Alternatives to Chemical Drain Cleaners
Try removing the material with mechanical or organic methods before using chemicals
Most residents in Lafayette, LA, have experienced a slow or clogged drain. Hair, dirt, and food can bind to soap on drainpipe walls, building up over time and slowing water flow. If your drain is slow or completely blocked, chemical drain products are good to use as a last resort, but other cleaning methods should be tried first.
Types of Chemical Cleaners
The three types of chemical drain cleaner products are:
Acid: muriatic and sulfuric acids
Caustic: lye and caustic potash
Oxidizing: bleach, nitrate and peroxides
These chemicals open drains by producing heat that breaks down the clog until it is flushed.
Side Effects of Chemical Drain Cleaning Products
The heat produced by chemical cleaners can warp pipes made of softer materials like plastic or older metal that has weakened over time. If chemicals are used on a completely clogged drain, they can sit on the pipes long enough to cause them to weaken or break.
If the clog contains fat, oil, or grease, the chemicals cause the material to move down the drain to another location, creating a blockage down the line. These clogs can still be cleared, but it may be necessary for you to call a professional service to remove them.
What To Try Before Using Chemicals
You can try removing the clog mechanically by using a plunger or drain snake. If those options don't open the drain, you can try an enzymatic drain cleaner. It contains live bacteria or enzymes that feed on the clog's organic materials, breaking them down. The beneficial bacteria will reproduce and populate your plumbing system.
If your drain clog has caused damage, a company specializing in water damage repair can help you with sewage cleaning or mold removal.
Next time you have drain problems, try removing the material with mechanical or organic methods before using chemicals. If you decide to use chemicals on a clogged drain, be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
Follow These 3 Tips When Dealing With Smoke-Damaged Electronics
How does smoke damage electronics
Follow These 3 Tips When Dealing With Smoke-Damaged Electronics
Computers, phones, and other electronic devices are important to any modern business operating in Lafayette, LA. The smoke from an electrical fire can severely damage this equipment and potentially affect your income. If these devices are only partially affected, you can still salvage them by cleaning them. The following tips can help you restore these items without increasing the existing damage.
1. Depower the Affected Devices
The greatest priority during the cleaning process is safety. The components inside the items can harm you and others if the damage is not cleaned carefully. The best method to ensure everyone's wellbeing is to turn off and unplug all the smoke-damaged devices. If they are turned on while they are open, electricity on the inner components can hurt others. Additionally, if you try to activate them before they are completely clean, they can get permanently damaged.
2. Remove the Memory
An electrical fire does not necessarily mean a complete loss to your business. If the devices still have their hard drives intact, the information they hold is still safe. You should locate and remove the hard drives before the computer cleanup. Once you retrieve them, transfer the memory to other computers so you can still access it until the original devices are fixed.
3. Contact the Professionals
The smoke damage can be more complex than you might anticipate. The film residue can cause the devices to overheat, while the leftover magnetic charge can short circuit them. The soot's acidic nature can also deteriorate the components. If you lack the resources to fix the problem effectively, it is best to contact fire damage remediation professionals. These employees know the appropriate methods and use the right equipment to repair damaged commercial equipment.
As a business owner, you can appreciate how important electronics are to accomplish major tasks. If the smoke and soot from an electrical fire impact your computers and appliances, follow these tips to prevent further damage before the experts arrive.
3 Reasons Flood Cuts Are Essential
Flood cuts performed in a Lafayette, LA home
Here Are Three Reasons To Take This Step
Flooding from external sources such as rivers and storms exposes the household structure to category three fluids. This liquid, fraught with waste and microscopic organisms, takes a sanitary space and turns it into a host for undesirable and hazardous spore development. To effectively eliminate the contamination, a water restoration company in Lafayette, LA should perform a flood cut, removing at least two to three feet of drywall above the flood line. While this may seem excessive, it is done with the best of intentions, putting safety first.
1. Lingering Moisture Encourages Growth
Why is tear out so important? Dampness is more than excess water. It is a catalyst for fungus and mildew growth. The water triggers the spores to reproduce quickly, multiplying within days. If the wetness persists for longer periods of time, then the contamination gets out of hand, requiring additional treatment.
