How To Locate Your Water Shut-Off Valve
It’s important to know where your main water shut-off valve is in case of an emergency. If a pipe bursts, dishwasher fails or a toilet overflows, shutting off the water can significantly reduce water damage. It is also an excellent idea to turn off your water if you are leaving for an extended amount of time. Keep in mind; if the water has been off for a long time, open all the faucets in your home before turning the main water shut-off valve back on. In some cases, the surge of water in empty pipes may damage plumbing or faucet.
The locations of your water shut-off valves vary depending on your geographical location, water source and type of residence. Unfortunately, shut-off valves aren’t always obvious and its important to know their location before a disaster strikes. Utilize the tips below to locate your water shut-off valves.
How to Find Water Shut-off Valves
There are multiple shut-off valves in a house – typically one for each of your appliances that uses water and a main shut-off valve for the entire house. You can usually find shut-off knobs for your toilet, sink or washing machine behind the units or under the sink. If your toilet is about to overflow, don’t waste time by running around looking for the main water shut-off valve – simply turn the water shut-off knob behind the toilet.
Well Water (Main) Shut-off Valve
Wells usually have two main shut-off valves: There is a valve that goes from the well to the pressure tank and another valve from the pressure tank to your plumbing. Shut-off both valves if you are concerned about frozen pipes. .
Pressure tanks may be in the basement, garage or closet. To find the pressure tank shut-off valve, look for a valve or knob near the tank. The shut-off valve is usually connected to the same pipe that has the pressure gauge on it.
The well is usually located near the pressure tank but may be outside in a small well house or elsewhere. The well shut-off valve should be near the well or even in a small utility box buried in the ground near the well. If multiple valves are visible, only turn one at a time, and then check the corresponding faucet to see if it worked. Once you have found the right valve, mark it for future reference. You can also trip the circuit breaker to the well to temporarily deactivate the well pump.
City Water (Main) Shut-off Valve
In colder climates this main is usually located in your home’s utility room, along with the furnace or water heater. The main shut-off valve should be on the largest water pipe in this area. Look for pipes that lead directly out of the foundation toward the street.
In warm climates you may find the shut-off valve in a plastic or concrete utility box in the ground toward the front of your house, near the street and sometimes can be covered by dirt.
Did You Find the Shut-off Valve Too Late?
If water damage has occurred call SERVPRO of Edmonds at 425-775-5723 and our team will respond immediately. If you would like a complimentary water shut-off tag for your property one of our friendly staff members will send you one to your home or business.
Choose A Professional For Biohazard Cleaning
Have you experienced a trauma in your business or home that needs cleaning? Are you unsure of what steps to take? Our team at SERVPRO of Edmonds is well versed in these unfortunate situations. It is not a good idea for those who aren’t properly trained to clean a trauma scene, especially without proper personal protective equipment (PPE). SERVPRO of Edmonds is well-educated on handling biohazard infectious waste such as vomit, feces, and blood. Our team knows not to risk cross-contamination and follows all safety guidelines for appropriate disposal.
SERVPRO of Edmonds takes extreme caution with biohazards, and is trained on various precautions including needlestick prevention, biohazard control, bloodborne pathogens, and disposal, as well as universal OSHA precautions.
Our professionals clean, disinfect, and deodorize the commercial (or residential) area following an accident. We also dispose of bio-hazardous waste in accordance with health and OSHA regulations as well as federal, state and/or local regulations.
Our team understands that commercial biohazard, trauma, and crime scene cleanup is not an easy task and requires specialized equipment and appropriate certifications. Our Biohazard Project Managers assesses, decontaminates, and monitors medical waste in a wide variety of different situations, from industrial accidents to infectious disease, viral, and microbial site decontamination.
Biohazard cleaning can be an emotional situation. When in doubt leave it to the professionals. If you have additional questions about biohazard cleaning call SERVPRO of Edmonds at 425-775-5723 to speak with an experienced professional.
Handling A Power Outage
Are you ready if the electricity goes out? Prepare now to make sure you stay safe and are ready for the unexpected. Power outages can influence the whole community and economy by disrupting communication, water and transportation. Many businesses face closure, even gas stations, banks and ATMs are not able to function. Other issues include water contamination, food spoilage and unavailability of certain medical devices. Check out our list of recommendations on what to do during a power outage;
- Make a list of anything you need that uses electricity; plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
- Plan if you have medication that needs to be refrigerated. Talk to your doctor about what to do with medicine if you lose power.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers closed. Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
- Make sure to have a flashlight and extra batteries at home so that you can see where you’re going and what you’re doing.
- Have enough non-perishable food and water for your family.
- Keep your mobile phone charged and consider investing in a back-up battery if you don’t already have one.
- Keep your gas tank full to make getting around easy. Consider checking on your neighbors, especially elderly or those with special needs.
- Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
- Do not use a gas stove to heat your home, if safe go to an alternative location to stay warm.
- Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports.
Contact SERVPRO of Edmonds at 425-775-5723 if you would like more information on preparedness procedures for your home or business. We are available 24/7 365 days a year to serve our community!
How Does Fire Damage Affect Electronic Devices?
