Recent Water Damage Posts
Water Damage Checklist
Water damage is a year-round concern for homeowners and commercial property owners alike. If left untreated, water damage will lead to larger, more severe problems, including structural damage and mold.
Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent water damage around your house, especially if you plan to leave for an extended vacation. If something does go awry, SERVPRO is available 24/7 to respond to any water damage disaster, large or small.
Annual To-Do List
Mark your calendar to check these things at least once a year to prevent undetected leaks and water damage.
Check your sump pump
If you have a sump pump, test it annually to make sure it is in good working order. Fill the sump pit with enough water to trigger the pump. Listen to make sure the engine is not making any unusual noises and it is pumping efficiently.
If you don’t already have one, consider installing a battery back up so your sump pump will keep working even if the power goes out.
Look for supply line leaks
Washing machines, refrigerator ice makers, and dishwashers use hoses to connect to the water source. Often these appliances use cheap, plastic supply line hoses that can crack or kink easily, causing water leaks.
Check the hoses annually to make sure they aren’t leaking or becoming worn. An easy and cost-effective upgrade is to replace the standard plastic supply lines with stainless steel hoses. You can make the upgrade for just $20 to $30.
Pipe and water heater leaks
Every building has hundreds of feet of plumbing running through the walls and ceilings. While it’s impossible to inspect all the pipes, you should check the exposed pipes around your house regularly. Also inspect ceilings and walls where you know the pipes run to look for any discoloration or dark spots.
Dark spots are one indication there is a water leak in the area. Dank odors, dampness, or water stains are other signs of a leak. To thoroughly inspect the area, wipe each pipe connection with a dry tissue to look for wet spots.
Also, check your water heater for cracks or rust on the outside. These can indicate a small leak or weakness in the tank and should be taken very seriously. Water heater leaks often start small then burst suddenly, spilling hundreds of gallons of water into your home and causing significant water damage.
Gutters and drainpipes
Clogged gutters and drainpipes allow water to pool under the roof or gather around the foundation, causing water damage over time. Clean the leaves and debris out of your gutters at least twice a year to prevent clogs.
Signs that your gutters or drainpipes are clogged include water spilling over the edge of the gutter or dripping out of a seam or joint. Also, if water isn’t flowing from the bottom of the drainpipes, there is likely a blockage somewhere.
Make sure the drainpipes direct water at least 5 feet away from your house or building to prevent water damage to the foundation. If necessary, purchase drainpipe extensions to guide the rainwater further away from the foundation or hire a contractor to install additional drainage in problem areas.
Inspect the roof
While you are cleaning the gutters, inspect your roof for missing or loose shingles and damaged flashing. Call a roofer to make any necessary repairs as quickly as possible.
Loose or damaged shingles can allow rainwater to seep into your house and wreak havoc if unnoticed. Leaks can lead to mold, mildew, and even termites!
Before Going On Vacation
In addition to the annual checklist, here are a few things you should do before leaving for summer vacation to prevent water damage and keep your home safe while you are away.
Turn off the water main
If you don’t plan to have someone check on your house regularly while you are gone, consider turning off the water main. After you turn off the water main, turn on all the faucets inside and outside to let the water drain out. This prevents water pressure from building up in the pipes and causing leaks.
When water pressure builds up in the pipes, it puts pressure on weak or damaged areas. It would be unfortunate if the compromised pipe finally started leaking while you are away.
Turn off the water heater
Turning off the water heater while you are away for an extended time saves energy and prevents any potential water leaks. While leaks are uncommon in well-maintained water heaters, this is an easy action that will give you peace of mind while you are gone.
If you have an electric water heater, turn off the breaker in the circuit panel to shut off the water heater. Modern gas water heaters often have a “vacation” setting on the thermostat. Either turn it to the vacation setting or turn the thermostat up.
Have someone check your home
If your travels will take you away for more than 5 to 7 days, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to check on your house and water your plants every few days. If anything does begin to leak or go awry, it will only be a few days before someone catches it.
Make sure the person who will be checking on your house knows where the water main and the electrical panel box are located in case something goes awry and they need to turn the water or electricity on or off.
Don’t forget to leave your contact information, the information for your insurance agency, and SERVPRO’s information for the person who will check on your home. If something does happen, they will know whom to contact to resolve the matter quickly.
Commercial Water Damage
Water damage can strike a commercial property without warning and cause devastating damage to the building and businesses inside. In 2016 water and freezing damage ranked second in the top ten most common insurance claims for small businesses and the eighth most expensive insurance claims. The average insurance claim for water damage was $17,000.
SERVPRO has expert technicians standing by 24/7 to take action if flooding or water damage strikes your commercial building. Whether it’s a broken pipe or a significant leak in the roof that causes water damage, do you have a plan to respond?
Common causes of water damage in commercial buildings
The most common causes of water damage in commercial buildings are plumbing malfunctions and broken or frozen pipes.
When the temperatures fall below freezing outside, your building’s pipes may freeze. The water inside the pipes turns to ice and expands, putting pressure on the pipes until they crack. This can cause significant damage since it most frequently happens overnight or during the weekend when nobody is around to catch the situation early.
Another common cause of major water damage in commercial buildings is malfunctioning toilets. Old toilets or those with weak water pressure are prone to clogging. Repeat clogs may cause a toilet to back up and spill dangerous “black water,” which is difficult and costly to clean up.
Corroded pipes are another “usual suspect” in water damage.
Underground pipes can deteriorate over time when they are exposed to corrosive bacteria, different soil conditions, and invading tree roots. Over time, pipes become weak and eventually burst, causing significant water damage to buildings and surrounding areas.
Avoiding Water Damage
You might not be able to prevent all water damage situations, but there are many easy things businesses and commercial property owners can do to prevent water damage or minimize the impact.
Unlike residential properties, commercial buildings tend to have large HVAC units, an extensive network of pipes, and a bird’s nest of wires, ducts, and other components to maintain. One of the easiest ways to avoid water damage is to hire a professional to conduct regular inspections.
Catching problems and making repairs early can save thousands of dollars and a lot of inconveniences.
Keeping gutters, downspouts, and drainage areas clean and clear is essential in preventing flood damage. Make sure the building manager or other responsible parties stay on top of regular maintenance that can keep potential accidents at bay.
To prevent pipes from freezing, keep the thermostat set at a minimum of 55 degrees. This is the easiest way to avoid water damage from burst pipes.
Create an emergency response plan
Before there is a water damage situation, have a plan of action or emergency response plan. Do members of your team know where the major water shut-off valves are? Do key team members know whom to contact in the event of a water pipe burst or other emergencies? Is this information and plan of action written in an easily accessible location?
It is wise to create and go over the emergency plan with key team members before there is a high-stress situation. Make sure there is a trusted individual who has the authority to make decisions in an emergency if you are not available.
SERVPRO’s Ready Plan app is a great resource for commercial property managers and owners to develop an emergency response plan. Knowing what to do and what to expect in an emergency is very important and will make the recovery process much easier.
Have a “Plan B”
It might seem excessive now, but do you have a plan in the event your business experiences extensive flooding or another emergency that prevents you from working from the building for an extended period?
While many commercial buildings do have options for temporary workspaces, it is best to have a plan before you are displaced.
Protect your products and your information
It is always wise to back up critical paperwork electronically and ensure all your essential documents are secure. Consider installing a waterproof file cabinet, safe, or other means of protecting valuable documents from water, fire, or other types of damage.
Keep non-waterproof inventory or valuables above floor level to protect them from potential water damage. If there is a severe risk of flood or rain damage, put valuable inventory, machinery, paperwork or other vulnerable items on high, stable shelves or stacked wooden pallets.
Know your insurance coverage
Most commercial property insurance policies do not cover certain types of water damage, and the exclusions often depend on what caused the damage. A standard insurance policy might cover cost from a burst water pipe but not damage caused by a backed up toilet. Many insurance policies exclude mold-related damage.
Flood damage is not typically covered by private insurance companies in the United States. You can purchase “riders” or add-ons to your property insurance that gives you better coverage in the event of water damage — the National Flood Insurance Program offers flood insurance for homeowners or companies.
Commercial Water Restoration
After severe water damage, be very cautious when entering your building. Check for downed power lines, gas leaks, and serious structural damage. If any electrical equipment is wet, contact an electrician immediately and turn off the power in the building until everything is safe.
Photograph all damage
Before any disaster strikes, take a complete set of “before” photographs of the property and business-related items. Insurance companies appreciate “before and after” photos to show the full extent of the damage.
Contact your local building department
The local building department has all the information on the required building permits for any demolition, permanent repairs, reconstruction, roofing, and other restoration projects.
Contact SERVPRO for cleanup and restoration
Cleaning up water damage can be a complicated and sometimes dangerous job. SERVPRO technicians receive the proper training to address every aspect of commercial water damage emergencies.
SERVPRO technicians do more than clean up the water. They dry the building and property quickly, using all the right machines to ensure no moisture is left. Once everything is dry, SERVPRO technicians deep clean, sanitize, and deodorize the entire space for maximum comfort and safety.
