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3 Water Heater Sounds and How To Fix Them

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Close up of a water heater The sounds coming from your water heater can be reminders to perform basic maintenance

Below Are Some Common Sounds You May Hear and What They Mean

If your water heater is making sounds, there may be a problem. Not all sounds are cause for alarm. In some cases, the noise could just be a sign that the heater is due for a little maintenance. 

1. Humming
Electric water heating tanks contain a heating element that typically runs vertically up and down the tank. Sometimes, as water flows around this element, the water causes the element to vibrate, resulting in a humming sound. Tightening the heating element should stop the noise.

2. Rumbling or Crackling
In most Monument, CO, homes, even clean water contains trace amounts of minerals, such as lime, magnesium, or calcium. Over time, these minerals can build up and form sediment that settles at the bottom of the tank and around the heating element tubes. The sound is caused by water being forced through the buildup or by sediments swirling around in the tank as water flows.
To solve this problem, you’ll need to perform a water heater flush. Remove the heating element and clean away any buildup. If you’re unable to remove the sediment, it may be best to replace the heating element. If necessary, add a descaling solution to the water in the tank to clean it, then drain the tank.

3. Knocking
A hammering or knocking noise coming from inside the walls is likely a condition known as “hammer pipes” or “water hammering.” When water is suddenly shut off while it is leaving or entering the heater tank, the water pipes may shudder, banging against the studs or wall. Dishwashers and washing machines are common culprits of this sudden shutoff as they change cycles. To fix this problem, install a device called a “water hammer arrestor” between the appliance causing the shutoff and the heater tank.
The sounds coming from your water heater can be reminders to perform basic maintenance. Don’t ignore these noises: Keeping up with maintenance now can help you avoid a failed heater – and the resulting water damage restoration costs – in the future.

Can You Count On Commercial Fire Sprinklers?

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Factory roof structure and automatic fire protection in building system. You should arrange to have your sprinklers professionally inspected on a regular basis

Can You Count On Commercial Fire Sprinklers?

Commercial fire sprinkler systems can suppress fires and satisfy fire code requirements for structures in Tri-Lakes, CO. If the owner or manager of a property is unsure whether sprinklers are correctly positioned or uncertain whether a system will activate upon sensing high temperatures, these pointers can help property owners make more accurate assessments of the reliability of a sprinkler system.

Check the Date of the Last Inspection
Every component in a sprinkler system calls for inspection and testing on a more or less frequent basis. Gauges and mechanical devices require the most attention, while fittings and pipings can go longer between checks:

  • Inspect gauges weekly or monthly
  • Inspect and test mechanical devices quarterly
  • Inspect and test a system annually
  • Inspect the inside of piping every five years

Dry or fast-response fire suppression systems may have different requirements. Consult a sprinkler installation and maintenance service regarding the inspection and testing schedule for a particular system.

Monitor the Function of the System
Fire sprinkler system design should match facility usage. If the same space in a commercial building is used by businesses with different fire hazard levels, it may be necessary to update suppression systems.

Service a System After Activation
The activation of one or more sprinkler heads in a system may require fire sprinkler cleanup but definitely calls for service. Repairing faulty parts may be necessary for the event of an accidental discharge or broken pipe. A system that has responded to and suppressed a fire should also be checked to be ready to respond to the next hazard.
If you own or manage a commercial property inTri-Lakes, CO, you should arrange to have sprinklers professionally inspected on a regular basis. Structural fire safety systems require specialized maintenance and repairs. Regular checks and upkeep of a fire sprinkler system can provide property owners and managers with more peace of mind.

Expert Tips for Flood Protection

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Flood Protection Sandbags with flooded homes in the background (Montage) Flood protection sandbags in Palmer Lake, CO

When it comes to safety measures, people tend to think about matters such as fires, operating heavy machinery and treating firearms with respect. Subsequently, flood safety is often overlooked. As the most common natural hazard in the United States, awareness needs to be increased regarding what to do before, during and after an attack of raging waters.

Flooding Danger

Numerous actions can be taken to mitigate the danger caused by flooding, some of which include:

  • Setting your phone to deliver flood alerts
  • Creating an escape plan that allows access to higher ground
  • Having an emergency kit on every floor of your home

What matters most is that you and your family remain safe. No matter how much your home in Palmer Lake, CO, is impacted, a residential water damage restoration expert can fix almost everything that gets ruined.

