Recent Water Damage Posts
3 Main Causes of Leaky Faucets
Over time, minerals in the water eat away at the valve seat, causing it to corrode.
The 3 Most Common Causes Of Leaky Faucets
Did you know that a leaking faucet can waste a swimming pool’s worth of water every year if not repaired? This adds up to about 10,000 gallons of water per leak. If your house in Kimberton, PA has a drip that just won’t quit, you can fix it yourself if you know the basics. Read on to discover the principal causes of leaky faucets and what to look for when repairing them.
1. Faulty Washer
A washer is a thin metal or plastic disc with a hole in the middle that functions as a spacer or to distribute load in compression-style faucets (those with separate handles for hot and cold). Whenever you turn the dripping faucet on or off, it subjects the washer to friction that wears it down. Take the old washer to a hardware store to find the correct replacement part and install it in the faucet. Incorrectly placed washers can also cause leaks, so if the leak continues, try adjusting it.
2. Damaged O-Ring
Cartridge faucets use a single valve to control the flow and temperature of water, and contain rubber o-rings that form a seal near the handle or spout. (This style of faucet often has a decorative cap on the handle if you’re unsure what kind you have.) Find the o-ring inside your leaking faucet and replace it with a new one.
3. Worn Valve Seat
The valve seat is another component of a compression faucet and is the connection between the spout and the faucet. Over time, minerals in the water eat away at the valve seat, causing it to corrode. This happens faster if you have hard water, and will probably be apparent upon inspection of the part. Cleaning or replacing the valve seat should enable you to have a fixed leak.
If left alone, a leaking faucet can cause more extensive damage that requires the help of emergency restoration services. Save yourself unnecessary stress and expense by fixing those drips as soon as you discover them.
3 Steps To Handling Water Dripping From Your Light Fixtures
While finding water in a light fixture can be a strange sight in your home, it is no less dangerous to your home than any other water leak.
Three Steps To Dealing With Water Dripping From Light Fixtures
Though you might assume any major water leaks you’d come across in your Charlestown, PA, home would materialize from something like a faulty toilet or a leaky faucet, finding dripping water in your light fixtures is actually a common occurrence. If you’re new to the problem, however, it can be hard to determine where to start in dealing with the water leak and possible ceiling damage. Here are three crucial steps to take if you find yourself needing to stop the spread of water leaking through your fixtures.
1. Turn off the electricity to your home through the breaker box. While merely shutting off the light switch of the affected light might seem like the best idea, this can be dangerous and should be avoided. After all, any contact with the electrical current from the fixture and the source of water can cause electric shock, so going straight to the breaker box is vital to staying safe.
2. Shut off the water supply to stop any leaks. While the electricity is off, it’s also important to contain the spread of water by shutting off the main water valve to your home. Depending on where the water in the light fixture is coming from, leaving the water running can create more ceiling damage or extensive problem areas inside your walls.
3. Contact a qualified restoration crew to address the situation. Once you’ve properly contained the area as safely as you can, it’s best to let experienced water damage restoration technicians handle the cleanup. After the source of the leak has been repaired and the resulting damage assessed and restored, an electrician can then suitably fix your affected light fixtures, as well.
Be Prepared for Even the Oddest of Water Leaks
While finding water in a light fixture can be a strange sight to see in your Charlestown, PA, home, it’s no less dangerous or damaging to your home than any other water leak on the property. For this reason, it’s crucial to act quickly and call upon others to help you restore your home before any more damage occurs.
3 Methods For Detecting a Washing Machine Leak
If you experience water damage in your home, do not hesitate to contact a SERVPRO water damage restoration service.
Three Ways To Find A Washing Machine Leak
When life gets busy and you rarely find yourself in your Chester Springs, PA, home, it can be difficult to keep up on the maintenance around the house. Therefore, it becomes easy for a few things to start falling apart, or in this case, springing a leak. If you’ve come across water damage in your laundry room, here are three methods for detecting a washing machine leak and protecting your residence from further problem areas in the future.
1. Fill the machine to find the exact source. If the washing machine seems the most likely culprit of damage from consistent moisture, it’s time to do some investigating. The best way to accurately check your washer is to run it through the fill cycle when it’s empty, pulled away from the wall so you have access to the hoses to see if and where a leak has occurred.