Water damage can lead to expensive repairs, time lost from work, and damaged goods and property, but you can have peace of mind that everything will be put to right as quickly as possible with SERVPRO’s expert technicians.
Hurricane Season Water Damage
People might not think hurricanes have much impact in Tennessee, but those who live in the Volunteer State know that hurricane season is flood season. Hurricanes and tropical storms are capable of marching hundreds of miles inland, bringing strong winds, heavy rains, and flooding.
SERVPRO is here to help you get so you’ll be able to combat or respond to water damage from heavy rains and flooding brought on by a hurricane or strong summer storm.
Before A Storm Or Flood
Have an emergency supply kit.
Create an emergency supply kit that will allow you to survive for at least 72 hours on your own. The kit should include water, non-perishable food, and a few essential emergency supplies in an easy-to-carry container (like a plastic bin or duffle bag).
A few of the most important items in an emergency supply kit are a battery powered or hand crank radio, a flashlight, first aid kit, extra batteries, dust mask, garbage bags, manual can opener, and a local map.
Many companies and commercial buildings also maintain an emergency supply kit in the event everyone must shelter in place for at least 24 hours. Be sure you know if your building has an emergency kit, where it is located, and how to access it in the event of an emergency.
Make a plan.
Before a hurricane or disaster strikes, make a plan for how you and your family will respond. Create a plan for communicating with each other. People often don’t have phone numbers memorized so be sure and write down the phone numbers of family members, friends, and important contacts.
Decide on an evacuation route. Some areas may have pre-arranged evacuation routes everyone is required to take. If you live in an area that does not have a designated evacuation route, create several options and identify where you will gather together if you must evacuate separately.
As you create your plan, consider the specific needs of your family. What will you do with pets? Do any members of your family have mobility difficulties that will impact your plans?
Consider flood insurance.
If you live in an area that is particularly prone to flooding, consider purchasing flood insurance. Most standard insurance policies do not cover flood damage but you can purchase “riders” or additional insurance, particularly if your property is in an area that floods easily. The National flood Insurance Program has flood maps that show the risks for flooding as well as flood insurance options.
Take photos for the insurance agent
Having “before” photos for the insurance agent will be very helpful in filing insurance claims and throughout the recovery process after a major storm.
Preventing Flood Damage
Floods can occur anywhere with little or no warning. Taking a few precautionary steps can go a long way to prevent or minimize serious damage from floodwaters.
Before a flood
Move outdoor furniture indoors and anchor heavier objects to prevent them from being blown over or floating away. If you live in an area that is particularly flood-prone, install floodgates, sandbags, tarps, and other “dry flood protection” materials. Focus on low-lying areas around your home or building to prevent water from getting in.
If a flood is eminent or you must leave your property during the storm, roll up area rugs and other items and get them off the floor. Consider putting all your belongings in a basement or garage on wooden pallets and shelves to keep them off the ground.
Turn off the power to your house or building if you must leave or floodwaters are approaching your home. This will make it safer to re-enter your home later. Make sure all electronics are unplugged and stored high enough to not get wet.
Prevent basement flooding
Repeated flooding weakens the foundation over time. There are ways to prevent basement flooding.
The most common cause of basement flooding is cracks in the foundation. The cracks allow water to seep in during a storm. Have your basement inspected by a professional and repair any cracks. Some cracks can be repaired easily with caulk or similar products. Other issues may need more work to ensure your basement is waterproof.
Check any windows in your basement. The wood frame around windows can rot or deteriorate over time, allowing water to leak in. Aluminum or vinyl windows tend to last longer and stand up to water better.
Check the drainage system around your house. Clean out the gutters and downspouts regularly. Blocked gutters or leaking downspouts allow water to pool around the foundation, causing flooding in the basement.
French drains help address drainage problems in your yard and conduct water further away from the building. A French drain is a ditch filled with gravel or rock and perforated pipes that allow water to drain more naturally.
If basement flooding is a common occurrence, consider installing a sump pump in the lowest part of the basement or crawlspace. Their job is to pump water away from the building.
Protect your business
Businesses are not immune to the impacts of hurricanes and floods. Create an emergency business response and continuity plan. This will help your business get back up and running more quickly after the storm has passed.
Keep the contact information of your employees, suppliers, and venders up to date. It’s best to gather as much contact information as possible and make sure you have a paper copy on hand.
Cleaning Up After A Flood Or Hurricane
Shut off electricity, gas, and other utilities.
Make sure the electricity and gas are turned off in your house. Even if the power is out in your area you don’t want to risk electrical shock during the cleanup process.
Contact your insurance agent and document damages.
The first thing to do after a hurricane or flood is contact your insurance agent. The agent will put you in contact with an adjuster. Make a detailed list of the damages and take photos or video as you go through the cleanup process. This will make the insurance claims, application for disaster relief, and income tax deductions much easier.
Remove any valuables and salvageable belongings.
Wipe down furniture and carry as much furniture as possible out of the affected area. Take wet upholstery and cushions to an area where they can begin to dry.
Put aluminum foil or wood blocks under the furniture legs to get them off the wet carpet. Remove any rugs and gather all the loose items off the floor.
Floodwaters from any source are potentially dangerous and often contain bacteria. SERVPRO technicians are trained to lead the cleanup process safely to avoid sickness and make sure everything is disinfected properly.
SERVPRO has storm and water damage specialists who are trained to respond quickly to any storm. A quick response is necessary to minimize or avoid secondary damages after the flood or storm.
SERVPRO will lead you through the inspection and assessment process to determine the extent of the damage. Then they will remove the water and make sure everything is completely dry and dehumidified. It’s important to properly clean and sanitize everything to avoid mold and other secondary issues.
Water Damage Explained
Whether it’s a broken pipe, overflowing washing machine, flood, or storm water, dealing with water damage can be costly, time consuming, and frustrating. Even little issues like a leaky ice machine can escalate quickly if left untreated. But with the right information, help, and tools, the cleanup process can be much less stressful and more effective.
We hope you never have to call us to restore water-damaged property; but if you do, this guide will help you understand the different classes and types of water damage and first steps to take.
Why is water damage dangerous?
Any time a home or business suffers water damage the impact is both visible and invisible. Some of the most common reported water damage incidents involve burst pipes, backed up sewage lines, and storm or floodwater damage. These sources can contain dangerous contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and sewage.
Mold loves to grow in damp, dark areas. Water that is left for just 48 hours can allow mold and mildew to grow quickly, if left untreated.
Water damage can also lead to structural damage, especially if the damage comes from flooding or storm water. Water weighs a lot and large amounts of water can put significant pressure on the walls and floors of a building. Sometimes the structural damage isn’t immediately evident until the cleanup process is well underway.
An often-overlooked secondary risk of water damage is electrical shock. Many people become focused on cleanup process and forget about the potential damage to their electrical wires and cables. Never enter a room with standing water that covers electrical outlets or devices until you are sure the power is turned off.
It is also dangerous to run power cords or use electricity in or around standing water. Turn off the electricity to any area affected by water damage until professionals assess the situation.
Categories of water
There are three “categories” of water that frequently cause damage to homes or businesses.
Category 1 Water does not pose a serious threat to people or animals. It comes from “clean water” supplies like broken water pipes or overflowing sinks.
Category 2 Water contains large amounts of chemical, biological, or physical contamination. Also known as “grey water”, exposure to this kind of water can cause a variety of illness and infection as it usually contains microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses. “Grey water” usually comes from toilet bowls, broken sump pumps, water leaking from dishwashers or washing machines, and similar sources. Category 2 Water does not contain any sewage or seawater so it’s not the most dangerous category, but it can pose serious threats.
Category 3 Water is called “Black water” and is the most unsanitary form of water. It contains harmful bacteria, sewage, seawater, river water, and other similar sources. Often, damage from category 3 water comes from toilet back flows, sewage pipe bursts, or large scale floods. “Black water” is capable of causing serious, widespread illness and infection.
Time and temperature can impact and change the quality of water. Even Category 1 water that is clean and potable can turn into Category 2 water if left untreated for a long time. Category 2 water that is left stagnant or not properly cleaned can quickly become Category 3 water.
Dealing with water damage
Each water damage situation has its own unique challenges. No matter how much damage your home or business suffered, it’s important to act quickly and take the proper steps.
First, turn off any water sources that may still be leaking. Then, turn off electricity to the affected area. Use electricity with extreme caution around water at all times, even when running fans and dehumidifiers in the drying process.
Next, have a professional correctly identify the class of damage and the type of water involved. This will help you address the situation safely and avoid further damage. Because of the potential for mold and other damage to go undiagnosed in even minor water leaks, it is important to have a professional assess the situation.
SERVPRO has specialized equipment that identify the water migration line, what materials were impacted, and where water may still be “bound” in materials even though they feel dry.