2. Bleach Is Only a Surface Killer
While it's tempting to rely on household cleaners such as bleach to sanitize spaces impacted by flooding, it isn't necessarily the best practice. These solutions are effective on non-porous surfaces; they do not function on internal infestations. Spraying or washing, therefore, with a home cleaning solution creates a false sense of security. Homeowners see the external signs disappear, yet the growth is still persisting inside the object. Over time, it continues to develop, spreading to other locations.
3. Reduce Overhead and Worry
The contamination is there, lurking beneath the surface; thus, leaving exposed materials is simply allowing the place to host more growth. A flood cut is a form of reassurance, allowing residents to know that the spores' levels are reduced and mold is of the property.
When flooding is a concern, focus on things that eradicate spores. That includes allowing professional services to perform flood cuts. After all, this measure is an important tool in minimizing exposure levels and mitigating growth.
Mold Cleaning Standard: Does One Exist?
The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA has a set of guidelines called Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings
Are There Mold Standards?
Mold has a foothold in every building, regardless of whether there is visible growth or not. Businesses are just as vulnerable to the incursion of the ubiquitous fungus as any other structure. Because mold can over time degrade just about any construction material, thus posing a risk to the structural integrity of buildings, business owners who discover mold generally contract with a professional restoration and cleanup company in Lafayette, LA, to do a full mold clean. It is impossible to completely remove black mold and other molds, so how do these professionals determine if they have completed their job?
The U.S. does not currently have set federal mold standards or codes for remediation in buildings. However, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has a set of guidelines called Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. The recommendations in this are currently accepted as the standard for commercial buildings, though they are not regulations. It specifies worker protection for three action levels for clean water mold growth:
- The affected area is less than 10 square feet
- The affected area is between 10 and 100 square feet
- The affected area is greater than 100 square feet
It also provides counsel on different cleaning techniques and other relevant information.
While the EPA documents are popular, they are not the only ones used. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has a set of personal protective equipment and work practice suggestions for mold cleanup. These may also be used by industry professionals when handling commercial buildings.
The non-profit Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or the IICRC, is in charge of certification for the cleaning and restoration industry. Not all states require certification for mold remediation, but many do. The "IICRC S520 Standard for and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation" (whichever edition is most recent) is its standard for mold remediation.
Though the federal government has not released official mold standards, there are guidelines to adhere to. These guidelines are released by trusted organizations like the EPA, OSHA and the IICRC and are usually followed by professionals.
Ways To Save Water in Your Commercial Building
Monitoring your water meter is the best way to catch a troublesome area
Ways To Save Water in Your Commercial Building
Owning a commercial property comes with a lot of expenses, and many of them aren't completely under your control. Unless everyone who works in your building in Lafayette, LA is committed to water conservation, your utility bill may be higher than you expect. You can still take some steps, however, to address water issues and reduce the overall amount used.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Start by simply choosing appliances that require less water usage. Check the energy rating on several appliances in your break room and throughout the building:
- Water fountain
When you look for ways to reduce consumption at the source, you can lower your usage overall.
The public restroom is probably your number one culprit for water waste. You may have lost count of the number of times you have walked in to discover that a faucet has been left on or a toilet is still running. The cost of touch-free options or another water upgrade may seem daunting at first, but they are likely to pay for themselves within months by helping you overcome the water issues that lead to high utility bills.
You should always know how much water you are using in your building. Monitoring your water meter is the best way to catch a troublesome area. It's also a good idea to keep your outside irrigation and your internal water usage on separate meters so that you can more easily identify where the waste is coming from.
If you discover that your meter is running higher than usual, this could be an indication that you have a leak somewhere. Call your plumber to fix the problem and contact water damage specialists to mitigate any issues caused by the leak.
Keeping track of your building's water issues is only one way to lower your utility bill. By employing multiple strategies, you can reduce your water usage and cost.