Flooding Safety Tips
Listen to officials and adhere closely to every flood safety suggestion they offer. Postpone outdoor activities and bring in personal belongings with the potential to be swept away. Unplug electrical equipment and move basement items needing protection to an upper floor. If you have a sump pump, turn it on to verify that it is still in proper working condition.
During a flood, continually listen to weather alerts. If authorities advise evacuation, only take what you need, such as medicine and essential documents. Pets should be brought along if taking them can be done so safely. Stay out of flowing water and always observe road barriers, as these impediments may be indications of a washed-out highway or structurally compromised bridge.
After negative weather has passed, use caution when returning to your home. Avoid touching wet electrical devices. Disinfect anything that has become damp and remove carpets, mattresses, and upholstered furniture that need to be treated. Beware of mold, as spores can quickly develop after flooding.
Flood safety guidelines are critical to keeping families in many parts of America free from danger. Be aware of what it takes to remain secure in the face of one of these threatening environmental catastrophes.

How To Prevent Breakroom Fridge Mold

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Old used dirty refrigerator with mold, aged junk in the kitchen Fridge mold

Three Tips For Preventing Breakroom Fridge Mold

Today more than ever, Colorado Springs, CO, businesses are striving to set higher standards for cleanliness in the workplace. Avoiding the need for commercial mold remediation can often be accomplished by following basic practices. If you are looking to set a new normal for cleanliness in your workplace, the community fridge is a great place to start.

1. Check the Fridge Temperature
One of the best ways to prevent mold and bacterial growth in the workplace fridge is to set it to the correct temperature. These organisms need heat and moisture to grow and thrive. A fridge that is too warm inside may start to get a mold smell that is unpleasant. Generally, a fridge set between 37-41 degrees Fahrenheit is considered safe for storing food.

2. Reduce Fridge Odors
Once the fridge is set to the right temperature, disinfecting fridge wipes should be used on the inside and outside of the appliance. Remove all items and place them into a cooler with ice to keep them safe during cleaning. Food that is expired or forgotten should be discarded to avoid fridge mold growth. After cleaning, place an open box of baking soda on the shelf to absorb unpleasant smells.

3. Set Clear Expectations
Following simple rules and cleaning schedules can help you and your employees expect a higher standard of cleanliness. Before cleaning out the breakroom fridge, give a warning. You could post a sign on the fridge letting everyone know that it will be emptied of all unclaimed items. Politely remind everyone to remove anything they wish to keep. Set a clear date and time so that there will be no confusion as to when the fridge purge will occur. You could also post basic rules for fridge use, like the following:

  • All food should be labeled and dated.
  • Open containers are not allowed.
  • Be considerate about bringing high-odor foods or allergens into a common area fridge.

Don't let fridge mold dominate your office anymore. Take workplace cleanliness more seriously with these easy tips for keeping a clean breakroom fridge.

Steps To Prevent Water Damage and Care for Your Plumbing

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Insulation covers with the words COVER UP THE PIPES Proactive measures to prevent frozen pipes include wrapping them with insulation

Steps To Prevent Water Damage

A water leak may be a symptom of minor or severe plumbing problems at your building in Colorado Springs, CO. Taking the following steps can prevent costly water damage or a pipe break.

Monitor Your Water Usage
Small leaks can go undetected in buildings with a complex plumbing system. If you start to notice a steady increase in your water bill despite normal usage, a plumbing leak could be the cause. It may be impossible to find the source before significant damage occurs. Consider investing in a leak detection system that incorporates the following technologies to prevent a small water leak from becoming a big one.

  • Water sensors
  • Automatic shut-off valves
  • Pressure detectors
  • Freeze alerts

Use Gentle Drain Cleaners
Avoid using commercial clog removers that rely upon acidic agents to dissolve the blockage-causing material in toilet and sink drains. These agents are too abrasive for most pipes, especially older ones. Corrosion related to repeated use of these products can cause pipes to break, creating widespread water damage. Enzyme-based products are a gentler and more sustainable choice.

Prevent Frozen Pipes
Frozen water can expand, causing excessive pressure that can cause a pipe break. Uncontrolled gushes of water can quickly fill your building's interior, soaking vital equipment and furnishings. When this happens, it is essential to contact a professional flood recovery service to begin the drying out process before mold can form. Proactive measures to prevent frozen pipes include wrapping them with insulation, maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the day and night and sealing cracks to prevent drafts.

