Recent Water Damage Posts
The rushing floodwaters carried a lot of mud and silt from the exterior of this home and deposited the mess on the hardwood floors. Fast water and moisture removal are critical to limiting the water damage to the first onslaught of the storm waters. SERVPRO team members understand the importance of the initial day of cleanup and restoration. Minimizing non-salvageable materials to only contaminated elements for demolishing and discarding is a challenge. The After Photo illustrates the results that can be had when a professional outfit does the storm damage work. We can save our customers and their insurance companies money, inconvenience, and stress with a carefully laid out plan and then its execution.
The Science Behind Drying out Water Damage
Drying out water damage in customer's home
When Water Damage happens in your house the first things we all think about is to grab towels and mop up the water and finish with placing our house fans to dry up the area. Did you know that there is a Science of Drying and restoring your property?
With all the factors that go into what can happen with water damage its time that matters the most to help prevent other problems to arise. When you call SERVPRO we have the state-of-art equipment to speed up Mother Nature. When a property is wet it can naturally dry itself but also takes too long and with this process other damage such as mold and a weaken structure can happen creating more damage than if it was taken care of faster.
Here at SERVPRO we have the knowledge of psychrometrics which is essential to restoring water damage to its preloss condition. Our Team has been trained on all of the drying techniques that we use every day and are knowledgeable on how to dry your home the fasted way possible. SERVPRO has equipment to help dry your hard wood floors and carpets, hard to reach spaces in your walls and many more.
SERVPRO has tools to monitor the drying process allowing us to take pictures and different readings to track the restoration progress. With the readings that we get we use our program SERVPRO DryBOOK to record information to ensure your restoration is done properly and efficiently every time.
We are here for any size Water Damage situation 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!
What Kind of Water are you dealing with?
Always be informed on what you’re dealing with
When facing a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensure proper cleanup. There are three types of water.
- Clean Water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean.
- Gray Water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean Water becomes Gray Water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous.
- Black Water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black Water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black Water should always be handled by trained professionals.
Are you not sure what type of water damage you are dealing with? Let the professionals here at SERVPRO help!
SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is
Things to Know About Sewage Backups in your Home
Sewage Backup in Customer Basement
When it comes to water damage there is important things to remember about the different hazards that can contaminate the water that is in your home. Sewage is one of the most dangerous substances to enter homes or buildings. It contains fungi, bacteria and viruses, many of which are disease-causing. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand the hazards that sewage presents.
Here are the key principles homeowners should know about sewage back-ups and how to handle the situation with caution:
- Sewage contains a variety of pathogenic – disease causing – fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites. Anyone who works on sewage losses must have updated vaccinations, including one for Hepatitis B.
- Sewage exposure is particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, including anyone under two or over 60, those who are pregnant, ill, recovering from surgery, on prescription drugs or chemotherapy, or are AIDS victims.
- It is not safe to stay in a building that’s flooded with sewage unless the contaminated area can be completely sealed off and placed under controlled air flow so that there will be no cross contamination of unaffected areas.
- Highly absorbent sewage-saturated materials, such as carpet, pad, upholstery, bedding, wicker, paper or even fabrics that can’t be washed in hot water (130°F/54°C) for at least 10 minutes, must be contained and disposed of properly. This goes for sewage-saturated drywall, insulation and several other structural materials too. There’s simply too great a health risk involved if any of these materials are dried in place and cleaned only.
- Only the most highly trained professionals should attempt sewage remediation work. Then, a “third party” indoor environmental professional can provide post-remediation verification or “clearance testing” to ensure that the home or building is safe to re-occupy.
SERVPRO is always available 24 hours a day when a loss becomes overwhelming from a Water Loss or Sewage Backup in the workplace or in your home. These simple tips will help you with prevention and awareness where its most important so seconds don’t turn into disaster.
Water is Everywhere! Are you prepared in case of a Flood?
There more to flooding then just a wet basement.
With any situation that involves water damage big or small it can be devastating to say the least. The good news is that with a flood plan and basic safety precautions you can keep yourself safe.
Make a Flood Plan
- Make a flood emergency plan.
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
- Consider buying flood insurance.
- Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate.
- Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.
