Recent Water Damage Posts

Travelers Finds Water Damage 10 Times More Likely than Fire

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

While fire may be a common worry among homeowners, claims data from Travelers suggests their homes could be as much as 10 times more likely to be damaged by water than by fire.

Fortunately, much of this water-related damage can be prevented, and taking a few simple home maintenance steps can help increase the chances of keeping a property safe.

Travelers recently analyzed its homeowners insurance claims, excluding claims related to catastrophes, and found that damage caused by water accounted for 28 percent of its property claims, compared to three percent for fire. Furthermore, of those water damage claims, weather accounted for only five percent, meaning that proper maintenance within the home may help homeowners avoid some of these problems.

“When considering annual household cleaning projects, it’s a great time to inspect and perform maintenance on household systems and appliances,” said Ron Stephens, Regional Vice President for Travelers. “Checking washing machine hoses, ice maker connections and the plumbing around water heaters are a few simple actions you can take to prevent both damages and a lot of headaches.”

After examining the most common causes of water damage for Travelers customers, claim and risk management professionals from Travelers have developed a number of easy steps homeowners can take to help avoid many of these non-weather-related water problems. The following list provides preventive measures to help avoid the top four common causes of non-weather related water damage:

Leaks from washing machine hoses: Washing machine hoses should be inspected annually and replaced every five years – or immediately, if there are any signs of cracking or bulging.

Leaky plumbing around water heaters: Plumbing should be inspected annually and repaired if there are any signs of leaks or corrosion. When possible, water heaters should be installed in an area with floor drains to minimize damage if leaks should occur.

Leaks from refrigerator ice machines: Ice maker connections, usually located behind the refrigerator, should be inspected annually and hoses replaced if they appear cracked or corroded.

Clogged drain lines on air conditioning units: Air conditioning drain lines should be checked yearly.

Water Damage at Home

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

When you consider the statistics, it becomes clear just how common and devastating a problem water damage can be. According to industry estimates, 14,000 people in the US experience a water damage emergency at home or work each day, and 98% of basements in the US will suffer from some type of water damage during their lifetime.

The costs are just a staggering as the frequency. Water damage and mold cost the insurance industry $2.5 billion dollars per year, and the average cost of a home water damage insurance claim is $6,965.

Water leaks alone leave incredible amounts of damage and immense waste in their wake. Water leaks from homes in the US can exceed 1 trillion gallons of water in a year. That's equivalent to the annual water usage of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami combined! These individual leaks often seem tiny, but over time they can generate enormous waste and damage to a home. For example, a continuously running toilet can waste over 200 gallons of water per day, and a 1/8 inch crack in a pipe can spill 250 gallons of water in a day.

Although water damage can happen quickly and cause immense damage, there are ways to prevent a lot of it. If you live in a flood prone area, learn about steps you can take to prepare for a flood, including having flood control devices like sandbags or flood barriers on hand. If groundwater saturation is an issue for your property, ensure that your basement is protected with a high quality sump pump and a dependable backup system, like a battery backup sump pump or a water powered sump pump. Get in the habit of monitoring and maintaining areas in your home prone to water damage.

*based on information from Water Damage Defense

What to do if you have a Water Damage

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

What to Do When You Have Water Damage

SERVPRO has restored countless water losses and know exactly what needs to be done to get you back to preloss condition quickly.

It’s important to act fast because any delay in responding not only can cause additional damage to occur, but many insurance policies require that you do everything you can to protect the property from additional damage.

SERVPRO will bill your insurance company directly and all necessary work will be performed with as little inconvenience and intrusion as possible. So call our 24-hour emergency line and we’ll be on our way fast.

Until we arrive, here are some things you can do to minimize additional damage and speed the process of getting you back to normal.

  • If circuit breakers are safely accessible, turn off power in the affected areas.
  • Turn off the source of water if safely accessible.
  • Blot the water with towels or mop the wet area if possible.
  • Remove wet rugs, newspapers, books and magazines. These items can cause staining.
  • Remove lamps and other items from wood furniture. If surfaces are damp, wipe them dry.
  • All moisture sensitive items should be removed from wet areas and propped up in a dry, safe place.
  • To prevent further water damage to furniture, place foil or plywood under the legs.
  • Furniture skirts should be lifted off of damp floors with clothespins.
  • Wet draperies should be hung to dry at room temperature, as well as any affected furs and leather goods.
  • Avoid all contact with wet areas if the water clearly came from a contaminated source.
  • Wash yourself immediately if you have come into contact with contaminated water.
  • Avoid spreading contaminated water from room to room.
  • Do not turn on heating or air conditioning units, as contaminated air can be spread this way.
  • Stay away from any room where there is a shock hazard from exposed electricity outlets or equipment.
  • Do not use ceiling fixtures, fans or any other electric devices while standing on wet flooring of any type.
  • Do not attempt to remove water with a standard vacuum cleaner or dry the area using household fans. These machines could get damaged or you could be injured.

Causes of Water Damage

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage occurs when excess water begins to pool in areas where it shouldn’t. Many different factors can create this excess water and thereby contribute to water damage.

When you are aware of the potential causes, you can take precautionary measures to help insure against a leak or flood. You will also be able to spot a problem as soon as it arises and nip it in the bud before it has a chance to cause any additional damage.

The more quickly you notice the problem, the less work the water extraction and water damage restoration company will have to fix.

Causes of water damage include:

  • Bursting or leaking pipes
  • Issues with the plumbing system
  • Buildup in areas prone to collecting water, such as crawl spaces, attics and basements
  • Faulty or malfunctioning household appliances
  • HVACs (Heating, ventilating and air conditioning units) issues
  • Natural disasters and other weather-related water problems

No matter what the issue, you can call the experts at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe to make it look "Like it never even happened"!

4 Ways to Minimize the Risk of Dishwasher Leaks

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

4 Ways To Minimize the Risk of Dishwasher Leaks

Dishwashers are extremely convenient kitchen appliances that many busy households may use frequently. However, if not properly installed or maintained, these machines can cause significant water damage. To help minimize the risk of a leaking dishwasher and reduce the need for extensive flood cleanup and restoration, you should employ the following four strategies.

1. Ensure Proper Installation

In order to operate efficiently, a dishwasher should be level with all four legs securely planted on the floor. An unbalanced machine can result in expedited wear and tear and internal warping that may contribute to leaks. 

2. Use Recommended Detergent

There are numerous brands and formulas of dishwashing detergent available on the market, but it’s essential that you consistently utilize only products formulated for these appliances. Other solutions, such as liquid dish soap, may produce excessive suds. This can increase pressure on the door gasket and damage the water-tight seal, resulting in a leak.

3. Routinely Inspect Under Unit

Because many critical components reside under the unit, you may not notice symptoms of a leaking dishwasher until significant water damage has occurred. To help prevent this problem, you should routinely remove the front kick plate while the machine is operating and inspect for drips and dampness. If you discover a broken or loose clamp, seal or hose, you should promptly repair or replace it. 

4. Evaluate Door Gasket

If you notice pooled water in front of your machine, a damaged door gasket may be the culprit. Water lubricates this important component and helps prevent it from cracking. For this reason, you should use your dishwasher at least once a week. It’s also important to routinely inspect the seal for signs of deterioration and replace it as necessary. 

No homeowner wants to endure a messy flood cleanup. Employing these strategies can help you prevent or detect a leaking dishwasher before extensive water damage occurs.

How to prevent burst pipes

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

how to prevent burst pipes

Freezing temperatures can be the most common culprit of burst pipes. Since water expands when frozen, it can cause the pressure inside the pipe to increase until it bursts. That being said, there are a few preventive measures you can take before cold weather overwhelms your plumbing system, causing a pipe to burst in your home:

  • If you have a sprinkler system and/or swimming pool, drain it per the manufacturer's or installer's instructions.
  • After removing and storing your garden hoses in the garage, turn off the water valves to outdoor faucets. Keep the outside valve open, however, in order to let any remaining water escape. This also allows water sitting in the pipe to freeze and expand without busting it open.
  • Check for any exposed pipes in unheated areas of your house — like your basement, attic, garage, crawl space, and under bathroom and kitchen sinks. Insulate both hot and cold water pipes with pipe sleeves or heat tape, which you can find at a hardware store.
  • Try to keep your garage door closed as much as possible if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • If you go on vacation during the winter months, leave your heater on, set to 55 degrees at minimum.

Getting Professional Help For Water Removal In Your Home From A Hidden Bathroom Leak

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Professional Water Removal

A hidden water leak in your bathroom, if left untreated, can cost you, especially if it leads to serious damage to walls, flooring, and paint. There are subtle signs you can look for in your home to figure out whether you need a plumber to fix those leaking fixtures and pipes before things get worse. When you have a massive leak, you need a certified remediation company to help you clean up the damage.