Make sure everything is disinfected properly during the cleanup process to avoid issues later on. Have furniture assessed and professionally cleaned. Either discard or professionally clean damaged personal items made of textiles and fabric.
In every event of water damage, if you suspect that contaminated water caused the damage or mold is present, immediately call professionals who are trained to handle the situation safely. Wear safety gloves, goggles, and a vapor respirator or paint respirator to prevent exposure to potentially harmful bacteria, spores, and microorganisms.
Classes of water damage
Determining the “class” of water damage is an important step in the cleanup process.
Class 1 Cleanup: A class 1 water loss only impacts part of a room with limited damage. The impact was confined to a small area and it was only wet for a short time so minimal moisture is absorbed by the flooring and other materials.
Clean up can be as easy as mopping or soaking up as much water as possible. Quickly discard anything that is unsalvageable. Circulate fresh air with fans and dehumidifiers to speed the evaporation and drying process. It is important to thoroughly dry the affected area to prevent mold from growing.
Even if the cleanup seems simple, it’s a good idea to have the area assessed to avoid further issues down the road.
Class 2 Cleanup: this level of water damage usually involves an entire room and large amounts of water, absorption, and evaporation. Damage frequently impacts the carpet and padding, plywood or subfloor, structural wood, and concrete. That means there is a lot of moisture in the walls, floor, and other spaces.
This level of water damage can quickly deteriorate. It is important to dry the area as quickly as possible with air circulation, ventilation, and dehumidifiers to prevent mold and microorganisms from growing.
If possible, remove the unsalvageable items and material quickly and call professionals to oversee the cleanup. It can be challenging to thoroughly dry the area without professional equipment and expertise.
Class 3 Cleanup: This is perhaps the most devastating level of water damage. The building is usually damaged from ceiling to subfloor and practically everything is saturated with water. This type of damage often comes when there is a significant roof leak, a pipe bursts in a ceiling, or an upstairs appliance malfunctions, spilling large amounts of water to the floor(s) below.
Remove and discard the damaged materials as quickly as possible and begin the drying process.
Because of the extent of damage in a Class 3 cleanup, it is best to avoid the area until professional help arrives. If you absolutely must enter the area, take extra safety precautions and wear gloves, goggles, and a respirator.
Class 4 Cleanup: Standing water grows bacteria, mold, and mildew that quickly turns into a bigger problem. Class 4 damage often includes standing water that must be removed with special equipment before the drying process can begin. Because the damage is extensive, the clean up and restoration process can be quite involved.
Typically materials like hardwood, brick, concrete, or stone are saturated and there are deep pockets of moisture. This type of water damage requires specialized drying methods and very low humidity. An example of Class 4 water damage would be a flooded crawlspace, soaked hardwood floors, or saturated concrete. It takes a long time and special equipment to dry these materials and spaces effectively.
Now that you know the types of water and classes of water-damage, you’re prepared to respond to any water damage situation that comes your way. As always, contact SERVPRO for qualified professional assistance with any water damage cleanup to make sure the job is done right.
Frequently Asked Questions About Water Damage
Whether your toddler shoved a toy down the toilet, causing an overflow, a sump pump backed up in your basement, or the latest storm caused flooding and damage, there are a number of potential causes of water damage to your home or business. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear about water damage and restoration.
What are the classes of water damage and why does it matter?
Only licensed professionals can officially classify water damage and the cost of the cleanup process is significantly impacted by the classification of water damage.
Clean water is potable (drinking water). Faucets, sprinklers, water heaters, and sometimes rainwater are classified as clean water. Damage caused by clean water is the least costly to clean and repair.
Grey water usually comes from relatively clean waste sources like baths, sinks, washing machines, and kitchen appliances. All grey water has the potential to carry bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms. It carries only minor health risks but must be cleaned thoroughly to avoid other issues.
Black water is the most harmful type of water. Backed up sewage, floodwaters, wastewater from toilets, and other areas. Black water is full of bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms that cause serious health problems and diseases. Cleaning black water is the most complicated and costly process. It requires special chemicals and equipment to clean up.
It is very important to properly clean up any kind of water leak to avoid more serious problems down the road. Even a small clean water leak from the ice machine can lead to serious damage.
What are the dangers of water damage?
The impact of water damage is not limited to the water itself. There are a number of dangers linked to water leaks, floods, and other types of water damage. It is important to address any leaks as quickly as possible to avoid further damage.
- There is a risk of fire when water comes in contact with electrical outlets and other power sources.
- Mold or mildew can grow on hard and soft surfaces during or after water damage.
- Wood and other building materials can soften, weaken, or rot, leading to serious structural issues.
- Water can cause stains, bad odors, and other inconvenient consequences.
How much does it cost to clean up water damage?
The answer to this question varies widely. The type and extent of damage and source of the water dramatically impact the cleanup costs.
Grey or black water is more costly to clean because you must be mindful of potential bacteria, virus, and microorganism contamination. Using the proper chemicals, cleaning methods, and equipment is very important.
Even though a competent homeowner or property manager may be able to clean and repair some of the water damage, it is important to have a professional assess the situation and determine the extent of the damage. Even trace amounts of water left untreated may allow mold to grow. Professionals can also identify the source of the water and make sure the leak is properly fixed.
Industry professionals estimate the national average cost for water damage restoration:
- Clean water leaks with minimal damage averages $3.75 per square foot.
- Grey water flooding with moderate damage averages $4.50 per square foot.
- Black water damage averages $7.00 per square foot.
How long does it take to dry out water-damaged property?
The time it takes to fully dry damaged property depends on weather, the classification of water that caused the damage, where the damage occurred, and how long the water has been there.
Generally it takes 3 to 5 days to fully dry a home. In the south, humidity and weather can significantly impact the drying process. Even carpet or surfaces that feel dry to the touch may still have water trapped inside. SERVPRO technicians use specialized testing equipment to ensure everything is thoroughly dried.
What are the first steps in dealing with water damage?
You should always contact professional technicians to help you deal with any water damage. But time is of the essence and knowing how to respond quickly can save you time and energy and prevent further damage. Follow these steps before the professionals arrive to get the process started:
- Turn off power to the impacted areas to prevent electrical fires and electrical shock.
- Turn off the main water supply to prevent further leaks.
- Remove any area rugs, furniture, and other movable furnishings from the room.
- Remove any curtains, draperies, and other wet window treatments.
- Move any keepsakes, decorative items, artwork, and personal items to a safe space.
- Bail out or mop up as much water as you can without using any appliances or power tools.
- Open all cabinets, doors, and drawers to help speed the drying process.
- Open any windows to help air out the area.
What is the typical process of restoration?
Every water-damage situation is unique so the process of restoring water damage to your home or business may vary. However, the general process that SERVPRO uses to help restore your property as quickly as possible is as follows:
- Our team of experts thoroughly examines the area and assesses the damage to create a plan.
- The water is removed using vacuums, special suctions, and other equipment.
- Your personal belongings may be moved to another location. It needs to be sanitized and deodorized.
- Our team thoroughly dries your property with dehumidifiers and special fans. Special equipment allows us to test surfaces to ensure everything is completely dry.
- The area may be sanitized and deodorized with air scrubbers, antimicrobial treatments, or other methods.
Does homeowners insurance cover water damage?
While homeowners insurance is usually very straightforward, understanding coverage for water damage can be difficult to decipher. Every insurance company has different coverage policies and regulations so there is not a simple answer to this question.
Water damage is rarely covered by insurance when it is caused by floods or sewer overflows. However, insurance will usually cover damage when it is “sudden and internal”, meaning the damage happened very quickly and the water came from inside the home, like a burst pipe or malicious activity.
Some damage caused by weather events are covered by insurance, like wind-driven rain or snow. The condition of your home is a significant factor in whether your homeowners insurance will cover the damage. Insurance will not often cover damage if it occurred because of corrosion or preexisting issues with your roof or siding.
Water damage caused by slow leaks or neglect typically won’t be covered by homeowners insurance, nor will mold and other consequences of water damage.
While there are probably dozens of other questions you have about dealing with water damage, these are the most frequently asked questions we encounter. Contact SERVPRO for fast, professional, expert help with any kind of water damage! We’re available 24/7 for any emergency fire or water cleanup emergency.
Why Should You Hire the Pros for Water Damage Restoration?
Maybe you came into work this morning and discovered a pipe burst and has flooded your office space. Or maybe your community experienced a severe storm that’s left your store under a few feet of water. Maybe you have no idea where all this water came from, but there it is and all you know is it needs to get cleaned up fast before your business loses too much money from being closed.
In a time-sensitive emergency like this, many business owners or property managers might try to clean up water damage themselves, but when a commercial property experiences extensive damage, it’s better to hire a restoration crew who knows what to look for and what to do to get your property cleaned up and functioning again. Here’s just a few reasons why you should call in the experts rather than tackle commercial water damage yourself.
#1: They can find the source.
Sometimes it’s obvious where water damage is coming from, like if you can see the leaking pipe in the basement or know your area has sustained storm damage. Other times it’s not so obvious, but you need to know so the issue can be fixed and prevent future catastrophe.
Water has a habit of sneaking into the least likely of places, which makes it difficult to find where it originated from. A trained water damage restoration technician knows how to follow clues to find the source of your water damage. They will also have the tools to investigate the source without causing undue damage to your building. And when they find the source, they can determine what will need to be done to fix the issue too.
#2: They have the resources.
It will take more than a mop and a few fans to dry out a flooded property. Water restoration companies have all of the equipment and tools necessary to clean up major water damage. Their heavy-duty vacuums can suck up any amount of standing water, and their industrial fans and dehumidifiers will take care of all remaining moisture more quickly and efficiently than anything the average business owner can get their hands on.
#3: They have the training and expertise.
Not only will they have the equipment, they’ll also have the knowledge necessary to assess damage and perform clean up without causing further damage. The training and experience restoration crews have help them identify water damage that the average person may not know to look for or be able to recognize. They understand how moisture affects different building materials and what will need replaced and what will be okay once it’s dry. They also know how best to remove moisture from those different materials to maintain structural integrity and prevent molding later.
#4: They work fast.
With their experience and equipment on hand, a professional restoration crew can do commercial restoration faster than any amateur. When water is soaking through the materials and furnishings of your commercial property, there’s no time to waste. Every second puts the building at risk of increased damage. You don’t have time to look up cleanup advice yourself, gather a team to help, and hunt up the equipment you’ll need. A good cleanup and restoration company is ready at a moment’s notice, even coming in the middle of the night for emergency situations, so they can prevent further damage and get your business up and running as soon as possible.
Leave it to the professionals
If you’ve experienced commercial water damage, don’t take on cleanup and restoration as a DIY project. You wouldn’t want a restoration crew trying to do your job, so don’t try to do theirs. Instead, call a trusted, professional cleanup and restoration company who knows what they’re doing.
SERVPRO of Rutherford County has the expertise, equipment, and experience to quickly and safely restore your property with a thoroughness you wouldn’t be able to achieve yourself. Let us do what we do best so your business can reopen and you can get back to doing what you do best.
6 Things You Should Do After a Water Damage Disaster
Water in unwanted places is never a good thing.
Whether it’s a leaky pipe, a rainstorm or flood, water damage can cause all sorts of headaches for homeowners. Aside from causing permanent damage to your home, a water disaster can lead to significant health and safety issues.
When it comes to flooding and other water disasters in a home, prevention is always the best course of action. However, even with enough precautions, there are cases where water disasters still occur.
You are probably asking, what can I do after significant water damage? Here are the things that you should do after a significant water disaster.
What Should You Do After a Major Water Damage?
1. Stop the Flow of Water
If the damage is caused by a water heater failure or a burst pipe, the very first thing that you should do is to shut off the main water valve for your home. This is why it’s important that you know where your main valve is.
If you are unable to locate the main water valve, call a professional as soon as you can.
2. Avoid Additional Risks
If you had to leave your home during the flooding, always remember to practice safety before you enter it when you come back.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency advises that you should check for any visible structural damage such as cracked foundation, warping, cracks, and holes before you enter your home. If you think that there’s damage to your water, electric, gas, and sewer lines, immediately contact a professional utility company.
At this point, make sure that you have a working flashlight for doing the following steps.
3. Cut the Power and Save Electronics
Time is of the essence when dealing with the aftermath of water damage.
If you want to save your electronics, you should act fast and get them out of water’s way. For starters, you should disconnect the power immediately. This is important for obvious safety reasons especially if the water has risen above the electrical outlets. Then, you’ll definitely want to move all your electrical devices first. After that, you can proceed to move the furniture and other movable items.
4. Get Rid of the Water
There are numerous ways to remove the water inside your home.
If you have no power or are worried about loose wires, you can always do it manually. The old-fashioned way of using towels, buckets and mops should work fine. You can then pour the water down the drain as long as the neighborhood isn’t backed up. Otherwise, you can pour the flood water onto your yard.
You may also use a wet or dry vacuum, but you should be wary about which electrical outlets to use. Make sure that you use an outlet that’s out of the water’s way. Avoid using an extension cord since the connection could short out which could lead to an unpleasant shock.
If the water is simply too much, renting a sump pump from your local hardware store is your best bet.
5. Dry Out the Affected Area
Once you have managed to remove the water, it’s time to dry out the area to prevent mold growth and prevent the moisture from doing more damage.
Use fans and dehumidifier for drying out the flooded area. You may also open all the windows for better air circulation, provided that it’s not raining anymore.
On your basement, check if the water damage has affected the drywall. If that is the case, you should consider cutting out the affected area since it’s basically free food for mold.
6. Disinfect the Affected Area
Once the damaged materials are removed, disinfect the affected area to prevent mold growth. The most commonly used disinfectant is a bleach solution. There are also other homemade disinfectants that you can easily make and use. Lightly spray and wipe down all the affected area before doing any repairs or restoration.
Get Top-Notch Water Damage Restoration in Rutherford County
If you have experienced water damage, hopefully, you’re dealing with clean water and a relatively small area. Dealing with a water-damaged home is certainly no joke. If you don’t know what you are doing, you can easily cause permanent damage and even put yourself at risk.
With that said, you can always call a professional water damage service to help you out. If you require a reliable water damage cleanup and restoration service, feel free to give SERVPRO in Rutherford County a call.
5 Expert Tips on How to Prevent Water Damage While You’re Away
When it comes to costly house repairs, nothing is worse than severe water damage. Coming to a flooded house while out on a vacation for several days is nothing short of devastating.
Water flooding is the number one culprit that will do a number on your home’s foundation. In the worst-case scenario, it will lead to serious structural damage. Flood water can cause severe damage to the wooden parts of your home, damage electrical appliances, cause mold and mildew, and other permanent home damage.
When it comes to protecting your home from water disasters, prevention is key. Here are a few expert tips that will prevent water damage from ruining your home.
Tips on How to Prevent Water Damage for Your Home
1. Disconnect Outside Hoses
Screwing the water hose back on the spigot is a task that many of us are not looking forward too. But you know what’s even more of a pain? Water damage. Thus, if you are leaving on a lengthy holiday, you will want to disconnect the water hose from the spigot.
If you choose to leave the hose on the spigot, water will still be present inside.
Once standing water freezes, everything around it will get colder. This can lead to a scenario where the standing water in pipes and hoses will climb up back into the house and freeze the water inside.
2. Shut Off the Main Valve
When you are away for a long time, it only makes sense that you locate the main valve and shut it off before leaving. However, many people still neglect to close their main water valve before going on an extended trip.
The main valve controls all the water that flows into your home, so shutting it off will surely prevent a massive water disaster.
After you shut off the main valve, open each of the faucets in your house to drain any water that is still in the pipes. As mentioned in tip #1, disconnect all hoses from your outdoor faucets.
3. Regularly Test Your Sump Pumps
Your home’s sump pump systems help in keeping groundwater out of your basement. Before you go away, you should test your sump pumps.
Here are the steps for testing sump pumps:
- Fill your sump pump pit slowly with water. Be on the lookout for the “float” (like the float in your toilet) to come up, which should activate the pump. Be sure that you keep looking until the water level subsides.
- If you have a backup pump, you can test it the same way. However, you will have to unplug the main pump first.
Ideally, you should check your sump pump once a year. However, it’s recommended that you check several times during stormy seasons.
4. Ensure Good Drainage
Poor drainage will weaken your foundation and cause cracks and pathways for water to enter your home.
Therefore, before your big trip, you will want to practice proper drainage and gutter maintenance. Even when you’re not going away, it’s important that you regularly clean your gutters.
Take a walk around your house and check your gutters. Check for leaves, sticks, and other debris that can block the inlet of the downspout. Also, make sure that the downspout extensions are releasing the water far enough from the foundation.
5. Check for Water Leaks
You should fix leaks as soon as you see them. The longer the leak goes, the worse it will be for your house and your wallet.
There’s simply no excuse for not fixing leaks in your pipes.
To check for leaks, check for dark spots under the pipes below the sink, toilets that are unstable, stains on ceilings, and drips. If you can’t afford a plumber right away, there’s always the option to fix the leak on your own. If the leak isn’t that big, it can be fixed with sandpaper and a bit of epoxy.
Fix Long-Term Water Damage by Calling the Professionals
These steps should help protect your home from all types of water damage. However, if it’s already too late for you and your home has already succumbed to a water disaster, you need a reliable water damage restoration service.
If you’re looking for a reliable water damage cleanup and restoration company, you should get in touch with SERVPRO of Rutherford County. Whether it’s a residential or commercial property, your water cleanup and restoration needs will surely be accommodated.
How to Prevent Water Damage During the Holidays
Disaster strikes when we least expect it – and certainly, they tend to spike during the end-of-year festive season. Water damage is one of the most common holiday mishaps that occur in homes. This is probably because many families go for long-distance trips to visit families or just escape the freezing weather.
