With temperatures now hitting the freezing mark or below, it is time to think about your homes most vulnerable asset during the cold weather months, your plumbing. Your entire homes plumbing system can be effected by the extreme conditions brought on by snow, ice, and plummeting temperatures. being knowledgeable about the various issues you can encounter during the winter months can help you to possibly prevent serious damage to your plumbing systems. Lets examine some of the winter issues that you may encounter this year if you are not prepared. Any of these issues could result in the need to contact a master plumber.
This is the number one culprit when it comes to winter time plumbing issues. Most times frozen pipes are completely preventable. The problem starts when the temperatures dip below freezing levels, combined with high water pressure from your water main. You can start to tell if your pipes have frozen over due to reduced water flow. If you notice any change in your water pressure or water flow, this may very well signal you have one or more frozen pipes, if so it is time to call a master plumber. To prevent frozen pipes, at night you can leave your faucets and water taps on a slow drip. You can also install foam pipe covers over every pipe in your home, which will insulate your pipes from the cold. If you do end up with a frozen pipe, do by all means shut off the main water valve while awaiting assistance from a master plumber.
Failing hot water systems
This is a rather common issue during the winter months, one that is more annoying than it is destructive. Did you know that water heating issues ranks among one of the top reasons why plumbers are called any time of the year? Yet this problem peaks during the winter months. To help prevent this, you will want to make sure that the water temperature is high enough on your water heater when winter sets in. Having your water heater checked before winter will help to ensure that you never run into this issue when the deep cold sets in. If you use a gas water heater, always ensure that the pilot light is lit. If you feel that your water heater is not hot enough, call a plumber right away.
A water line leak or break
This is one of the most devastating plumbing problems you could ever experience when it comes to a residential plumbing emergency or a business plumbing problem. A water line leak or break will cause devastating damage to your home or business, the sad part is for most of the victims of this during the winter, it was completely preventable. Do not become part of this statistic. Disconnected garden hoses during the winter, as if you leave it connected and temperatures dip below freezing, ice will form in your house, and this will cause pressure to build up. This pressure can make a major leak, resulting in thousands of dollars in damages pretty quickly. To prevent this issue, disconnect all outdoor hoses, and drain your outdoor pipes. You can also use shut off valves in your home to drain water away from your pipes, if you have these valves available.
Sump pump discharge line issues
If your sump pump discharge line is located outside, be sire to keep this area clear of snow and ice. Failure to do so could cause water to back up into your home, and freeze, damaging your sump pump system.
Ask any home owner who has had a mold problem, and they will tell you mold destroys your home, presents health hazards, and is expensive often times to remove. While mold is needed in nature, after all it is what causes organic matter to decay and turn into soil, and it also makes drugs and cheese, mold present in your home is a clear and present danger. While an IICRC certified mold restoration company can remove any mold present in your home or business, it is far better to simply prevent mold growth in the first place. Lets go over some simple mold prevention tips that can help to keep your home or business mold free.
To begin to prevent mold, we must first understand how mold grows, where it grows, and under what conditions that mold grows. Mold is a member of the Fungi family. Mold reproduces via spores, which can go airborne, and these spores can lay dormant for years, awaiting better conditions to take hold, grow and reproduce. These mold spores are very hard to get rid of once they take hold in your home or business. This is not to say that homes should be or ever can be mold free, indeed every building has some level of mold present. It is only when the levels of mold present indoors exceed the levels of mold expected outdoors that mold is an issue.
These mold spores can take hold anywhere, behind drywall, carpets, on cement walls, wall paper and more. Besides eating your building materials, mold can easily cause health issues, depending on various factors. Not all mold will make you sick, and black mold is in truth no more dangerous than any other type of mold. Yet some molds can and will make you sick, especially if you have a weakened immune system or any type of breathing problem. Mold only needs moisture and a cool temperature to really spread out. Moisture is your key enemy when it comes to mold, as without excessive moisture, there can be no mold infestation.
