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Three Sewer Problems That Cause Water Damage in Your Home

As a homeowner, you know that your property is a lifetime investment. It needs proper care and maintenance to remain standing for as long as possible. Sometimes, there are elements that we can’t see until it’s too late. Sewer problems are a primary cause of water damage to homes. While it may be difficult to prevent sewer problems, it is possible to know the different types and how they cause damage. This knowledge can prepare you for a day in the future when your sewer needs repair. Here are three sewer problems that homeowners face.

 

Leaks

A slow dripping faucet often goes unnoticed until the noise becomes distracting. However, a leak in your sewer lines is hard to detect and often goes unnoticed. Most homeowners don’t know that a leak is present until there’s a pool of water or a moldy black spot. Sewer problems such as leaks cause major issues because they are tricky to locate. After you locate the leak and fix it, you still have to remediate any mold caused by it. To make sure that you completely repair the water damage, look for professionals with experience in flood restoration and mold remediation. Just because you clean up the water, doesn’t mean you’ve eliminated the mold. Any moisture in your walls, floors, or pipes will provide the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.

 

Corrosion

Let’s face it; nothing lasts forever, especially not sewer pipes. When it comes to sewer problems, corrosion is a common issue. As the pipes age, the material begins to break down, and the weight of the dirt causes the pipe or pipes to crumble. Of course, when this happens, you will notice a change in the flow of water to and from your home. In the worst cases, homeowners don’t realize a problem until sewage begins to leak from the pipes or backs up into the home. Water damage from a sewage backup can be difficult to clean up. You need to seek the help of a professional restoration company.

 

Intrusion

Tree roots seek out water, especially during dry seasons. As such, your sewer lines are the perfect target for them. Once they locate water from the sewer, they begin to break down sewer pipes to get the water that flows through them. Over time debris collects where the roots have grown, causing a clog in your sewer line. When left untreated, these types of sewer problems lead to water damage from sewage backup.

If root intrusion has clogged your sewer, you need to contact professionals to clear the debris and remove the roots. If you waited till after you had a sewer backup, then you will need to seek help with cleaning up the water damage. Sewage water poses all sorts of risks to your health and to the health of your home.

Sewer problems are a common occurrence and often lead to water damage in your home. If your sewer has backed up, or a leak has caused flooding or mold growth, you need professional help to clean up the mess. Contact American Fire and Water Restoration today. We have the knowledge and experience to help you get your home back to normal. Visit us online or call us at 847-503-0767 and get a free quote.

How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Working in the Heat

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During the summer months, you likely find yourself constantly turning on the air conditioner. This extra work can wear down your HVAC unit more quickly and result in leaks. So how do you prevent air conditioner leaking problems in the heat and stop water damage? Here are some tips for keeping your air conditioner up and running and prevent water damage during the summer heat.

Check Your Filters

You should always check your filters at least once a month. However, it is especially important to check your filters during the summertime. Your air conditioner circulates more dust and allergens during the summer months. If the dust and allergens cause your air filters to clog, then your HVAC unit will have to work twice as hard to push out cool air. Having a clogged filter can cause air conditioner leaking and water damage. Replacing your filters is one of the easiest and most effective ways to conserve energy and save money on your HVAC usage.

Keep Your Thermostat Cool

It may sound weird, but it is true. For your air conditioner to work properly, you want to keep your thermostat away from heat producing items, such as TVs, lamps, or direct sunlight. Your thermostat will sense the additional heat and will cause your HVAC unit to run more to compensate. The longer your air conditioner runs, the more likely it is that you will be dealing with air conditioner leaking.

Keep Your Air Conditioner in the Shade

A key to keeping your air conditioner from working overtime is to keep it in the shade. An A/C unit that is in the sun will have to work harder to cool the air down. However, if your HVAC unit is in the shade, the air is cooler so your unit will not have to work as hard to cool the air down.

Insulate Your Home

In the summer you are always telling your kids that you are not trying to air condition the outside when they leave doors and windows open. But did you know that your cool air may be escaping even when the doors and windows are closed? The caulk around your doors and windows may have air leaks. In order to keep the cool air in, you will want to seal any air leaks with caulking and weather stripping. This will ensure your air conditioner is only cooling the inside of your home. Fixing air leaks keep your HVAC from running extra hard and prevent air conditioner leaking.

