Keep an Eye on Your Sump Pump this Weekend

Be Sure to Check Your Sump Pump as We are Expecting Several Inches of Rain this Weekend. Local meteorologists are predicting that our area could see three additional inches of rain before the end of this weekend. The team at Thompson Building Associates would like to take a minute to remind you to keep an eye on your sump pump to help prevent your basement from experiencing water damage. The modern sump motor is more resistant to rust and corrosion and is now made mostly of plastic and stainless steel. The sump motor is like any other motor, the older it is the more likely it is to not work. The estimated lifespan of a sump motor ranges from 5 to 15 years. If it is over 10 years have a plumber evaluate it and replace if necessary. We recommend that you have a plumber perform an annual check-up on the sump motor. However, you can also give your sump pump a check-up and the only tools you’ll need are a flashlight, a bucket and about 10 minutes. A sump pump is a pretty simple operation. Most sump pumps have a float switch. When the water rises the float activates a switch, the motor turns on, and the pump pulls the water out of the pit and sends it up through the PVC piping. To inspect the pump: First, unplug the sump pump (modern electric code calls for a GFCI outlet) from the outlet. Next remove the sump cover (if your home has a radon mitigation system the sump cover needs to be removed by a professional). Look into...

Where Did This Water Come From?

  Unexpected water in your basement can damage walls and floors, destroy carpeting, ruin furniture and other valuables. If not properly cleaned up and treated, it can also lead to mold. When you experience a flooded basement for the first time, it’s important to determine if the problem is going to recur or if it was a one-time event. Where did this water come from? Outside of obvious flooding around your home and in your neighborhood, there are four common sources of water entering basements: Surface water running down foundation walls. Groundwater in water-saturated soils being pushed into the basement by hydrostatic pressure. Storm sewer from the municipal storm sewer system backing up into the home’s existing perimeter foundation drain and leaking into the basement. Sanitary sewer from a clog in your home’s sewer line, the municipal sewer line, or the combined municipal storm/sanitary sewer system backing up into the home’s drain system, causing sewer water to come up through sink drains and floor drains on lower levels. Each source has its own specifics and requires its own course of action. Surface Water: If this is the first instance of moisture problems in your basement, the first thing to check for is surface water draining down next to the foundations. If it is coming in at one location or only at the exterior foundation wall indicates surface water problems. Here are some things to look for once you get outside. Overflowing Gutters: Leaves and debris- Keeping gutters clean of debris should be a part of every homeowner’s routine maintenance program. Depending on the surrounding trees, gutter cleaning may be...

Mold During Winter Months?

  Did you know that mold can be a problem during the winter months, too? When you deprive mold of moisture, warmth, and food, you will stop it from growing, but you won’t kill the mold that is already there. Mold spores can stay dormant and start growing again if they get moisture, warmth, and food. So, it’s important to keep spores from growing in the first place. Our team offers the following tips for keeping the risk of mold growth minimal during the winter months: If you live in a climate where you need to heat your home frequently, mold can start growing in the winter on your home’s inside walls, especially on the surfaces closest to the outside of your home. Moisture that travels through the air from your basement, bathrooms, or kitchen may condense when it comes in contact with a cold wall. One thing you can do to prevent spore growth is makesure your walls are well-insulated. Well-insulated walls can prevent condensation and mold, as well as cut down on your heating and cooling bills. Make sure your windows are properly sealed; moisture from the warm air condenses on cool glass, if there are cracks or spaces around your windows, mold can form in those cracks. Make sure that your gutters and downspouts are clean and that the area under your downspouts is graded so that water from the roof flows away from your foundation. If water pools around your home think about extending your downspouts. Turning on the heat makes the air in your home very dry. Many people combat the dryness by using...

Fire and Smoke Damage in Columbus, Ohio

  Smoke and Fire Damage Unfortunately, there is more than just smoke damage after a fire. Smoke and water damage, are issues that must be addressed. Without proper cleaning techniques and the right equipment, it can be very difficult to restore a home or business after it’s been damaged in a fire. If not properly mitigated, this damage can cause lasting structural and possibly health issues in the future. That is why it is always best to call in a professional restoration company. What is Smoke Damage?  Smoke damage is both the odor and physical residue left behind from all of the materials that burned. Wood, fabrics, plastics and other materials produce a variety of odors and residues when burned. Different cleaning products and techniques are needed to thoroughly and safely remove smoke damage. Items that are commonly affected by smoke damage after a fire are:  Walls Ceilings Window treatments Clothing Furniture Jewelry Artwork Books and photographs Electronics Documents Photographs If left untreated, this damage can leave behind unsightly stains, discolorations, corrosion and permanent damage.  Tips for Filing Fire and Smoke Damage Insurance Claims  If you experience damage, here are a few tips for starting the restoration process: Call your insurance company or agent immediately following a fire. Do not wait. Review your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. If you do not have a copy of your policy, your insurance company or agent can provide another copy. Look on the declarations page for information regarding your policy’s coverage, deductibles, limitations or exclusions and if there are any filing deadlines. If possible, take photos or video of the damage. Try not...

When Frozen Pipes Thaw

Above Freezing Temperatures Could Cause Big Headaches from Frozen Pipes As the weekend draws near, a little relief of frigid temperatures is in sight as we will see a few days with above freezing temperatures. While most of us will enjoy this, this is also a time when frozen pipes will begin revealing themselves. The sustained cold conditions that we’ve experienced have left many homeowners with frozen pipes. We want to remind everyone that frozen pipes now could result in a problem in the future. When pipes freeze, it is a headache and inconvenience all on its own. As the water freezes, it expands and can often split or break the pipes. The problem comes when they thaw. As pipes begin to thaw, the water forces through at full-pressure. This can cause bursting pipes that could be in your attic, walls, ceilings, crawl spaces and basements. If a pipe in your home has already frozen, but has not yet burst, you may still be able to thaw the water and avoid any permanent damage. If only a tiny trickle of water comes out of the faucet when you turn it on, then chances are, the water inside is frozen. Here are some steps you can try to get the ice to melt. Keep your faucet open and uncovered. Apply heat directly to the pipe. You can use electric heating pads or towels soaked in hot water, applied directly to the outsides of the pipes. Space heaters and hair dryers can also be used to blow hot air onto them, under no circumstances should you try to use an open...

Winter Water Damage Prevention

  Winter Water Damage Prevention: Did you know that the cold and frigid temperatures of winter weather bring an increased risk of water damage to your home?  Winter is notorious for being cold and wet, and large amounts of snow and ice can have severe consequences. ResQ 24 by Thompson Building Associates offers tips for fighting back against Old Man Winter:   Top Three Causes for Water Damage During the Winter Months Burst or Frozen Pipes  Frozen pipes build up large amounts pressure, which can lead to cracks and flooding once the ice melts. Make sure your outer walls and any exposed pipes are properly insulated. Caulk cracks and holes you see in your exterior walls to prevent cold air from reaching the pipes. Shield exposed pipes from freezing temperatures by wrapping them with the insulating tape or old towels. When temperatures are very low or you plan to be away from home for several days, leave the faucets lightly dripping and keep the cabinets under your sink open to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. Doing so will keep water flowing and can help prevent your pipes from freezing. Ice Dams and Roof Leaks  Icicles are pretty to look at during the winter, but they can wreak havoc on your home. If your gutters are clogged, snow that melts off your roof won’t pass through the drainage system properly. As water gets trapped in your gutters and refreezes, a wall of icicles will build up, eventually causing ice dams. The melt from these ice dams can damage your roof and seep into your attic, causing structural...
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