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Be Prepared For Flood Emergencies In Your Home

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

Flooding presents the most frequent as well as costliest damage to homes in the U.S. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, no home can be considered totally immune to flood risk from some source—indoor or outdoor. So, every home can benefit from advance preparation. Even one inch of water inside a residence can cause significant damage. Because flooding often occurs without advance warning, the time to get ready for flood emergencies is now.

  • Check the flow of water outside during average rainfall. Does water flow toward the exterior wall and foundation of the house instead of away? In flood conditions, this can provide an entry point into the house. The landscape around the perimeter of the house should be graded so water drains away from the house and standing water does not accumulate, even in heavy rain. Also, maintain gutters and downspouts to ensure that roof runoff is properly collected and diverted at least three feet away from the house.
  • Do you live in an area with a naturally high water table? Rising groundwater may surge upward into the basement or crawl space during heavy rain or outdoor flooding. A sump pump with battery backup feature should be installed in the lowest point of the basement floor or inside the crawl space to automatically actuate and pump out intruding water.
  • Install a sewer backflow valve. If the municipal sewer system is swamped by floodwater, sewage may back up and enter the house through drains and toilets. Raw sewage is extremely toxic and requires extensive remediation to make the house safe to occupy. A backup valve installed in your sewage line prevents raw sewage from flowing backwards into the house.
  • Know how to turn off electricity safely. Indoor flooding can cause electrocution hazards. Know the location of your home’s main electrical panel and how to quickly shut off electricity before floodwater threatens. If the area near the electrical panel is already flooded or even wet, stay away. Call an electrician to shut off electricity at the meter.

When It Comes to Water Emergencies, Expect the Unexpected

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Water emergencies usually include an element of surprise. This can make household water damage hard to predict and equally difficult to prevent. Still, paying attention to specific warning signs—and taking preventive measures in a timely manner—can help reduce the probability that you’ll be taken off guard.

These are some of the minor warning signs that may predict a major water emergency:

“Minor” plumbing leaks. Any and all leaks in household water supply lines should be cause for immediate concern. A tiny weeping pinhole in a supply line might appear inconsequential, but it could be external evidence of advanced deterioration inside the pipe that could trigger a catastrophic rupture at any time, flooding your house. Same goes for other apparently innocuous signs such as moist seepage around pipe joints. Call a plumbing professional to resolve all pipe leakage issues—minor and otherwise—before one of them turns into a water emergency.

Aging water heaters. Nearly half of all water heaters will develop a tank leak due to internal corrosion before they are ten years old. Early warning signs (if there are any) are minor puddles on the floor around the unit—easy enough to mop up and put off further action. However, small leakage often indicates that total tank failure, including significant indoor flooding, is only a matter of time. Consider preventive replacement of a water heater before it reaches the 10-year average service life, whether it’s leaking yet or not.

Ruptured washer hoses. Many residential washing machines are installed with reinforced rubber hot and cold water supply hoses connected to valves on the wall behind the unit. In as little as three years, rubber supply hoses may become brittle and unexpectedly rupture with no advance warning. A burst washer hose will typically release over 650 gallons of water into your house every hour until water is turned off. If no one is home at the time, water damage can be extensive. To avoid the unexpected, don’t wait until rubber washer hoses exceed their safe service life. Replace with braided stainless steel lines that will reliably extend the service life.

What Is A Water Alarm System And How Can It Help Me?

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

water leak alarmA serious water leak inside your home can be a crisis if it happens when you’re asleep or in another part of the house. If it happens while you’re away from home, it can be a catastrophe. Plumbing supply system failures are the number one cause of indoor water damage. Even a tiny 1/8-inch crack in a supply line can release 250 gallons per day. A basic water alarm system alerts you to leaks occurring inside the home by sounding an audio alarm. Higher-tech systems, however, now take leak detection to the next level. Here’s what’s available today from the simplest to the more sophisticated water alarm systems.

  • Wireless audio alerts. These basic, battery-powered units can be placed at strategic spots where water leakage may occur: behind the washing machine, under the water heater and beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, for example. The basement floor is another common location. If water is detected, a piercing audio alarm similar to a smoke detector sounds. Occupants inside the home are alerted to take action to prevent further damage.
  • Wi-fi connected water alarms. Increasingly common, these detectors are placed in vulnerable locations for water leakage and wirelessly connect to your home network. If water is detected, the system emits an audio alarm plus sends a text alert. With a smartphone app, the homeowner is immediately informed that leakage has been detected and also the exact location inside the house where it occurred.
  • Auto-shutoff systems. If a serious leak happens while you’re not home, simply receiving an alert on your phone may not be enough to avoid expensive consequences. By the time you can get home (or have a third party go shut off the water) considerable damage is done. Water alarm systems with auto-shutoff function detect leakage, alert you via smartphone app, and then automatically shut off the main household water valve, too—all within seconds. This system combines both instant alert and proactive damage control, providing the most comprehensive protection.

