Tag Archive for: safety tips

Different types of flooding and how to combat them.

When you think of flooding, it probably seems straightforward: rain, rain, rain, with nowhere to go… flooding.

However, it isn’t quite so simple.

There are various types of floods, and the damage each can do to your home can be different.

Knowing which types of floods could affect your home is essential to better prepare for the disaster.

Different Types of Floods:

  • Coastal flood
  • River flood
  • Flash flood
  • Groundwater flood
  • Sewage flood

Coastal Flooding

A coastal flood is an accumulation of water on land caused by waves, tides, storm surge, or heavy rainfall.

Coastal areas are prone to flooding because they are near the ocean.

Due to climate change, the risk is expected to continue to grow.

According to the Office for National Statistics, over 5.3 million residents live in coastal towns in England and Wales, of which 3.5 million live in seaside towns and 1.9 million in other coastal towns.

Coastal flooding can have dire consequences, from drownings and injuries to contaminated water-caused sicknesses to mental health problems.

Some of these include mental health issues caused by stress during the flooding, injuries while attempting to escape from the water or falling debris, respiratory illness due to damp environments that can lead to mould damage, and coming into contact with contaminated flood water.

There are three levels of coastal flooding:

  • Minor: Low likelihood of property damage and not directly life-threatening
  • Moderate: Elevated likelihood of property damage and possibly life-threatening
  • Major: Significant likelihood of property damage and seriously life-threatening

River Flooding

A river flood occurs when water rises over the top of riverbanks.

Any size of river and stream has the potential to flood, with rivers having an increased potential to overflow once every two years.

Typically, river flooding is caused by extreme rainfall, long-lasting thunderstorms, combined rainfall and snowmelt, and ice jams.

These pulses of melting snow or rain cause water to rise above the riverbanks and flood surrounding areas.

Though river floods can usually be predicted, there is potential for unexpected property damage if a dam or dike breaks.

However, most of the causes of river floods often stem from storms that allow enough warning for those in surrounding areas to evacuate safely.


Flash Flooding

Flash flooding begins within 6 hours of heavy rainfall and is often caused by severe thunderstorms and other weather patterns.

Flash floods can also be the result of a dam or levee breaking.

Several factors contribute to the severity of a flash flood, including:

  • The intensity of the rainfall
  • Location of the rainfall
  • Landscape
  • Soil type and condition

Urban areas are more prone to flash floods than suburban or rural areas, and the damage is likely to be greater with less soil to soak up the water.

However, the lack of soil is not the only reason for this increased risk of flash floods.

Areas that have soil but haven’t seen rain in some time are in similar danger since the water cannot be absorbed by the soil fast enough, leading to water quickly running off to lower areas.

The greatest danger with flash flooding is that it can occur quickly and leave little time to prepare.

Those in areas of heavy rainfall are urged to know the difference between flood watches and warnings to identify if an evacuation is needed.

Most flood-related deaths are the result of flash foods.

They can also lead to significant structural damage to homes, including foundation damage, damage to appliances, and long-term harm resulting from mould.


Groundwater Flooding

Groundwater floods are usually the result of inundated drainage systems by significant rain that causes water to overflow into streets and nearby properties.

They are equally likely to occur in urban and rural areas.

Fortunately, groundwater flooding happens gradually when the water levels are shallow, so homeowners often have time to remove their possessions.

However, this groundwater flooding can be troublesome because it may persist for weeks or months until the soil can absorb the standing water.

As a result, they can lead to significant danger to homes, with an increased likelihood of structural damage to properties and more risk to long-term risks such as mould.


Sewage Flooding

Sewage flooding is caused when unexpected heavy rainfall overwhelms sewage systems or treatment plants, causing them to break down and release untreated sewage into water bodies.

Sewage floods are arguably the most unpleasant, with sewage leaking through pipes or drains or coming up through toilets, sinks, or showers.

These floods are the most hazardous because the water is contaminated with harmful bacteria and chemicals that can cause infections, diarrhoea, fever, vomiting, and other diseases.

Fast response and a thorough and detailed clean-up by experts familiar with sewage cleanup services are vital in these situations.


Recover from Flooding Damage to Your Home

No matter the type of flood, the damage to your home can be severe.

Each home flooding situation is different and requires an expert to know the correct steps that need to be taken and how to best recover from the damage.

ServiceMaster Restore has qualified flood and water damage restoration experts who are highly skilled and can get your home back to normal as quickly as possible after a flood occurs.

See how your local experts can help you by finding your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business today.

The science behind leak detection. 

Water leaks can lead to significant problems if left undetected, no matter how small.

From mould growth to structural damage, the consequences can be dire, so property owners must identify and address leaks quickly.

But how to do this when it’s undetectable to the naked eye?

Disaster Restoration (and prevention) professionals like our teams at ServiceMaster Restore use the latest high-tech leak detection equipment to accurately and precisely pinpoint the source of a leak.

