Recent Water Damage Posts
Polar Vortex is here! Save your water pipes!
Phoenixville PA Burst Pipe Polar Vortex
With the temperatures dropping extremely low this week, it is most important that you take care of the pipes within your household to avoid bursting pipes. Freezing temperatures create a lot of pressure inside the pipe and could cause serious flooding within your household, especially if no one is home at the time to shut the water off. Tip #1 is to keep your heat on whether you are home or not. Just leaving the heat set above 55 degrees will help keep your pipes warm and prevent the water from freezing. Tip # 2- allow your sink faucet to drip while you aren’t home or away for a longer period. It will relieve some of the pressure that is held within the pipes. Tip #3- Keep all doors, including cabinet doors in your home open. Make sure the heat can flow equally throughout your household to avoid bursting pipes. Tip # 4- Make sure to seal up any cracks or holes that would expose any pipes that run through your walls or floors, especially ones that are letting cold air inside your home. Tip # 5 -Apply heating tape to your pipes. It acts like a heating blanket for your pipes. It supplies heat directly to your pipes to keep it warm. Make sure to tape the pipes that are at high risk for freezing. Tip # 6- Add extra insulation. Basements and/or attics are normally not properly insulated for the cold weather. Make sure to add extra insulation where pipes are exposed or even a foam rubber or fiberglass sleeve to decrease the chances for your pipes to freeze. Here at SERVPRO of North East Chester County, we know it is not always easy to catch potential dangers in time, as weather can change at any given moment. That is why we are available 24/7 to help with any water damage that has disrupted your home from burst pipes. We are fully staffed with highly trained technicians that are always prepared to work efficiently and effectively to make sure your loss is taken care of “Like it never even happened.”
Are these up and down temperatures going to make you BURST?!
Phoenixville PA Burst pipe water Damage
SERVPRO of North East Chester County is here to help, whether it’s a minor leak or a pipe that burst. With the temperatures recently going from mid 20s to 30s to freezing temperatures, it can make the pipes in our homes susceptible to water damage. At SERVPRO of North East Chester County, we take great pride in treating our customers’ homes like we treat our own and making sure the job is done right. Our professionals are skilled in water damage mitigation and have been educated in water damage restoration and microbial contamination remediation from a CAT 1 loss (clean water) to a CAT 3 (black water). Our team will come in to assess the water damage and start to dry any flooring or other materials that were affected, also dehumidifying the area to protect from ambient moisture damage. SERVPRO of North East Chester County will not only dry and dehumidify the affected area, but we will remove any property that could be affected by water and repair any water damage to the structure: “Like it Never Even Happened.”
Why Can't I Clean This Myself?
Not addressing the entire problem when a water damage occurs can lead to secondary damage - like what was hiding behind these kitchen cabinets...
When initially responding to a water loss or receiving a call from a Chester County home or business owner that has just experienced a water damage, we always stress one main point: time is of the essence with water damage mitigation! Oftentimes, the homeowner downplays the extent of the damage, if for no other reason than they do not have the professional equipment that we have which allows us to get a clear picture of the damage; i.e. moisture meters, etc. There can be more than meets the eye with water damage!
Not all fans are created equal!
Another common misconception with water damage is that simply drying up any standing water and putting a box fan or other household fan will do the trick. This may very well be the case, but most often it is not. There are other variables that play into each unique drying scenario, and our highly-trained technicians at SERVPRO of North East Chester County will make sure they properly assess the damage from the onset. Our centrifugal and axial air movers (fans), and dehumidifiers selected based on the scenario, are not only superior to common household units, but our technicians also monitor the affected area every 24 hours, making adjustments to the drying plan as the situation changes and improves. Truth be told, without having the professional advantage that we possess, secondary damage including microbial growth may be the harsh reality of water damages not mitigated right the first time...
Shut-Off Valves...Get to Know Them!
Could YOU find the shut-off valve for this leaking water line?
Homeowners know the creature comforts that their homes possess when it comes to indoor plumbing: hot showers, refrigerator ice-makers, even conveniences as simple as toilets! These utilities are often taken for granted, and are only familiar to the average homeowner for their...well...utility! However, how many homeowners in Chester County know where to turn should one of these conveniences leak or break; i.e. the shut-off valve?