When they get home after the trip, they are faced with the reality of a water disaster. The freezing temperatures don’t make things better. But fear not, with these water damage prevention tips you have less to worry about during the cold holiday season.
5 Ways to Prevent Water Damage While Away for the Holidays
Some of the common water-related mishaps include:
- Toilet overflows
- Burst pipes
- Tub overflows
- Shower leaks
- Dishwasher leaks
- Water heater leaks
- Sink overflows
- Ice maker malfunctions
To prevent these problems, consider the following solutions:
1. Protect Your Water Pipes from Freezing
When temperatures are really low, the water in your pipe freeze and break your pipes. This can lead to serious leaks or even flooding.
To prevent this problem, try to insulate water pipes in unheated spaces like garages, exterior walls, crawl spaces, attics, basements, and floor cavities. It’s not necessary to insulate pipes that run through heated spaces like through the interior walls. You can use a variety of insulation materials like flexible foam, rubber backing tape, foil-backed natural cotton, and bubble film pipe wrap.
Also, keep the closet and cabinet doors open to prevent the water pipes within the walls from freezing and bursting. Consider investing in temperature detectors which alert you when the temperatures are too low for the pipes.
2. Install a Water Leak Detector
If you’ll be spending the holidays at home, consider getting a leak detector for your home’s plumbing system. If a small water leak goes undetected, it can cause costly damages to your house’s structure, especially if the leak is behind the wall.
A water leak sensor is installed under sinks or near dishwashers, refrigerators, or water heaters to detect leaks. If they detect any moisture, they sound an alarm. You can then take the necessary measures as soon as possible before it turns into a disaster.
Some high-end detectors come with extra functions like monitoring the flow of water and sending alerts to your smartphone. Even better, some home insurance companies offer discounts if you install such devices in your home.
3. Shut Off Water Valves
If you are traveling away for a few days, it’s recommended to shut off all water supply to major appliances. This will go a long way in reducing water disasters.
The most common water damage comes from dishwashers, washing machines, and ice makers. Individual shutoff valves of these appliances can be found on the water supply lines leading to the specific appliances.
If you’ll not be home for a very long time, cut off the main water supply to stop water from coming into the whole house. This is a good way to prevent major pipe bursts and floods. When you shut off this main valve, ensure you open the taps for a few minutes to release any water that may have remained in the pipes.
When you get back home, open the main valve and let the rust and sediments wash out before you start using the water. The main water valve is usually located in the water meter box.
4. Inspect Your Roof and Clean the Gutters
Remove fallen leaves and debris on the roof which may clog the gutters and send water pouring down the side of the house. They can also cause roof leaks which are expensive to repair. It’s also recommended to have a roofing technician inspect and repair (or replace) damaged and missing shingles.
5. Avoid Clogging Your Drainage
The holidays are a busy time for your drainage system, so make sure you go easy on it.
Many homeowners think that their sink disposals can get rid of just about anything –which is not true. Try to limit the food remnants that go into the sink disposal.
For instance, avoid throwing orange peels, potato peels, and large pieces of meat into the disposal as they may cause blockage. Instead, throw them in the trash can.
Call Water Damage Restoration Experts in Smyrna and Murfreesboro
In an unfortunate event you get water damage at your home, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO. From removing standing water to mold remediation, we’ll ensure your home is back to its pre-damage condition in no time.
5 Home Flood Prevention Tips from SERVPRO
There’s a very heartwarming idea which suggests that home is where your heart is.
When really pondering on its meaning it turns out that it’s a true statement. Our homes are filled with memories and physical possessions which we’ve gathered over the course of our lives. If sentimental motivations weren’t enough, our homes are where we and our family and love ones live.
To think that anything would bring disaster to your front door immediately triggers thoughts about your family’s safety and your homes well-being. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that natural disasters do tend to destroy homes. With hurricane season coming into high swing taking the potentials of flood disasters is no light subject.
SERVPRO, in Murfreesboro, serving the Rutherford County area - completely understands the necessity to safe guard your home from flooding. Our emergency restoration services provide everything you need to recover from flood damage, but we also believe that you can take steps now to cut down on risk to your home.
SERVPRO’S 5 Flood Prevention Tips
Below, we’ve compiled our list of flood prevention tips to help prevent your home from flooding, or at the very least to minimalize the damage it could cause.
1. Go with the Flow
If you’ve been living at your home for any extended amount of time, there is a likelihood that you’ve seen the best and worst of weather.
When taking preventative methods to safeguard your home from flooding it’s a great idea to consider how water flows around your house. Best case scenario would be if you’ve noticed that the ground’s angle around your house slopes away from your home, which would mean at least that water flows away.
However, you should take note if your street or areas surrounding your home hold water for an extended period. If you have standing water after light showers, then it would be a good idea to speak with your county planning department. If it will flood with a small amount of water, it will certainly during a major storm.
2. On Higher Ground
Whether your land slopes towards or away from your home, it’s always a great idea to rise above the chaos.
If you have a flash flood warning for your area waters can very well rise to your front door in a matter of minutes. This would leave you no time to prepare or move items out of harm’s way.
It’s a great practice during flood warnings to protect valuable and sentimental items by packing them and moving them to higher ground. Items which will easily get damaged liked photos or family records can be placed in sealed plastic containers.
Additionally, any pricey items like furniture, computers, or antiques should be moved to another floor or at worse on top of taller items.
Although the worst-case scenario is that having belongs on a higher ground doesn’t matter you can still take steps to recover those items. Take an inventory, and even photos if possible, for the event you have make an insurance claim.
4. Keep a Watchful Eye
There are a lot of things you can do to prepare for flood damage situations but one of the most important things you can do is to stay alert.
You know the ins and outs of your home and should be attentive to water levels, gutter cleanliness, basement leaks, and your electricity. These are all things which you can take precautions beforehand to avoid damage, but also which most be monitored during the event that your home begins to take on water.
5. Think Ahead
Take your knowledge about your home and how your property respond\ to water as inspiration for preparation.
If you’ve noticed certain tendencies for things like high water, broken gutters, or power outages then take the initiative to avoid greater damage from a stronger storm.
Take small steps like purchasing a small power generator and cleaning out your gutters to allow for water flow.
Our Doors are Open
Flood damage or water damage in general is certainly something that should be taken seriously, and with a few our tips you can prepare yourself to avoid potential issues.
SERVPRO is always available should you have any questions about flood damage prevention, and to help you in the unfortunate event that you need emergency restoration services.
Preventing Water Damage in Your Home
There is a great sense of pride which comes with being a homeowner. Whether it’s about creating a space where you can relax after a long day’s work or simply having a safe place for your family to stay, running your household takes a decent amount of planning.
There are so many things to look after that it’s easy to over look a bill payment or here or there, or to leave the lights on while away.
However, one thing you don’t want to overlook is existing issues that can lead to water damage. These prolonged problems, when not remedied, can spread until they become more serious issues.
SERVPRO specializes in the type of emergency restoration services which you may one day need for water damage issues. However, in addition to this service, SERVPRO also loves to share our expertise with our valued clients in Smyrna, and the surrounding Rutherford County area.
SERVPROS 4 Water Damage Prevention Tips
To help you avoid extensive water damage issues - we’ve compiled a helpful list of preventative tips you can use to safeguard your home.
Is This Water Bill for Real?
A good sign that water damage could be around the corner is if you’re already noticing extra water costs.
Have you noticed any strange spikes in your water bill recently? If so, this is normally a sign that there is water leak somewhere. Leaks tends to cause excess water to be used in everyday tasks because of the quantities leaking out somewhere.
Start by checking where you use the water most to see if there’s any damaged or leaking pipes.
Leaky pipes can certainly result in a spike in your water bill, but if they go undetected for too long you could be looking at bills of another variety. Areas in your house left exposed to water for too long can lead to water damage, which can be especially troublesome during the summer.
The result could be the need for extensive emergency restoration work, which will certainly add up to more than a spike in your water bill.
A Costly Clog
Clogs are a part of every day life, but even they can lead to more intense problems when not remedied correctly.
Even if you have amazing cleaning habits you will eventually run into a clog at some point. A typical method for dealing with this is to use some form of unclogging chemicals. They can be inexpensive, and normally get the job done in a short time with limited amount of work.
However, the issue with these chemicals is that you run the risk of them eating away at your pipes over time. Consistent use of these can lead to leaks over time. Additionally, using chemicals so often may not be good for your health.
We suggest using a drain snake instead to unclog pipes. They’re cheap and typically easy to find at local stores. It may take away some of the convenience of using chemicals, but you’ll be sure to get the job done without any of the worry.
Make Maintenance your Routine
Preventing water damage in your home should be a part of your normal routine.
The suggested maintenance routines vary from item to item within any building, but a general rule is that you should check your home on a schedule.
Cleaning your gutters and downspouts of debris to ensure that they’re clear for water flow is a seasonal check. You certainly use your washing machine on a continual basis, so making sure that its hoses are in good shape is key to avoiding expensive water damage and clean up.