Replace Old Pipes
Consider your building's age to determine when you should replace its pipes. Brass pipes can have a lifespan of one hundred years, whereas other materials may last only thirty years. Older pipe material can suddenly give way before a water leak warns of a problem.
Caring for your building's plumbing can prevent water damage, leading to business interruption and costly flood restoration measures.

Why Smoke Odor Removal is a Professional Job

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator An ozone machine is another device commonly used to eliminate smoke odor

Smoke Cleaning Process

Even a small home fire can leave a lasting impression. Getting rid of that lingering smoke smell, even after all visual evidence of fire damage is gone, is tricky. The smoke cleaning process is extensive and should be left to your local smoke odor remediation experts in Colorado Springs, CO.

Clean Up
Smoke and soot particles can get into any nook or cranny and cause long-lasting damage that might go unseen at first, meaning that self-cleaning and assessing belongings might not be enough. Here are some materials and objects most commonly affected by smoke damage:

  • Upholstery
  • Fabrics
  • Hard surfaces
  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • HVAC Systems

A professional team will assess all of these and more to decide how best to handle your unique smoke cleaning needs in the most effective way possible.

Filtration Devices, Ozone Machines and Thermal Foggers
Smoke smells linger in the air long after the fire is out. To combat it, experts will use multiple ways of neutralizing the smoke particles. They might install an air filtration device that “scrubs” the air as it is sucked in and out of your home. These systems use HEPA filters or carbon-based filters to target smoke specifically.
An ozone machine is another device commonly used to eliminate smoke odor. Instead of filtering air, it creates ozone, a chemical compound that moves throughout your home and neutralizes smoke particles to get rid of the smell.
Thermal foggers are used in a process where a deodorizer is heated and released throughout a house as a fog. This method is especially effective because the droplets can permeate carpets and other hard-to-clean spots. The fog attaches to smoke particles and neutralizes them by absorbing them.
Any size fire can leave lasting damage to your home. By trusting a professional team to execute proper smoke cleaning, you can rest easy knowing that your home is back to its former self.

3 Types of Contaminated Flood Water

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Wet carpet Wet carpet after a water leak

Different Types Of Contaminated Water

Water damage can wreck havoc on your Monument, CO, home. That being said, not every home flood is the same. Flood water is categorized by the types of contaminants present. Understanding the differences among the different types of contaminated water can help you remediate the damage more effectively.

1. Clean Water Floods
Like their name implies, Category 1, or clean water floods, are categorized by an absence of contaminants. As the least dangerous types of floods, they typically originate from a supply line burst, a shower leak or some other type of clean water source. Just because these floods aren't as dangerous doesn't mean that they shouldn't still be taken seriously. A clean water flood can transform into a Category 2 flood if left untreated for too long.

2. Gray Water Floods
Gray water floods are also known as Category 2 floods. This flood contains mildly contaminated water, but nothing that could pose a biohazard risk. These floods are often caused when household appliances malfunction and flood, such as dishwashers and laundry machines. If left untreated for longer than 48 hours, a Category 2 flood will quickly become a dangerous Category 3 flood.

3. Black Water Floods
Category 3 floods, or black water floods, are the most dangerous of all. They are categorized by the presence of biohazards, such as human or animal fecal matter, raw sewage and dangerous chemicals or pesticides. You should never attempt to resolve a Category 3 flood by yourself, due to the possible health risks. Instead, you should contact water damage professionals as soon as you can. These floods are usually caused by toilet overflow, sewage back flow or a a flooding riverbank.
All types of floods are capable of inflicting serious amounts of damage. That being said, it's still important for you to learn the differences between the various types of contaminated water. Make sure to contact flood remediation experts for assistance, no matter which type of flood you're currently dealing with.

Is All Black Mold Toxic?

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growth behind bathroom tiles Mold damage Tri-Lakes bathroom

Not all mold that appears black in color on visual inspection is toxigenic. The species most frequently referred to as toxic black mold is Stachybotrys chartarum, but many other types of mold appear black at certain points in the growth cycle. Here are several things to keep in mind when attempting to identify the type of mold growing at a residence in Tri-Lakes, CO.

Mold May Change Color

Many species of mold change color at different points in the fungal growth cycle. Any of the following types of mold may appear black upon visual inspection:

  • Alternaria
  • Cladosporium
  • Pithomyces
  • Stachybotrys chartarum

The first three molds in this list are not toxic, though these species may still cause health effects. These molds may also vary in color to brown or green. The last species, Stachybotrys chartarum, is the most common type of black toxigenic mold.

