Recent Water Damage Posts

So you got flooded .. Now what do you do?

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Water always wins Flooding can occur with out warning despite the advanced weather technology. Having a plan and knowing how to react makes all the difference.

Everyone always wants to get back to normal as soon as possible, with as little cost and intrusion into their life as possible. Guess what? That expectation is the worst way to approach this kind of water loss. While it sounds great what is the big deal. Let us explore the things that can happen when you actually move too quickly.

Having anything submerged in water means it was able to saturate. Saturated clothing can be wrung out but is still wet at the fiber level. Guess what wood does the same thing. Unlike clothing wood structures cannot be thrown into a dryer. That is right inside those beams are still wet. Behind that wall is soaked, oh your home is insulated yeah that’s wet too. That beautiful wood floor is sitting on a subfloor that space is wet too. However will you get it dry. Well if you do not have high powered fans and commercial grade dehumidifiers it can take months yes months to air dry.

Aside from the fact that everything is wet, said you were flooded right? Guess what despite what you think flood water is not clean. At all! It is flooded because the water did not have a normal place to drain. Where does most city water drain into? That is right the sewer system.. So if you are flooded because the sewer system is not working that is right folks you have been flooded with sewer water.

CHECK FIRST

  • Is mold already growing
  • Is electricity on & active (Never walk through water to power off electricity)
  • Check for gas leaks
  • Is the structure safe
  • Wear protective eye glasses, Shoes and gloves and respirator if you suspect mold.
  • Do not mix chemicals the vapors can be deadly (Especially Bleach and Vinegar)

Step by Step guide:

  • Get to safety: If the rain has stopped flooding is still possible as the water drains from some areas and into others. Makes sure you stay safe. Once it is safe to do so start assessing the personal damage you have incurred.
  • Insurance: Most people have home owners insurance. Guess what they do not cover flood insurance so start there. If you were flooded and do not have flood insurance you are on your own. Even if you do it is your responsibility to keep the home safe and reduce damages as much as you can. Which means you cannot wait to hear from the insurance company. Should you get mold or rot from waiting most likely it will not be covered due to the fact that it is considered secondary damage. Meaning it would not occur if you had started to clean up immediately.

The clean up: What can you do before the adjuster arrived from the insurance company.

  1. Take pictures of everything, before you or anyone do any work what so ever.
  2. Clean up areas of the house so that wall, and floor damage can be easily seen.
  3. There can be hidden damage, such as behind the walls so it will be reassessed as work begins.
  4. Reach out to government agencies for potential assistance for aid. (Please note that a federal disaster must be declared for you to apply for this type of assistance.
  5. Hire an electrician to come in and assess the safety of electrical system of the home. This will tell you what is safe and not safe to turn on (Never turn on equipment that was submerged any salvageable items could spark and become a total loss)
  6. Check with the local town to see if the water is safe to use or if it was adversely affected by the flood waters.
  7. Go through your food and make sure you throw out anything not in a metal can. Make sure you get rid of the labels and get new ones. To identify the food later. The cans must be washed if you are going to keep them . o.
  8. All your silverware and utensils have to be cleaned and sorted. Wood, plastic or anything no metal or ceramic needs to go
  9. Cut and remove walls (Even if they do not look damaged)
    1. If you see a water line ..Cut the wall at a minimum of 2 feet above that line.
    2. Remove insulation and yes throw it away.
    3. Take off the base boards , they may be able to be dried and saved but at least removing them assured they are not holding in moisture.
  10. It is recommended anything that cannot be dry cleaned should be thrown away. This includes but is not limited to furniture, clothing, and blankets.
    1. Carpets must be pulled up and while the carpet may be able to be cleaned and dried the pad cannot so throw that way.. Do not re-attach the carpet before the floor it sits on is fully dry (Yes we have to say that again) To avoid any issues make sure that you do this within 48hrs after the water goes down so that it does not have a chance to grow anything it should not be growing (which is anything)
  11. Flooring: Be it if you have wood, vinyl, laminate or tile if it was submerged in flood water it really has to go.
    1. If you are not sure if the tile or its adhesive is asbestos get it tested.
    2. If it is a painted surface and you are not sure about the presence of Lead that too should be tested.
    3.             This step while will be a bit of a delay keeps you, your family and the workers safe.
  12. Subfloors: Guess what your floors sit on a floor and regardless of what sort of main floor you have most of the time the subfloor is plywood and will be affected by the water. The top floor must be removed so that this level of floor can dry fully. Make sure you do not have any buckling before you put a new floor on top once it is dry. If so you may need to replace that.
  13. Set up fans and Dehumidifiers to created a vortex to encourage drying. Proper fan positioning and temperature regulation will speed up the drying process.
  14. ****BLEACH**** DOES NOT KILL MOLD… PERIOD….
  15. If you see mold… There is a very specific process that must be followed. The most important step is to NOT spread the spores all over the house. So DO NOT VACUUM them unless you have a hepa-vacuum.

Contact a professional and keep in mind this is not a two or three day process. Have the right expectations going in to this. It will ease your mind and reduce the amount of stress that you have. Expecting something to be done to fast can result in long term damage that will cost more. It will also put undue stress on all involved. Take a step back and know that it could be a month or even more depending on how extensive the damage is.

We have been seeing a lot of water main breaks

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Water main breaks are dangerous Watermain breaks are dangerous to foundations, basements, streets and your routine.