Stop the Damage!
Once a leak is identified, homeowners do not have to feel at the mercy of waiting for a plumber or restoration professional such as SERVPRO of North East Chester County to arrive on-site to stop water damage from continuing. By familiarizing oneself with whether or not you have shut-off valves for your plumbing fixtures and where they are located, you can mitigate further damage from occurring while waiting for us to arrive. If you do not have such valves, it may be a sound investment to have them installed, as an ounce of prevention can outweigh a pound of cure when it comes to the costs associated with water damage!
Phoenixville Basement Damaged by an Ice-Maker Water Supply Line Leak.
A common culprit that we, at SERVPRO of North East Chester County, encounter when responding to water damage calls is a potentially silent but damaging little source: the refrigerator water supply line to the ice-maker! Oftentimes even a pinhole leak in the water supply line can empty gallon upon gallon of water under the kitchen floor before the homeowner even knows its an issue. In fact, nine times out of ten, the homeowner sees the damage in their basement first, before they realize that the ice-maker was the culprit. Other times, it is not until the kitchen floor starts squishing that the problem is identified. At that point, there is likely significant water damage to the kitchen; but nothing that we can't handle!
Our well-trained technicians will quickly assess the extent of the damage and walk you through the recommended drying plan, from soup to nuts. There is often demolition that is required to adequately dry the salvageable, affected materials, but the quicker we get the non-salvageable materials out of the way, the better. Left unmitigated by SERVPRO of North East Chester County, water trapped between flooring layers or in wall cavities can cause even more of a headache and expenditure if not addressed as soon as possible. But that's why we are committed to responding to your call: 24/7/365!
Know Your Water
Here at SERVPRO we see all different types of water damages. In order for us to properly mitigate a water damage, we take into account many variables and one of the first things we look at is the Category of water that needs to be removed.
It is very important not to misidentify what type of water you're dealing with when it comes to water damage in your home or business, although it could potentially look clean, one can never know just what hazards it could contain. Thus resulting in the three stages of water categorization.
Category 1: This refers to water that does not pose any threat to humans or, "clean water." Some examples of clean water damage can come from water supply lines, appliance malfunctions and tub or sink overflows.
Category 2: "Gray Water." This refers to water that can pose a threat to humans through consumption or even being around it. It can contain microorganisms, chemicals, or biological or physical contaminants. Some examples of Category 2 water damages can include sump pump failures, or urine contaminated toilet leaks.
Category 3: Cat 3 water is referred to as "black water." Black water poses the largest threat to humans and can contain unsanitary agents, fungi, and harmful bacteria. Some examples are sewage leaks, river or flood waters, and category 2 water that has become stagnant over time resulting in continued contamination of the water. However just because the water is not actually black in color does not mean that it cannot be labeled as Category 3.
At SERVPRO, we take into consideration these factors and use all necessary precautions to properly mitigate water damages of all Categories to ensure a restored healthy living environment and help make it, "Like it never even happened!"
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Insulation Soaks Up Like a Sponge in Malvern, PA
This Malvern, PA home had some seriously saturated insulation from a pipe leak water damage...
After experiencing a water loss, the affected materials absorb water based on how porous they are; among other things. This directly impacts whether an affected material is considered "salvageable," as in it can be dried in place, or "non-salvageable," as in it needs to be removed because it will impede the drying of the salvageable materials. Needless to say, wall and ceiling insulation doesn't stand a chance! It can be very difficult to dry insulation in place, and in most cases it will impede the drying process for the surrounding materials, keeping them in a dangerous place as far as moisture content. This will keep the humidity of the affected area elevated and can provide ideal circumstances for mold growth. Thus, SERVPRO of North East Chester County will remove non-salvageable materials, such as insulation, to lay out a feasible and responsible drying plan; i.e. to keep overall restoration costs down and keep your structure sanitary. The insulation in the picture from a water damaged home in Malvern, PA as a result of a pipe leak shows how saturated the material has become - it's gotta go! But once out of the picture, the surrounding structure can dry more easily and efficiently and we can get you back to normal sooner and safer!