So now we understand how mold grows, where it grows, and under what conditions. Now we can make plans to begin mold prevention. While nothing can mold proof your home or business 100%, you can make your structure resistant to mold, and lessen the chance of a mold colony forming in your home. To begin you need to identify any problem areas in your home or business. Problem areas are areas with any excessive moisture, think for example about your basement, AC ducts, your bathroom if it has a shower, and any room where condensation forms on the window. Mold prevention begins with water proofing your home as much as possible. Basements for example you can install weeping tile systems to drain excess water. You can install a dehumidifier with your heating and cooling system to remove excess moisture from the air. Other factors to look into is making sure your gutters and downspouts are fully functional, and that none of your plumbing is leaking.
Dry any wet areas the moment you notice wetness. Water pooling in your basement after a storm, water from an appliance failure, leaky pipes or any other source needs to be addressed at once. Never leave carpets, furniture or clothing wet. Even your laundry should never be left to sit wet, put them into the drier right away, it does not take much for mold to begin to form, and as stated earlier mold can quickly spread.
You also need to ensure that your home or business has proper ventilation in order to remain mold free. Key areas for ventilation are your basement, bathroom, kitchen and laundry room, as these areas tend to have higher than average moisture in the home. The reason being that all of these rooms have one thing in common, water is used in them. Make sure that any appliances that use water have venting to the outside, and not into your attic or crawlspace. If you use an air conditioner, make sure you receive an AC tune up yearly to ensure that water is not pooling up inside, and that its ventilation is working as expected. Try to keep your homes humidity level to between 30 and 60 percent, if you are not sure of your humidity levels, consider buying a moisture meter for your home.
You can also buy mold resistant building materials today. In the past drywall was a key area that mold could easily form, but today mold resistant dry wall is available. Consider replacing older building materials with newer mold resistant materials. Today you can purchase mold resistant Sheetrock, cement, and paint, as well as the aforementioned drywall.
You also need to consider the drainage of your property. If water tends to pool or collect near your foundation, this is an issue that can cause mold, and also property damage by wearing down your foundation. If this is the case, consider consulting with a construction professional or master plumber to look into your drainage options.
During the cold weather, mold can also form. The key factor here is that during the cold months, air holds less moisture, yet your home will still have moisture. Instead of collecting in the air, this moisture will collect on your walls, building materials and personal possessions, a key breeding ground for mold. Make sure your air circulation is increased between rooms. Things that can help air circulation are keeping doors between rooms open, and letting fresh air into the home.
These are all things that can help prevent mold in your home or business. If mold still forms in your home, consider a consultation with Jarvis Construction, we have been in the mold remediation and removal business for over 30 years strong. We provide a wide range of services, including mold testing, IAQ testings and mold removal.
Spring is here, and that means that rain is definitely on its way. Just because the snow is gone doesn’t mean that you are out of the clear when it comes to basement flooding. The ground is still going to be a little bit frozen and in the process of thawing out when the spring rain comes, therefore, the ground is too saturated to absorb any water. This water will then flow down to the foundation of your home and eventually, your basement.
Of course, if you have a sump pump then you should be in good shape for the season. But, if it hasn’t been looked at in a while then you may be in trouble. For example, your sump pump can fail due to its age, continuous use, debris in the basin, or a clogged weep filter.
Another cause of flooding in the basement is structural malfunctions. The main function of a sanitary sewer pipe is to remove wastewater from your home. If any type of excess water enters this system, it can overload and send it back into your home. The same thing goes for a storm sewer that is larger than a sanitary sewer, but is designed to carry larger amounts of flow.
Landscaping is another factor that can lead to a flooded basement. If the ground around the foundation of your home is sloping towards it, the rainwater will naturally flow in that direction. In most cases, the weeping tiles will carry the water away without hassle, but if there are heavy amounts of rain coming in short periods of time, the system could overload and the water could find a way into your home. The same concept can be applied to window wells, so be sure to check that slope is going in the opposite direction.
