Recent Posts

5 Safe Alternatives to Liquid Drain Cleaners

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Low angle view of baking soda with vinegar Salt and vinegar safe alternatives to drain cleaners

What Are Some Safe Alternatives to These Harsh Chemicals?

A clogged drain can not only be a big hassle at your building in Tempe, AZ, but it can also cause flooding if not handled properly. It might be tempting to buy a heavy-duty drain cleaner, but that’s usually not the best option; the chemicals that destroy clogs can also destroy pipes. So, what are some safe alternatives to these harsh chemicals?

1. Borax, Salt, and Vinegar

Mix ¼ cup of Borax, ¼ cup of salt and ½ cup of vinegar and pour the mixture into the drain. Then, pour boiling water into the drain. Give it an hour, and then rinse with water.

2. Dish Soap

Three tablespoons of liquid dish soap combined with two liters of boiling water is an easy remedy for grease clogs. The grease is returned to liquid and will then easily travel down the pipes.

3. Plunger

A plunger can often save the day when dealing with a clogged drain. A plunger is sometimes all it takes to clear a drain. Cup plungers work best on flat surfaces, such as tubs and sinks. Flange plungers are useful in toilets, tubs and sinks.

4. Coat Hanger

A wire coat hanger can be used to pull the clog out of the drain of a sink or tub. It’s especially helpful for clearing hair clogs. Straighten the hanger, and then use the hook end to extract the clog contents.

5. Snake

A toilet auger (aka a drain snake) can reduce your risk of having to deal with a sewage cleanup; it’s smaller than a plunger and gets directly to the source. Crank the handle to extend the cable into the drain. You can move the cable around until you feel that you’ve “hooked” some of the clog. Bring the end of the cable back to see if anything is attached. If not, try again or move it around to try to break up the clog. Then, try flushing the toilet.
Unclogging a drain can sometimes seem impossible. If your building sustains water damage from a clogged drain, be sure to call SERVPRO restoration professionals.

Mold Growth Lawsuits Against Property Managers

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Green mold on a wall.  The word MOLD in the middle of the picture Mold typically begins to grow within 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment

Mold Growth Lawsuits Against Property Managers

Legal guidelines for landlords' mold exposure liability are often unclear, however, there are circumstances in which a landlord may be sued for damages. Because of the rise in mold insurance claims and lawsuits, many insurance companies have modified their policies to exclude coverage for mold damage. Because of this, it may be wise for property owners to familiarize themselves with their liability exposure and insurance coverage for mold risks.

Mold Risk Checklist

Because of the potential for mold claims or lawsuits, landlords may benefit from assessing their mold exposure risks. These items may be of benefit to review by property owners:

  • Insurance coverage for mold insurance claims
  • Tenants' responsibilities to report mold or water damage in their lease agreement
  • Maintenance schedule
  • Procedures for responding promptly to tenant reports of mold or water damage

Warranty of Habitability

Most states have laws that require landlords to maintain their properties in a "livable" condition. If landlords fail to properly maintain their property or to respond to reports of leaks and other moisture problems, they could be found liable for damages to a tenant's property from mold growth that results from that failure.

Liability for Mold Damage

If a tenant is asking for compensation due to mold damage, it may be wise to consult with an attorney in Tempe, AZ, to determine whether you are liable for the damage. In most cases, to be held liable, the tenant needs to prove that the landlord either knew about the problem or should have known. If you are found to be liable, you may be responsible for damages to the tenant's property and the cost of relocation if the rental is not habitable during the period mold remediation is being done.
Mold insurance claims have been on the rise in rental properties. For this reason, it may be wise for landlords to know their risks, responsibilities and insurance coverages for mold claims.

5 Essential Tips for Preparing Your Business for a Storm

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

External drive connected to a computer Keep computer files backed up on an external hard drive or cloud in case of storm damage

Five Important Ways to Prepare Your Business

Learning a storm is coming your way in Tempe, AZ can cause stress for any business owner. Flood water can create a hazardous situation for your employees and result in extensive damage to your building. Here are five important ways to prepare your business.