Basic Safety Tips
- Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
- Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 1 foot of water can sweep your vehicle away.
- If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the US.
- If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
- Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.
After the Flood
- Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
- Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.
- Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.
These easy steps to take could save your life and other things that are important to you.
Leave it to the IICRC Professionals
IICRC Certified Firm
When it comes to your business, are you putting your property in professional’s hands? With any size disaster, there’s always a different approach depending what the damage is to your business. Our employees are IICRC Certified to make sure accurate structural renewal.
IICRC Certified Firms must
- Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
- Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
- Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
- Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
- Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops the Standards for the Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
Water Damage Strikes When You Least Expect It
Water Damage Home
Water damage can happen at any time, often when you least expect it. This was the case for Mr. Jackson and his family in . Their washing started to leak while they were away on vacation. His first call was too SERVPRO. The water damage had affected the bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, and bedroom. We were able to respond within the hour and preserve most of the flooring in those rooms. We set up drying units throughout the rooms. We then replaced a small portion of the tile in the bathroom. Because we were able to come out so quickly the water damage was cleaned up within two days.
Addressing Toilet Leaks
A leaking toilet does not have to ruin your day or consume your weekend.
Home maintenance is like home maintenance anywhere: a fact of life. A bathroom leak is not an unusual occurrence for homeowners, but addressing it quickly is important to prevent inconvenient and expensive water damage. Whether you are a DIY warrior or a person who prefers to call in the pros, knowing the cause of a leaking toilet can lead to a swift resolution.
The Usual Suspects
Toilets in the average home are not mechanically complex, and this is good news because it makes their repairs fairly predictable. Leaks are often noticed after a flush; if a puddle collects at the base, it could mean that:
• the wax seal has failed or the closet bolts need tightening.
• faulty supply tubes or shut off valves need replacing.
• the bowl could be cracked or prone to sweating.
The Appropriate Responses
Resolving a leaking toilet can range from a simple adjustment to a complete replacement or anything in between. Once you have identified the problem, the solution is likely to be one of the following:
• If tightening the closet bolts doesn’t resolve the problem, removing the toilet and replacing the wax ring could be necessary. The problem could also be a broken flange, which will become apparent when the old wax ring is removed. A broken flange will require replacement.
• If the supply tube has failed, it is wise to replace it with a flexible, stainless and mesh model. If the shut off valve has failed, consider replacing it with a new quarter turn ball valve.
• If the bowl is cracked, replacement will be necessary. If the tank or bowl sweats, installing a mixing valve is a solution many plumbers recommend.
A leaking toilet does not have to ruin your day or consume your weekend. Tackling it yourself or making an informed call to a professional can make fast work of the needed repair..
3 Ways To Deal With Water Damage
It is important to care for items that have been damaged by water. No matter if a broken pipe, appliance, or backed-up toilet is the culprit, it is important to fix the source of the leak and carefully care for any vulnerable items in your home as soon as possible. If you wait a long time, these items may degrade or even begin to mold. Depending on the type of items that were exposed and the extent of the water damage, you may want to consult experts on water in the home who provide dry cleaning services.
Whether you think you can handle the water damage yourself or you want to start the cleanup process while you wait for the experts to arrive, here are three general guidelines for handling items with water damage.
1. Gently clean and rinse items that are still wet. Try not to grind debris into the surface. Be especially careful when handling delicate items such as art, paper, photographs, or other fragile materials. These should be removed from walls or any folders and containers and allowed to air dry.
2. Air dry objects indoors to avoid causing additional damage with sunlight or heat. Direct sunlight can compound the damage resulting from water in the home and lead to splitting, buckling, or even warping items and furniture.
3. Increase airflow and decrease humidity as much as possible to speed drying and prevent mold from forming.
If you are dealing with water in the home after a broken pipe or another kind of leak, you should focus on drying and airing out the affected area as quickly as possible. In most cases, it is best to lay out damp items indoors and circulate and dehumidify the air. Skilled restoration experts may also be able to answer any of your questions if you are concerned about whether you can safely clean or dry a delicate item.
How To Prepare For A Disaster Situation
If you live in or near a flood zone and plan on being a first responder, it is important to prepare for a disaster situation ahead of time. Keep these three flood response guidelines in mind.
1. Get the Recommended Immunizations
The Center for Disease Control recommends that disaster responders receive a tetanus booster if they have not been vaccinated against this disease in the last 10 years. Either the tetanus/diphtheria or tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis vaccination can be used. The CDC also recommends the Hepatitis B vaccine for responders who plan to provide medical care.
2. Wear Personal Protective Equipment
First responders should take measures to protect their skin from contaminated flood water. Wear electrically insulated watertight boots with a steel shank, toe, and insole. Hip waders can also limit exposure to standing water. A first responder should also wear thick, waterproof work gloves and safety goggles or glasses. Long pants or coveralls, a long-sleeved shirt, and a protective head covering are also suitable for flood response work. If responders expect to enter locations that may be experiencing mold growth, a respirator may also be necessary.
3. Watch Out For Moving Water
Flood water poses a threat even if it does not seem very deep. If a person slips and falls in just six inches of water moving at six miles per hour, he or she may not be able to regain footing. Vehicles may float in 12 inches of water moving at the same speed. Exercise caution and only wade through flood water that is no more than four inches deep, is not moving, and has a visible hard surface underneath.
The Do's & The Don'ts of Water Damage
Do's & Don'ts
- Shut off the source of water if possible, or contact a qualified plumbing technician to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
- Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
- Pin up upholstered furniture skirting to keep off damp floors.
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with carpeting or floors.
- Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- Do not enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Do not enter effected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items that may cause staining on wet carpet or floors.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damaging the vacuum cleaner.
- Do not use TV's or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixture if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retaine
Water Damage Timeline
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically. Replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and contaminants can pose serious risks to occupants.
We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!
This home’s basement flooded due to heavy rains.
A basement can flood at any time, although Washington DC flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Washington DC basement could flood, including:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Storm sewer backup
- Sanitary sewer backup
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
- And many more
Have Questions about Basement Flooding?
Call Today – 202-737-8776
If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Washington DC and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.
We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
- We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
- We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
- We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
- Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
- We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
- Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment
Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 202-737-8778
Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, mainly ones outside of your house or in cold areas. It is great to be aware of the areas that pipes can burst from freezing such as; basements, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets. To prevent pipes from freezing it is good to:
Be sure to drain water completely from swimming pools, sprinkler lines and outside hoses.
Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near the plumbing.
When it is extremely cold, let the water drip from the faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
These things are very important when winter temperatures kick in as freezing pipes can cause you time, money and become an inconvenience.
Get Your Property Winter Ready
Check your property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice and snow can cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
Roofs, gutters and water pipes should all be inspected before a snow storm may occur. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from the building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior problems.
Inspect walkways and parking lots on properties for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
Inspect handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery areas. Install mats or non slip surfaces.
Protect pipes from freezing by allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing.
Storms and heavy rains can cause heavy flooding in such a short period of time. A perfect example of this is in Lousiana currently. They had 2 feet of rain that fell consistently for 3 days, and within a 72-hour time span the streets were flooded. The National Weather Service is warning that rivers will stay in flood stage for days
Flooding means that not only will a homeowner have to think about the current situation of being displaced from their home and losing some of their personal belongings, but the results after the water is gone. Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria.
Once the water has subsisded the presence of dirt, grime, bacteria and mold will be present. The level of these things depends on how long the standing water is left unattended. In a case like Louisiana there is no telling when the water can be extracted from the towns let alone peoples houses.
After the waters have subsided and before you immediately enter your home refer to this checklist.
1. Watch out for wild animals, poisonous snakes that may have entered the home, check thru the debris.
2. Watch out for plaster, loose ceiling structures and document everything for yourself and for insurance purposes.
3. Throw away any food, anything that may have come in contact with the flood waters, anything in the fridge.
4. Check electrical systems, gas leaks, sewage and water lines all for damage.
Water Damage: Clean Water vs. Contaminated Water
When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of Washington, DC. Consider the following steps to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.
Damage from Clean Water:
· Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
· Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock.
· Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
· Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
· Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
· Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
Damage from Contaminated Water:
· Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
· Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
· Do not turn on HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
· Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
· Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
Note: If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medical evaluation. Consult your local health department or physician.