With December upon us, and November having already brought a cold snap and low temperatures, it is important to be aware of the potential threat of a burst pipe – the risk of which dramatically increases in winter.

What causes a burst pipe?

The biggest cause of a burst pipe is low temperatures. This is because during cold and freezing conditions, water in exposed pipes will freeze and then expand, which leads to a build-up of high pressure that ruptures the pipe and can cause flooding. Flooding can also occur when frozen water thaws and leaks from the pipe or appliances like radiators and boilers.

Potential Damages

Of course the biggest threat of a burst pipe is damage from flooding, as the the build-up of water can be substantial and cause considerable damage to your home. This can include breakages to your personal belongings and staining your furniture or even lead to damp and mould growth, which can be detrimental to your personal health and wellbeing. Naturally all of this can be upsetting and cause a large amount of emotional distress, especially if your belongings and sentimental items are damaged or destroyed.

Prevention

Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to stop this from happening:

  • Insulate your pipesInsulating your pipes will help prevent them from freezing and potentially bursting. If you find a frozen pipe that is at ground level, and is easily accessible, you could try to thaw it out. However, you need to be very careful with this, and if you are unsure, should always contact a professional.
  • Turn off your water at the mains – If you are leaving your home over winter, or have another property that is being left unattended, we recommend turning the water off at the main stopcock. These are normally located downstairs, by your gas meter or under your kitchen sink. Up to 9600 litres of water (that’s the equivalent of 48 bathtubs) can build-up in a single day, so turning off the water at the mains can significantly reduce the risk of a burst pipe. To learn more about your stopcock, including where it might be located, click here.
  • Leave the heating on – This might be a little of an expensive solution, but it is effective, and can be worth the money when compared to the cost of flood damages.
  • Drain your taps – There will still be a lot of water in pipes and tanks, so just turning off the water isn’t really enough. Therefore, if you are leaving your property unoccupied for an extended period over Christmas, draining down the heating system and shutting off your water supply is a good option to prevent burst pipes. If you are going to do this, we recommend getting advice from a heating engineer or plumber on how to do so safely.
  • Service your boiler – By getting your boiler serviced annually, you will help to avoid breakdowns during cold spells, meaning that your property stays warm and it isn’t cold enough for pipes to freeze.
  • Shut off outside water sources – External sources of water like garden taps can be a big cause of burst pipes as they are more exposed to the elements and cold temperatures.

 In the event of a burst pipe

If a pipe does burst in your home, the best thing to do is to act quickly and turn off the water supply and any electrical items, including your water heating system, in case of flooding.

Should the worst happen, and the cold weather and/or a burst pipe causes flooding in your home, we will be there to help with the aftermath and restoration.

For further information on our services visit our website: www.servicemasterrestore.co.uk or call 0845 762 6828 for emergency help in flooding and trauma damage

Summer is officially over, so it’s probably a good time to start looking at your winter safety kit.

Useful for in the car, at home or work, a winter safety kit often holds necessary items to keep you safe this winter.

Here’s what you might need in your winter safety kit for the home:

  • Salt, or a similar product that can melt ice on walkways
  • Sand to improve traction in the event you need to leave by vehicle
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment in case you need to clear a snow-blocked door or walkway
  • Heating fuel and equipment in case your regular fuel source is cut off
  • Clothing and blankets for each family member
  • First aid supplies, essential medications and necessary personal hygiene items
  • Non-perishable food and water to last at least 3 days, in case you get snowed in
  • Torches and plenty of batteries
  • Portable chargers for mobile phones in case the power goes out
  • A battery-operated radio to get news and weather updates

Here’s some items that would be suitable to keep in the car for those winter emergency situations:

  • Torches
  • Batteries
  • Blankets
  • First aid kit
  • Water bottles
  • Non-perishable food
  • Tire chains
  • Ice scraper
  • Snow shovel
  • Jump cables
  • Extra fuel
  • Mobile phone charger
  • A battery-operated radio
  • Gloves, hats, and boots
  • Spare jackets

Finally, how about at work? Here’s a list of more items suitable for winter emergencies if you are at work:

  • Non-perishable food
  • Water
  • A complete change of warm clothes
  • Boots, gloves and a jacket
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Essential medications
  • First aid kit
  • A battery-operated radio
  • Torches
  • Batteries

Getting stuck in a winter storm is uncommon, but not impossible. Therefore it’s a good idea to be prepared should the worst happen.

Fortunately we can offer help with the after effects of any winter weather. You can visit our home page here for more information or speak to a member of our team for urgent restorative help on 0845 762 6828

As the nights draw in and the temperatures drop, it’s a good time to brush up on your fireplace safety.