1. Create an Evacuation Plan

Your first priority when preparing for a storm should be to ensure the safety of your employees and anyone else who you might be in your building. Have an evacuation plan in place, set up maps around the building, and regularly practice the plan with managers and employees.

2. Backup Data

Make sure to back up all data somewhere offsite in case flood water damages hardware. It is also a good idea to invest in a cloud system so you can easily access important data from any location.

3. Designate Emergency Response Tasks

Determine what tasks need to be completed quickly if dealing with a flooded building and assign them to specific individuals or teams of people. Include these tasks in emergency drills and train people if necessary.

4. Choose a Restoration Company

If your building does experience any water damage, you will need to work with a storm damage restoration company to make any repairs and get back in business as soon as possible. Contact your insurance company to find out if you need to choose a specific company to receive coverage.

5. Protect Your Business

Do what you can to prevent damage from happening to your building. This can include investing in a backup power supply, placing sandbags around the property, removing debris, trimming trees, and replacing broken roof shingles.
While it might not be possible to predict every situation, your business will recover much more quickly if you take the proper steps to prepare for an upcoming storm. From making a plan to addressing any potential hazards, you can successfully minimize the amount of harm flood water can cause.

Is Your Business Prepared To Survive a Disaster?

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

Causes of business interruption Do you know whether you have business interruption insurance?

Surviving a business fire at your Tempe, AZ, commercial property goes well beyond getting the flames put out. Unfortunately, the work that remains to be done after firefighters have finished their work may prevent you from re-opening your doors for quite some time. When this happens, you need business interruption insurance to be sure your company can survive.

What Is Interruption Insurance?

Sometimes referred to as Consequential Loss insurance, this type of policy provides coverage that helps you survive without the income you'd normally receive during regular operations. Some of the most common items covered by this insurance include

  • Physical damages to your buildings and property
  • Damages to machinery and equipment
  • Non-physical damages, such as payroll and monthly debts


This type of insurance may also cover payments for the gross profits you would have received if you'd remained in open.

Don't Underestimate How Long Recovery Takes

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make when purchasing this type of insurance is underestimating how low it will take to recover. It is important to hire fire cleaning and reconstruction professionals who understand the importance of getting back to work as quickly as possible. However, it's reasonable to expect that you may not resume normal operations for several weeks or months, depending on the extent of the damages.

Give Yourself Time to Replace Damaged Items

In addition to recovering the physical aspects of your commercial buildings, you'll also face replacement of machinery, inventory, and other content. As you consider the impact of a fire on your business, be sure to factor in the time and expense it will take to replace the items of value within your buildings and on your property.

Is Your Business Protected?

Do you know whether you have business interruption insurance? Contact your insurance provider before you're affected by a business fire. Don't wait for disaster to strike to find out whether you have the coverage to keep your Tempe, AZ, business afloat while cleanup and recovery efforts are underway.

4 Reasons Why Your Water Heater Is Making Noise

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Water temperature controls on a hot water heater With regular maintenance and inspections, you can prevent many water heater mishaps

Four Common Sounds That Water Heaters Can Make

When everything is going as planned, your water heater is the secret weapon of your Tempe,AZ, home. It provides a bounty of warm water for baths and showers, all while staying tucked quietly out of sight. When it's not-so-quiet, however, there are variety of causes that may be to blame. Here are four of the most common sounds that water heaters can make and what you should do about them.

1. Screeching

If your unit is screeching, the inlet control valve is likely to blame. If it closes partway, the restricted water flow that results can lead to a persistent screech. To fix it, simply open the valve.

2. Popping

A popping sound coming from your water heater typically indicates a buildup of sediment and minerals, particularly calcium and lime. Water gets stuck beneath the debris and releases steam with a popping sound. If left untreated, that accumulation of pressurized air can cause the unit to explode.
Fortunately, there's a relatively easy fix: a water heater flush. Flushing the unit annually can remove sediment and other debris, eliminating the popping sound and prolonging the life of the unit.