4 Easy Steps To Operate a Fire Extinguisher
Proper Operation Techniques Can Be Learned In Just A Few Moments
Fires spring up suddenly in homes every day. A couple of inexpensive and easy-to-use tools can protect your family from the damaging effects of fire and reduce the damage to your property. Fire alarms should be installed throughout your home in Lafayette, LA, and they should be tested a couple of times a year to ensure they are working properly. A fire extinguisher or two should also be in every home. Just as importantly, every person in the home 10 years or older should know how to use the device.
1. Pull the pin - Nearly every fire extinguisher will be equipped with a pin or tamper seal to make certain the device does not prematurely discharge. The first order of business is to pull the pin or break the tamper seal.
2. Aim the extinguisher - You do not want to aim the device at the top of the flames. Rather you want to aim low at the fire's base. This will be the most effective way to put the fire out quickly and limit fire damage to your home. Some models have a hose while others have a short nozzle.
3. Squeeze the trigger - Now you are ready to discharge the contents of the extinguisher. Just squeeze the handle and the extinguishing agents will come rushing out.
4. Sweep the area - While the contents are being discharged, be sure to sweep across the base of the fire, moving from side to side. This is the most effective motion whether you are dealing with a kitchen fire or another type of blaze.
Learning how to properly use a fire extinguisher strengthens your household's response to a fire. Developing a relationship with a fire mitigation team in your area is also a good idea. This allows you to call for restoration help if you do experience a fire in your home.
Top 4 Mold FAQs
Mold damage after flood
Top 4 Mold FAQs
Mold growth is an extremely common issue that the vast majority of homeowners do have to deal with at some point. Ensuring that you take care of the problem quickly and effectively is the best way to prevent a tiny mold problem from spiraling out of control. Read on to have some of your common questions answered, especially if you suspect that your Lafayette, LA, home is suffering from a mold issue.
1. Where is Mold Commonly Found?
Mold thrives in damp, dark places. This means that rooms, such as your kitchen, bathroom, garage and basement are all especially susceptible to unwanted mold. Any areas in your home that have recently suffered some type of water damage are also at risk.
2. How Can You Tell Whether You Have a Mold Problem?
You can usually spot mold with the naked eye. Black mold, one of the most common residential varieties, looks like a dark black or green stain that spreads across the surface of an object. A musty or dank smell is also a good indication of a mold presence.
3. How Can You Prevent Mold Growth?
Keeping your home as clean and dry as possible is the best way to prevent a mold issue. This involves cleaning spills and leaks as soon as they occur, ensuring your home doesn't suffer from high humidity levels and properly ventilating your home to prevent condensation from building up. Performing regular mold inspections can also help you catch the issues while they're still small.
4. Does Mold Go Away By Itself?
Mold is a living organism, so it's natural to assume that you'd be able to get rid of it simply by depriving it of its vital nutrients. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Cutting off the mold's access to water and organic matter could potentially halt its spread, but it won't kill the existing mold.
It's important that you address a mold issue swiftly and effectively in order to prevent the situation from becoming worse. If you discover unwanted mold growth in your home, make sure to contact mold remediation experts immediately.
4 Steps To Take After a Pipe Bursts
First, shut off the water
There Are Several Things You Can Do To Minimize Water Damage
There are a variety of reasons for a pipe to burst, including freezing, tree root invasion, corrosion, clogs and compromised structural integrity. No homeowner wants the unexpected shock of bursting pipes. Water spreads quickly and causes major damage to anything in its path. If you find your Lafayette, LA, home suddenly under water due to a bursting pipe, there are several things you can do to minimize water damage.
1. Shut Off the Water
First, shut off the water. You don’t want additional water accumulating so turn it off as soon as possible. You’ll need to locate where the water main shutoff valve is located. It’s also prudent to open a water faucet to relieve any remaining pressure in the pipes.
2. Call a Cleanup Company
Quick action is necessary to reduce damage from bursting pipes. Call a restoration company to help clean up, repair and restore your home. SERVPRO of Lafayette, LA, is Faster to Any Size Disaster and can use the right equipment and techniques to clean your home. Employing the services of professional restoration specialists can also help prevent mold and secondary damage.