One of the last common causes of a flooded basement is eave troughs and downspouts. If your downspouts don’t extend at least six inches away from your foundation, then it could also overload your weeping tiles. If they are also still clogged up with debris it could become a problem as well.
Fortunately, there are solutions to these problems! If you undergo an unexplained flooding problem, you’ll want to start at the eaves and downspouts, and then look at the landscaping and foundation drainage. If it isn’t any of those factors, then it is most likely interior plumbing or sewer/sanitary drains.
Here are some tips to help you prevent future basement flooding:
– Keep your gutters and downspouts clear of any type of debris, and check for any cracks. If they spill over, you may want to consider replacing them with a larger size.
-If the ground around your home slopes in the direction of your foundation, fill it in and grade the lot so that it slopes away from the house at least six inches.
-It can be hard to determine whether or not your weeping tiles are working effectively or not, but if the source of the water cannot be found then it is time to call in the professionals so that they can snake the drains and look for crushed tiles or plugs. This would also rule out any sanitary or storm sewer issues as well.
-As for the sump pump, you’ll want to check and make sure that the discharge pipe is debris-free and discharges out onto your property where it can be absorbed. Next, check the pit for debris as the weeping tiles can carry sand and debris into it. It is always a good idea to check your pump each spring to make sure that it is working effectively and efficiently.
It is always a good idea to have a battery backup on hand for your sump pump in case of a power outage. There are a variety of different backups that have an alarm or that can call your phone to notify you of a power outage. Also, there is a backwater valve that can prevent sewage from backing up into your basement, but you would need to call a plumbing company to install it.
This weekend will be one for the books, as many records have the potential to be shattered due to two cold blasts. The first Alberta Clipper storm will bring some light snow to parts of the Midwest. The second Alberta clipper will bring heavy snow and strong winds into New England this weekend.
Just like the cold spell that we saw in early January, this blast of arctic air will bring disruptions to some of the travel accommodations in the northern cities, such as trains. This prolonged blast of cold weather will also cause many water main breaks from the Midwest all the way to the Northeast.
This combination of freezing air will not only be brutal to endure for even short periods of time, but it can bring on some life-threatening conditions for anybody who is not properly dressed. Afflictions due to cold weather can be anything from difficulty of breathing to frostbite and even hypothermia if someone isn’t properly dressed.
The Midwest and Atlantic coast will be the first areas to receive the cold blast through the end of this week and beginning of next week. This cold isn’t going to only last for a day though, this brutal cold will last for multiple days, and the temperatures are not expected to rise above zero degrees in northern Michigan and northern Minnesota until next week.
On the coldest days, the temperatures will climb into the single digits and teens in Detroit, Boston, Chicago, and Minneapolis; but the temperatures will feel as though they are below zero for many hours on many different days. The actual lows during the night time will dip below zero in some cities in the Midwest.
From Ohio to Pennsylvania and New York to Rhode Island, the coldest days of this winter will bring highs in the lower 20s with the temperatures actually feeling as though they are still below zero. The worst of the cold weather will then dive southward from central Canada this weekend, and the arctic outbreak this weekend will also be accompanied by strong gusty winds for some time.
The temperatures in the Northeast and also the South will more than likely shatter previous records. Residents living in the South will also experience some sunshine that will hopefully help with the low temperatures. Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia will experience some cold weather as well, because the temperatures are expected to hold in the 30s or lower on one or more days.
Florida is not exempt from the chilly temperatures either. The air will get cold enough in the northern part of Florida to bring the risk of damage to any unprotected sensitive crops such as fruit and vegetables.
After this surge of cold air has moved into Canada, another blast will move from the Midwest and Northeast into the South during the middle of next week. Residents should take the proper measures to deal with the harsh cold and should bundle up if they have to go outside. Be sure to wear extra layers and bring animals indoors to protect them from the harsh freezing air. Also, it is a good idea to have the antifreeze and the tire pressure checked before the brutal air settles into the area. Checking your car battery is also beneficial so that you know that your battery is strong enough to handle the cold.