Call the Professionals

If you are dealing with an air conditioner leaking due to it overworking itself in the heat, then it is time to call the professionals. A leaky air conditioner can cause unwanted water damage to your home. If you are noticing water damage from your air conditioner, call the professionals at American Water & Fire Restoration. We take care of any water damage that you are dealing with. Give us a call today.

Do You Smell That?

Does your house smell for no reason? You may have tried to clean your home to get rid of the smell that hits you as soon as walk in the door. However, maybe no matter how much you clean your home, the odor does not go away. In most cases, you will need to hire professionals for effective odor removal. Here are just a few of the benefits of hiring a professional odor removal service.

Rid Your Home of Annoying Odors

The first benefit is that professionals are able to eliminate annoying odors completely. You spend much of your time in your home, so having a bad odor is not pleasant. Professional odor removal uses special tools to eliminate the smell. Unlike store bought odor removers, professionals have stronger products that ensure the odor doe not return. If you tried to do it yourself, more than likely the odor would return within a week. A professional service will make your home comfortable again for you and your guests.

Make Your Home Safe Again

Some odors you smell in your home are making your house unsafe. Unappealing odors usually mean there is a bigger problem that needs to be dealt with. The bad smell could be coming from mold, sewage problems, or even dead animal remains in the walls or other areas of your home. Having an odor removal service find the source of the smell and get rid of it will make your home safe and healthy again.

Fast and Convenient

Hiring a professional odor removal service means that you do not have to spend the time scrubbing, cleaning, and applying treatment. Professionals also know how to quickly eliminate odors. For you, it may take weeks or even months to find and take care of the source of the odor. You can enjoy the benefits of an odor-free house without doing the work when you hire a professional odor removal service.

Your Safety

DIY odor removal can be harmful to you and the environment. Taking care of odors requires knowledge of how different chemicals react together. If you do not know what combinations work, you can damage your property, your health, and the environment. Professionals know the proper amount of chemicals and which ones work in what type of situation.

Eliminate Odors

If you have a smelly home, don’t let it stay that way. Smelly homes are unwelcoming to guests and can be harmful to your health. Call the professionals to help get rid of the odor in your home. American Fire & Water Restoration will make sure to safely and completely remove all odors in a timely manner. Contact us today to make an appointment.

Is It Biohazardous?

Not all water is created equal. On this blog, we have said a number of times that it can be unsafe to clean up water damage yourself because of the origin of the water. Depending on where the water came from and how long it has sat, it can be biohazardous. Attempting to clean up biohazardous water on your own can compromise your health and the safety of anyone coming in contact with the water or water damaged goods. Due to the risks, here is what you need to know about potentially biohazardous water.

Flood Waters

When water from the outdoors starts flooding your space, you have to be careful. You don’t know where the water came and what could potentially be in it. The water could be full of chemicals, dangerous particles, or harmful debris. By trying to clean up this kind of water, you are putting yourself in harm’s way. You also run the risk of causing further damage to your belongings. This kind of water can cause serious water damage if not disposed of and cleaned up after properly. Water doesn’t have to look murky to be dangerous.

Sewage Problems

If there are sewage problems in your home or in your area, it can contaminate other water. Sewage water can cause a lot of problems for your health and home. There are bacteria and other biohazards contained within sewage that can be incredibly harmful to anyone exposed to them. There are other things to consider in the case of a sewage leak as well. Sometimes there isn’t an easy fix, especially with biohazardous materials at hand. Sometimes the whole system needs to be replaced. Therefore, to save time and protect against health risks when dealing with sewage you should bring in professionals immediately.

Safety and Cleanup

Regardless of what type of biohazardous water you are dealing with, it is dangerous to attempt to clean it up on your own. Professionals have the experience and equipment to take care of this situation. Restoration teams will wear hazmat suits to protect themselves from the sickness and other health risks. They also have special equipment that guarantees the safety of your health and possessions during the extraction and cleaning process. All of the contaminated water in a space needs to be removed, cleaned, sanitized and dried for the space to be safe again. If even dampness is left it could have drastic results. For the safety of your health and home, biohazardous water needs to be taken seriously.

Flooding is never a welcome situation and the potential risk of biohazardous water makes it worse. Furthermore, it amplifies water damage and the health risks of the situation. If you are unsure where the water came from or if it is safe, call the professionals. It is not worth risking your health. The safety of your family and home should be your first concern. When the water is questionable, don’t question what to do. Call a restoration team. American Fire and Water Restoration is ready to help 24/7. Give us a call at (847) 514-9305.

Prevent a Basement Flood

Dealing with a basement flood and the water damage that comes with it can be an overwhelming ordeal. How do you get rid of the water? Is the water dangerous? And what about the damage to your house and belongings? Not all disasters can be stopped, but you can set your house up to prevent basement flooding. There are a few key areas to maintain and keep your eye on to prevent water damage from flooding. If you want to prevent a flood, keep reading.

Good Drainage

The first way to prevent your basement from flooding is by having a good drainage system. When it rains, you want the water to move away from your house. If the water sits stagnant next to your home, it can find weak spots and find its way inside. To prevent this, ensure that water naturally runs away from your house. This can be done by slanting soil to be higher next to your house and lower the further away the water goes. You also need to make sure that your drainage pipes are doing their job well or else you will get water pooling up.

Cracks in Foundation

Older or poorly made foundations can potentially have cracks and weak points in them. These spots are perfect for water to slip in and flood your basement. If cracks aren’t fixed, water will keep coming in and making the crack worse. To prevent this you will need to maintain your foundation, look for cracks and weak points, and have them fixed. It is easier to fix a crack than to deal with the water damage a crack can cause. A house is only as strong as its foundation, so you should spend some time making sure it is as strong as possible.

Healthy Pipes

Basement flooding doesn’t just happen because of outside water coming in. There are gallons upon gallons of water running through the pipes of your house. If those pipes aren’t healthy or are old, they can burst and flood whatever area they are in. A burst pipe in a basement can go undetected for a while resulting in large amounts of water-damaged possessions. To prevent your pipes from bursting, make sure you take care of them. Don’t let them get too cold or hang things on them, and make sure to replace old pipes. Maintaining your pipes will ensure they keep doing their job.

You can’t always prevent flooding. There are circumstances that are out of your control. However, if you care for and maintain your home by following these steps, you will be reducing the likelihood that your home will flood. Here at American Fire and Water Restoration, we understand that nature is unpredictable and flooding does happen. If your basement does end up flooding, you don’t have to deal with the water damage alone. We are always here to help. In the case of basement flooding, give us a call at (847) 514-9305.

Faulty Appliances Are Not Your Friends: The Cause of Water Damage

It always seems to be the nightmare of homeowners, the dreaded leaking appliance. Homes come with a lot of appliances and therefore a lot of potential water damage. The problem with appliances is there can be a leak in the back or bottom where you can’t see results in serious water damage. You may think your washing machine, refrigerator, dishwasher, and garbage disposals are your friend but they can also betray you if you’re not careful. Here are a few tips to keep the water damage at bay and your appliances your friends and not foes.

 

Maintenance

 

The lifespan of appliances can really come down to the care that you give them. If you are hard on your appliances and make their work harder, they will wear out sooner. Once a machine wears out, it is ripe for leaks and water damage. Maintenance can look like a lot of different things. Ensuring you don’t overload your washing machine will help it last longer. Making sure your refrigerator doors stay closed as much as possible in the summer will make it easier for it to stay at a low temperature. This also means having your machines repaired by a professional when you notice it is having difficulty working well.

 

Update

 

No matter how good you are to your appliances, they all have a lifespan. Once that lifespan is coming to an end your appliances can quickly produce larger problems than simply deciding on a new model. Old machines can become invisible sprinklers. Once the waterworks begin, the cost of replacing the machine quickly leaps. It goes from the cost of a machine to the cost of repairing water damage plus getting a new machine. To avoid this unpleasant situation know how old your appliances are and the average lifespan for that make and model. When it hits that mark and starts acting its age, then act fast and update your appliance.

 

Be Aware

 

Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you maintain your appliances and they are still young. Machines break down. That is why it is so important to be aware and watch your appliances. By watching how your appliances are performing, you can catch a problem before it becomes a big problem. Notice when your appliances make new noises are having trouble cleaning things or staying cold, or every once in awhile there are drips. Watching and noticing can mean the difference between a little and a lot of water damage. And you can easily do it.