From an electrical fire to unattended food on the stove, there are many ways a commercial or residential building can catch fire. Once the fire is put out, you should immediately turn your thoughts to how you are going to clean and restore. You likely have valuable computers, appliances and other electronics around your business or home, and you want to make an attempt to salvage anything.
Personal electronics can be significantly damaged following a fire. Some common examples of these include:
• Cell phones
• Laptops/ Desktops
One sign of damage you will instantly notice is if there is any deterioration to the overall structure. High temperatures create stress the metal components, causing them to warp and melt. In addition to fixing the structure, you need to make sure the item still performs its desired function.
Another part of computer cleanup after a fire is seeing if anything sustained water damage. Firefighters will use water to put out an out-of-control flame, but this water can damage certain items. You want to avoid turning on the item before having someone look at it. If you turn it on while water is still in the system, then it could short circuit.
Chemical Residue Damage
Soot is a highly hazardous product. It contains various acids that can wear away metals. You also need to pursue remediation so that your workers can stay safe from these potentially dangerous materials. Touching an acid-soaked item could result in complications.
The best thing to do is to not utilize electronics until professionals have a chance to look at them. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to salvage many electronic items following an electrical fire. You just need to be patient and have the right professionals to guide you such as the team at SERVPRO of Edmonds.
Visit us for more on fire at http://www.SERVPROedmonds.com.
First Aid and CPR Training In the Workplace
The importance of First Aid and CPR Training in the workplace could save a life, make sure your employees know this essential function!
As emergency responders SERVPRO of Edmonds experiences daily the importance of a rapid and efficient response. Life can change in a matter of minutes which is why we know the best way to expect the unexpected is to be prepared. What better way to celebrate preparedness than to certify our employees in CPR and First Aid training?
We teamed up with one of our favorite associations; PHCCWA (Plumbing Heating and Cooling Contractors of Washington) to host a CRP and First Aid class at our facility in Lynnwood. Many of our association members and our team members attended to renew their certifications.
We think CRP and First Aid training is important in the work place for many reasons;
- Having trained employees can make a substantial difference in your ability to maintain a safe work environment. They will be able to respond more quickly and effectively when medical emergencies occur.
- This training and knowledge provides a sense of security and promotes a more confident work environment.
- As staff becomes more prepared and responsive – they also become more aware of their surroundings and more likely to spot potential hazards. This inspires a ‘safety culture’.
- 25% of all emergency room visits can be avoided with basic first aid and CPR certification.
- Safety precautions and preparedness applies to ANY industry of ANY size.
There are many local resources that can help you get CPR and First Aid Certified such as The Red Cross or local Fire Stations. Call SERVPRO of Edmonds and speak to one of our Marketing Specialists to learn more about how you can be personally prepared; 425-775-5723.
Tips For Handling Commercial Water Damage
Broken pipes are a common problem that many businesses face. When you deal with water damage from a burst pipe, it is easy to become overwhelmed. The cost, the water cleanup and business closure are just a few of the many things that you have to worry about. To avoid more stress, keep calm and follow these tips to handle your commercial water damage.
1. Shut Off the Water
In the case of a burst pipe, it might look like the water is never going to stop flooding your business. If you can locate the water source, turn it off. Once the water stops, you can assess the flood.
2. Remove Extra Water
If you can, try to remove as much excess water as possible. Do not attempt to clean up the water yourself if it is too deep or contaminated, but mop up any excess clean water.
3. Protect Furniture Legs
If your carpeting is damp, the legs of your furniture are also in contact with water. Water damage can be extensive and irreversible to wooden furniture. You can use blocks or sheets of aluminum foil to protect your furniture from the water. To do this, place the wood or foil beneath the legs of your tables or chairs.
4. Turn Off the HVAC System
In the event of a water issue turn off your HVAC system in case it was compromised. Ducts should be inspected by a HVAC professional. You may need a duct cleaning as part of your service.
5. Remove Carpeting
Carpets and rugs are difficult to dry. Your best option is to hang rugs out to dry in the sun. Sometimes water damage can make rugs unusable. In this case, it is best to throw them out.
When your Edmonds, WA business floods, it can feel overwhelming. These steps should help ease some of your stress and we are always here to help!
The Aftermath of A Fire In Your Home
- Ask whether it is safe to enter the home. Do not enter if the authorities deem it unsafe. They may establish a safety zone, but never assume a room is safe until it has been cleared to enter. Respect yellow tape and wear a dust mask to prevent inhalation of particulates in the air.
- Call and Inform Appropriate Contacts.
- Contact family members and let them know you are safe, and unharmed.
- Contact your insurance agent. They will be able to talk you through the necessary steps, including proper documentation and emergency lodging expenses (keep all of your receipts!) At this point the insurance company may assist in securing a company to help with clean up options.
- You may request SERVPRO at this time for restoration services.
- Another call may be to your landlord or property manager if applicable, and to your local American Red Cross who may provide additional resources.
- Secure the property to prevent possible looting. SERVPRO is available to assist with securing property/ Board Ups.
