Recent Water Damage Posts
Are You Prepared for Spring Flooding?
While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains and severe weather, which can increase your flood risk. During the rainy season, we are at high risk for flash flooding, which can occur rapidly within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall.
As one of the most common hazards in the United States, it's important we prepare for the potential disaster that flooding can cause. Even if you are located in a low risk flood zone remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future.
In order to help prepare you for the possibility of a flood, I offer the following tips:
- Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan
- Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk
- Install check-valves to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your facility
- Seal basement walls and floors with waterproofing compounds to prevent seepage through cracks
- Always keep your gutters and downspouts clean to allow water to flow freely
- Prepare a flood evacuation plan
- Know how to safely shut-off utilities
- Keep insurance and vital records in a water-proof box
- Have a portable radio to listen for important current information
The longer you wait to call, the greater the chance of mold growth and unrecoverable property. SERVPRO professionals have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of water damage.
What To Do When Your Water Heater Leaks
Waking up is hard to do. You need to get out of your cozy bed, go wash up, get dressed and get some coffee in you before you start your day. Now think of getting out of bed, as hard as that is, walking slowly to the shower, opening the hot water, and waiting for it to run so you can hop in, and nothing happens.
Water stays cold as ice, you realize you can't hit the shower this morning, and you try to figure out what just happened. Is it the water heater? Could it be broken? Time to check it out.
As you walk downstairs you hear a low trickling noise as if a faucet is open somewhere. You keep going, and as you approach the basement, you hear it louder - there is water running somewhere over there. Question is - where? As you reach the last step, you put your foot down and immediately realize you haven't even opened your eyes properly. You're standing in a big pond, which was once your basement. No hot shower today. What now then?
First thing - close the water source. Whether it's the water heater or a pipe, make sure no more water can get in. Close the water mains and shut down any valve leading to the affected area.
Second, take care of all that water. Water spreads fast and has the power to cause lots and lots of trouble over time. If you don't have a water drain in the basement, it's time to call SERVPRO of South Madison County at 256-533-5335.
Water leaks and floods should be taken care of as fast as possible. The reason is that most homes aren't waterproof on the inside. Standing water will ruin your carpets, floors, furniture, and even get into drywall if given the opportunity. Moreover, the standing water becomes a health hazard after a while, even if they came from a clean source (also called Category 1 water damage). Another reason for you to hurry is mold and how fast mold can start to grow after your basement suffered from a water damage.
SERVPRO of South Madison County offers a 24/7 response to all your water damage requirements and needs, providing you a quick and thorough solution to your problem. We'll get your life back to normal in no time.
Basement Water Damage
Water damage can happen in any area of your home. However, the basement offers its own unique challenges when it comes to water damages. The most common type of water damage in the basement results from broken water pipes. The first step is to turn off the water at the main valve. You'll need to start cleaning up right away to prevent mold, mildew and bacteria from forming.
It is important that you remove rugs, furniture and other items that have gotten wet. Take them outdoors where they can completely dry in the sun. Use a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner that is made especially for water cleanup. A submersible pump is a good tool to use if you can rent one. Use a powerful fan to finish drying the room.
Choose a professional water restoration company like SERVPRO of South Madison County. These types of companies have both the experience and the equipment to remove the water in basement. Call your insurance agent to see if your policy will cover water or flood damage. Water can seep behind walls and other places where major damage can occur.
Water damage in the basement can also cause structural damage. If this is the case, it will cost a lot more money than simply hiring a restoration expert. Underground water seepage can cause the surrounding ground to shift. Evidence of this type of damage is found with cracks along the walls and ceilings.
Do not hire a carpet cleaning service to restore your basement. They may not have the experience, education or skill to complete the job correctly. Instead, look in your local yellow pages for an actual fire and water restoration company. Pay careful attention to the contract before you sign it. Most restoration companies will guarantee their work.
Floods and water emergencies can happen to any homeowner. Be prepared for this type of emergency by choosing experts before you need them. A water emergency can occur in your utility room where your washer and dryer is found. Other common places include the dishwasher, refrigerator with ice maker and pipes underneath the house.
Know where your water main cutoff is located before an emergency. Turning off the water will prevent further damage while you wait for a professional restoration company to come to your home.
SERVPRO of South Madison County professionals provide fire and water damage restoration services 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure.
The Trouble With DIY Restoration
When dealing with water damage, it's often the damage that you don't see that ends up causing serious issues.
