Recent Building Services Posts

Tips to thaw out a frozen pipe

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipes Freezing temps turns lead to frozen pipes. Use these tips to help get the water flowing and avoid burst pipes.

Thawing a frozen water pipe quickly is important. However, it is just as important to thaw the frozen pipe correctly. Here are seven tips to follow to help you get the water flowing and to help you avoid a burst pipe and potentially damaging flood at your property.

Tip 1: Locate the Frozen Pipe
In order to thaw a frozen pipe, you must first determine which pipe or pipes are frozen. Turn on the faucets in your property.

If no water comes out, or only a slight trickle escapes, then a pipe leading to the faucet is likely frozen. If one pipe is frozen, there is a chance others have frozen also.

If the pipes are exposed, such as pipes under sinks, in basements or along the exterior of the house, you may be able to see the frozen portion of the pipe. Frozen pipes often have frost on them or may have a slight bulge. If the blockage is located in part of the pipe that you have access to, you will have more options for easily thawing the pipe than if the frozen portion is enclosed behind a wall.

Tip 2: Open the Faucet
Before you begin attempting to thaw a frozen pipe, you will want to open the faucet that the pipe feeds water into. Make sure to open both the hot and cold handles. This will help to relieve pressure in the system and will allow the water to escape once you begin to thaw the pipe.

Tip 3: Where to Begin the Thawing Process
You should always begin the thawing process near the faucet then work your way down to the blockage.

This will help ensure that the melting ice and steam is able to escape through the open faucet. If you start the thawing process closer to the blockage, the melting ice could get stuck behind the blockage, creating more pressure in the pipe and increasing the chances the pipe will burst.

Tip 4: Thawing Exposed Pipes
If the frozen pipe is located in an area you can easily access, you have several options for attempting to thaw the pipe.

You should continue to apply the heat until the water escaping from the faucet returns to full strength. Here are four options for thawing an exposed pipe.

  • Hair Dryer- One of the easiest ways to thaw a pipe is by using a hair dryer. Simply turn the dryer on and point the heat at the pipe, beginning with the portion closest to the faucet. As with any electrical product, take the proper precautions and avoid coming into contact with water when operating the device.
  • Heat Lamp or Portable Space Heater- Another method to thaw the pipe is to use a heat lamp or portable space heater. Position the device so that the heat is able to reach the frozen pipe. This indirect heat can help to quickly thaw a pipe. Again, make sure to comply with the safety measures and precautions on the device you are using and keep the device away from water..
  • Hot Towels- Another way to thaw a frozen pipe is to wrap towels that have been dipped in hot water around the pipe. This can help to slowly thaw the blockage.
  • Electrical Heating Tape- A final option is to apply electrical heating tape directly to the pipe. This tape distributes heat throughout the pipe. You can purchase electrical heating tape that you plug in and unplug as needed or you can purchase heating tape that shuts off on its own.

Tip 5: Thawing Enclosed Pipes
If the frozen pipe is located in an area that you cannot easily access, you have three options for thawing the pipe.

  • Turn the Heat Up in the Property- You can attempt to thaw the frozen pipe by increasing the temperature in the property. Turning the thermostat up may be all that is needed to allow the ice blockage to melt.
  • Infrared Lamp- If you know where in the wall the frozen pipe is located, you can attempt to thaw the blockage by placing an infrared lamp in front of the portion of the wall where the pipe is located. The heat from the lamp may be able to penetrate the wall and allow the pipe to defrost.
  • Cut Out a Section of the Wall- If you are comfortable doing so, you can cut out the section of the drywall in front of the frozen pipe so that you can easily access the pipe. You can then use one of the methods for thawing out an enclosed pipe listed above.

Tip 6: Things to Avoid
Never attempt to thaw a pipe using an open flame, such as a propane torch. This can not only damage the pipe, it can also start a fire in your property.

Tip 7: If the Pipe Bursts
If a frozen water pipe does burst, the first thing you should do is shut off the main water line into your property. This will prevent additional water from flowing and damaging your property. You should know where the shut-off valves are for each of your properties and for each unit. There are usually smaller shut-off valves located near sinks and toilets, but the main shut-off valve is often located near the water meter.