Pottstown, PA Hardwood Water Damage
This hardwood floor is starting to buckle as a result of water damage - but may still be salvageable with timely service and expert techniques...
Hardwood finished floors are a beautiful way to add character and distinction to your Pottstown, PA home. If properly treated and maintained, hardwood can last more than a lifetime; far longer than carpet or other flooring options. Unfortunately, if your home suffers a water damage event, hardwood may not be as resilient as you may wish. The longer the hardwood is exposed to moisture, the more it has an opportunity to soak up, and as the wood dries it may buckle or "cup." In many cases, once hardwood floors get to this stage they are in need of removal and replacement; however at SERVPRO of North East Chester County, we have specialty drying equipment that allows us to use drying techniques that may be able to salvage your beautiful floors. The real key is response time, as the initial extraction prevents moisture dwell time in contact with the wood. There are also nuances to making sure that hardwood is not dried too drastically or too much, as this may cause even more damage. That is why we take careful measure to monitor the moisture levels and humidity during the drying process - to make sure that if your hardwood floor can be saved, it is saved, and the finished product is "Like it never even happened."
The Sky Is Falling...Wait, That's Just a Leak!
It sure LOOKS like the sky - or ceiling, at least - was falling in this water damaged Phoenixville home...
Have you ever wondered what your second story floor joists looked like, up close and personal? Probably not! You probably like your beautiful Phoenixville, PA home with the floor joists and framing nicely finished with drywall, paint, and some nice decor. And it will probably stay that way... unless you experience an unfortunate water loss! Many of the water damages that SERVPRO of North East Chester County helps to remediate in Phoenixville stem from leaks; whether from pipes in the ceiling or appliances on the floor, but often they require the surrounding drywall and other building materials to need to be removed to allow proper drying techniques to do their work. By removing affected materials that are not salvageable, we actually save you time and money by providing unimpeded access to the wet materials that ARE salvageable, like joists, framing, etc. Once the drywall and the like are out of the picture, the other materials have more space to release water and allow proper air circulation and dehumidification to accelerate the process. SERVPRO of North East Chester County knows what has to go, and what can be saved, to make your residential water loss dry as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Phoenixville, PA Toilet Causes Water Damage
Toilets should not disrupt your schedule, like this one in Phoenixville, PA...
Toilets shouldn't be a conversation piece, or the cause for significant activities outside of your normal routine, but this one did just that for a Phoenixville homeowner recently. When the toilet water ends up somewhere it isn't supposed to, you've got to pick up the phone and call some one, and quickly! At SERVPRO of North East Chester County, we have a network of local, Phoenixville plumbing professionals that we can refer to you if the leaky toilet plumbing issue has not yet been addressed. If the leak has already been remedied, even better! Once the plumbing issue has been fixed, we can go to work on the remediation and the quicker the better when it comes to water damage. There are many secondary issues that can result from standing water that are exacerbated by the length of time, and can also be magnified by the "category" of water; which means the level of contamination that the water is carrying with it. Toilet leaks can present clean or dirty water, depending on where the leak is coming from, and our SERVPRO of North East Chester County water restoration technicians are prepared to handle either type. As with the case depicted here, toilet leaks often work their way down through walls, and can affect many different materials on several floors of your dwelling, and definitely require the proper drying and mitigation procedures to keep your home sanitary, clean, dry, and safe. For the quickest response and the most professional, experienced approach to Phoenixville area water damages, SERVPRO of North East Chester County is the best call to make!
What HAS To Go???
Here, Mike, our owner/operator, is working hard at installing a new subfloor in Phoenixville, PA, while remodeling an entire bathroom.
Commonly Affected Materials
Whether your residential water damage has been caused by a leak, flood, appliance, or whatever, there may be structural materials that have been affected. At SERVPRO of North East Chester County, our initial goal is to salvage as much as is possible and safe - including materials and contents. Sometimes, however, structural materials may need to be removed because the damage they have suffered from the water loss have rendered them non-salvageable. Some commonly affected materials that may be non-salvageable based on the extent of the damage and the category of the water (for example, Category 3 water, such as sewage, that is considered grossly contaminated) may include:
- carpet pad
- hardwood flooring
- subfloor (in extreme cases)
So What Now???