One sign of a hidden leak and the need for professional water removal is a wall which has blistering wallpaper or paint. Most of the time, steam from hot showers in your home should not cause this to happen. When water and moisture get between the paint and the wall, they stop the bond and start to separate the two, making the paint rise from the wall and all off in bits. It is the same case with wallpaper.

A wall which is warped or stained for no apparent reason is a clear sign of a plumbing leak. Drywall becomes soft and starts to bubble when it is exposed to moisture, eventually warping and breaking up into pieces. If the leak reaches your ceiling, it will sag and could leak some of the accumulated water, causing more damage to your bathroom.

At SERVPRO, our technicians have tools like moisture meters to find any hidden moisture and leaks in your bathroom and to remove any accumulation of water from those leaks. We first figure out what is causing the leak, fix the problem, and eliminate the water with industrial pumps, fans, and dehumidifiers. Quickly drying your bathroom out is important to avoid the growth of mold. Once your bathroom is dry again, repairs are made, including replacing any damaged drywall, and the affected area is sanitized.

Sometimes your flooring can be damaged as well if the leak was bad enough, causing cracking, staining or buckling. Moisture can make your floor feel soft or spongy depending upon the material it is made of. In these cases, you often find a damp subfloor as well. If the problem is found quick enough, we can dry it out and salvage it without having to replace it, but we may need to put new subflooring in as well where the water damaged it.

Don’t hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe when you believe you have a hidden leak in your bathroom. We are available to help you at any time, day or night!

Flood Damage From Appliances in Your Home

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Steps to removing water and drying your home after a failed appliance causes a flood

Most flooding problems in homes come from the inside, rather than from a rising creek or river. In many of these cases, the problem results from a failed dishwasher or a split intake hose for a clothes washer.

Appliance flood damage in a home sounds simple, but the truth is very different. A failure of either of these machines can drop over five gallons of water on the floor every hour. SERVPRO knows that if this happens in the morning after everyone leaves for work, that means an entire, three-bedroom room can be under an inch of water before the homeowner or renter walks in to find a disaster.

The only advantage to dealing with flooding from such an inside source is that it is clean water. There is no contamination to have to worry about, so there is no need for special protective gear and since cleaning the surfaces is not required, the overall time necessary for the job is far less as well.

The first step we take is to stop the flow of water. If a resident has not turned off the water main, we do it immediately after arriving on the property.

Next, we get to work removing standing water. For any amount over an inch, we start with commercial grade water pumps. These machines can empty out an average home in an afternoon, allowing us to bring in more equipment and inspect for damage to floors, carpets, and walls. If the power is out, we bring in our generators for uninterrupted electrical support.

If there is no permanent damage, we draw out remaining water trapped on carpets and floors. Technicians use extraction wands which are designed to bring out the water without harming wood surfaces or damaging the nap of the rug. This part of the job is more time-consuming and can take up to a full day or more.

With the water removed, we now lower the moisture levels in the surrounding air. To do so, we use dehumidifiers to draw moisture out of the air. Each device can remove over twenty gallons every day depending on the humidity and size of the dehumidifier we use. We perform this task to prevent the possibility of rot or mold growth in the walls and floors.

Drying out your home is not an easy process, but the right restoration company can do it quickly and safely. The experts at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe has decades of experience helping our neighbors put their homes back together after a flood. If you need our help, call today!

Rapid Water Removal Mitigates Damage

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO' s Expertise Saves Homeowners Money with Fast Water Extraction

Water damage from weather, broken plumbing or improper drainage can be a crushing blow to a homeowner. At this time in winter, Georgia weather brings the constant threat of freezing temps at night. During the summer months, we are constantly hit with thunderstorms which often lead to flooding.

At SERVPRO, we understand how important water removal is to get back into your home. Depending on the amount of water and how much of your home has been flooded, this process may take only a day or two. Under severe volumes of standing water, the process may take over a week for complete drying. Our team of technicians will work to make the process as painless as possible for you. 