The National Weather Service warned over the weekend that a very cold blast of frigid arctic air will push its way into the Upper Midwest from northern Canada this week. This cold air will make temperature plunge to way below freezing in many areas. In fact, the NWS is warning that highs could be around 35 degrees colder than normal for this time of the year. People living in some parts of Minnesota are already experiencing frigidly cold temperatures like those living in International Falls where the mercury levels never made it to the plus side of thermometers Sunday.
A massive low pressure system is being blamed for the cold weather that is going to affect millions of people this week. The extreme cold weather is bound to cause all types of problems from vehicles not starting to furnace breakdowns and broken water pipes inside homes and businesses. Some Americans will get a double whammy from this blast of cold temperature as some areas will see snow. Some parts of the Upper Midwest can see a couple inches of white stuff while heavier snow may fall over northern Minnesota and northern North Dakota where up to a foot or more could come down.
The cold air moving into the US will come in two parts. The first push of frigid air will be cold but not as cold as the second round that starts Tuesday. While it is not unusual for the northern part of the US to get cold weather at the start of the year, what is coming is being called “brutal” as temperatures are likely to struggle to make it above zero on Wednesday in many places including Chicago and Detroit.
People living in the Midwest are being told to be ready for the cold blast of frigid air by bundling up and spending as little time outside as possible. This is also the type of weather that serves as a reminder to homeowners to check their furnaces and fireplaces to be sure everything is working as it should. Bitterly cold weather is also the cause of many frozen pipes which can burst to flood homes and businesses so now is the time to insulate pipes and keep water dripping from faucets to avoid freeze ups. Vehicle owners should also prepare for the cold by checking fluid levels, tire pressure and by carrying extra clothing and blankets in case they become stranded.
If you’re a resident in the greater Metro Detroit suburbs of Macomb and Oakland County, then you know that we have experienced near record rainfall totals throughout this past week. On Monday, August 11th, heavy rains poured down on the greater Metro Detroit area, leaving cars stranded, Interstates impassable, and basements flooded.
Our restoration firm has been working diligently to help business and homeowners alike remove the water from their basements, and begin the cleanup and restoration process from there. Each case of water damage is unique from the next, and it is a very involved process that must be performed meticulously to ensure that mold does not begin to grow. Our technicians are IICRC certified in Water Mitigation and have been working day in and day out to ensure that the water is properly removed from homes and businesses alike.
The excessive flooding also caused many properties to undergo a sewage backup, and that is categorized as Category III Water, which contains contaminants. Our first priority is removing all water from the basements and main levels of all properties, and after that comes the cleaning and rebuild process. This is a thorough process, and should be done with the help of professionals if you are not properly trained in the process of storm damage recovery and water mitigation.
Here are some photos of the current jobs that we have been undertaking after the historic flooding event that ravaged homes and businesses throughout the greater Metro Detroit area:
Remember, in the wake of a water damage disaster, call the professionals at Jarvis Property Restoration for help with water removal, structure drying, structure repairs, disinfection, and mold remediation!
Michigan residents living across the Detroit metropolitan area awoke to warnings Tuesday telling them to stay off the roads if possible. After more than 4.5 inches of rainfall fell in Detroit Monday, standing water was still present on interstates and surface streets. The National Weather Service said Tuesday morning that more rain is on the way but that only scattered showers were expected.
Detroit’s major interstate highways including I-94, I-696 and I-75 were all shut down at different times, sending travelers on many different detours during their morning commutes Tuesday. Raw sewage caused the closure of the northbound Lodge freeway at Cobo Center while workers were dealing with a mudslide at Grand River and northbound Southfield. Rescue workers were busy all night long rescuing people who were stranded in the vehicles and many of those efforts were still going on early Tuesday.
The rain that fell over metro Detroit Monday nearly broke an all-time record. A total of 4.57 inches came down which is just shy of the 4.74 inches that fell in July back in 1925. The city of Warren was especially affected by Monday’s rain as dozens of residents there spent the night in shelters. There were up to 500 people stuck in a Lowe’s parking lot due to flooding. Warren’s police department was even flooded with several feet of water in its basement.