3. Sizzling

Sizzling often signifies a leak. The sound you're hearing is the sound of escaped water hitting the burner. The remedy in this case is almost always to promptly call a plumber. Time is of the essence, as a leaking unit is wasting both hot water and energy.

4. Crackling

While a sizzling sound usually foretells a troublesome leak, if your unit is crackling, it's likely due to condensation on the burner. The noise may not be pleasant, but it’s normal.
With regular maintenance and inspections, you can prevent many water heater mishaps. In the event that a leak or other issue gets out of hand, enlist the help of a seasoned water damage mitigation company to return your home to normal quickly and safely.

3 Easy Ways to Cut Candle Fire Risk

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Lit candle in a waz warmer Experts warn you should never leave candles unsupervised, including going to sleep with them burning. Blow them out before you hit the sack or leave t

3 Easy Ways to Cut Candle Fire Risk

Despite all the modern conveniences available nowadays, old-fashioned candles remain a favorite of many people looking to add a little flair to their homes. But the beauty of candles doesn’t negate the risk that having an open flame can bring to your Tempe,AZ, home. The good news is that you can enjoy these decorations without causing a candle fire. Here are a few ways how.

Know the Risks

Most times, candles are burned safely and responsibly. Still, candle-related fires are a real concern that causes serious damage every day. Experts report:

  • About 23 home candle fires occur every day in
  • America
  • Unsupervised children are involved in nearly a quarter of candle-related fires
  • Candles are linked to about 3 percent of home fire deaths

It’s hard to believe something so small can be the cause of extensive fire damage or even injury and death. Fortunately, they don’t have to be, if you act responsibly.

Keep an Eye Out

It’s easy to fall asleep to the flickering glow of a candle. But experts warn you should never leave candles unsupervised, including going to sleep with them burning. Blow them out before you hit the sack or leave the room.

Burn Candles at a Distance

The flame from a candle may be small but it can be very destructive, catching fire to furniture, draperies and even books. Keep safe by burning candles no less than 12 inches from flammable materials.

Trim Your Wicks

Debris in the wax pool of a candle can inadvertently increase fire risk. Minimize risk by removing wick trimmings, matches and general debris from your candles any time you plan to burn them.
Whether burned for ambiance or for religious observation, candles can improve your home’s environment. But a candle fire is a risk that isn’t worth taking. Prevent the chance of fire damage and smoke cleanup by using the above tips to enjoy your candles the right way.

Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Most homeowners do their best to ensure that mold never becomes a problem in their home. Unfortunately, some homeowners are unaware of what causes mold and how they can be proactive in preventing fungus growth. If you’re afraid that you may have mold damage in your Tempe,AZ, home, you’re probably wondering if your homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost of mold remediation. Below is some information to help you understand if your insurance may cover the damage.

Sudden and Accidental Events

While you likely don’t have a separate mold insurance policy, your insurance will cover mold cleanup costs if they are caused by sudden and accidental events such as the following:

  • Hurricane
  • Major snowstorm
  • Fire
  • Frozen pipes
  • Accidental water from burst pipes

Insurance companies need to know that the incident could not be prevented. A specific example of a covered peril is when a new hose behind your washing machine bursts and you’re gone on a business trip or vacation. You return home after a week and find the water and fungus growth. This is an example that shows there was no negligence on your part.

Lack of Maintenance

Now that you understand some instances that justify mold coverage, it’s helpful to know when black mold cleanup would not be covered by insurance. First, remember that an insurance company will only cover sudden and accidental perils. If you’ve noticed black mold slowly growing in your shower and after weeks or months start to worry that it may be causing health problems, your insurance will likely not cover the repair costs. Why? Because insurance companies expect homeowners to properly maintain their home. This includes properly venting bathrooms, maintaining caulking around windows and ensuring that water flows away from the home.
Fungus growth and mold can be prevented by properly maintaining your home. In the unfortunate event of sudden and accidental perils, your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover the mold remediation costs. Contact a mold professional to ensure your home is cleaned correctly.

