mobile hotspot will allow you to connect multiple devices to the internet via your cellular network. It may not be as fast as your office internet, but it’ll be a good option until the internet returns.
Prepare your Wind Gap, PA, workplace as much as possible before a power outage occurs. It could mean the difference between continuing company operations or losing valuable business.

Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Insulation for pipes Insulating exposed pipes is a good way to prevent them from freezing

As the temperature drops, many businesses will experience water damage from ruptured pipes. Keeping the pipes at your Easton, PA, commercial property from freezing is key to protecting your business this winter.

How To Prevent Frozen Pipes

Some pipes are more vulnerable to freezing than others. Any uninsulated pipe in an unheated area is at high risk. Pay close attention to pipes in the following areas:

  • Exterior walls
  • Basements
  • Cabinets

Insulating exposed pipes is a good way to prevent them from freezing. In other cases, you can insulate the room where the pipes are located to help minimize temperature variance.
Sometimes the temperature drops quickly, and business owners find themselves scrambling to prevent water damage from broken pipes. If you haven’t had time to properly insulate exposed pipes, newspaper or towels can act as temporary insulation. Leave cabinet doors open to allow heat to reach those pipes. Don’t lower the thermostat at night, and consider letting warm water run through the pipes overnight.

How To Thaw Frozen Pipes
If you notice that water pressure is low, you may have a frozen pipe. The first thing you will need to do is locate the frozen pipe. Turning on all the faucets in the business and seeing which ones have weak or no water flow can help you narrow down the potentially frozen pipes. Leave the affected faucet(s) on while you work. Check the most vulnerable, i.e., coldest, areas first. Remember that there may be multiple frozen pipes. When you have located the affected pipe, you can thaw it out using a hair dryer. Other heat sources, such as heating pads, will also work. Be sure not to use a heat source with an open flame.
Having a plan to thaw out frozen pipes and prevent freezing in the first place is important for all business owners. Unfortunately, there are times when pipes do burst and cause water damage. In those cases, a certified restoration service can help with the water cleanup.