2. Inspect the washing machine’s pump. A drainage pump, located in the inside bottom of the machine, is used to unload the water from the interior during different cycles. If a washing machine leak is detected when you’re running the drain or wash cycles, remove the back panel and look at the pump to ascertain if there’s any water spilling through due to a shoddy clamp or a loose hose.
3. Check to see if the machine door is properly sealed. Front-facing washing machines can often have problems with the door catch. Look over your washer door to see if the seal is faulty or worn enough to allow water to pass through; if so, it’s time to replace it to prevent further leakage.
When you’re dealing with growing water damage in the laundry room of your Chester Springs, PA, home, and you’re having trouble finding the source of the problem, it’s smart to search for a washing machine leak first. If the situation has caused extensive harm to your residential property, water damage restoration specialists are key to helping you fix the issue and repair your home as quickly as possible.
How to Tell if You Must Replace My Carpet After a Flood?
Is water damage present in your home? Call SERVPRO for all your restoration needs. Our crew is always available for you!
How Can I Tell If My Carpet Needs to Be Replaced After a Flood?
Water damage can come in various levels of severity and size—from a pipe break dribbling water into a wall, to excess rain flooding an entire basement. Regardless of the issue, you may have to repair or replace parts of your home. If you’re not sure whether the floorings needs attention, pay attention to warning sides that it’s time to tear out your carpet and lay down something new.
If water finds its way onto your floor, you have a few options to remedy the situation. Minor issues require a quick fix, while more widespread flooding will deem a complete replacement. Here the possibilities when a pipe break or other water problems damage your flooring:
- Hand-dry the floor with towels.
- Dry the floor with towels and blow-dryer.
- Clean the carpets with professional-grade machines.
- Replace the carpets.
When to Replace: Black Water
Raw sewage flooding is perhaps the worst type of flood you can experience in your Spring City, PA, home. A sewer backup or major toilet leakage could send dangerous microscopic pathogens into your home. Known as black water because it contains human feces, this flood water can harm or even kill you. This will require complete restoration.
When to Replace: You Didn’t Immediately Discover the Water
If you can detect a leak or other water issues quickly, you can often salvage carpet, drywall or other parts of your home. However, if the flooding starts while you’re not at home, and water sits on the floor for days or even hours, you probably won’t be able to save the flooring. There will be too much saturation, and you should call a professional cleanup company to tear out the carpets.
There’s no reason to take chances when it comes to a pipe break and significant flooding in your house. If black water or standing water infiltrates your carpet, plan on letting a professional replace it.
Flood Water, the Agitator: Understanding the Increased Risks Associated With Burst Pipes
A pipe burst can lead to many obvious problems, but sometimes the most harm can come from the hidden dangers that accompany flooding.
Understanding the Increased Risks Associated With Burst Pipes
A pipe burst is often associated with flooding and water damage, but it is also related to electrocutions and other injuries that may be less obvious. Continue reading to understand the increased risks linked to broken pipes and water damage.
A broken water line may cause substantial flooding, and with that comes the increased risk of electrocution. When water levels rise above electrical outlets that are low to the ground, or when water seeps into and around ceiling wiring, the power surge may interfere with the circuit. The initial circuit interruption does not mean that the electricity is completely off. There may be live wires in areas that appear to no longer have power. Do yourself a favor and turn off the electricity in your home, or at least the breakers associated with the affected area.
2. Risk of Slip and Fall Injuries
A pipe burst can cause sudden dampness and an overflow of water. The urgency of the disaster can result in carelessness while anxiously moving through the home, which can lead to an increased risk of slip and fall injuries. When treading through affected areas, walk purposefully and cautiously, maintaining a slow and steady pace while looking at the ground ahead for any potential hazards.
3. Risk of Back Injuries
Water absorption leads to the increased weight of porous items. This can result in a higher risk of back injury when these items are lifted. A rug that weighed 5 pounds when dry can weigh more than 15 pounds when wet, depending on its size and how long it was soaked. By wearing a brace and properly bending while lifting, you may be able to protect yourself from any serious back injuries.