 

Appliances are in our houses to make our life easier. They wash our clothes and dishes for us and keep our food at the right temperature. When they are working well, they are our friends, but it is a fragile relationship. If they start leaking and produce water damage, they have changed from helpful to harmful. You can’t avoid water damage forever. For the times when you can’t avoid water damage. American Fire and Water Restoration is here to help. So when an appliance has changed relationship status, give us a call, (847) 514-9305.

Water Damage is not Good for Business

Has your business recently experienced flooding or water damage? One thing is for certain, water damage is not good for business. Not only can it damage your building and belongings, but it also disrupts your profits. Whether you own a shop and have damaged goods or your office building can’t hold your employees because of damage you are missing out. Luckily, American Fire and Water Restoration has a commercial water damage process in place to help. Here is how we help you get your business back into working order.

 

Assessment

 

The first step in our process is an assessment. We want to know exactly what we are dealing with. We assess the entire property to determine the extent of the damage and find the source. From this, we also find out what kind of water we are dealing with and document damage. We need to know if your water was exposed to contamination and how much so that we can best take care of the issue. The documentation helps develop a plan for restoration as well.

 

Extraction

 

Once we understand the type of water and the extent of the damage we can start the extraction process. We have state of the art equipment that efficiently extracts the water from your property straight into our trucks. This ensures the water can’t contaminate anything else on your property. We also have equipment that can detect moisture to ensure the complete removal of water from your property. Once we remove all the water from your property, we can focus on the building itself and its contents. We’ll take all the of damaged contents out, to restore and prepare the area for restoration.

 

Restoration

 

At this stage, we can restore your building to its state before the water damage, including walls, floors, and structures. We ensure that the structure is sound and then work on preparing the inside to get back into working order. Our equipment includes professional air movers that ensure the place is dry and mold free. We also will work to restore all of the items that were damaged by the water. We have a cleaning and storing facility to make sure your things are properly cared for. Once the building and belongings are all restored, we will move everything back in so that you can get back to business.

 

Here at American Fire and Water Restoration, we understand that time is money. We work quickly and efficiently to ensure that you are back in business and soon as possible. Water damage is not your friend, but we can be. We are available 24/7 so that when you need us, we can be there to help. Our process is thorough, and our equipment is top of the line so that you can rely on us. If your business has recently experienced water damage, we are here to help. Give us a call, (847) 514-9305.

Prevent a Fire, Clean Your HVAC

When was the last time you cleaned out the dust from your HVAC system? If you haven’t done it recently, you are putting your home at risk. HVAC systems that are not cleaned regularly can collect and build up dust and other particles in the air, which can cause a fire. Air ducts are often an ignored feature of the home. As long as they are working well, they are left alone. However, by ignoring your HVAC and the dust accumulating there, you could be putting your home and family at risk.

 

How Does a Fire Start in Your HVAC?

 

Once it accumulates, dust can be incredibly flammable. Dust only needs a spark of energy or to be on a very hot surface for it to ignite. And once a flame has started, it can be hard to put it out. For one thing, the fire starts in an unseen part of your house, so it can strengthen a great deal before you are aware of it. The fire can travel through your HVAC system feeding on the buildup that is in there until it becomes hot or strong enough to escape the system.

 

How Do I Know if There’s a Buildup?

 

Dust works silently and stealthily. It can feel like one day there was no dust at all and then you turn around and there is a large buildup of it. The easiest way to know if you have dust built up in your system is to look at your air vents. Is there dust on or in the slats? If there is, it can mean there is a larger build up further inside the system. You can also check the air registers and the filter to see if there is dust sitting in them. Cleaning out the buildup will not only prevent a fire, but it will also help your system run better.

 

How Do I Remove Buildup?

 

Your cleaning method will have to depend on how excessive the buildup is. If there is only a small amount of dust built up, you can clean it out yourself. The way to clean your HVAC yourself is much like any other kind of dusting. You’ll want to turn your fan on so that the dust moves once you’ve dislodged it and doesn’t immediately resettle. You can dislodge the dust with a broom and some sweeping. You can also wash your filter and remove the dust from your air registers. However, if there is a lot of dust in your system, you should call a professional service to ensure that all of the dust is removed.

Your HVAC system has the potential to be a silent killer, but you can prevent danger. Ensure the safety of your family and home by not ignoring your air ducts. Regular maintenance can make all the difference. Allow us at American Fire & Water Restoration help you prevent a fire starting from dust in your HVAC. Give us a call at (847) 514-9305.