3. Get Rid of Water
While you’re waiting for the restoration company to arrive, begin removing excess water. You can use a mop, buckets or shop vacuum to suck up the water. Be sure to remove any cushions and upholstery if possible. If it’s not conceivable to move heavy furniture, place wood blocks underneath to lift it off the wet carpet. Wipe off wood furniture and remove rugs, art pieces and other loose items.
4. Call a Plumber
You’ll need to fix broken pipe issues once the mess has been cleaned up. Call a plumber who has the tools and experience to correctly fix the pipe. Attempting to repair plumbing problems without experience can result in future problems.
Bursting pipes are never convenient. Fortunately, restoration companies are available 24/7 to assist with emergencies.
4 Methods To Prevent Urban Flooding
Plants are natural water absorbers, so a green roof reduces runoff
Four Methods Being Used In Urban Areas To Stop Flooding
Business owners in Lafayette, LA, know that high water entering a property from flooding is an eventual possibility. While the cleanup by a water damage and restoration company can make it “Like it never even happened,” preventing it from happening is more ideal. Keeping sandbags or having a barrier system may reduce the impact, but a largescale system is a key to reducing the high cost of a citywide event.
1. Rainwater Harvesting
Once heavy rains come, they create dirty and polluted stormwater. Instead of letting the water flow down buildings and into streets, many cities have installed systems to collect and store it. Massive tanks can hold thousands of gallons, which can then be used for flushing toilets, irrigating gardens and fighting fires.
2. Permeable Surfaces
A trending more modern flood prevention method is the use of permeable, or porous, pavement. During a storm, the rainwater runs over streets and sidewalks and heads straight for the sewer drains. Porous pavement works to absorb some of the rain, which then gets filtered through the layer of dirt and rock below it. An additional benefit is that this kind of pavement is easier to maintain.
3. Upgraded Sewer Systems
A common cause of high water is a sewer system pushed beyond its capacity. In many cities, the systems are old and have traditional piping that is prone to rust and corrosion. To deter flooding, systems are being upgraded with modern materials and methods to better separate rainwater from the sewer water.
4. Green Roofs
Water brings life, so many cities are encouraging building owners to turn dark, heat-absorbing, rain-collecting roofs into lively green spaces. Covering the roof with vegetation can decrease the overall heat of a city and foliage thrives on rainstorms. Plants are natural water absorbers, so a green roof reduces runoff.
Although high water from flooding is a common issue, new methods and materials are being used to reduce the problem and minimize the damage it can cause.
What Does Commercial Property insurance Cover?
Commercial fire damage
As a business owner, you want to be sure your business in Lafayette, LA, is adequately protected -- but navigating the world of commercial insurance options can be overwhelming. Commercial property insurance is one of the main coverage types that most businesses need.
Commercial property insurance policies cover damage to your business’s physical property caused by fire or other disasters. For example, if a fire broke out at your business, commercial property insurance would cover the costs of building repairs and fire damage restoration. You need this type of insurance if you own or rent a building for your business, including home-based businesses.
In addition to buildings, commercial property policies usually cover other physical assets, such as:
- Tools and equipment
- Parking and/or storage facilities
- Signs and fences
- Valuable documents and records
- Leased items, such as furniture, copiers, or phone systems
What’s Not Covered?
Commercial property insurance is one of the three major types of commercial insurance that most businesses need. It’s frequently bundled with commercial liability insurance, which covers damage to someone else’s property that is caused by you or by someone working for you, and business interruption insurance, which covers lost income and expenses while your business is closed for repairs due to a covered peril. Anything that would typically be covered under one of these other types of insurance is generally excluded from coverage under a commercial property policy.
Commercial property policies also frequently contain exclusions for:
- Damage due to certain perils, such as floods
- Intentional damage
- Damage which occurred while the property was controlled by a tenant
- Damage at other business locations
- Anything involving company vehicles
All insurance policies are different, so it’s important to review your commercial insurance policy documents carefully and to contact your agent with any questions about coverage. Commercial property insurance is an important part of the overall coverage you need to fully protect your business.