With the many increased risks associated with water damage, you may find it beneficial to search the South Pottstown, PA, area for a restoration professional. Companies specializing in water cleanup can handle the process safely and quickly without risking your well-being.
A pipe burst can lead to many obvious problems, but sometimes the most harm can come from the hidden dangers that accompany flooding. Homeowners should be aware of the increased risk of electrocution, slip and fall, and back injury in the event of an emergent situation such as broken pipes. Stay safe and stay informed.
3 Common Issues That Cause Water Damage in Commercial Buildings
When you own commercial property, you have to keep an eye out for leaking pipes and other problems that could cause water damage to your building.
When you purchase commercial property, you often take on the quirks and issues of the building. Most of these things will be harmless, but some can become problems later on. Leaking pipes and corroded sewer lines are just two of the myriad of difficulties that could cause your building in Chester Springs, PA, to experience water damage.
If the pipes and sewer lines under and around your building are leaky, you can lose a lot of water, causing your water bill to skyrocket. It can also cause damage to your foundation or the basement if your building is equipped with one. Several different issues can occur in the pipes and lines under your building:
• Copper pipe break
• Pipe pinhole leak
• Corroded iron sewer lines
If the line is too old to fix, it may have to be replaced. There's no reason to take out leaking pipes, however, if they can be fixed. It usually costs less money to fix them as well.
Pipes in the walls can break, causing water damage to the inside of the wall and soaking the insulation. Leaky supply lines and a toilet backup can cause problems as well. This damage typically calls for professional remediation, unless you catch it very early and get it fixed before it can destroy anything. Vigilant maintenance is your best protection against costly repairs.
A common water issue that many people forget about is a cracked foundation. Groundwater and even runoff from your landscaping maintenance can seep into your foundation, causing the cracks to become bigger. It's important to have foundation problems taken care of quickly so that plumbing systems and the structural integrity of your building are not compromised.
When you own commercial property, you have to keep an eye out for leaking pipes and other problems that could cause water damage to your building. Catching a problem early may help you avoid damage altogether.
A Quick Guide to Preventing Home Water Damage
Water losses can happen at any time, but SERVPRO is your immediate solution.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Preventing Water Damage in Your Home
Water damage is one of the costliest disasters a homeowner can experience. When water floods home basements, bathrooms, or crawl spaces, there is also the potential for personal property damage, mold, and structural integrity issues. You can safeguard your residence against many types of damage caused by water in your home with a few preventative steps.
Although you probably use plumbing each day, you may forget to check your pipes and appliances regularly. Here is some practical advice on preventing plumbing problems in Phoenixville, PA.
• Inspect tubs and showers for cracks and caulking issues.
• Check appliances for loose hoses and damaged hose washers.
• Monitor faucet water pressure for a potential broken pipe.
• Know where the water shut-off valve is and make sure it works properly.
• Do a pipe cleanup by removing any buildup. Also, check heating, cooling, and plumbing pipes for cracks or leaks.
Water seepage often occurs in basement structures, and it is a major issue. Ground water can cause serious damage, but you can prevent most potential water damage by resealing your basement at the first sign of seepage after a heavy rain. Also, consider installing a backwater regulator valve to prevent sewer problems.
Inspecting your roof can prevent unwanted water from leaking into attics and damaging ceilings. If windows are missing caulk, reseal the panes to prevent rain damage. Also, take time to inspect gutters as you clean them of debris, because they can easily allow unwanted water to damage your property.
At the first sign of flood water in your home, consider calling a specialist in remediation in Phoenixville, PA. The cleanup specialists can help protect your possessions by removing the water, drying the area, and setting up a dehumidifier. They can also disinfect the property to prevent mold growth.
You may not be able to avoid all damage by water in your home, but you can prevent many potential flooding issues. By taking the preventative steps listed above, you can help safeguard your property from water damage.
Best Ways To Handle Basement Floods
Sump pumps are great in basements!
How To Handle a Basement Flood
You’d be hard-pressed to find a homeowner in South Pottstown, PA, that hasn’t thought of the possibility of a house flood. Basements are perhaps the most commonplace for flooding, so it’s crucial that you understand some quick and effective ways to handle a basement flood.