Huntsville and Madison residents take pride in their homes and properties. When disaster strikes or when you have a substantial mess to clean up, it is a common belief to roll up your sleeves and get to work to fix the problem as best as you can on your own. The trouble with DIY restoration for water incidents is that many homeowners don't get all of the problem addressed, allowing for continued damage.
While a homeowner might see a water damage situation in their Huntsville residence as little more than a reason to break out the mop and run some fans, there is much more to water damage restoration. Ensuring that the area gets thoroughly dried requires specialized equipment and detection tools. Failure to get your home below moisture standards for a house can lead to worsening conditions that pose a threat to the structure, as well as your family.
One of the reasons that you might consider professional restoration like SERVPRO provides is our ability to respond to your situation rapidly. Even in smaller scale water incidents, fast response time is critical to mitigating loss and to get to work quickly on removing the water and drying up the affected areas.
Another reason that a homeowner should think about our SERVPRO team is our industry-leading equipment, expertise, and unique training. These facts help us quickly assess the full scope of the damage that affects your home and choose the most efficient and practical approach to eliminating the moisture and preserving the construction materials that have gotten saturated by the incident.
As much as you might be among the homeowners that seek to do things for themselves when something happens to their home, situations like water damages require professionals with the right training and equipment to ensure that the job gets done adequately. Our SERVPRO of South Madison County water damage technicians are available 24/7 for any need you might have by calling (256) 533-5335.
Restoring Your Belongings After A Water Leak
Water damage in your home can be devastating, whether it comes from leaking pipes or backed-up drains or toilets. While there may be nothing you can do to prevent your items from becoming waterlogged in the event of an unexpected water leak, there are some things you can do to restore your belongings after water damage occurs. Here are a few ways you can clean up various items in your Huntsville/Madison County home.
1. Separate Items
Before you officially begin the cleanup process, separate your items into those that are porous and nonporous. Porous materials may include wood, paper, rugs and other types of fabric. Generally, these are more likely to harbor mold and bacteria from broken pipe water, so it’s important to clean them quickly. Nonporous items are usually much easier to clean, since they don’t absorb water and are less likely to harbor bacteria and mold.
2. Dry-Clean Non-Porous Items
Dry cleaning may be appropriate when removing light water residue from non-porous items in your home. Items can also be dry cleaned before floor restoration professionals come in and thoroughly clean your items.
3. Air-Dry When Appropriate
If you’re not dealing with hazardous water, such as sewage, it may be appropriate to gently air-dry most of your belongings. If possible, do so indoors unless the weather outdoors is ideal. You can increase the air flow inside your home with the use of open windows, air conditioners and fans.
4. Toss Dangerous Items
Depending on the nature of floodwater in home settings, it may be dangerous to keep saturated items. If there is a high likelihood of the floodwater containing harmful bacteria, it may be best to throw away contaminated objects. In other cases, professionals may be able to safely clean and salvage some of your valuables.
While you may be able to clean some of your belongings that water has damaged in your home, safety should always be your top priority whether you’re dealing with a broken pipe or a sewer backup. For help with dry-cleaning or salvaging contaminated items, it’s best to wait for professional help to arrive. Visit SERVPRO of South Madison County for more information on water damage.
Top Reasons Toilets Leak When Flushed
Leaking water is never ideal. It can waste your money and even cause damage to your Huntsville home. If you have a leaking toilet, you may be at your wits end. Why is it happening and how can you stop it?
Knowing the why can help you better understand how to fix the problem. As you try to investigate your bathroom leak, consider these possibilities:
Damaged Wax Ring: The wax ring at the base of the toilet may dry out or get damaged in another way. This makes the seal imperfect and can lead to leaks. If this is the culprit, you'll notice the water coming from the base of the toilet.
Loose Tank: Over time, the tank of your toilet may loosen due to use. Tanks have to fit tightly onto the seat to stop leaks from taking place. If the tank is the issue, you may notice water seeping out at the base of the tank.
Broken Closet Flange: The closet flange provides a mount for the toilet on the floor. If this part is bent or damaged, it could lead to a leaking toilet. Fixing this piece requires you to either replace the whole flange or fill in the missing piece.
Loose Closet Bolts: The closet bolts work to hold the toilet to the ground. If they get loosened over time, you may notice water pooling at the base of the toilet every time you flush. You may be able to fix this problem by simply tightening the bolts. However, you need to be careful not to over-tighten, as this can lead to cracks.
Poor Installation: Finally, if the toilet was not installed correctly to begin with, you may have leaking problems from day one. The only way to fix this issue is to try to reinstall the toilet. You may need a new wax seal and flange anyway.
Because a leaking toilet can lead to major water damage, you may not want to try to fix the problem on your own. Turning to a professional water damage specialist can help you fix the problem quickly.