But how does it work?

This blog post breaks down the science behind how our equipment helps to detect leaks within your property.

  1. Infrared Cameras

All objects emit some infrared radiation.

Infrared (IR) cameras (often called thermal imaging cameras) detect radiation in the infrared spectrum and visualise emissions as heat maps.

These detect even the slightest temperature changes caused by water leaks.

The colour variations on the camera’s display also help visualise the presence and spread of moisture.

  1. Acoustic Sensors

When water leaks from a pipe, especially under pressure, it generates a sound.

The frequency and intensity of this sound can vary based on factors like the size of the leak and the pressure within the pipe.

Acoustic sensors, placed strategically, can pick up these sound waves, enabling us to pinpoint the leak’s source even when it’s deep within walls or flooring.

  1. Moisture Meters

When a surface or material gets wet due to a leak, its moisture content rises.

Moisture meters measure the moisture content in various materials.

They employ pin-type probes that penetrate the material or non-invasive sensors that take readings from the surface.

These allow us to detect elevated moisture levels, even if there’s no visible sign of dampness.

This is useful for checking areas prone to moisture accumulation, such as behind walls or under flooring.

The ServiceMaster Restore Response

These tools, when combined, offer a comprehensive and highly accurate method of locating even the most concealed leaks.

By harnessing the science behind these technologies, ServiceMaster Restore ensures prompt and precise leak detection, mitigating potential damage and offering homeowners peace of mind.

With these state-of-the-art tools, we ensure homes and buildings remain safe and dry, nipping potential water damage in the bud and saving you the cost, trauma and damage of restoring preventable damages.

Contact Us

If you think your property may be suffering from water leaks, mitigate potential damage today by finding your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business.

Or, in a crisis, call 0845 762 6828 for 24/7 professional disaster restoration response.

Storm Agnes is coming.

With the area of low-pressure officially dubbed Storm Agnes by the Met Office set to hit much of the UK this week, here’s everything you need to know and how to prepare to prevent potential damages.

What can we expect from Storm Agnes?

The Met Office warns that:

“Storm Agnes will move into western areas of the UK and Ireland on Wednesday, with the strongest winds most likely on Irish Sea coasts, though it will be a widely windy day across the UK.”

Rain

To be more precise, we can expect around 60mm of rain in some areas of Scotland and heavy rain across the UK.

As Agnes moves north towards the end of the week, rain will move south in heavy bursts on Thursday and Friday across England and Wales.

Wind

A yellow weather warning for wind has also been issued across the UK on Wednesday and Thursday, with only the southeast of England currently except.

Inland areas can expect a high likelihood of wind gusts around 50 to 60mph, while exposed areas like coastland may see gusts ranging from 65-80mph.

This may cause transport disruption, with some roads and bridges closing.

Preventing Potential Property Damage

The wind warning may pose a risk to buildings, as well as the possibility of power cuts for some.

Wind is the most common form of damage and disruption in the UK, with 184 recorded deaths from wind-related building failures between 1962 and 1995.

Here are our top tips for storm preparation:

  1. Secure Loose Objects

Secure all loose objects such as ladders, outdoor furniture, or anything that could be blown into windows and cause damage.

  1. Fasten Doors and Windows

Close and securely fasten all doors and windows, like those for a garage.

  1. Gas, Electric and Water Supply

Remind yourself how to turn off your gas, electric and water supplies. You may need to do this in a pinch, and it’s best to be prepared.

  1. Check all Gutters are Clear

Check all of your gutters and drain pipes are clear to avoid blockages.

  1. Unplug Electronics

Unplug all non-essential electrical appliances.

  1. Have an Evacuation Plan

Have an evacuation plan ready in case of an emergency.

What if Storm Agnes damages your property?

If your property is the victim of damage during Storm Agnes, ServiceMaster Restore will be there to aid in the aftermath and restoration.

To learn more about our services, find your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business today or call 0845 762 6828 in an emergency.

What is leak detection and why do you need it?

At ServiceMaster Restore, we have over 60 years of expertise in working with both residential and commercial clients to provide expert damage restoration services.

Whether you’re a homeowner, landlord, loss assessor or adjustor, service provider or a commercial premise, we are here to help you deal with the fallout and recovery from incidents that have damaged your property, be it fire, flood, mould or a burst pipe.

We are proud to announce that as of the July 2023, we are now offering professional leak detection services to people and properties across the UK.

But what is leak detection?

Leak detection is the process of using non-invasive and market-leading technology to locate and address leaks in a property, therefore mitigating potential damage, stress, and repair costs.

When might you need leak detection services?

Leak detection is a major way of preventing unnecessary costs and damage to your property.

If you’ve noticed things like:

  • Unexpected increases in your water bill
  • Damp spots or discolouration on walls, ceilings and floors
  • The sound of running water when all faucets are off

You may have a leak that you can’t see.