There Are Many Species of Mold
Anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 species of mold are speculated to exist. Only certain categories are broadly considered toxic:

  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium
  • Penicilium
  • Stachybotrys

This partial list includes toxic mold that may appear black in color. Homeowners should schedule a mold assessment to determine whether submitting samples for lab testing will be helpful for safer removal.

Some Black Mold Is Toxigenic
Mold remediation is necessary if Stachybotrys chartarum or any other species of toxic mold is present in a home. This process involves having a mold cleanup and damage restoration service find and remove mold, treat the area with antifungal solution and lower humidity levels.
Homeowners should ensure that an infestation is completely removed and pursue preventative measures to keep mold from returning. It is impossible to precisely identify the type of black mold growing at a home in Tri-Lakes, CO. An air quality expert can submit air, batch or surface samples for lab analysis to determine the species and level of toxicity.

How To Prepare for Bad Weather

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Snowstorm, snow-covered street and cars with a lonely pedestrian A snow storm can bring extreme cold, ice, and high winds

Have A Plan To Respond To Severe Winter Weather Before It Occurs

Extreme winter weather often increases the risk of various health emergencies, storm damage, and car accidents. A snow storm can bring extreme cold, ice, and high winds. They can last from a few hours to several days. Keep yourself, your business, and your employees safe by having a plan to respond to severe winter weather in place before it occurs.

1. Know the Risks
Winter storms greatly increase the risk of frostbite, hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks due to overexertion. Icy roads, blowing snow, and decreased visibility all raise the likelihood of car accidents during severe weather. Loss of heat, power, and communication systems can make all the other risks even greater. Older people, young children, and people already in poor health are put further at risk during severe weather. Stay inside, and stay off the roads whenever possible.

2. Prevent Damage
When water freezes, it expands, often leading to an unexpected pipe burst. To minimize the chance of this happening during a snow storm, make sure your pipes are properly insulated. Inspect the pipes seasonally to check for any leaks or loss of integrity. Plan ahead and have a list of trusted and reliable plumbers, electricians, and storm restoration specialists in Colorado Springs, CO. Researching these trained professionals before you need them will speed up the process of any repairs if you do suffer damage after a storm.

3. Keep Employees Home
Watch the news and pay attention to all storm warnings and emergency alerts during severe winter weather. If possible, consider allowing your employees to work from home. This will keep them off the roads and away from the associated risks that go along with driving during winter storms. It will also keep their health and safety a priority. The health and safety of your business often relies on the health and safety of your employees.
A snow storm can be terrifying and life threatening. Being aware and respectful of the dangers they carry is vital for the survival of yourself, your employees, and your business.

3 Effects of Water On Fire Damage

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

Fire and strong smoke covered building. Dangerous situation Commercial fire and water damage in Palmer Lake, CO

Take Action To Mitigate Water And Fire Damage

Water may be introduced to locations where fire is raging by suppression efforts or other disaster conditions. The presence of water worsens many types of fire damage, regardless of the source or level of contamination. If you own or manage a commercial building in Palmer Lake, CO, you should be aware of three effects standing water can have on structures recently damaged by fire.

1. Water Increases Soot and Smoke Staining
When moisture is present, smoke and soot become more likely to stain building materials and contents. A building that has sustained damage from a combination of fire and water is likely to require more intensive cleaning than a structure affected with only one type of damage. The presence of soot and smoke instantly transform clean, treated water emitted by a fire hose into contaminated Category Three water damage.

2. Water Raises Risks of Structural Problems
Fire burns combustible parts of a structure, but water can cause metal components to rust and wood to rot. Structural issues that may require a significant investment of money and time to fix will become more likely the longer water remains standing in a structure, whether the source is a suppression effort or fire damage to a roof.

3. Water Supports Secondary Mold Damage
The presence of moisture and organic food sources can support mold growth. Cellulose is a plant fiber used to create many building materials. Moist drywall, insulation or other substances can all support mold growth. Mold spores are everywhere and can start growing in as little as 24 to 48 hours when moisture and nutriment are available.
As soon as the flames have been extinguished at a building in Palmer Lake, CO, the owner or manager should take action to mitigate water and fire damage. A more extensive cleanup effort will be necessary the longer soot, smoke and water remain in a building.