A fireplace is a great way to keep the home warm and cosy in the cooler months, but they can bring with them some dangers if not recognised and reduced. Here are some fireplace safety tips to keep your family and your home safe this autumn and winter.

Have a real fire? Read on!

  • Clean out ashes from previous fires
  • Have your chimney checked regularly by a professional
  • Where possible, crack a window open whilst the fire is burning
  • Smaller pieces of wood burn quicker and produce less smoke
  • Install a safety screen to protect children and pets
  • Ensure the area around the fireplace is free from any flammables
  • Never leave a fire unattended
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand
  • Keep tools used to manage the fire out of reach from children
  • Educate children on fireplace safety!

Following the above fireplace safety tips should go a long way in helping to keep your family and your home safe. But if you are unfortunate enough to be affected by fire damage from any source, there are professionals who can help.

ServiceMaster Restore are professionals when it comes to smoke and fire damage clean ups. You can read more about our service on our website.

For any urgent help in restoration, contact us at 0845 762 6828 

It’s important to consider home fire prevention as there are around 37,000 house fires annually in the UK according to Fire Safety Facts.

Consider it as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Home Fire Prevention
  • Keep flammable materials away from heat sources
  • Don’t leave flames unattended
  • Fix or repair faulty wiring
  • Don’t overload sockets
  • Inspect household electrical items

2. Home fire safety equipment

  • Install smoke detectors
  • Keep the most suitable fire extinguisher for the home
  • Consider an automatic sprinkler system

3. Fire safety planning

  • Create a fire safety plan and familiarise yourself and your family with it
  • Make a list of important contact details
  • Practice your escape plan every year
  • Teach children how and when to call 999

It’s important to get to grips with the above to keep yourself and those around you safe in the home. House fires represent a great risk that can be prevented with proper care and attention.

If you’re unfortunate enough to be affected by a fire, you can speak to the experts for restoration help. ServiceMaster Restore provide fire and smoke damage clean ups for customers in the UK.

For further information view our fire and smoke restoration service or call us at 0845 762 6828

If your water bill is going up without reason, it might be worth knowing the common leak types in commercial buildings so you can prevent them.

Water leaks can cause excessive damage to the property, but also rack up quite a water bill too. That’s why it’s a good idea to monitor water usage and know the common leak types in commercial buildings.

Toilet leaks

There are a number of parts within a toilet that can become worn and lead to issues including water loss. By checking seals and all parts for wear, tear and damage and repairing any concerns, you can prevent water leaks from happening.

Underground leaks 

Not as easy to detect, but general giveaways include wet soil, water gathering, extreme plant growth and unusually high water bills. Drains and pipes require water leak detection equipment to help locate any leaks. If found, pipes can be dug up and repaired. If not, exploratory digging may be necessary to find the source of the leakage. It’s important to establish the responsibility of underground leaks before doing any exploratory work.

Hidden leaks 

Leaks can be found in surprising places! Not the most obvious of leaks, hidden leaks can often be the most devastating in terms of damage, mainly because they can go undetected for so long. Look out for water marks and swelling of walls and floors, higher water bills and noise!

ServiceMaster Restore can help with leak detection, as well as the restoration of water damage if required. We have a thorough detection, extraction, drying and cleaning process to ensure that commercial properties are restored both quickly and effectively. Remember, prevention is always better than the cure.

For further information on our water damage services you can visit our page here, or call us in an emergency on 0845 762 6828

Cleaning up after trauma is not a pleasant thing to have to think about, but if your property or businesses premises have been affected by a trauma disaster, then there are professionals who are specially trained to help.

Cleaning up yourself can not only be distressing, but dangerous for yourself and for others if you are unable to clean up and dispose of contaminated waste effectively.

ServiceMaster Restore are specially trained to help with the removal and clean up of;

  • Blood & bodily fluids
  • Chemical waste
  • Drugs
  • Faeces
  • Deceased animals

We discretely attend and not only remove all of the necessary waste and resulting damage, but we also deep clean and sanitise to ensure that the area is clean, hygienic and safe. At ServiceMaster Restore, we are highly experienced in this type of clean up and understand how much of a sensitive requirement this is and our team from the individual who takes the call for help, to the technician who undertakes the clean up provide the utmost sensitivity and understanding throughout.

Our aim is for you to return to their premises with peace of mind that the property is safe to return to for yourself, or your employees and customers if in a commercial setting.

Leave the cleaning up after trauma to the professionals, contact our team today on 0845 762 6828 / www.servicemasterrestore.co.uk