Evaluate the Damage
Before you do anything, you should take a quick look around your home and determine the extent of the flooded area and what type of cleanup effort you’re looking at. Here’s how you should begin:
- Take photos of the affected areas.
- Take photos of damaged property and areas.
- Write down specific items that have been damaged (this will be crucial when dealing with insurance coverage).
- If safe, get items such as furniture, books, electronics and clothes away from water; however, don’t touch electronics that are currently in the water.
Call a Trusted Professional
Cleaning up after a basement flood isn’t something you should handle by yourself. There are experienced, skilled companies that take care of water removal and water damage. You should get in touch with a professional as some as you’ve assessed the damage in your home.
What the Pros Will Do
The restoration company will start by getting rid of the water in your home. The technicians will use pumps and wet vacuums to ensure there is no more water on your floors. In the next step, the professional will thoroughly dry the affected area with industrial-grade dryers. The restoration team will then remove damaged drywall and flooring so these areas can be replaced and rebuilt. Lastly, the team will clean and sanitize the area. This step will help prevent mold growth.
Prevent Future Flooding
Don’t run the risk of dealing with more flooding. Once you determine the cause of the issue, take the necessary steps to eliminate water damage in the future.
A professional is your best resource for handling a basement flood. There are also critical tasks you can handle on your own to mitigate damage and safety concerns.
A Quick Guide To Fixing Leaking Toilets
A leaking toilet can cause damage to your home in East-West Pikeland, PA.
If you experience a leaking toilet in your home, you can either fix the problem yourself or hire a plumber to handle the task for you. Whichever you choose, the matter needs to be rectified fast before sewage seeps out and ruins your floor, walls or cabinetry, thus requiring the rebuilding services of a water damage restoration expert. The following guide can help prevent this scenario from unfolding in your restroom.
Leaky Toilet Causes
A number of concerns are known triggers for bathroom leak disasters. Some of the most common include:
- Worn out flappers
- Loose base seals
- Cracks in the tank or bowl
- Rusty pipes
Those fearful of fixing a leaking toilet on their own must immediately seek professional assistance.
Leaky Toilet Fixes
If rusty pipes or a crack in the bowl or tank is not the cause of your leak, grab a wrench and use it to disconnect the shutoff valve from the supply tube. Drain the toilet before removing the caps that cover the closet bolts and taking off the hex nuts. Instead of grabbing your toilet by the tank, hold it firmly around the bowl as you carry it onto a sheet of cardboard or blanket you feel comfortable discarding.
Your following mission is to scrape off the old gasket from the closet flange. Once the screws securing it have been loosened, hook on the repair strap underneath. Next comes replacing the wax gasket, which has to be centered precisely on top of the flange.
Connect the water supply tube to the fill-valve shank located at the base of the tank. Compress the gasket by pressing down on the bowl. Repeat this action after replacing the bolts. With a hacksaw built for close-quarter usage, trim the bolts and then tighten them. After replacing the caps, you only need to reconnect the supply tube to the shutoff valve and then reopen it.
Whenever you discover a leaking toilet in East-West Pikeland, PA, urgent attention becomes necessary. Hiring a plumber or closely following the preceding steps means you should have a properly functioning commode in no time.
3 Steps To Take After an Incident Involving Sewage Backup
Sewage backup is a job for the experts at SERVPRO!
3 Steps To Take After an Incident Involving Sewage Backup
Sewer damage like cracked sewer lines may result in a sewage backup. This can in turn lead to problems like a flooded toilet or floor. There are certain steps you should take if you encounter such difficulties.
1. Evacuate the Vulnerable
Sewage can pose a serious health hazard. It may be filled with toxic chemicals, pathogens, dangerous microbes, disease and other lethal substances. Certain groups are more susceptible to the risks associated with such materials. Those that fall under this umbrella include:
- Elderly individuals
- Immune-compromised people
They need to be removed from the affected area as soon as possible and not allowed to return until proper sanitization has taken place. Even if the overflow is on a small scale, it is better to be safe and ask them to leave.