If you suspect a leak in your property, contact us immediately for a professional, non-invasive inspection.

As experts in disaster restoration, we know that a leak can occur at any time, which is why we offer our services around the clock.

Our team is always prepared to respond immediately, ensuring a swift initiation of the leak detection and mitigation process.

For a 24/7 rapid response to leaks and property damage, think ServiceMaster Restore.

How leak detection helps you

Professional leak detection services are an investment in the future health of your property.

Ignoring a suspected leak can lead to devastating consequences, including structural damage and expensive repairs.

ServiceMaster Restore uses cutting-edge and market-leading equipment to quickly and effectively identify leaks.

Our technology is designed to cause minimal disruption to your property and allows us to locate leaks without unnecessary destruction.

In doing so, it can:

  • Prevent Expensive Repairs by detecting leaks early and mitigating further damage. Thus, reducing the overall cost of repairs.
  • Protect Your Property: Unresolved leaks can pose a serious threat to your property’s structural integrity. Our services aim to preserve your property’s condition, thereby protecting its value and appeal.

Suspect a leak in your property?

If you suspect your property may have a leak that you can’t see, don’t delay – contact the experts and get it checked.

Choose ServiceMaster Restore for all your leak detection needs, and experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing your property is in expert hands.

Our combination of professional knowledge, innovative technology, non-invasive methods, and a firm commitment to customer satisfaction makes us a trusted name in disaster restoration.

If you suspect a leak, whatever the time of day, contact us on 0845 762 6828 or find your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business now.

How to have a safe and happy BBQ this summer with ServiceMaster Restore.

Now that the weather is getting warmer, you’ve probably considered firing up the barbecue if you haven’t already.

After all, nothing says summer like the smell of burgers, steaks, and hot dogs fresh off the grill.

Until something starts burning, that is.

While barbecue grills can cook up large amounts of delicious food, they are also a fire hazard.

But don’t worry! There are easy ways to prevent injury and keep your home safe.

Keep your property out of harm’s way the next time you smoke, sizzle or sauté outside by following a few simple BBQ safety tips from ServiceMaster Restore.

Practice Good Grilling Habits

Whatever kind of barbecue you use, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce your risk of fire or injury.

Here are some grilling safety tips to follow:

  • Set your barbecue away from structures and overhangs, including your main building, shed, garage, trees and other potentially flammable objects.
  • Never use your grill inside, in a tent, or under an outdoor awning. Doing so can pose a fire hazard and cause carbon monoxide poisoning using a gas barbecue.
  • Light any gas or charcoal BBQs using long-length lighters or long matches to avoid getting burned. Keep all ignition sources out of the reach of children.
  • Never leave an actively burning BBQ unattended.
  • Let the grill fully cool before you cover or store it.
  • Clean your barbecue thoroughly and often to reduce flammable build-up inside.

Be Aware of Proper Charcoal Barbecue Safety

Many swear by the taste of food cooked on a classic charcoal barbecue.

This method may be popular, but it also poses unique fire risks.

Keep these safety tips in mind if you own or use a charcoal barbecue:

  • Only add enough charcoal to cover the bottom of the barbecue. Don’t pile too much inside since it could cause ashes and sparks to become airborne, possibly catching nearby objects or your home on fire.
  • Store extra charcoal in a secure place away from other potential fire hazards, preferably in an airtight metal container.
  • Only use starter fluid designed for charcoal. Apply it to cold coals only, and don’t add extra once the BBQ is lit. Otherwise, the flames could get too high, resulting in possible burns or an unconfined fire.
  • Empty your used ashes only when they have cooled. Never store or dispose of them in a bin or leave them on the decking. Even when cooled, ashes can still cause a fire. Dump them on garden soil in a metal receptacle for proper disposal.

Use your Gas BBQ Wisely

Gas barbecue grills are convenient, easy to use, and require less refuelling than charcoal grills.

But they are also susceptible to fire risks. Remember these safety tips if you own a gas BBQ:

  • Open the lid before lighting the barbecue. This allows oxygen to escape and reduces the risk of fire or explosion.
  • Check the gas line and tank fittings regularly for leaks. You can do this by brushing soapy water around these areas. If you see bubbles emerge, there could be a leak somewhere. Replace damaged and leaking parts and make any other repairs before using the barbecue.
  • If you have spare gas cylinders, never store them under a stairway. Place them upright and outside, away from furniture or structures, to minimise fire risks.
  • Turn off your barbecue using the controls first, then close off the gas line at the tank to ensure gas can escape safely.

In need of fire damage restoration?

If the worst should happen and you experience a fire during the warmer months, the professionals at ServiceMaster Restore are always available to help.

We hope you never need to make that call. But if you do, we’ll be there to help with the recovery.

Find your nearest ServiceMaster Restore today or call 0845 762 6828 to see how we can help you in the aftermath.