Many areas of metro Detroit were ravaged by very serious flooding. While the 4.57 inches of rain that came down was recorded at Metro Airport, other communities around the area got up to six inches of rain, most of which fell after dinnertime Monday as the rush hour was well underway. Many metro Detroiters are facing weeks or even months of flood clean-up work which includes cleaning & drying basements as well as swamped vehicles.
Is is estimated that over 1,000 vehicles were abandoned across metropolitan Detroit following scores of high water rescues and evacuations. Some drivers decided to spend the night in their vehicles due to flooding that completely submerged a countless number of roads in the area. The pump infrastructures designed to keep roadways clear of water were simply overwhelmed by all the rain that fell, causing water to quickly pool up on freeways.
The threat for severe thunderstorms will remain typical for August this week, which means that there will definitely not be much action pertaining to severe weather going on. But, the threat for flash flooding will be in full effect.
In many areas of the United States, there will be a threat for scattered showers and thunderstorms and they will be throughout a couple of different areas of the country. Some of them, especially systems in the West, will dump enough rain to cause some localized flash flooding in the area.
There has been a lack of strong, large scale systems in the atmosphere recently and with that being said, the threat for large hail and tornadoes will be pretty low for the rest of the week. If there are any damaging winds that come along with this system, they will be mainly caused from the rain-cooled downbursts in the stronger thunderstorm systems.
Generally speaking, the severe weather threat will continue to remain below average for the beginning of the month. But, Tuesday has the potential to bring a couple of strong storms to some parts of the Central Plains. On Wednesday that risk will then shift into lower Missouri, lower Ohio, and the mid-Mississippi Valley. As for the Midwest, it looks like it may be the most unsettled part of the country when it comes to showers and thunderstorms. But at this time it isn’t clear that there will be a significant severe weather episode during that time. This means that you have to stay tuned to your local weather authority, as the system is always changing due to the conditions.
The atmosphere as of late has been unusually moist, especially in parts of the West, and this is even considering that it’s the new wet phase of the Monsoon. Because of this, it is possible that some localized flash flooding may occur, and even some thunderstorms. This could possibly mean that some areas may potentially pick up over three inches of rain, but that is only during the heaviest of thunderstorms.
This unusually moist air mass has since shifted north, as drier air has moved into southern California and a large portion of Arizona. As a result of this, storms with locally heavy rain will remain farther to the north throughout Wednesday. This will extend from northern California through Southern Idaho, into northern Nevada, northern Utah, and will then end at parts of Wyoming and Montana.
It is important to stay alert for the potential of dangerous landslides and rushing water in any areas that experience heavy rainfall and are located in steep and mountainous terrain. Vehicles can easily be swept away by moving water, and even the heaviest passenger vehicles can be swept away by no less than two feet of moving water. It only takes six inches of rushing water to knock the average person off of their feet! This means that you should not try to drive through flooded areas, and if you by chance do come across a flooded road, turn around and try to find an alternate route of travel.
On the East Coast, the threat of flooding in the eastern Carolina’s is dying down and diminishing quite quickly. Although, locally heavy rainfall may potentially affect parts of Florida through Tuesday. Stormy conditions in the Midwest on Tuesday and Wednesday may also have the potential to bring on localized flash flooding as well.
Stay tuned to your local weather authority for updates on the weather in your specific area!
Throughout the beginning of this week there has been an imminent threat looming over most of the United States for severe weather. A large outbreak of severe weather and tornadoes is predicted to continue through Tuesday as the storm system slowly moved across the eastern part of the nation. The Midwest, the South, and the East are all at risk for severe weather throughout Wednesday. The expected affected areas include the Plains, Mississippi, and Ohio Valleys, along with parts of the south will see severe storms and tornadoes on one, or even multiple days. Excessive rainfall that will cause flooding will also be a serious threat.