Our locally owned offices maintain a 24-hour response team specializing in flood water removal. Damage (regardless if it is rainwater or otherwise) will begin in less than a day if any standing water is not pumped out as quickly as possible. SERVPRO owns and keeps on site, an extensive inventory of pumps and water extractors designed for private homes. Each office also maintains its generators to support our teams and equipment. Having some of the best equipment in the removal business is useless if you can't use it when the city electrical grid may be knocked out. 

After the water has been removed, our technicians use a series of blowers and exhaust fans to remove any remaining, excess moisture. To remove excess humidity and hopefully prevent the growth of mold, we also use specialized dehumidifiers when needed. Drywall and floor trim are particularly vulnerable to mold infestation if they are not dried out or removed quickly. Some of the same equipment we use for removal is also useful to restore carpets and carpet padding. In addition to the fans and blowers, our teams also maintain a specialized set of vacuums, mat wet vacs and heaters to extract water from carpets and wood flooring. In just a few minutes after getting soaked, dyes and inks begin to bleed from cloth and paper. It is usually too late for those goods to be salvaged, but our highly trained technicians can recover and restore furniture to prevent it from losing paint or varnish. If water is removed quickly enough, floor staining and carpet color can be saved as well. 

If you are concerned about preventing damage, you can contact us for a free assessment or if you have need of our services now, call us at 478-452-8000. As a locally owned business, SERVPRO is dedicated to restoring the homes of our neighbors.

Water Damage Issues

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Issues with Water Damage

When your business has been hit by any water damage, you will want to act quickly to get a professional restoration company like our experienced team at SERVPRO to your property. The process of restoration for commercial water damage is critical, and water damage is one of the most common forms of damage seen in commercial properties. We will use industry-proven techniques for drying out your property to ensure that the most efficient commercial water damage restoration is done. We make sure to reach the moisture that is deep within the walls and floors so that your structure is properly dried out. 

The key to a successful commercial water damage restoration is coordination. Our experienced project managers and crew chiefs at SERVPRO are valuable resources during your time of crisis, no matter if it is water damage from pipes that burst, hurricanes, flooding or other natural disasters. Our restoration process for water damage begins the moment you call on us. From commercial water damage to the removal of sewage, we’ll restore your building fast, cost efficiently and professionally. 

We will also work alongside adjusters, building owners, property managers and risk managers to put into place a water damage restoration plan that is seamless with the primary goal of attaining limited interruption for your business. We will work with you individually to figure out the best path for your water damage restoration, including the scope of work, timeframe for recovery and your budget. 

We Can Assist You Any Time You Need 

We understand that time is money, and when it is your business on the line, your livelihood is as well. This is why our commercial water damage restoration professionals give you 24/7 emergency services. We always have our trucks fully stocked and ready to come out to your property, so that we can be on your site quickly in a majority of circumstances. 

Why Choose Us  

  • We will come out quickly with our IICRC-backed and fully trained technicians, any day or time.
  • We have plenty of state of the art, professional grade equipment
  • We’ll give you secure and itemized content storage for all of your equipment, furniture, and appliances
  • We can restore expensive equipment and appliances which some companies cannot
  • We will work with your insurance company so you can concentrate on your business

When disaster strikes your commercial building, it can very much affect the ability of your business to operate effectively as usual. Our team will respond fast and complete the repairs needed to get your business up and running as soon as possible. We understand that this kind of event can be very stressful, so we will take care of your restoration needs and take care of your business. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

When your business experiences water damage, call us at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe right away so that we can restore your property and you can get back to business as usual. 

How A Water Restoration Technician Assists After Disaster

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

According to the IICRC, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification...

A water restoration technician has an extremely important job when a home is affected by excess moisture or fluid.

Certified professionals in the industry can quickly reverse the extensive damage that a flood or sewage backflow can cause, and save as many items as possible in the process. And when dealing with contaminated fluids, especially when it has pooled in the home, only certified professionals should be allowed to manage the cleanup. Attempting to perform cleanup efforts without expert assistance can lead to injury or illness, both of which can be severe.

A certified water restoration technician will usually be on call around the clock, except for those times when an entire community has been affected by a major disaster. As soon as a professional is on site, they will assess the situation and determine what items need immediate rescuing. If fluid has pooled in areas around the home, then pumps will be used to remove it.

The home will be dried using a configuration of heavy duty air movers and dehumidifiers, and while it dries, the firm will move through the building and look for any evidence of mold or pathogen contamination. If pathogens or mold are present, they will be eliminated using special  procedures. This will ensure the home is safe to return to, and with concerted drying efforts, the building will as good as new once professionals have completed their work.