Sink holes. What causes them? How does water affect them? What to do when one opens up near you? Is it covered by insurance?

Florida is not the only area that can experience a sink hole. To better understand how and why they happen a little geology lesson is needed.

What causes them?

Bedrock that has a lot of limestone, carbonate rock or salt deposits will be more likely to erode. Resulting in holes that can no longer support the ground above it. Sink holes can also develop if an object such as a building is built on soil it too soft to support the weight.

How does water affect them?

The cause of this erosion is from water. As water passes through the top layers of soil, plants, roots and decaying materials making the water more acidic. As more material is eroded out of the rock the hole becomes larger eventually too large to sustain the earth that remains above it. These holes can open on a street, under a building, or on the edge of a cliff.

What to do if a sinkhole opens on your property?

Vacate your home or office immediately. Contact emergency professionals to have the area roped off. Reach out to your insurance company to have them send out an adjuster to make an initial assessment. Sinkholes NEVER get better. You will have to work with engineers to decide on the proper course of action. Getting someone to come out and take soil samples every 5 ft will provide a good picture of what is going on. Note this testing can take 3-5 weeks and may require payment from you. It is not cheap with average cost running $4,000-$8,000. Also know many insurance companies do not cover sinkhole damage unless you have separate insurance similar to flood insurance. Know what your policy covers if you think you are in a high-risk area.

As more and more flooding events occur these events will increase. As aging pipes fail and water is forced out into these already susceptible areas washing out the support materials even faster that normal.

There are 3 different kinds of sink holes cover collapses sink holes, cover substance & solution sink holes. They also have two ways they are created naturally and manmade. There is nothing that can be done about the naturally occurring ones. The man-made ones that is a whole different story.

The man-made ones stem from pipes underground breaking and washing away the soil they are sitting in. In turn they are compromising the materials above them. While natural sink holes have the same risks and cause the same problems. Maintaining pipes and catching small leaks before they become big problems is essential to reducing the damage that they can cause.

Watermain breaks and sewer systems that are overloaded. are a contributing factor to sink hole development. When the pipe breaks the water will find a way to go somewhere. The force pushing the water through those pipes is immense and will continue to push water through if it is broken or not. Water will expand out from the break forcing the earth away as well.

Sewer systems that become overloaded will force water out of a controlled pipe system onto the streets, sidewalks, front yards allowing it to get into a lot of developed ground that has been leveled with sand allowing it to wash away.

Which is why it is essential to never drive through a flooded area. You can not see if a sink hole has been created. Water is level with the surface that it sits on. This water is always muddy and the bottom where the ground is can never been properly assessed. These sink holes can be a few feet or upwards or 50ft or more. They can also release a lot of toxic fumes contaminating the water. Please stay out of the waters and wait, go around and seek alternate route.

Treating a flooded road or area the same as if there was a storm event is essential for your safety. Only 6inches of moving water can knock someone off their feet. If you are off balance and fall into contaminated water, you should seek medical attention and rinse the water off immediately. Taking a sample of the water to the doctors office can help them assess your real risk. Toxic chemical, bacteria, and virus thrive in water and can be ingested if you are yelling for help or over exerted and are breathing through your mouth. Allowing that bacteria to enter your digestive system and or your lungs.

It is better to just be smart and stay out of the area. Do not drive around barriers. Do not walk through the flooded water if you can avoid it. Do not drive your car through these roads or flooded our areas. Again it is impossible to know how deep they are.

Remember get out of immediate danger, call authorities, and DO NOT DRIVE OR WALK through flood waters.

Photo courtesy of

https://whdh.com/news/large-sinkhole-rips-open-street-in-chelsea/

Water gets trapped in your home

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Water below the surface can cause problems unless your home is 100% waterproof. Water damage will be hidden in your walls and crevasses

Your home should be your place of rest. When water begins leaking – even small leaks in areas you can’t see inside your home could quickly become a source of stress. The possibility of harmful mold, rot and unseen damage may affect the value of your home and the health of loved ones. Professionals understand how disruptive water damages can be for your entire family and will help ensure the water is identified, regardless of where it hides. That’s why we offer 24-hour emergency response by trained, uniformed restoration professionals. With top-of-the line equipment and time-tested cleanup and restoration techniques, and have the expertise to help make your house feel like home again.

After all, when it comes to your home and family even a small disaster can feel like a huge problem. So if water damage occurs in your home just call a professional and get the job done right the first time.

The professionals you call should be able offer the following. Please keep in mind these professionals while adept at water damage and clean up they are not plumbers and cannot fix the underlying cause of the water.

Identify the Source/Type of Water.

Measure Temperature and Humidity for Drying Analysis.

Survey the Extent of Damage and Inspect the Premises For Hidden Moisture.

Perform Emergency Water Extraction.

Move and Block Furniture and Contents.

Inspect Carpet Pad/Carpet and Provide Service.

Apply Necessary Treatments (Disinfectants/Deodorization).

Utilize Advanced Drying and Monitoring Equipment.

Dispose of Refuse.

Water damage that you do not see is the most worrisome to us. People are always looking to save money and we get that. This results in attempts to clean up water damage themselves. Not only is this a bad idea it can be dangerous.

Water backup is from improper drainage to the sewer lines on the streets. Think about that for a moment. ..Sewer line back up, