Blog

March 2011

Greetings!  ServiceMaster Emergency Services by Covington

Well just as we begin to see the first signs of Spring, Mother Nature reminds us that Old Man Winter hasn’t left yet.  This is the time of year when we tend to let our guard down and then a couple of days of freezing temperatures reminds us that whether or not Punxsutawney Phil (Ground Hog Day) saw his shadow Spring is still not here, yet.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that water damage to structures is due to flooding, large storms or the weather.  Yes seasonal floods and natural disasters cause a lot of damage.  However, the real culprit that happens anytime, anywhere is . . . plumbing failure.  So this month we provide some reminders of how to avoid a water loss.

ServiceMaster Emergency Services by Covington
(509) 922-2500  (208) 667-7670

How to Protect Your Property

Warning signs like water stains on the ceiling or a leak under the kitchen sink can lead to real problems.  These first signs may seem trivial at first, but why take a chance?  Here are some quick reminders of simple activities you can perform to help prevent water damage.
Dishwasher – Periodically check for leaks under the sink where the hose connects to the water supply.  Look for evidence of leaks such as discolored, warped or soft flooring materials
Refrigerator – If your refrigerator has an icemaker, make sure the hose connection is securely attached to the water supply line.  A wet spot on the floor may be a sign of a crimped icemaker line about to burst
Sinks – Replace deteriorated caulk around sinks and check the pipes underneath for leaks.
Showers & Bathtubs – Remove and replace deteriorated or cracked caulk and grout.  Water can leak through these damaged sealants causing stains or soft areas around nearby walls and floors.
Toilets – Clogs can result from too much toilet paper or objects such as hanging bowl deodorants.  In addition, some chlorine tablet cleaners may corrode internal plastic or rubber parts, leading to a leak.
Washing Machine – Check hoses regularly for bulging, cracking, fraying and leaks around the hose ends.  As part of a proactive maintenance program, replace the hoses every 3 to 5 years.   Make sure to leave at least four inches between the water connection and the back of the washing machine.
Water Heater – Most water heaters last 8 to 15 years.  Wet spots on the floor or a rusted tank may signal a leak.  If possible make sure to install on the lowest level of the property, next to a floor drain.
Sump Pump – Battery operated back up sump pumps can help protect against power failure or failure of the primary pump.  Test the pump before the start of each wet season.  Sump pumps are typically not intended to last more than 10 years.
OUTSIDE THE PROPERTY
Roof – Keep trees trimmed to prevent them from rubbing against the roof and keep the roof free from leaves, twigs and other debris to allow for proper drainage.
Vents – Make sure air can flow freely through all roof and soffit vents.  This will reduce the buildup of heat and moisture.
Chimney – Watch for damage in the valleys areas and around the flashing.  A spark arrestor will also limit the amount of water that intrudes the interior of the chimney.
Gutters – Inspect them regularly and install gutter shields if they fill up frequently.  Also place splash bocks at the end of downspouts to carry water away from the foundation
Air Conditioning – Each year have the A/C system serviced by a qualified technician.
Foundation – Fill in any low spots around the property to assist with water drainage.  Inspect for cracks and moisture in the foundation itself.
Even taking the precautions listed above there is no guarantee that you will not incur a water loss.  However, just by keeping an eye out for problems you may be able to save your belongings from damage, spare yourself from costly repairs and even help to keep your insurance premiums low.

About ServiceMaster Emergency Services by Covington

ServiceMaster Emergency Services by Covington is a proud supporter of the local community. Servicing the greater Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas, we believe in giving back to the area we serve!

Our team includes a Master Restorer with five years of IICRC training, so you can rest assured that the work will be of the highest quality.

With electronic surveillance and other security measures in our 15,000 square foot warehouse, you’ll always know that we’re keeping your possessions safe.  The firm is licensed, bonded and insured to protect you and your home.

Our response time is second to none in the area. We are available 24/7/365 days a year.  We are here to put your property back to its pre-loss condition as quickly as possible. With quality, advanced technology, on-time scheduling, and customer satisfaction our commitment to you, why go anywhere else?

Preventing Frozen Pipes

An average of a quarter million families have their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter, all because of water pipes that freeze and burst.

Recovering from a frozen pipe is not as simple as calling your local plumber.  An eighth of an inch crack (3 millimeters) in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons (946 liters) of water a day.

BEFORE THE COLD HITS
Insulate the pipes in your home’s crawl space and attic.
Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes.
Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located.
Disconnect garden hoses and if practical use an indoor value to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.
WHEN THE TEMPERATURE DROPS
Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
BEFORE YOU GO AWAY
Set the thermostat in your property to no lower then 55F (12C)
Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent freezing or
Shut off and drain the water system completely
IF YOUR PIPES FREEZE
Don’t take chances, if you detect that your water pipes have frozen and burst, turn off the water at the main shut off valve in the property, turn the water faucets on and call US!
Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or open flame.  Water damage is preferable to burning down your property.  You maybe be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer.
Here at ServiceMaster Emergency Services by Covington we have the resources, knowledge and expertise to assist.  Please don’t hesitate to call
(509) 922-2500  (208) 667-7670

Visit Our Partner

Covington Construction & Restoration Builders Inc. is a full service general contractor licensed in Washington and Idaho with offices in both states.  We specialize in residential and commercial insurance repairs with extensive experience in both areas.  Whether it’s a small repair or a complete loss (re-build) we will treat your home and office building like it is our property.