Handling A Sewage Backup After Heavy Rains
Spring storms can be really stressful for residential and commercial building owners in Huntsville. You have to worry about hail, wind and water damage whenever a storm is predicted for your area. Even when a storm is forecasted, you never know exactly what's going to happen. Sometimes, the storms may leave your building unaffected, and other times, you're left dealing with lots of damage. For example, your area could be under threat of heavy rains, but did you know that could put you at risk for a sewer backup?
Overwhelming Amounts of Water
Heavy rainfall can leave systems waterlogged, and the city sewer system is no different. During heavy downpours, sewer systems can take on too much water. This causes the sewer water to back up into commercial buildings and sometimes homes.
Downpours aren't the only potential cause of a sewer backup. This issue can also be caused by the following situations:
* Tree roots grow into pipes.
* Broken pipes don't allow sewage to leave.
* Grease or other waste creates a plug.
* Vandals drop large items into manhole covers.
No matter why sewage is coming into your building, you need to react quickly.
Creating Black Water
When flooding is combined with sewage, your building is now full of contaminated water. This particular variety of contaminated water is often referred to as black water because it could contain fecal matter, microbes and harsh chemicals. Because this water can be highly unsanitary, you need to get the flooding taken care of as quickly as possible. Not only could you be dealing with normal flooding issues, but you may add other problems to the mix as well.
If you ever have to deal with black water, it's a good idea to bring in trained water damage restoration experts as soon as possible. When there is a sewer backup in your building, it's nice to know who you can turn to for fast, reliable help.
Call SERVPRO Today – We’re Ready To Help 256-533-5335
Where’s The Water Shut-Off Valve?
Minimize the extent of water damage by knowing how to shut off your water during a water emergency.
In an emergency, you may have to shut off the water to your home. For example, freezing or thawing may cause a water pipe to break. Water pipe breaks are also common with most types of natural disasters (winter storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and more). Take some time to locate your shut-off valve before an emergency strikes so that you will be better prepared to act quickly if needed.
Where’s The Water Shut-Off Valve?
1. Look for the water shut-off valve where the water line enters your house. If you still have a copy of the home inspection report from the purchase of your home, the location of the shut-off valve may be included in the plumbing section of the report. In most homes in Huntsville, the water shut-off valve should be just inside the house where the water line enters through your home’s foundation or exterior wall.
2. Often the water shut-off valve is a quarter-turn ball valve. If that’s what you have, turn the valve a quarter of a turn until it’s perpendicular to the water pipe. Or your home may have a round handle that you turn clockwise until you can’t turn it anymore. Don’t have a master shut-off valve in your home? Have one installed by a plumber.
If You Have Water Damage Call SERVPRO Of South Madison County at (256) 533-5335
3. Another water shut-off option is closing the municipal water meter shut-off valve. This valve, if you have municipal water, typically is in your front or side yard. Look for a round metal lid or box close to your property line. It’s often 24 to 48 inches from the curb or fence line.
Don’t reach into the meter box until you inspect the area for debris and rodents. You may want to wear gloves. Once inside the municipal water meter box, you’ll need pliers or a specialty tool to turn the valve. Turn it until it’s perpendicular to the water pipe.
Shut-Off Valves For Single Rooms
Sometimes you only need to shut off the water to one room. Most newer houses have shut-off valves at every sink and toilet. Your water heater may have several shut-off valves. If your issue is one leaking sink, just shut off water to that sink. If you know the water heater is leaking, just shut the valves to it off.
If you have a young relative who has recently moved out on their own for the first time, share these tips with them. Landlords may also want to make sure that all of their tenants are aware of the location of the shut-off valve.
Drying Out Your Bedroom Carpet After Water Damage In Your Huntsville Home
One of our technicians uses weighted extraction to remove water from the carpet of a Huntsville home.
Rely on SERVPRO for Water Extraction from Carpets
Water damage can happen in your bedroom at any time. All it takes is a leak, a damaged pipe or even extreme weather. A wet carpet is frustrating and you want to get it dried out as quickly as possible. You might be worried about whether your carpet needs to be replaced. That is why we recommend you call SERVPRO at once. We can begin drying your carpet quickly to prevent further damage.
It is understandable to be concerned that water damage in your Huntsville home means disruption for you and your family. However, in some cases, it is possible for our IICRC-certified technicians to dry out your bedroom carpet while it is still in place. Our experts thoroughly examine your carpet and the extent of the harm to determine whether in place drying is a practical option. It may be necessary to remove your bed, but smaller furniture items such as a chest or a chair can simply be moved from place to place within the room until water extraction is complete.