Always Call A Water Damage Service For Repairs

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

A water damage restoration service is the kind of professional that no one wants to call, but when they are needed, it is important not to delay.

Homeowners know that moisture is often the enemy, capable of penetrating into just about any space, and taking advantage of every little crack and structural problem. No matter how moisture gets into the building, the response should be the same. Call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe as soon as possible to clean the home, dry it, and ensure there are no lingering health threats once the moisture is gone.

If water has entered the home through a contaminated source, don’t try to handle it on your own.

Floods and sewage backflows contain a cocktail of deadly bacteria, viruses and fungi, and even momentary skin contact can leave a person seriously ill. A certified water damage restoration service not only has the tools to eliminate the moisture, they have the protective equipment to remain free from harm.

SERVPRO Restoration technicians have a lot of technology at their disposal.

These include powerful vacuums and pumping systems, high volume air movers, dehumidifiers, heat injectors, moisture meters, and a number of detergents formulated for destroying fungi and other microbial threats. While the technicians work on the building, disposing of compromised materials, and drying the rest, they will also destroy all mold and microbial colonies. This is the only way to ensure a home is safe to live, and a business safe to work in; any other cleaning method is a dangerous gamble.

What Is Required For Water Damage Restoration?

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

Companies that perform water damage restoration have to be skilled in a number of areas to stay current in their field.

Technicians in the industry have to combat a number of threats, some visible and some invisible, before their job is done. Structural weakening, chemical runoff, electrical hazards, dangerous wildlife, and deadly microbes are all common risks technicians have to contend with. Without the proper education and equipment, a technician risks grave injury and may leave health risks behind for a family to encounter. Fortunately, technicians in the industry have access to the educational resources offered by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC.

After getting certified in water damage restoration and a number of related fields, a professional in the field will be able to identify and neutralize any problems they are likely to face at a job site.

In most cases, a technician is called to a home following a flood or plumbing disaster. In either case, the initial threat a technician has to encounter is hazardous standing liquid. Floods and sewage backups are normally host to dangerous chemicals, like oil runoff, bacteria and viruses. Before any repairs can be done on the home, a technician will need to be outfitted with the proper safety wear and begin investigating where the liquid is pooling. Moisture meters can detect the level of moisture in and behind drywall, carpet, and other areas. Using minimally-invasive tools, a technician can quickly find pockets of heavy moisture in areas not readily accessible.

This is important because only thorough drying will ensure that further destruction does not occur.

Most companies use a combination of industrial  air movers and dehumidifiers to extract moisture from both materials and the air. This process can take some time, but diagnostic tools like moisture meters help technicians monitor the drying process. Once all of the materials inside the home have reached safe levels, mold and other microbial growth can be halted.

The most severe threats a water damage restoration company has to deal with are molds and other pathogens.

These contaminants can remain a major hazard for years after they have taken root, and can cause insidious health problems while remaining hidden in vents or behind walls. Trained technicians are capable of neutralizing molds and other pathogens by utilizing special cleaning products and quickly removing compromised materials. Being able to identify mold growth is an important skill for a professional, and stemming the growth of a colony can be the difference between saving a home and having to condemn it. Certified firms are capable of quickly working through a property and disposing of anything that is beyond repair. Anything that is salvageable but soaked is separated, cleaned properly, and promptly dried. If the building’s structural integrity has been affected, these technicians can identify it and alert the homeowner and the insurance representative to its presence.

Without professional help, a homeowner will never know for sure that their home is safe to live in again.

This is why the help of a certified technician is so valuable. They don’t just repair homes, they restore normalcy. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is staffed with Water, Fire and Mold Remediation certified professionals who are here to tackle anything that may arise.

Baptismal Overflows!

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

Choir room effected from ceiling caving.

Local church experienced something nobody saw coming...

Following an Easter Sunday service, someone accidentally forgot to shut off the water which filled the baptismal. When they arrived Monday morning, much to their surprise, the entire choir loft had flooded and overflowed into the choir room, leaving the hallways and classrooms devastated. Without hesitation, they immediately notified SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe and our fleet showed up to help save the day!

The Pastor of the church thanked SERVPRO for being so helpful and walking them through the process. Times like these leave you speechless and oftentimes, you don't know where to turn, but our crew knows just how to make it "Like it never even happened."