2. Contact the Appropriate People
You may need to consult a professional remediation company in Chester Springs, PA, depending on how widespread the issue is. It is essential to inform the sewage company of what is going on. If the cause is in the main public sewer system rather than within your commercial property's, they need to pinpoint the location of the sewer damage/source and fix it. You may also need to call your utility providers and have them shut off the water and electricity to stop the surging waste and minimize electrical threats respectively. You should also notify your insurance carrier of the situation and begin gathering evidence like photos for your claim.
Employing a professional is strongly advised, but there are measures you can take on your own. If there is standing water, it needs to be sucked up with a wet vacuum or pumped out. You should take any salvageable dry items somewhere else and throw out contaminated ones, along with saturated materials like carpet and insulation. All surfaces that came into contact with the fluids need to be scrubbed with hot water and disinfectants.
The negative consequences of sewer damage may cost you a great deal of time and money. It is a good idea to contact professionals if the extent of the mess is severe.
Tips for Dealing With Water Damage in Your Home
Water damage in South Pottstown, PA
Water Cleanup Process
A serious flood in your South Pottstown, PA home can seem like a terribly stressful experience. When you’ve got a lot of damage to address, it may be hard to know where to begin. You’ve probably got some frustrating work ahead of you, bat taking on the cleanup process one step at a time can make it feel a lot more manageable.
Pump Out Standing Water
After water damage from broken pipes, the volume of water on your floors can be considerable. Some home owners will find whole feet of water on their basement floor after a pipe has burst. Removing the water is usually preferable to letting it dry.
- Leaving a lot of standing water to evaporate can take too long
- Stagnant water could cause considerable damage to your home before it evaporates
- Professional help with a sump pump for water cleanup can help you get your home back to normal as quickly as possible
Run a Dehumidifier
When there has been water damage in your Phoenixville, PA home, moisture doesn’t linger only in your floors and furniture but also the air inside your home. A dehumidifier can pull water out of the air and also draw it out of some fabric fibers.
Run Your HVAC and Ceiling Fans
If your home’s power is working okay and there is no chance that your electrical panels were damaged by a flood, it may be helpful to keep your HVAC’s fan set to on rather than auto to keep air circulating. Even just ordinary ceiling fans can help to keep air moving and help things dry out.
Use Safe and Effective Cleaning Products
In the aftermath of water damage, a thorough cleanup may involve a little more effort than simply drying things out. The water that leaked may have been dirty, and it could have washed dirt and debris over everything that it touched. Use a disinfecting agent that will take care of any residual dirt and grime.
How to Flush Your Water Heater
Performing regular maintenance, such as a simple flush
Help Maintain A Crucial Appliance In Your Home
Much like any other appliance in your Phoenixville, PA, home, your water heater requires routine maintenance in order to continue functioning properly. Performing regular maintenance, such as a simple flush, can help keep your appliance running smoothly for years to come. The good news is that this process is quite simple to execute, even if you lack prior plumbing experience.
1. Turn Off the Machine.
This process varies depending on which type of model your home is equipped with. For gas models, simply cut the gas and extinguish the pilot light. Electric models can be switched off via your home's circuit box.
2. Empty and Flush the Tank.
Open your device's drain valve and allow the water to flow freely for several minutes until the tank is completely drained. You can switch on the faucet in your kitchen sink to help the water drain more smoothly and efficiently. Wait a few minutes before turning off the supply valve. Switch the supply valve back on once the water flow ceases entirely. Flush the water heater quickly before cutting the supply once again.
3. Refill the Water Tank.
Once you feel satisfied that all of the water and debris left in the tank has been drained, you may close the valve. Switch the water supply back on and closely watch the flowing faucet in your kitchen sink. The stream will start flowing smoothly again once the water tank is completely full.
4. Reactivate the Power.
After the tank has been refilled, you can switch the power on. Do so by repeating step one in reverse order. Double-check to make sure the water tank has been filled completely before restoring the power. Doing so with a half-full tank can damage your appliance. Your water heater flush is now complete.
Performing a successful flush on your water heater is a simple way to help maintain a crucial appliance in your home. Make sure to contact water remediation experts for assistance if you encounter any problems during your flush.