- If water hoses were used to exterminate the fire, drying your home is critical. It is best to call the professionals at SERVPRO to assist with professional water and fire cleaning. Water can lead to mold damage if not dried properly. Our team is an approved restoration contractor for many major insurance carriers and adheres to the highest standards in the restoration industry.
- Seek counseling if needed. Children and adults can feel a traumatic sense of loss, and sometimes need help to avoid a lasting sense of sadness and disorientation after a house fire. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A house fire is a traumatic event and individuals need to be treated with respect and compassion by those close to the process.
- For more information on contents and structural drying, smoke and soot removal call SERVPRO of Edmonds at 425-775-5723.
Household Inventory Lists for Insurance Purposes
If you experience a fire in your home these items of high monetary value are among the most difficult to replace if stolen or destroyed. Be sure to save receipts and/or take detailed pictures for these high-ticket items. Include them in your home inventory for insurance purposes.
- Electronics & Appliances: Electronics and appliances are among the most sensitive and easily damaged items in your home in the event of mishap. They are also among the most sought-after by thieves.
- Stereo equipment
- Game systems
- Streaming devices
- Computers, tablets & laptops
- Home office equipment (printers/scanner/fax)
- HVAC equipment
- Toaster/Toaster oven
- Water heater
- Power tools
- Lawn equipment
- Furniture: People rely on your furniture daily, yet few give consideration to the astronomical cost of replacing an entire household worth of furniture until it’s gone. Be certain to include in your home inventory checklist the following high-value furniture items:
- Cabinets & contents
- Furniture & storage
- Tables & chairs
- Dressers, armoires
- Jewelry & Costly Clothing: Not all policies cover high-dollar jewelry. Check your coverage limit carefully for terms. And be sure to have jewelry items appraised regularly, preferably annually, to ensure an accurate representation of their current price.
- Wedding rings
- Necklaces & bracelets
- Broaches & pendants
- Collectables: These items should also be appraised regularly at a reputable establishment to ensure an accurate representation of their current price and the need for additional insurance coverage as they go up in value.
- Firearms: Homeowners and renters insurance also typically includes coverage for guns, from standard hunting rifles to collectables and antiques.
How Will Your Items Be Valued?
Items on your home inventory checklist will be valued in one of three ways depending on your coverage rules, so be sure to read over your policy carefully.
- Cash value: Replacement cost minus depreciation (think: garage sale prices).
- Replacement value: The amount you’d pay to replace your belongings at the time of loss (today’s retail prices).
- Appraised value: Typically used for one-of-a-kind antiques and valuables, which have been appraised and documented via your home inventory template.
Preventative Maintenance Checklist
Preventive maintenance is an important part of facilities management. The goal of a successful preventive maintenance program is to establish consistent practices designed to improve the performance and safety of the equipment at your property. SERVPRO of Edmonds encourages you to create a maintenance plan which will help lessen the risk of unexpected issues at your property that could lead to water, mold or sewage damage.
The planned maintenance of equipment will help to improve equipment life and avoid any unplanned maintenance activity. A successful preventive maintenance program is dependent on the cooperation of all the parties involved. Managers must rely on the knowledge, ideas, and contributions of all the maintenance personnel at the property.
Maintenance Checklist to consider;
Annual Fire extinguisher service
Dryer vent cleaning
Community HVAC Systems maintenance
Fire suppression systems
Backflow prevention valves for irrigation and sprinkler
Groundwater sump pump cleaning and service
Drain line cleaning
Storm water catch basins
Consider top to bottom coverage of your building;
Roof maintenance and cleaning
Gutters and downspouts
Siding, review for cracks, chipping, peeling, sealant failure and adhesive failure. Buried siding at ground level, trims and whitewood (dry-rot) decay.
Decks, clean surfaces yearly and watch for bubbling cracks and decay
Windows, flush sill tracks, check failing sealant
Parking garages, review for cracks and water leaks
Walkways should be reviewed for cracks and trip hazards, check for moss and algae
If you encounter a maintenance emergency call SERVPRO of Edmonds at 425-775-5723 for assistance, we are available 24/7.
Steps to Take For a Toilet Overflow
Flooding caused by a malfunctioning toilet is a very stressful situation. To mitigate risk of damage to your bathroom floors or walls here is a list of steps to go through while you wait for a plumber or water mitigation company to arrive;
1. Stop the Overflow
Remove the lid of the toilet and lift the float. As you do this, ask someone else to shut off the water valve just behind the toilet. To do this, the other person will need to turn the valve clockwise.
2. Mop the Excess
Once the flooded toilet has stopped leaking, you can begin to mop up the excess water. You will also need to sanitize as thoroughly as possible. If it is a sewer damage problem, the water will be more dangerous than typical water that flows through the pipes in your home.
3. Plunge the Toilet
Plunging ensures that pipes are sufficiently cleared and that there’s no extra blockage about which you should be concerned. If plunging does not solve the issue, you will want to pay a phone call to your local sewage company.
4. Call for Professional Help
If you are certain that the water on hand is sewer water, it is crucial to call in the professionals. Your water restoration experts in Edmonds, WA will be able to examine and sanitize (or remove) the affected areas – including floors, walls and baseboards. Don't forget to shut-off the water!