Recent Water Damage Posts
Sometimes it's the Water you Can't See that can Cause the Most Damage
Sometimes it the water you can’t see that can cause the most damage. That is why it is important to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We will use a moisture meter to determine where the moisture is so we are not doing any unnecessary demo. The following are some signs that your home may have water damage.
Water accumulation is the most obvious sign. If you have areas of standing or pooling water it can lead to a bigger problem such as mold.
If you suspect water damage in the ceiling look for water spots and stains. It can appear wet or dry and may be discolored. Walls may also have bubbling, cracking or peeling paint or wallpaper.
Flooring can also show discoloration like walls and ceilings but the main sign of water damage in floors is detected by changes in texture. Water seeping into the floor boards and areas underneath them can cause warping, buckling, sagging, and expansion to happen.
Odor is another telltale sign you may have a water problem. This is a result of mold and mildew buildup in areas where water has been accumulating for a while such as basements and walls.
What to do Before the Professionals Arrive
Water damage in any part of your home can be stressful and you may be thinking, "What do I do next?" First step would be to identify the source of incoming water and shutoff or stop the water source if possible. Next would be to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington but there are some things you can do before we arrive, which I will list below, but first and foremost safety should be your top priority. You need to determine if it is safe to stay in the house and only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Remove excess water by mopping.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- If it's summertime turn on air conditioning for maximum drying.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
While these are some things you can do before we arrive the following is a list of what you shouldn't do.
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don't use television or other household appliances.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
The professionals here at SERVPRO of Burlington are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to respond to your emergency. We can help make it "Like it never even happened."
Water Heater Damage
While you may worry about frozen pipes this time of year don't forget to make sure your water heater is in good working order. According to an IBHS study, water heater failure is one of the top five sources of residential water damage. That damage can cost up into the thousands of dollars to repair.
- Unnoticed leak- Most of the time if your water heater has a water leak it is usually a slow leak that can go unnoticed for days. It is advised that you regularly inspect your water heater and pipes around the unit for any signs of leakage.
- Regular inspections- Flushing the water heater tank about twice a year can help to eliminate sediment buildup. Regular inspections can also help you to determine if you should replace your unit.
The following are some tips to help you recognize when your water heater is about to fail.
- Water doesn't get as hot as it used to.
- There's rust in water coming from your faucets or on your clothes.
- Your hot water heater makes cracking and popping sounds when it's heating.
- There's a metallic taste in your hot water.
- Rust is forming on the outside and bottom of your water heater.
- A puddle is forming under your water heater.
- The burner units have become clogged or rusty.
It is important that you call a plumber or a water heater specialist if you notice any of these signs to help prevent damage.
Should the worst happen and your water heater causes damage call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Preventing Frozen Pipes
According to consumer reports, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during frigid weather and can cause thousands in water damage. Following are some tips to help prevent your pipes from freezing.
- Keep garage doors closed.
- If you open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors it will let warmer air circulate around those pipes.
- Let cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes.
- Leave the thermostat set to the same temperature no matter the time of day.
- Don't turn off your heat if you plan to be away during cold weather. Instead set it to a temperature that is no lower than 55 degrees.
- Add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces.
If the above prevention methods don't work and you come across a frozen pipe here's what you need to do.
- Turn on a faucet. The water that flows through will help to melt the ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe that is frozen using an electric hair dryer, electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, a portable space heater, or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. It is important that you DO NOT use any device with an open flame as this could start a fire.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored.
- Call a licensed plumber if you cannot locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you have trouble thawing the pipe.
Tips to Prevent Water Damage
1. Think about where you plant- Some plants and trees have roots that can wrap around your pipes and break them so it's best to plant in a spot where your roots won't get near your water lines.
2. Clean your gutters- If your gutters are not cleaned regularly of leaves, sticks, and other debris, on a rainy day that clogged gutter can send water into your home's foundation and even go as far as going into the basement.
3. Monitor your water bill- If you notice your bill is uncommonly high, it's a pretty good sign that you have a leak somewhere that needs to be fixed. Also make sure to fix these leaks right away because if not it could lead to mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage.
4. Check your appliances regularly- Checking them regularly can help you catch a leak before it causes any damage. For example, old and brittle washing machine hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss for homeowners.
5. Install water detection devices- It is a small electronic device that sounds an alarm when its sensor comes in contact with moisture. It is recommended to install it near water heaters, sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers, and toilets to prevent extensive damage and mold growth.
In the even of a water damage, call the experts at SERVPRO of Burlington. Our technicians can make it "Like it never even happened."
Water Damage Restoration Process
Step 1: Emergency Contact- No matter how big your water emergency is we are available 24 hours a day. When you call we will ask several questions regarding your water damage to help us determine what equipment is needed and what resources to bring. Some of the questions are: your name and contact information, your insurance information (if applicable), the street address of the water-damaged home or business, when did the flooding or water damage occur?, what caused the water damage?, and is there electricity available?
Step 2: Inspection and Damage Assessment- We will identify and stop the water source. We will then identify the type of water (there is three different categories of water and this will help us to determine what specific restoration process we use). We will survey the extent of the water damage and inspect the premises. We will move or block furniture to help prevent rust or furniture stains on wet carpet.
Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction- We have a move out service so if your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning we can move out your belongings to prevent further damage. We will begin the water removal process almost immediately. We will then inspect the carpet and carpet pad and remove either if needed. Some of our water removal equipment involve moisture detectors, infrared cameras to find "hidden" water behind walls and ceilings, submersible and gas-powered pumps, and truck-mounted and portable extraction units.
Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification- Once excess water has been removed we may find that the floors and walls are wet to the touch. If this is not taken care of it can cause the materials to break down, warp, or cause mold damage. We use dehumidifiers and air movers along with monitoring equipment to ensure your house is dry.
Step 5: Cleaning and Sanitizing- We will not only clean your property's structure but we can also clean your upholstery, furniture, clothing, and other restorable belongings. We have multiple ways to clean your items. We have air scrubbers and fogging equipment that goes well beyond masking odors. We may even use antimicrobial, antibacterial, or disinfectant treatments to clean your property depending on the scenario. We can also remove and dispose of damaged materials with guidance from you and your insurance adjuster.
Step 6: Restoration- We can take care of temporary protective measures to prevent additional damages, like boarding up or placing a roof tarp. Depending on the damage we may have to remove drywall and installation, repair hardwood or tile floors, paint, and carpet repair and installation.
Water and Hardwood Floors
Damage to your hardwood floors due to water can happen in a variety of ways such as from a faulty dishwasher, a flood from a broken pipe, or kids spilling water just to name a few. Because of this hardwood floors can warp, heave or crack and it can also discolor the hardwood floors.
In order to fix your floors it may require a professional. We here at SERVPRO of Burlington have advanced drying equipment to help remove the water quickly and efficiently. We then dry the area with powerful dehumidifiers and once done our technicians will clean the area with professional grade cleaning and sanitizing products to give you peace of mind. The following are some tips that you can do while you wait for us to arrive onsite.
Remove all wet items from the area and then use a wet vacuum to remove as much of the water as possible. Make sure you go over it multiple times to ensure that you get the water out of cracks and crevices also. Once done vacuuming clean the surface with a disinfectant floor cleaner that doesn't foam or suds.
According to the EPA, mold can start growing in moist areas within 48-72 hours so time is critical when drying out hardwood floors. You can start the drying process by putting either a dehumidifier or fan in the affected area and let it run for at least a full day. As long as it is not raining or humid outside you can also open windows to help with the drying process.
Call us at 319-754-8050 if you find yourself in this situation and feel that the job is in a large area or is something you don't think you can handle yourself. We will make it "Like it never even happened."
Importance of Sump Pumps
A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basements of homes. They are typically used in homes where flooding in the basement happens regularly. Sump pumps send water away from a house to any place where it is no longer problematic.
Along with helping with flooding in your basement sump pumps can also help to prevent rust and corrosion of metal appliances, prevent wall coverings and paint from peeling, and prevent termite and insect infestation. Sump pumps also helps to remove moisture, which can be a breeding ground for fungus, molds, and mildew.
In order to keep your sump pump working properly for years to come make sure you check it regularly to ensure that it is ready for flood conditions.
Should your sewer system back up it should be considered very dangerous and dealt with by the professionals. Depending on the category of water it could possibly contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. SERVPRO of Burlington has the special training and equipment to safely clean this type of contamination. We will inspect the contaminated water to determine what category it falls under and then plan the appropriate response to safely restore your home or business.
Category 1: This water originates from a sanitary source such as from broken clean water supply lines, clean water from a toilet tank or bowl, faucets, and bottled water. If not taken care of as soon as possible it can degrade into category 2 or 3.
Category 2: This water contains significant contamination. This kind of water can include washing machine overflow, toilet overflow with some urine but no feces, and dishwasher overflow. If not taken care of as soon as possible it can degrade into category 3.
Category 3: This water is grossly contaminated and may include sewage, flooding from rivers or streams, wind driven rain, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, and standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
How to Handle Frozen and Broken Pipes
Frozen pipes can be a common occurrence this time of year but what should you do when those frozen pipes then break? First, you should shut off your water and, if necessary, electricity so as not to make the problem worse. Second, call a plumber so they can come repair the broken pipe/pipes. Last but not least call the professionals as soon as you can so the damage doesn't continue to get worse. SERVPRO has the proper equipment to extract water quickly and efficiently. Once dry our technicians will clean the affected area with professional grade cleaning and sanitizing agents but not only that we will also clean your furniture, upholstery, clothing, and other restorable belongings that were damaged by the water. SERVPRO can make this "Like it never even happened."
Flooded Basement? Call the Professionals!
SERVPRO of Burlington is available 24/7 to serve Burlington, Mt. Pleasant, Keokuk, Fort Madison, and Muscatine.
A flooded basement or water damage to your home is never convenient, especially when it disrupts your living quarters or business. Flood waters in your basement can contain harmful bacteria and cause damage not visible to the eye. It is important to call the professionals to examine your property. SERVPRO will use their knowledge and experience, as well as technical equipment to analyze the moisture and damage to your home. Our trained technicians will:
- Identify the source/type of water
- Measure temperature and humidity for drying analysis
- Survey the extent of damage
- Perform emergency water extraction
- Apply necessary treatments (Disinfectants/Deodorization)
- Utilize drying equipment
SERVPRO of Burlington will help you restore your home back to normal and give you peace of mind, call the professionals!
How to Handle a Sewer Backup
Sewer backups can be caused by a variety of things, and knowing what to do when you find your basement flooded with sewer water can help protect you and your family. First, do not step into the water as there could be electric current flowing within the water (which is not visible). Second, there is a great deal of potential health hazards as the water usually contains bacteria - some that can be harmful to your health. It is wise to not pick up any floating objects that are sitting in the water. It is also important to call professionals as soon as you can, timely action can help minimize the damage. SERVPRO has the proper equipment to extract the water, remove any odors, repair damages, and disinfect your basement and contents. Adequately trained technicians will give you peace of mind and help you get your home back to normal again.