How to Prevent an Electrical Fire

Preventing an electrical fire and the fire damage that comes along with it is possible. There will always be accidents, but there are a number of measures you can take to help save your family and home. Most electrical safety and fire prevention methods are common sense, but it is important to actually practice them. Everyone knows you shouldn’t plug too many things into one outlet, but do we anyway? Appliances tend to straddle the line between safe and unsafe, and that is often ignored. And simply knowing the capacity of your home’s electrical system could help prevent fire damage. If you would like three reminders on how you can prevent an electrical fire, read on.

 

Over-Burdened Outlets

 

Whether in the kitchen, TV room, or bedroom, certain outlets always seem to be the favorite. There’s the outlet that’s in the perfect spot for all the TV appliances or the bedside outlet that needs to provide you with light, phone and computer charging, and whatever other odd things you can think of. The reality is that certain outlets get overused, while others see no use at all. You risk overextending an outlet when you add just one more plug to an already crowded outlet. An outlet that is continually overused will go the way of most overworked things, it will burn out.

 

Appliance Safety

 

Appliance safety is an important part of preventing electrical fires. You should unplug small appliances like toasters and crock pots when they’re not in use. For bigger appliances, make sure the hook-up you have is generating the correct amount of electricity. And of course, make sure that all electric appliances stay far away from water. Practicing these few safety measures can save you, your family, and your home.

 

Check for Bad Wiring

 

A common problem with older homes is old wiring. If you have an older home or are looking to buy one, it is advised that you hire a professional to inspect the electrics. Old wiring is not always detrimental, but it is better to know what you are working with as a precaution. Knowing you have old wiring can help you strategically plan your outlet use. Also, if you know you have old wiring, you can choose to have it replaced. Knowing what is in your house is always the best course of action.

 

For the most part, preventing an electrical fire is common sense. If you take care of your electrical system and appliances, you are less likely to experience an electrical fire. However, not all fires and fire damage can be prevented. In some circumstances, preventative measures just don’t stop the problem. If you are in this situation and have experienced the damaging effects of an electrical fire, you are not alone. American Fire & Water Restoration is here to help you restore your home. Give us a call at (847) 514-9305.

How Serious is Water Damage?

There can be a lot of misconceptions about the seriousness of water damage. If you have recently experienced some type of water damage in your home, you need to understand it can have serious consequences. Some of the most common water damage side effects include mold infestations, unknown flooding, and structural damage. It’s important to know to look out for these events and to know how to prevent them.

Mold

Mold arrives with most water damage events. It can grow in most warm and moist conditions, and where there has been a lot of water is a great place for it to start and grow. It not only grows on the surface of whatever host it has found but it also spreads down and across any surface. Mold can cause damage to the surface and structure of what it is growing on. Mold also has health risks. Common symptoms for people exposed to mold are sneezing, skin irritations, irritation of the eyes and throat, nasal congestion, coughing, pneumonia, asthma attacks, and migraines.

Flooding

Flooding can be a sneaky or all-at-once type of water damage. A small leak or drip can cause serious damage, just as a sudden rainstorm can instantly flood a place. A major danger of flooding is that you might not know what is in the water. Flood water has the potential of carrying biohazardous materials in it, so it is important to have a professional inspect the situation. Also if the water is not cleaned up correctly or dried well, you run the risk of a mold infestation growing.

Structural Damage

Structural damage is probably the most serious risk of water damage. It can occur in many different ways. Flooding can affect the structure of your home. It can move structure points in the foundation and/or cracks in your foundation. And there is also the risk of mold inflicting damage on the structure if flooding hasn’t. A space that hasn’t been dried out properly is the perfect place for mold to grow. And if it grows and penetrates structural points, it will weaken the structure from the inside. Both of these can go unseen but be highly dangerous to the safety of your home and everyone inside of it.

Water damage is a serious matter. It can affect your home in myriad ways and leave its mark. If you have found water damage in your home, you need to address the matter seriously. The best approach is to call for professional advice. Restoration professionals will have more experience and know how to handle your unique water damage situation. American Fire & Water Restoration can be there to help make your home safe and water damage free. Give us a call, (847) 514-9305.