Call a Professional
Call a Professional- If you are unable to thaw the pipe, unable to locate the frozen pipe, do not feel comfortable thawing a pipe yourself or if a pipe bursts, you should call a plumber or other professional. They will be able to remedy the problem for you.
Risks of Thawing a Frozen Pipe
There are two main risks you should be aware of when attempting to thaw a frozen water pipe.

Fire- When using any heat source to thaw the frozen pipe, you can run the risk of starting a fire. Make sure to follow all safety instructions and never leave the product unattended.

Burst Pipe- If you do not begin the thawing process correctly, you could cause the pipe to burst. Always start thawing closest to the faucet.

SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County is available 24/7 to help with your water and fire damage needs. If you have questions, give us a call at 716-694-7776

Post Construction Services

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Post-Construction Cleaning Services

Along with our restoration , SERVPRO of ENC provides a variety of cleaning services. One of the cleaning services we provide is Post-Construction Cleanup.

After restoring and rebuilding your property, there is still more work to be done. It is important to get your property clean and ready to use. Let SERVPRO of ENC get your property clean and ready to go!

Both interior and exterior cleaning is needed after rebuild and construction services. When cleaning, the following areas are usually dusted and cleaned:

Interior Cleanup

  1. Walls (removing dust, dirt, scuff marks, and smudges)
  2. Ceilings and light fixtures/fans
  3. All trim (including baseboards and door and window frames)
  4. Door faces, sides, and tops
  5. Floors
  6. Ducts, vents, and baseboard heaters
  7. Windows (including tracks and frames)
  8. Cabinetry, appliances, fixtures, and countertops
  9. All trash and plastic coverings removed

Exterior Cleaning

  • Exterior windows and doors
  • Entry doorways
  • Driveway and paved surfaces swept and power washed
  • Exterior lights dusted
  • All trash on property (including lumber and debris) removed

If your property is in need of Post-Construction Cleaning, give SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County a call : 694-7776 . No matter the size, we are Here To Help.

Keep your air clean!

3/1/2017 (Permalink)

If you are having trouble breathing in your home, think about having SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County professionally clean your air-duct system! Not only are ventilation systems often the biggest culprit for poor indoor air quality, but a dirty one can end up costing you money.

A dirty air-duct system that has been operating for quite some time without any proper care or attention, could be circulating dust, pollen, dirt, debris, odors, and several other contaminants. Although it may not seem like a problem immediately, the culmination of different contaminants have the ability to cause any occupants headaches, nasal congestion, or sinus problems.

Some tell-tale signs that your home requires professional air-duct cleaning include:

  • A sudden increase in sweeping and dusting of furniture
  • After cleaning, left over dust is visibly seen circulating around the area
  • When heating or cooling systems are running, one room differs in its temperature from the rest of the house
  • Allergy symptoms seem to be stronger than usual
  • Musty odors circulate around the home

Here at SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County , we routinely inspect heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units. Properly maintaining and having your air-duct regularly serviced can be the difference maker in making your home more comfortable to live in.

What separates us from our competitors? We understand that a thorough air-duct cleaning service may be costly, which is why we make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. Sometimes, the best option may be to do-it-yourself, if the situation is deemed to be of minor importance.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your air-duct, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (716)694-7776 or visit our website. We have the training and equipment to make any situation look, “Like it never even happened.”

Clean Homes Sell Faster

9/27/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County can help sellers resolve trouble spots you may have before listing your property up for sell or schedule for inspection. Homeowners can choose to handle these issues themselves to avoid filing an insurance claim for the damage because it may not be covered under the home's policy.

Whether the problem is a water stain on a hardwood floor or a mildew smell in a room, reassure your clients that your SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County Franchise Professional can get their home in top show condition and ready to sell.

It's a fact: A clean, fresh smelling home sells faster. Unfortunately, not all homes are maintained in the same way. Nearly all realtors are faced, at some point, with a difficult listing to sell.

Veteran realtors encourage clients to keep their homes in top condition for very important reasons:

•Increased market value

•Reduced list to sale conversion times

•Enhanced reputation for quality listings and quick sales

Call us at 694-7776 , We can help