The good news is that after non-salvageable materials as a result of water damage have been removed, SERVPRO of North East Chester County can rebuild...we have the technology! Our technicians not only have experience and the tools to mitigate water losses and remove damaged materials, but we also are registered as a Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor (PA 133470). Whether your rebuild entails work that we can expertly complete "in-house" or even if we need to call in a specialized contractor to assist, we will manage the process from start to finish and make sure that your space ends up looking and feeling "Like it never even happened."
When Appliances Go Rogue...
This water damaged floor was the result of a leaking dishwasher water line at a Phoenixville, PA home; luckily we were called in to action!
Well, That's Not Supposed To Happen...
We all love the convenience and time-saving measures of having household appliances in our Chester County homes and businesses. "Set it and forget it," never rang so true! Except when it doesn't!
Many of the residential water losses that we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County respond to unfortunately involve faulty appliances in one way or another. It may be a failed valve on a hot water heater, a sneakily leaking water hose to a dishwasher, or a busted water line to a refrigerator ice-maker - whatever the mechanical culprit, the similarity is always the shock of the homeowner that so much damage could be perpetrated by their (former) best friends!
What to Do...
The first and most important thing to do after experiencing water damage due to a home appliance is to call SERVPRO of North East Chester County to guide you through the experience and begin restoration as soon as possible.
Second, DO NOT make attempts to fix or disturb the faulty appliance. Insurance companies will always want to examine the equipment and may even seek compensation on your behalf from the manufacturer.
Third, always double-check your home appliances both before AND after any extended time away from home, to make sure that nothing fishy went on in your absence. But if it did, we have your back!
What is Water Loss Mitigation?
When your home looks and feels more like a swamp, it's time to call in SERVPRO!!!
Chances are, IF you ever experience a water loss and find yourself in need of the services of SERVPRO of North East Chester County, it will probably be the ONLY time that you need us for such a mitigation. We have ONE chance to make a positive impact in your life and provide the personal, professional service that we strive for everyday.
So How Do We Do It...?
Once we arrive on-site, one of the first steps in evaluating the damage at your Chester County home or business is to understand the situation based on your first-hand account, and walk the affected areas with you to do a visual inspection and note any safety concerns, etc. Once we gauge the types of materials that are affected, we use the appropriate type of moisture meter to map out the extent of the damage. We also take some atmospheric measurements that are essential to properly dry the space, including relative humidity and temperature. All of these data contribute to a strategy that may involve:
- extraction of standing water, or water soaked into carpets or other materials
- demolition of non-salvageable materials, such as carpet, drywall, or baseboard
- setting up specialized drying equipment such as dehumidifiers and air movers in a specific and strategic way to optimize air flow and to promote drying
When the Dust Settles...
The average dry time for most residential and small commercial water damages is three to five days - but we don't just set our equipment and forget it! Our skilled technicians return once every 24 hours (working around your busy schedule) to monitor the equipment and to make sure that our drying plan is going accordingly. Once the area is adequately dried, often we engage in further cleaning or sanitizing, and even schedule the rebuild of any areas that required demolition.
Long Story, Made Short...
We at SERVPRO of North East Chester County are committed to see your loss through, from the moment we set foot on-site, until the last efforts are made to restore your home or business to a safe, clean, healthy state - "Like it never even happened."
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
This Chesterbrook homeowner did not realize that there was a leak under the flooring until it began buckling.
When was the last time you looked behind the refrigerator? Poked around in the utility closet? Checked for leaks around the hot water heater? Most homeowners don't discover leaks or areas of concern with common home appliances and fixtures until water damage has already occurred and made itself known. A few minutes of diligence can help detect larger problems before they occur.
Many of the issues that we encounter during this time of year at SERVPRO of North East Chester County relate to water damages due to clogs/leaks with HVAC units, hot water heaters, and even refrigerators. Cranking down the AC during the dog days of summer sure feels nice, but blockages in the condenser lines can cause slow leaks that may seep under floors undetected until they begin to bubble up. Likewise with water lines to ice makers behind refrigerators and the like. So while making your home a safe haven from the sweltering summer heat, be sure to take a moment to check your appliances and utilities every now and then to avoid bigger headaches!