Theses materials, hoses, and pipes are designed to carry water and to keep you safe, but keep in mind that they have their ware and tear like any product that is used over an extended period.
If you keep a to do list of home cleaning be sure to add checking for water damage or damaged areas to your list. It’ll be cheaper to repair and replace if there’s no extensive damage involved.
It’s in Your Hands
Water damage and flooding which has reached the need for emergency restoration can be stressful and intimidating.
However, the good news is that there are many simple things within your control that you can remedy or catch in time.
Leaving Your Home for Summer? Check for Water Damage First
These commercial dryers will dehumidify your Murfreesboro home.
The kids are out of school, you’ve got 2 weeks off, and the sun is shining.
It must be summer.
By now, you’ve probably been planning a great summer vacation to take and are counting the days until your departure.
While you’re sure to double check every final detail on tickets, pricings, and reservations, it can be very easy to overlook safety preparations for the home front.
Some of these are pretty standard like locking the doors and making sure appliances are turned off.
But have you thought about water damage?
Water damage can happen at any time. The innocent mistake of overlooking a leaky pipe or water stain can lead to mold or even emergency restoration projects. While you’re off enjoying your summer travel, the heat and humidity can be wreaking havoc at home.
At SERVPRO Nashville, we know how easy it is for these problems to occur and certainly how they can add up over time. To help you get your home ready for your summer travel, we’ve come up with some quick water damage prevention tips, which can help you make sure mold doesn’t move in while you’re away.
SERVPRO’s Fast-4 Water Damage Prevention Tips
- Keep a Cool Home
Summer heatwaves are sure to not only make for warmer sun-filled days, but also can be mold’s best friend. If you already have existing wet or moist places in your home and leave them unattended, you’re asking for the mold to multiply. While you’re at the beach getting a tan, the mold will be taking a hold.
To prevent mold from forming or growing in your home, make sure to set a climate where it cannot thrive. Mold will grow best at temperatures of 77-degree Fahrenheit and more. If you set the temperature lower, you’ll be able to starve any existing moisture of the heat it needs and ideally keep any moist areas from getting too humid.
It’s better to pay a higher electricity bill than to be at risk of water damage and need emergency restoration down the line.
- Keep it Clean
The small leak you’ve been having could turn into a much bigger problem.
If you’re seeing pipes or appliances leaking and you haven’t been attending to them, there is most likely water damage present. When left unattended, this seemingly harmless moisture can evolve into mold, mildew, dry rot, and even structural damage to your home. It may not be that way now but when exposed to summer heat and humidity, it won’t take long for mold to take ahold.
A great tip would be to clean up any areas in your home that you know create a lot of moisture or those that have given you issues in the past.
- Gut Your Gutters
The last thing you want to do is to return well-rested from your vacation to find an overflowing gutter.
Cleaning your gutter should be something you keep in mind year-round but is especially something you should consider doing before leaving for an extended period. Blocked water can damage your roof and even the gutter itself. A summer of heavy rains would only make this worse. It’s not a pretty job to do, but it’s one worth looking into before hitting the road.
- Turn Off Your Water Main
Examining your water main should be a habit for any homeowner, but especially so during summer travel season.
Before you set off for your vacation, make sure the water main is turned off. It’s a simple tip and unless you have preexisting water damage in your home, it’s one that can prevent most pipe or leak-related incident from happening. Existing water issues may persist, but at least they won’t be amplified by running water.
A Happy Home
SERVPRO has emergency restoration and other services available if your water damage and mold problems have already gotten out of hand. We’re here to remedy them so you can focus on taking a well-deserved vacation.
However, these damages and headaches may still be preventable. If you use a few of our tips you’ll be steps further from having water damage and much closer to a mold-free summer vacation.
Helpful Tips When Addressing Water Damage
First floor of a two story home where water damage has affected the ceiling and light fixtures.
Water damage is never something that you expect to happen, but in an age of extreme weather and aging appliances, it can happen without a moment’s notice. Do you know what to do if water takes its toll on your home?
Even the slightest damage can lead to something horrible. You might just think that it’s a water stain, but it could be hiding mold that could lead to health problems for you and your loved ones. Don’t risk it. Contact the experts that know how to handle all types of water damage restorations.
While each case of water damage is different, some steps will need to be done to recover from the situation.
Step 1: Call the experts
If the damage is from a storm that is still taking place, you may need to call emergency services to have them assist you out. Once the situation is calm and accessible, you will need to call an expert in water damage restoration.
Step 2: Assessment
An assessment will be done by the expert who can see how much damage has been caused. At this time, you will need to contact your insurance to make a claim. They may also want to send their own assessor to see the damage.
Step 3: Water removal
Using cutting-edge techniques, the restoration experts will remove any water left in the damaged area. This is very important is the restoration is going to be a success.
Step 4: Drying
The affected area will need to be dried and dehumidified in order for the restoration to take place. Failure to remove all the moisture could result in staining and mold.
Step 5: Restoration
Finally, after the area has been treated it can be restored to its former glory.
Water damage can be stressful, but knowing these steps can help minimise the stress by giving you an action plan.
Water to Do in Case of Water Damage in Your Commercial Property
Your whole family depends on your business. So do your employees, customers, and the community at large.
With so many people relying on you, the thought of experiencing serious water damage to your business premise is quite scary.
As a business owner, you are responsible for maintaining the plumbing and drainage systems of your commercial property.
Since most business premises remain closed during the night and on the weekends, the potential for having a water damage is high at these times, especially during the winter season.
To effectively minimize the damage, you first need to know the common types of water damage that can occur on a commercial property.
4 Common Types of Commercial Water Damage
Freezing and Bursting Pipes
During the winter, the low temperatures can freeze and break the water pipes of your home and present significant water damage to your business. The damage is worse if the pipes are hidden within the ceilings, walls, or floors.
Heavy rains can potentially trigger hail and flooding and ultimately destroy your structure, equipment, and furniture of your business.
Sewer and Drain Back Ups
This is usually caused by drain clogging which causes flooding. If it occurs overnight or during the weekend, it can severely damage the walls, carpets, electronics, and other office furniture. It’s not something you’ll want to wake up to on a Monday morning.
Gradual Water Leaks
From old appliances to malfunctioning plumbing, water leaks can occur due to a number of reasons. Factors such as wear and tear, rusting, and degradation can all be significant contributors.
Just like other water disasters, slow and gradual leaks can also cause considerable water damage. However, this is preventable if detected early.
What Should You Do When Water Damage Occurs?
- Locate the source of the problem and shut off the main water supply of your building to stop further water infiltration.
- Turn off the electricity at the main breaker box of your commercial building.
- Remove all your important business documents and supplies that are salvageable and move them to a drier and safer area.
- Document the water damage using photographs and videos.
- Call professional water damage restoration experts.
Don’t Let Commercial Water Damage Slow You Down. Call SERVPRO in Murfreesboro
A crucial part of any emergency plan is knowing how and where to get help. If your business or office is disrupted by water damage, call SERVPRO for top-notch restoration.
With our top-of-the-line restoration equipment and highly trained technicians, we are ever-ready to restore your commercial property, equipment, and furniture back to pre-disaster condition so that you won’t have to replace them.
What to Do in Case of Water Damage in Your Home
According to the Insurance Industry Research, there are over 14,000 people in the country who experience water damage in their homes each and every day.
Whether a toilet overflows, snow thaw infiltrates into your home, or a leaky water heater turns into a geyser, water damage in your home can cost in more ways than one.
4 Things to Do When Water Damage Occurs in Your Home
1. Locate and Stop the Water Source
Immediately when you notice flooding in your home, try to locate the source. Find out whether it’s a pipe burst, clogged drain, or overflowing toilet. If you can’t find the exact source of the water, turn off the main water supply of your whole home.
2. Turn off the Electricity in Your Home
To avoid electrical hazards and failure, you need to turn off the electricity at the main breaker box. This may not be necessary for minor leaks under the sink, but when there’s standing water in your house, you and your family are at risk of electrocution.
3. Document the Damage for Insurance Purposes
Before you start making any repairs in your home, ensure you document the water damage for your insurer by taking photographs and videos.
Digital versions are recommended because they can be easily copied to other devices and stored electronically. If you start doing repairs and removing the water before you document the damage, you could considerably reduce your coverage’s extent.
4. Call a Professional Restoration Company
Restoration companies are trained and certified professionals who are equipped with the right equipment to deal with water damage of any magnitude.
SERVPRO is a Leading Trusted Restoration Expert in Rutherford County
For any type of home water damage restoration, you can always count on SERVPRO. We are on call 24/7 to ensure that your home is back to normal before you know it.
Failure to call a profession for restoration and clean up can lead to costly repairs, structural damage to your home, and you may need to replace most of your household items.
A water damage restoration from SERVPRO will save most of your items, hence, no need for replacements.
You can always count on us!