On Tuesday the largest threat areas are the Deep South, the Carolinas, Ohio Valley, and the Southern Great Lakes region. The largest hazards that can be expected are damaging wind gusts, large hail, and possibly tornadoes. Heavy rainfall is also expected and this could lead to flash flooding or flooding in general. The main cities that are predicted to get hit the hardest in the south are Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham, and Louisville.
On Wednesday, severe thunderstorms will be likely in the Mid-Atlantic States to the Southeast coast. The hazards will be damaging straight line winds, large hail, and some tornadoes possible. In parts of the east there is also a significant chance for flash flooding to occur. Richmond, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Columbia are amongst the cities in the south that are expected to be the hardest hit.
Forecasters all over the Country are urging Americans to keep an eye out for severe weather that has killed 31 people in the last two days. About 70 million people are being warned of a moderate risk for severe weather in the eastern half of the U.S. Mississippi and Alabama have been hit hard as tornadoes caused destruction and took the lives of several people on Monday. A third of the country is under a severe weather threat throughout Wednesday.
Thousands of people were without power in the two hardest hit states, where tornadoes ravaged the area late on Monday. At least 13 deaths are accounted for in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee on Monday. Those deaths are in addition to the 18 others that are reported in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa from Sunday.
Tens of thousands were without power in those two states, where suspected tornadoes chewed through homes and businesses late Monday. At least 13 people were killed in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee on Monday. Those deaths are in addition to 18 others reported in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa from storms Sunday. The National Weather Service stated that nearly 2.5 million people in parts of Alabama and Mississippi were at moderate risk of tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds. The risk areas were from the south Great Lakes region to the Gulf of Mexico, then stretched east of the Atlantic
It is always important to stay tuned in to your local weather authority or The Weather Channel for any updates for your area. In cases of severe weather, it is important to have flash lights, blankets, non-perishable goods, and a first aid kit on hand.
Temperatures are plunging once again across the Midwest, adding to what’s been an unusually cold and brutal winter. The drastically cold weather that’s gripping the Midwest this winter has caused all types of problems ranging from frozen pipes to widespread school closings due to extreme cold and blowing & drifting snow. The prolonged stretch of cold has also set up the greatest ice cover on the Great Lakes this early in the winter since 1994. Now, the Great Lakes are nearly 50 percent covered in ice with Lake Erie being the most affected as 94% of that lake is now ice-covered.
In Michigan, residents are bracing yet again for another round of brutally cold weather. To add insult to injury, the Great Lakes State is going to get more snow to usher in the new work week. And, because of winds gusting to between 20 and 30 miles per hour, the snow that does come down will blow and drift to cause many problems on roadways. As this new deep freezes settles over the Midwest, officials are warning motorists of hazardous road conditions for Monday and Tuesday’s commute.
Michigan State Police are warning people that if they have to travel early this week to adjust their speed according to the weather conditions. Wind chills will dip to 30 to 40 degrees below zero across the Midwest early Monday. The teeth-chattering cold will and linger over the region until the morning hours of Wednesday.
The National Weather Service said Sunday that this blast of brutally cold air hitting the Midwest will rival the frigid days from earlier this month. Many home and business owners in the Midwest have already faced many problems from the recent polar vortex including frozen water pipes that burst, vehicles not starting and furnace issues. This latest round of cold weather will undoubtedly keep furnace repair and plumbing services very busy once again. In addition to pipes bursting all across the Midwest during the polar vortex, there were also numerous fires to extinguish due to people using blowtorches and heat guns on frozen pipes. People are being reminded never to use such devices on frozen pipes as insulation and other materials inside walls, crawlspaces and attics can easily ignite and burn.
Detroit has received nearly 32 inches of snow so far in January, smashing the old record of just over 29 inches set in January of ’78. And, more snow is coming to the Motor City which has prompted road crews to scramble to clear away roadways before they ice over. A spokesperson for the Michigan Dept. of Transportation said Sunday that every major expressway in the southeastern part of the state had some type of accident or weather-related delay this weekend. Most were crashes resulting in careless drivers going too fast or traveling too closely behind vehicles in front of them.