We are an IICRC certified firm specializing in Applied Structural Drying, smoke & fire damage and water damage restoration.  We pride ourselves on being available 24/7 to help you with your needs and to answer any questions.

All team members go through extensive back ground checks, drive company vehicles and wear company identifiable clothing when they arrive on site.   In addition, we do the majority of all repairs with our own employees thus ensuring control over scheduling and quality.

We have an extensive list of reference and work with all insurance companies.

Greetings!  ServiceMaster Emergency Services by Covington                                     

             
Well just as we begin to see the first signs of Spring, Mother Nature reminds us that Old Man Winter hasn’t left yet.  This is the time of year when we tend to let our guard down and then a couple of days of freezing temperatures reminds us that whether or not Punxsutawney Phil (Ground Hog Day) saw his shadow Spring is still not here, yet.
 
One of the biggest misconceptions is that water damage to structures is due to flooding, large storms or the weather.  Yes seasonal floods and natural disasters cause a lot of damage.  However, the real culprit that happens anytime, anywhere is . . . plumbing failure.  So this month we provide some reminders of how to avoid a water loss.
ServiceMaster Emergency Services by Covington
(509) 922-2500  (208) 667-7670
How to Protect Your Property

Warning signs like water stains on the ceiling or a leak under the kitchen sink can lead to real problems.  These first signs may seem trivial at first, but why take a chance?  Here are some quick reminders of simple activities you can perform to help prevent water damage.

  • Dishwasher – Periodically check for leaks under the sink where the hose connects to the water supply.  Look for evidence of leaks such as discolored, warped or soft flooring materials
  • Refrigerator – If your refrigerator has an icemaker, make sure the hose connection is securely attached to the water supply line.  A wet spot on the floor may be a sign of a crimped icemaker line about to burst
  • Sinks – Replace deteriorated caulk around sinks and check the pipes underneath for leaks.
  • Showers & Bathtubs – Remove and replace deteriorated or cracked caulk and grout.  Water can leak through these damaged sealants causing stains or soft areas around nearby walls and floors.
  • Toilets – Clogs can result from too much toilet paper or objects such as hanging bowl deodorants.  In addition, some chlorine tablet cleaners may corrode internal plastic or rubber parts, leading to a leak.
  • Washing Machine – Check hoses regularly for bulging, cracking, fraying and leaks around the hose ends.  As part of a proactive maintenance program, replace the hoses every 3 to 5 years.   Make sure to leave at least four inches between the water connection and the back of the washing machine.
  • Water Heater – Most water heaters last 8 to 15 years.  Wet spots on the floor or a rusted tank may signal a leak.  If possible make sure to install on the lowest level of the property, next to a floor drain.
  • Sump Pump – Battery operated back up sump pumps can help protect against power failure or failure of the primary pump.  Test the pump before the start of each wet season.  Sump pumps are typically not intended to last more than 10 years.
OUTSIDE THE PROPERTY
  • Roof – Keep trees trimmed to prevent them from rubbing against the roof and keep the roof free from leaves, twigs and other debris to allow for proper drainage.
  • Vents – Make sure air can flow freely through all roof and soffit vents.  This will reduce the buildup of heat and moisture.
  • Chimney – Watch for damage in the valleys areas and around the flashing.  A spark arrestor will also limit the amount of water that intrudes the interior of the chimney.
  • Gutters – Inspect them regularly and install gutter shields if they fill up frequently.  Also place splash bocks at the end of downspouts to carry water away from the foundation
  • Air Conditioning – Each year have the A/C system serviced by a qualified technician.
  • Foundation – Fill in any low spots around the property to assist with water drainage.  Inspect for cracks and moisture in the foundation itself.
Even taking the precautions listed above there is no guarantee that you will not incur a water loss.  However, just by keeping an eye out for problems you may be able to save your belongings from damage, spare yourself from costly repairs and even help to keep your insurance premiums low.
 
About ServiceMaster Emergency Services by Covington
 
ServiceMaster Emergency Services by Covington is a proud supporter of the local community. Servicing the greater Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas, we believe in giving back to the area we serve!
 
Our team includes a Master Restorer with five years of IICRC training, so you can rest assured that the work will be of the highest quality.
 
With electronic surveillance and other security measures in our 15,000 square foot warehouse, you’ll always know that we’re keeping your possessions safe.  The firm is licensed, bonded and insured to protect you and your home.
 
Our response time is second to none in the area. We are available 24/7/365 days a year.  We are here to put your property back to its pre-loss condition as quickly as possible. With quality, advanced technology, on-time scheduling, and customer satisfaction our commitment to you, why go anywhere else?
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