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes and Snow Thaw Water Damage This Winter
The accumulation of snow and freezing temperatures in the winter can cause serious water damage to your home.
Ice dams can form on your roof, pipes can freeze and burst, and melted snow can infiltrate into your home and cause havoc.
Fortunately, here are some effective tips from SERVPRO on how you can prevent winter water damage in your home.
Preventing Frozen Water Pipes and Bursts
Water pipes in the attic, outside walls, and crawl spaces are more vulnerable to freezing during the winter. You can prevent pipe bursts by:
- Turning the heat on and keeping your entire home warm all through. Set the heat no lower than 55F.
- Open the cabinet and closet doors when the temperature drops to provide heat to the water pipes.
- Let the faucets connected to water pipes drip continuously to prevent the water inside from freezing.
- Wrap the pipes in open spaces with insulating materials such as fiberglass sleeves or foam rubber.
- Close holes, cracks, and other openings in your foundation and exterior walls with caulk.
- In the unfortunate your water pipes burst, turn off the main water supply to your home and call for help.
Preventing Snow Thaw Water Damage
Melting snow can enter your house through the foundation or roof when the spring arrives. You can prevent this by:
- Inspect, repair, and clean your downspouts and gutters before the ice starts to melt. This ensures that the water flows freely into the drainage system.
- Ensure that the sewer system is clear of any snow or debris.
- Shovel snow and ice away from your house to prevent water from seeping into your foundation.
- Ensure the basement walls, floor, doors, and windows are properly sealed to prevent leaks from thawing ice.
For Emergency Water Damage Restorations in Smyrna, Call SERVPRO
Water damage is common in the winter and usually happens at the most inopportune time.
Fortunately, SERVPRO is always on call to handle your water damage.
With state-of-the-art restoration equipment and highly trained technicians, our response is fast and our restoration and cleaning services are outstanding.
Don’t wait until you have to replace all of your damaged items, call us now!
How to Prevent Water Damage in the Winter
The freezing winter temperatures can cause serious damage to your home’s plumbing system. Your roof can also be damaged by the snow accumulation and formation of ice dams.
You definitely can’t control the weather, but regular maintenance of your drainage system can go a long way in protecting your home from the hazards of the cold weather.
Here are ways you could prevent water damage in your home this winter season:
5 Smart Ways You Could Prevent Water Damage This Winter
1. Drain the Hoses and Exterior Faucets
Drain and disconnect all hoses and faucets as they can easily freeze and break during the winter. Ensure that they are completely drained and no water is left inside.
2. Clean Your Gutters
Fallen leaves and other debris on the gutters could cause blockages and subsequently lead to ice buildup on your roof and walls. This is dangerous to the structure and drainage system of your home.
Before the winter fully kicks in, ensure that your gutters are cleaned out and are in good working condition so that they can easily carry the melting snow away from the roof.
3. Protect the Water Pipes from Freezing
Use insulation materials such as fiberglass sleeves and foam rubber to insulate accessible pipes, especially those in crawl places and attics. You can also consider using low-temperature detecting devices which will alert you if the temperatures around your pipes are below zero.
4. Turn off the Main Water Supply
If you are going out of town for a vacation this winter season, ensure the main water supply of your home is turned off. This is the easiest way of preventing water damage in your home.
You could also have a close friend or neighbor regularly check your home for leaks and other water damage.
5. Install a Leak Detection Device
A minor leak in your pipes can quickly escalate into a serious and costly repair if it remains undetected for a long time.
You can invest in a leak detector and set it up under the sinks, near the dishwasher, water heater, refrigerator, or anywhere that’s susceptible to water leakage. This device will sound an alarm if they detect any leaks.
SERVPRO Offers Quick and Top-Notch Water Damage Restoration Services in Murfreesboro
If your home has suffered some water damage, do not think of replacing your damaged items. A quick restoration from a professional company should get your home back to normal in no time.
At SERVPRO, we a trusted leader in the restoration and cleaning industry. No type of water disaster is too big or small for us. Call us today and let our certified technicians help you with your water problem.
Preventing Water Damage During the Holidays in Smyrna
Imagine waking up in the wee hours of a chilly morning and finding your entire house soaked in water.
Where do you start? The kitchen? The living room? Your lovely Persian mat?
Water damage can not only destroy your household items, it can also weaken your house’s foundation and this is quite costly to repair.
To prevent having such horrible experiences during the holidays, you may want to consider the following tips:
3 Ways to Prevent a Water Disaster in Your Home
1. Avoid Pouring Grease Down the Sink
We know this happens quite often. However, this is one habit that should stop.
Grease and water do not mix. This gooey substance will certainly mess up your entire drainage system when poured down the drain.
A grease bag is a great invention you can use to dispose of the grease and oil.
2. Clear the Gutters on Your Roof Regularly
The gutters are some of the most ignored parts of the house.
Over time, they can accumulate debris from fallen leaves, twigs, and dirt and eventually clog. This will prevent rainwater from smoothly draining from the roof.
So, to prevent having a holiday nightmare, take up a ladder and clear all the debris in your gutters. It’s a simple chore that will go a long way in protecting your home from water damage.
3. Have Your Drainage System Inspected for Leaks
If your drainage system has never been inspected, then you are setting yourself up for a serious water disaster. Apart from causing a water overflow problem in your home, leaks can also encourage a mold infestation in your home.
Get a professional to thoroughly inspect your entire drainage system and repair any leaks present.
Seek the Services of Reliable Water Emergency Professionals in Smyrna
Restoring your home from a water damage can be a back-breaking and time-consuming affair.
And who would want to go through all that trouble during the holiday season? Fortunately, there’s a faster and better alternative.
SERVPRO offers 24/7 emergency restoration and home cleaning services in Smyrna – whether day or night, we are always ready to offer you a helping hand. We take pride in our professional staff and state-of-the-art restoration equipment.
4 Useful Tips to Prevent Water Damage in Homes
Water-damaged homes are a mess.
Besides the literal mess it creates — with the stained ceilings and dripping pipes — it also lowers the resale value of your home and is inconvenient to repair. You could argue that most home insurance covers the cost of repairs anyway, but is that really something you want to risk?
Thankfully, with proper planning and the right know-how, residential water damage is preventable. It’s true that there are a billion causes out there and we all need a good amount of H2O on a daily basis, but there’s an equal number of easy solutions for you to try.
- Pay Attention to Your Water Bill
It may seem a bit weird, but this is one way to know if there’s something going on underneath the surface of your home. If your water bill suddenly skyrockets even if you haven’t been using that much water, it usually means a pipe burst somewhere you can’t see.
Damaged pipes can cause severe water damage if left untreated. In a worst-case scenario, it can make your home uninhabitable. Yeah, it’s that serious.
- Maintain Your Gutters
Clogged gutters are another main culprit for water damage as they tend to cause water buildup on your roof — which could, in turn, lead to moisture finding its way to your ceiling.
Regular de-clogging, done around once or twice a month, could save you from a lot of trouble in the long run.
- Repair Roof Damage ASAP
With the crazy weather going on nowadays, you’ll never know when to expect heavy downpour. When the rains do come, your roof needs to be in tip-top shape to prevent any unwanted leaks and dripping ceilings.
Check up on your roof occasionally — maybe while cleaning the gutters — to see if there are any cracked or damaged tiles that need replacing. The cost of replacing a tiny roof tile could save you the trouble of having to repair rotting plywood in the future.
- Do Regular Pipe Checkups
While I’m sure nobody has enough time to check out all the pipes regularly, spare a few hours of your weekend to make sure easily accessed pipes — such as the one under the sink — are working properly.
Tiny pipe leaks won’t manifest on your water bill so a quick peek once in a while will allow you to catch the problem before it gets any worse.
What to Do When You Need Water Restoration?
Preventive measures are only done to reduce the chances of water damage and it doesn’t eliminate the possibility completely. When you’ve done everything you can and excess moisture still finds its way into your home, quick response is key to making sure damage is kept to a minimum.
At SERVPRO here at Smyrna, TN, we have experienced technicians on call 24/7! After spotting the first signs of water damage, you may contact us at (615) 731-4222 and we’ll make sure your water damaged home is patched up in no time.
4 Common Causes of Water Damage in Homes
After pouring blood, sweat, and tears into purchasing your very own house, it only makes sense to give your all into keeping it in tip-top shape.
Knowing some of the most common issues is one of the most important things in properly maintaining your home — and water damage is one of those things.
The truth is, most homeowners don’t even know their home is already slowly falling apart due to undetectable moisture buildup. To make sure your house is protected, here are some common causes of water damage that you should know about.
- Bad Infrastructure
Let’s face it, not all homes are made equal. While your house may seem perfectly okay after the first few years of living in it, bad infrastructure can cause unavoidable issues and one of them is water damage.
Flat roofs and loose plumbing are only some of the most common causes of water damage in new homes. In most cases, the damage develops gradually over time.