For more advice about water alarm systems from the industry leader in water damage recovery, contact the professionals at Rytech, Inc.

 

 

Why 24-Hour Emergency Service Matters

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

True or false: Water damage always occurs between the hours of 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Of course, we know that’s not true. As a matter of fact, when water damage strikes your home, it’s most likely to happen at the least expected, most inconvenient time for you. For us, however, we’re always ready to respond with 24-hour emergency service — weekdays, weekends and holidays. We have trained telephone counselors to take your call and a complete team of water damage specialists, fully equipped and ready to roll anytime you need us. More than 20 years’ experience has confirmed that maintaining a fully staffed, 24-hour emergency service is the only way to perform effective water damage mitigation that minimizes losses and fully serves our clients. Here are some reasons why;

  • 24 hour emergency serviceWater damage never sleeps or takes a day off. Random events like a ruptured indoor plumbing pipe or damage from external flooding don’t follow any predictable schedule. So, professionals who take responsibility for mitigating water damage and helping homeowners fully recover from these events must commit to 24-hour emergency service without exceptions.
  • The clock is always ticking. Once water inundation occurs in a home or commercial building, time is not on your side. Water spreads insidiously and relentlessly inside a structure, no matter what time of day it might be. The longer professional water damage mitigation is delayed, the more widespread damage will be and the more likely that possessions and structure will be extensively affected. Waiting until “normal business hours” to get help in these critical emergencies should not be an option any homeowner should have to accept.
  • First water, then mold. Dormant inert spores that exist everywhere activate into toxic growing mold when contacted by moisture. This inevitable natural process occurs over a time span of mere hours. If professional water and mold mitigation techniques are applied in an expedited, time-critical manner, mold contamination, and the long-term consequences that may result from exposure to toxic mold, can be avoided.

For 24-hour emergency service when water damage strikes, contact the professionals at Rytech.

How to Prevent Water Damage While Away from Home

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

While most people take steps to secure the house against break-in when they’re gone, how do you prevent water damage while away from home? The fact is, the risk of water damage in an unoccupied house is real and could inflict far greater losses than most burglars. A broken pipe that happens when someone’s home to notice and take immediate action is bad enough. A broken pipe that inundates your unoccupied house with water 24/7 until you return can be catastrophic. Here are some things to do prevent water damage while away from home.

water damage while away from homeTurn off the Supply

Shutting off the water to the the entire house at the main shutoff valve is the most comprehensive protection. Test the valve yearly to make sure it operates freely — they can be very stubborn if they aren’t turned regularly. If you don’t know the location of your shutoff valve, ask a plumber to show you.

Replace Washing Machine Hoses

Make sure you’ve replaced the rubber hot and cold water hoses that probably came standard with your washing machine. These hoses harden and rupture entirely when old, gushing water non-stop if nobody’s home to turn it off. Braided stainless steel lines are longer-lasting and more secure.

Insulate Pipes in Cold Climates

Frozen water lines that burst are a major cause of home water damage — particularly if freezing weather strikes when you’re away. Insulate all water lines you can access with slip-on foam insulation sleeves available at any home center. Also seal up any exterior openings that allow frigid outdoor air into indoor areas where pipes are routed. Consider leaving your furnace on but set to a low temperature of 55 degrees while you’re gone.

Think About Automatic Shutoff

If you leave town frequently, consider having a professional plumber install an auto-shutoff valve on your main water supply line. The unit constantly senses water pressure. When sudden pressure losses associated with a pipe rupture occur, it turns off all water to the house automatically.

Prevent catastrophic losses from water damage while away from home with more advice from the pros at Rytech, Inc.

What to Do Before Emergency Water Damage Specialists Arrive

Friday, April 11th, 2014

emergency water damage specialistsOne of the advantages of hiring certified emergency water damage specialists is fast response time. Trained professionals in the industry know the importance of evaluating damage and beginning the mitigation process ASAP. Still, there’s always some gap between the alarming moment you realize a serious water spill has occurred and the time a team of emergency water damage specialists can get to the scene. What you do during that interval matters and can affect the overall outcome of the water damage recovery process. Here are a few steps to take until the pros arrive: (more…)