The first step is to extract any standing water. We train our technicians to use the right type of extraction tools to extract the maximum amount of water with the minimum amount of damage to your carpet.
In place, extraction may begin with a wand tool to prevent water migration. However, the most useful piece of gear is a weighted extraction tool, which uses the body weight of one of our technicians standing on it for maximum water removal. SERVPRO understands that drying carpet without removing it means a longer and more thorough extraction process for best results.
Do not worry if your bedroom carpet is wet – it may be possible to save it. Give SERVPRO of South Madison County a call at (256) 533-5335 to find out.
Water Damage Statistics
When you consider the statistics, it becomes clear just how common a problem water damage can be. According to insurance industry research,
- 14,000 people in the US experience a water damage emergency at home or work each day
- 98% of basements in the US will suffer from some type of water damage during their lifetime.
- 37% of U.S. homeowners claim to have experienced water damage
Water leaks cause incredible amounts of damage and waste.
- Water leaks from homes in the US can exceed 1 trillion gallons of water in a year.
- Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste at least 90 gallons of water a day.
- 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.
- A faucet leaking at a rate of 1 drop per second can waste over 3,000 gallons of water in a year.
Water Damage Ten Times More Likely Than Fire
Water damage can happen to anyone.
Most homeowners worry about experiencing a fire. Few of us worry about having a water damage in our home. A study of claims data from a major insurance company shows that your home is 10 times more likely to be damaged by water than fire.
Fortunately, much of this water-related damage can be prevented and taking a few simple home maintenance steps can help decrease the chances of water damage.
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.
Huntsville 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service
SERVPRO of South Madison County provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Huntsville
SERVPRO of South Madison County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 256-533-5335
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of South Madison County has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (if applicable)
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business
- When did the flooding or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site)?
About SERVPRO of South Madison County
SERVPRO of South Madison County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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 equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Huntsville Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!
The refrigerator supply line leaked in the kitchen above and caused water damage to the basement in this Huntsville home.
A basement can flood at any time, although 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 Huntsville 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 - 256-533-5335
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 South Madison County 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 256-533-5335
Small Water Damage Can Lead to Unseen Problems
Water Intrusion in One Room can Mean Water Damage in Other Rooms. Removing surface water can help prevent more extensive damage. However, water intrusion invade floors, ceilings and walls to find the lowest point in your home. Standing water from an overflowing bathtub or other water incident will search for pin hole crevices and creak in your floor and walls looking for a way a travel downward. Surface such as a woof, drywall and carpet pull water away from plain sight and into the interiors of your home.
Should a water incident occur in your home, remove excess water with mopping and blotting, remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying and place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs. These tips may prevent further damage to your home and personal belongings.
SERVPRO® of the Quad Cities Professionals can help:
Service Response Guidelines
1) Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO Professional will contact you to arrange for service
4) Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Professional will be on-site to start mitigation service.
8) Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person.
** Exceptions may apply under certain conditions, such as a local catastrophic event or storm situation.
Keeping Warm in North Alabama this Winter
Freezing temperatures are upon us here in the Huntsville area. It is the season where we start to see a lot of water damages due to pipes that burst. People's biggest mistake that leads to more costly damages is not acting promptly and correctly.
When you have realized that a pipe has burst in your home, follow these steps to minimize your damage and in the long run, save you money.
1. Stop the Water Flow
Turn off the water main as soon as you notice something is wrong. The potential water loss from burst pipes in your house can be as much as 106 gallons; that’s two full baths an hour. Once water is off, make sure you drain the lines throughout the home
2. Locate, Inspect, and Repair the Damage
Once the damage is inspected, you will determine if this is something that you can handle on your own or if you need to bring in a plumber.
3. Call the Professional Drying Company
Once the repair is made and there will be no further damage, call professional water restoration. Areas that have been soaked in water susceptible to mold, mildew, and can cause your family unwanted illness.
The longer you wait to make these repairs the more damage will be caused. In turn, higher cost for restorations and getting your home back to normal.
Do's and Don'ts When Experiencing a Water Damage
- üRemove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- ü Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and table top items.
- ü Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for even drying.
- ü Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- ü Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- ü Remove Oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting.
- ü Remove valuable paintings and art objects to a safe, dry place.
- ü Open and place luggage, in sunlight to dry, if possible.
- ü Gather loose items, toys, etc. from floors.
- ü Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- ü Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors.
- ü Use your household vacuum to remove water.
- ü Use TVs or other household appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
- ü Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.