Reasons for Toilet Leaks and How to Respond
A leaking toilet is a serious obstacle, but dealing with one should not be an oversized headache
Should you develop a leaking toilet, there are a number of possible reasons. Identify the source of your heartache to pinpoint what repair is needed to get your commode properly flushing once more.
Toilet Leak Causes
Here are three common reasons water may begin flowing improperly from your commode.
1. A Crack
Older toilets are prone to developing fissures. Failure to tackle this malady quickly could allow for greater problems to emerge.
2. A Worn Flapper
Leakage may arise when this component suffers from extended use and begins blocking water.
3. A Loose Base Seal
When water surrounds your toilet, it may be because the parts keeping it securely attached have become worn.
Another possibility is that you do not have a leaking toilet at all. Plumbing that has become rusted, for instance, can fracture, resulting in water pooling around your toilet's base. Another scenario is mere condensation triggered by too much humidity. Consult an expert if you are unable to definitively determine the issue.
Toilet Leak Repairs
In cases where water emerges from beneath the toilet, you may be able to alleviate the matter by tightening your system’s grounding bolts. Take extra care when doing so, however, that you apply the appropriate amount of pressure, as too much can provoke additional damage. Caulking remains a hotly debated issue, so use your best judgment regarding this procedure.
Should the above fail to cure your bathroom leak, complete removal and replacement of your commode may become necessary. This is a complex task best handled by a commercial water damage expert. Choose one that will arrive at your home in Parker Ford, PA, at the earliest possible moment. The longer you take to address the trouble, the more complex the concern can become.
A leaking toilet is a serious obstacle, but dealing with one should not be an oversized headache. Once you identify your leak’s origin, hire a qualified professional to correct the situation.
How Can I Be Proactive About Plumbing Issues?
Water leaking out from pipe system
Plumbing Inspection And Maintenance For Your Business
How often do you have someone come in to inspect the plumbing in your business in Valley Forge, PA? Regular inspections and maintenance help prevent plumbing problems and keep your company running smoothly. Don’t let a broken pipe catch you off guard. Set up a routine to look at the following so that you don’t miss a potential problem.
1. Rust and Limescale
Look for corrosion on pipes and limescale on faucets. The significant buildup may mean you need to replace those pipes and parts soon.
2. Visible Leaks
Do you see any standing water or water damage? Are there signs of mold, or does the area smell musty? Leaking pipes damage your property and also cost you thousands of dollars a year in wasted water.
3. Water Pressure
Normal water pressure is between 40 psi and 80 psi. If you have a multistory building, it will be higher on the lower floors and lower on the upper floors. Pressure that’s too high puts a strain on the water main, leading to plumbing problems such as a broken pipe.
Test the flow rate of all your building’s drains. Clean out any that are clogged, and use a camera to inspect the drain lines to make sure they’re not cracked, bent or damaged.
Verify all the safety and shutoff valves work properly and replace any that are broken. If you have a major water issue, you want to be able to shut off the water to just the affected areas, not the whole building.
Commercial buildings must have working backflow prevention. Test it yearly to make sure water isn’t flowing backward or isn’t getting contaminated with toxins.
7. Water Heater
Inspect your building’s water heater to ensure it heats water to at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit and doesn’t have any broken valves.
Annual preventative maintenance on your building ensures small plumbing problems don’t grow into severe complications. If you discover damage, work with a water cleanup company in Valley Forge, PA, to clean up the water and repair any structural issues.
What To Do About a Noisy Water Heater
Water heater noises can generally be addressed before they result in more serious issues
Your Phoenixville, PA, water heater may make a variety of noises over the course of its life. Sometimes these noises indicate a problem, but other times they are perfectly normal. Routine maintenance will minimize the noises and keep your heater in good shape for years to come.
Reasons for the Noise
There are many reasons why water heaters make noise. The following are three of the most common:
- Sediment buildup
- Partially closed valves
Sediment buildup can lead to cracking, popping, or rumbling noises. Vibrations can cause a humming sound. Water being forced through valves that are not fully open often creates a screeching. Noises can also be caused by pipes expanding and contracting, valves closing too quickly, or simply the normal operations of a heat trap.