Different Types of Flooding Require Different Levels of Cleaning

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage in house after flooding Flooded home in Tempe, AZ.

No matter the source of water, the flooding of a home is a major event and a large disruption to a family. It's true, though, that some floods are worse than others. If a pipe bursts in a home containing clean water, the cleanup process is likely to be simpler than if water from overflowing streams, ponds or lakes enter a home. That's because water from the latter event may be contaminated with a number of unknown substances. When dealing with this type of flood, homeowners should exercise caution during cleanup and should strongly consider calling in a storm mediation team in Tempe,AZ.

The Contents of Flood Water

Flooding that originates outdoors carries with it the possibility of containing a host of dangerous elements. The water could possibly be tainted with the following materials:

  • Wild animal wastes
  • Sewage
  • Farm Animal wastes
  • Parasites
  • Pathogens
  • Viruses

Coming in contact with these substances is not advised and may even cause adverse health effects, including infections and illnesses. Cleanup of a building should be conducted by trained professionals who have the option of using gloves, masks and other personal protective gear. Materials soaked by water damage such as furniture and clothes might also be contaminated and should be handled with care.

The Cleanup Process

Flood damage should be cleaned up quickly to avoid additional contamination of the home and to prevent conditions favorable for mold growth. Once the water is safely removed, a number of products such as biocides, antimicrobials, sanitizers, sterilizers and disinfectants may be necessary to complete the cleanup. The home should be thoroughly dehumidified to bring humidity levels down to below 45%.
The goal is to return the home to the healthy place it was before the flooding happened. Special attention may be needed to prevent the occurrence of mold. This may require the use of air filters, HEPA vacuums, fans and negative air chambers.

Job Highlight of the Week

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Green drying equipment in the hallway of a hotel Our drying equipment working hard to get this hotel back to its preloss condition.

We'd like to share with you what our day to day looks like. Welcome to our Job highlight of the week here at SERVPRO of North Tempe! 

SERVPRO of North Tempe received a call last week to assist a nationally branded hotel located in Tempe.   A 200-gallon water heater had failed and emptied over 200 gallons of water throughout its first floor.   We arrived on site within 45 minutes and immediately began extracting water.  We were able to begin the drying process almost immediately.   This allowed us to get the effected rooms dried and available for rent in under 3 days, which was a huge benefit to our customer.

SERVPRO of North Tempe is focused on restoring our customers back to their normal situation as soon as possible.  Making water damage, “Like it never even happened.”

Water Supply Line Replacement Comes with Options

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Plumber working on pipes Plumber working on pipes in Tempe,AZ

Your home in Tempe,AZ, has an intricate system within it ensuring your family stays safe and comfortable. A major part of that is the water system. How that cold or hot water gets to the many faucets, appliances and showers can easily be forgotten. When there is supply line damage, it can mean more than just a bathroom leak.

Water Line Problems

If there is a supply line damage, the culprit is often tree roots damaging the pipes and blocking the flow or corrosion from older pipes made of iron or copper. Although most systems are built to last for years, if you have an older home, having a professional inspect the system for potential issues can keep the water where it is supposed to be.

Different Materials

Copper has long been a go-to for water pipes through the years. With time, technology has provided alternatives that have the potential to last longer. If you have a supply line leak and need to make a replacement, considering your options is important. Common types of piping include:

  • PEX – Relatively new to the scene, this type of piping is gaining momentum. It often costs more but has proven to be leak free, require less maintenance an is easy to install. It is only for indoor use since it can be affected by UV rays.
  • PVC – This versatile piping tends to be more affordable and suitable for warm and cold water. It doesn’t corrode or rust, so it typically last longer. Eventually, this piping can eventually crack and can warp with hot water.
  • Brass – A metal alternative that resists rust, it has proven to last long and are often easier to thread. It can be used for cold or hot water usage.

While the options may seem endless, discussing your piping needs with an expert is the best way to get the right parts for your home after supply line damage occurs. Depending on what is already in your home, changing to a new type may require some additional work.