- Faulty Pipes and Plumbing
There’s a lot more going on in your home that meets the eye. Old appliances, rusty pipes, and faulty piping jobs can cause water to wriggle its way into places it shouldn’t be.
Conducting regular once-overs in prone areas such as your sink, bathroom, and laundry room is one good way to prevent faulty plumbing and clogged pipes from causing havoc in the future. It also pays to have a trusted professional plumbing service to do all your repairs so you know where to go when things go wrong.
- Damaged Roofs and Gutters
The roof is your home’s main line of defense against the harsh outside conditions. Once it starts failing, it could mean disaster.
A busted roof and clogged gutters allow water to seep through the inner part of your ceiling and cause damage you might not even see. Even when the roof has no sign of visible trauma or the ceiling looks perfectly fine, there could still be moisture buildup that can cause huge damage in the long run.
- Unavoidable Natural Disasters
Murfreesboro gets an annual average of 52 inches of rain per year —that’s 13 inches more than the national average! So, when the rains come pouring and the winds start blowing, it’s perfectly understandable for even the most cautious of homeowners to see patches of mold developing on the ceiling.
In situations like this one, the best course of action is to respond quickly and find the best service providers to prevent further damage to your home.
Trust Only the Water Restoration Experts!
When your pipes start leaking and water damage is threatening the integrity of your home’s structure, trust only SERVPRO in Murfreesboro for quick response and reliable repair services.
Let our highly trained water restoration technicians bring back your home’s former glory. Our services are available 24-hours, perfect for emergency situations.
Don’t let water damage destroy your home. Contact us today at 615-751-8815 to learn more about what we can do for you.
How To Care For Hardwood Floors
It's important to take care of your hardwood floors to ensure their long-term shine!
At SERVPRO of Rutherford County, we understand how much the quality and craftsmanship of hardwood floors can elevate your space. We also know that you will want to protect your investment once the flooring has been installed. To ensure that your hardwood floor maintains its shine and gloss for many years, you will need to care for it in the best way. As experts, we always advise our customers to follow the tips below.
While a strict no-shoe policy may not be necessary, you should avoid anything that would dent or scratch the floor surface. Try not to walk on the floor with high heels and make sure that you lift furniture rather than slide it when rearranging the living room. Keeping out dirt, salt and sand will require you to place doormats at every entrance to avoid the damage that the particles can cause.
One of the easiest steps in caring for your hardwood floor is to dust it daily. This helps to remove any dust and dirt that could scratch the floor and undermine its beauty. We also know that dusting the floor regularly will reduce the allergens in your home.
Clean and polish the floor
Extending the beauty and life of your floor means cleaning and polishing it. When it comes to cleaning, you can talk to us about the best cleaning products to use on your floor. Biodegradable products will not only be effective but will also be safe for the environment. We also advise that you polish the floor quarterly to restore luster and shine.
Keep the floor dry
To avoid water damage, limit your use of a wet mop on your floor. It also goes without saying that any water and liquid spills should be wiped up immediately. A wet wooden floor will harm the surface finish irreparably.
Protect from sunlight and intense artificial lighting
When you expose your hardwood floor to sunlight and intense artificial lighting for extended periods of time, it may become discolored. This will take away the aesthetic appeal, style, and class that the wood floor brings to your home.
Call in the experts
While properly maintained hardwood floors will rarely need to be replaced, there are times when you will need to call in experts. If your floor loses its luster, kindly call SERVPRO of Rutherford County for restoration services.
Do You Have A Drainage Problem At Your Home or Business?
Tackle drainage problems quickly to prevent water damage!
Flooding is a common issue that affects many property owners in Middle Tennessee. Interior flooding often occurs because of leaking pipes, but it can also occur during rainstorms. Heavy rainstorms with rainfall lasting for hours will create a flood, but some properties flood after only brief rain showers. If you can relate to this with your property, there is a good chance that you may have a drainage issue. In these instances, SERVPRO of Rutherford County can assist with water damage repair and commercial cleaning services.
The Issue of Poor Drainage
In an ideal environment, the land would grade away from the structure. Proper gutters help channel the flow of water away from the structure. However, in many areas, land slopes toward the home from one or more directions. This can often be remedied with proper landscaping measures that capture water and direct it away from the building. When these measures are not taken or when gutters do not function properly, the water may flow toward the building. This can cause basement flooding with even small amounts of rainfall. Additionally, the water may penetrate into the first floor of the building and cause more damage.
The Damage Caused by Flooding
Standing water inside a building can cause incredible damage in a very short period of time and it must be dealt with immediately. Flooding warps or deteriorates drywall and wood, causes staining on most surfaces, and carpeting develops a horrible stench or becomes unusable. Also, when an area remains moist for even a short period of time, there is a risk of mold growth developing. When mold growth develops, the cost and time required to repair the damage multiplies.
If you have standing water in your building, contact SERVPRO of Rutherford County. We offer the best professional water remediation and restoration services. We handle all aspects of the process, including water extraction, de-humidification and restoration. Our goal is to make it "Like it never even happened." Contact us today for a quote for water remediation and commercial cleaning service.
Don't Let Ice Damage Wreck Your Home
At SERVPRO of Rutherford County, we know that ice storms are hard to predict and even harder to deal with. With this said, there are steps you can take to prepare yourself and your home for damage from ice. From taking steps to mitigate future damage to making preparations to call for help, these steps will help you to keep your repair costs down and allow you to keep your home as safe as possible.
The first step towards recovery from damage caused by ice is to mitigate it as much as possible. While damaging ice is relatively rare in the Murfreesboro area, it's good to go ahead and make your preparations any time that freezing precipitation is in the forecast. Make sure you keep your windows shut, your water taps dripping, and your cabinets open. These steps will help prevent freezing and allow you to avoid burst pipes in many situations. While this might not do much to help you with larger problems, it does help with preventable damage.
Ice Structural Damage
The best way to deal with structural damage from ice is to get the problem looked at quickly. Heavy ice can cause damage to your roof and can even cause foundation problems. You'll want to talk to a restoration service as quickly as possible after the damage happens, so do a full inspection of your property as soon as the ice melts. Unfortunately, the type of damage done by ice is not damage with which you can usually deal on your own, so be prepared to pay for professional help. Don't put yourself in a situation in which you make the damage worse than it was before.
Ice Damage and Water Damage
Water damage is the most insidious damage to come from ice. Not only does it quickly ruin carpet and personal items, but it can cause mold and even make structural damage worse. As soon as you notice water on the ground or on your walls, make sure to call SERVPRO of Rutherford County. If you can get to the damage quickly enough, you can get the area dried out and mitigate future damage. Waiting too long gives the water chance to cause more problems, and you might even deal with more damage if the water freezes again.
If you think you have problems with damage caused by ice, make sure to get help from a restoration service. SERVPRO is here to help you weather the storm and repair the problems after the ice has melted. Remember, you have the choice to take care of your property before worse damage occurs - and with the help of SERVPRO, you will always know that this choice will turn out for the best.
How to Prepare for or Recover from Frozen Pipes
Protect yourself from frozen pipes this winter
Water damage is a serious problem in Rutherford County. When it freezes in the winter, many people find themselves dealing with significant water problems. If you want to avoid this fate, make sure that you take a few simple steps to prevent damage to your pipes when the temperature drops. If these steps aren't enough to prevent damage, you can then move to the steps necessary to recover from the fallout of your burst pipes.
SERVPRO Rutherford County Damage Preparation
Preventing burst pipes is easy, at least in theory. Make sure that all your cabinets are open whenever it freezes, and keep the taps dripping. This will allow more heat to reach the pipes and will allow the water to keep moving. Both of these actions will make it harder for the pipes to freeze and thus harder for them to burst. If you have outdoor pipes, consider investing in insulation to keep them warmer. There are also special covers for outdoor taps that you may want to use in the winter.
SERVPRO Rutherford County Damage Recovery
Recovery from burst pipes is a little more difficult than preparation. If your pipes have burst, you'll want to take a few steps to first mitigate the damage that has already occurred and then a few steps to repair the damage that already happened.
To begin with, your first step should be to turn off the main water line to your home. Turning off your water will not only stop the water from flowing into the damaged area, but it will keep you from incurring an incredibly high water bill. Once the water is off, you'll be able to more clearly assess what's happened in the area.
Next, you'll want to move anything out of the area that can be salvaged. Get important documents and heirlooms out first, along with any electronics that still work. Once you've moved the salvageable items out, start relocating anything that's been damaged or destroyed. Even if you can't use it, it still needs to be moved.
Once this is done, call SERVPRO of Rutherford County to look at the damage. The professionals can help you figure out what's been affected andallow you to know the true extent of the damage. SERVPRO will then start remediating the damage to your home, drying out the space, and going through the process of getting rid of hard to find damage. While the process isn't always quick, it is thorough enough to make sure that further damage shouldn’t occur.
Burst pipes will usually need at least some level of restoration work. The faster you call for help, the less damage that will occur. If you are in Rutherford County and have burst pipes, make sure to call SERVPRO of Rutherford County.