How To Stop the Noise
As with all appliances, routine maintenance goes a long way to keep the machine running smoothly. Doing a water heater flush every year with a descaling cleaner will eliminate sediment buildup. If you have a lot of buildup and annual cleanings are insufficient, installing a water softener may help. If you have an electric water heater and hear a humming noise, the problem could be a loose heating element. Tighten the element and make sure it is secure. For screeching or banging sounds, make sure that all valves, to and from the heater, are working properly, i.e., opening fully and not closing too quickly. In some cases, it may be necessary to install a water hammer arrestor to stop the banging sound. If you cannot locate or resolve the source of the noise, call a plumber to help you address the situation.
Fortunately, water heater noises can generally be addressed before they result in more serious issues. However, if you do experience water damage from a malfunctioning heater, an experienced restoration company can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.
Is Category 2 Water Damage a Health Hazard?
Three basic categories of water damage
Three Basic Categories of Water Damage
A flooded business is the last thing you need these days. Unfortunately, a leaking pipe is not that rare in Kimberton, PA, especially in older commercial buildings. Before the water pipe repair is accomplished, you’ll need to deal with the excess water.
If it’s a small leak, you may not have much floodwater to deal with. However, if it’s accumulated for a while – or if it’s a broken pipe – you should evaluate the water before touching it. There are three basic categories of water damage, based on the type (if any) of contaminates contained in it:
Category 1 is clean water with nothing significant contaminating it.
Category 2 is grey water with some microorganisms contaminating it, but no sewage.
Category 3 is black water with sewage contaminating it.
Can You Clean Up Category 1 By Yourself?
Potentially, yes. If the damage is localized and only on the surface, you can use towels to soak up the floodwater and fans to remove excess humidity. However, you may need a plumber for the water pipe repair.
What About Category 2?
Usually, you’ll need to at least consult with an expert on category 2 water damage. This type may include water (with urine only) from the toilet, floodwater that came from outside the building that doesn’t contain sewage or any non-septic water from sources other than clean water pipes. If the damage is very light with low levels of contamination and hasn’t soaked into building materials, you may be able to fix it yourself, but you’ll still usually need a professional to perform any needed water pipe repair.
How Serious Is Category 3 Water Damage?
Unfortunately, you’ll always need a certified water damage restoration expert when category 3 is involved. Once raw sewage has entered a building, the germs will spread to everything it touches – often embedding in absorbent materials. Floodwater from a major flood should also always be considered category 3 since it will often contain sewage from the sewer system or septic tank overflows. Impacted areas inside may remain contaminated for months if not cleaned professionally.
Keep your personal contents safe after a tragedy!
The couch was affected by water entering the home and making this item non-salvageable.
The final goal is to make sure you collect all valuables that might have been damaged or destroyed and create a list for your homeowners insurance company. Remember to document and list the value of every item. If any receipts are available make sure to submit that as well. An amazing tip is to go to a local large store that has a registry scanner and scan all contents that you own that have been affected by water to have a price sheet to submit to your insurance for your claim. Negotiate a settlement with your insurance company to get the most money back to be able to replace all your valuables. First step in a water loss, ALWAYS report your claim promptly and always make sure you completely understand your policy and what is covered and what is not. Never rush into a settlement, it may take longer than you anticipated but it will be worth it to make sure you are detailed and accurate with your contents to get back what you have lost. Never claim items that you DO NOT HAVE. This is a felony and will not make your claim go through any faster or pay out anymore more money. For the water loss portion of the mitigiation process call SERVPRO of North East Chester County, the professionals to come in and help clean up the affected contents and structure.
What makes a water damage such a big deal?
Sewage Line back up in a residential home which is a Category 3 Loss.
Water is a constant worry when it has to do with it coming in and damaging your home. It is amazing how much good water does for a human being but how much damage it can do to your home. BUT! There is good news! Water damage losses can be prevented by (i.e. automatic shut off valve) or mitigated by us, SERVPRO of Northeast Chester County. There can be many ways water can enter the structure of your home and cause so much damage, this includes:
1. Water Line Failures- which are connected to your washing machines, sinks, toilets, and ice makers.
2. Plumbing or Appliance Failure: Washing machines leaking, dishwashers, or even your water filtration systems.
3. Pipes: Pipes can break due to freezing, age, lack of maintenance or even can have been installed improperly.
4. Water Heater Failure: Which I find to be a common cause of loss. These heaters can leak due to corrosion and need to be replaced every 8-10 years.
5. Overflow Plumbing fixtures: Overflowing sinks and toilets.
6. Improperly installed construction: Roof not installed correctly, siding errors.
Any home or business can sustain damage from a water leak. Always make sure to make yourself aware because if water damage is not dried properly and handled by trained technicians than it can start to cause secondary damage which can be mold that can be harmful to your family or employees.
Water Tips To Flow By!
Due to a radiator leak in the attic, water came through the flooring into the ceiling of a master bedroom.
Has water damage happened to you ? These are some tips you can follow to make sure things do not get worse.
Make sure you are aware of the difference between floor damage and water damage. You might believe water is water whether it came from a flooding or a pip bursting in your bathroom. But flood damage is NOT covered under homeowners insurance. If you live in a area that is prone to flooding you would have a NFIP (National Flood Insurance Policy).
Not all water damages are covered under your homeowners insurance policy. Most policies cover sudden damage, such as a burst pipe or a overflowing washing machine but will not cover if the property has not been maintained and small gradual leaks that happen causing a bigger problem over time.
Once a water damage has occurred the clock starts ticking and you need to call in SERVPRO of Northeast Chester County to help you out before it causes any secondary damage.
Next, you will want to let your homeowners insurance company know right away to get the claim process started immediately.
PROS and CONS of... Water??!
One of our specialty drying mats that pull out as much moisture from the floor to prevent any damage.
When anyone thinks of water, they think that it is healthy for you; everyone should consume water everyday and it keeps you hydrated. Well water might be the most amazing thing for the human body, but if water enters a home or a business it can be the start to nightmare if left untreated for long. Water coming into your home/business can cause major damage to your belongings, the structure or your home/business, and even upset you! If left there for over 24 hours without any tending to it can cause walls and ceilings to rot and fall, flooring to start growing mold and start to curl up and become non salvageable and then must be replaced which can become a hassle for a homeowner, a business owner and their customers. SERVPRO of North East Chester County has highly trained IICRC technicians and state of the art professional drying equipment to help ease the damage that could happen. We have emergency services that technicians are on call to be able to arrive as soon as possible to save all your belongings and home/business before it's too late!
Top Causes of Water Damage in your home or business!
Our fans are drying out a carpet that had gotten affected from a rain storm.
There is nothing like water invading your home or business to put a damper on your day. The most common cause of loss within a structure are things that we need and use everyday. Appliances are one of the top reasons for water to enter the structure such as a air conditioner, water heater or even a dish washer. Always make sure to check on all appliances monthly to assure that you everything is still intact. The roof on the structure needs to be replaced every few years and always inspected to make sure there isn't any damage that has been done to it. All the pipes throughout the home should be monitored especially in the colder times of the year. The last most common cause is something we can not avoid but just make sure we stay ahead of is mother nature. Keep in-tune with the weather and make sure to prepare your home or business for the worst to protect your business or home.
Save those wood floors from water damage!
We use this drying method for wood floors specifically to assure we have tried every attempt to extract the water from the flooring.
Wooden flooring can easily be damaged from water that sits on the floor and is not cleaned up properly. First step is to dry your floors. Make sure to remove all floor coverings such as an area rug which can cause the floor to become more damaged. Step 2 is to make sure you dry any visible water immediately after the floors get wet. Step 3 is to make sure you scrub and clean the floor before it drys. There might be dirk or mud trapped in the groves that you may want out before drying and damaging the floor. Step 4 is to remove a few of the floor boards around the most affected area. We want to get air flow underneath the floor to prevent any secondary damage. Step 5, now the floors need air movement around them to dry out the damp flooring and sub flooring. SERVPRO of North East Chester County have all the specialty equipment that make sure we dry out wet flooring to the max. Last step is to take a moister reading. We always want to check and make sure that the floor is drying.
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!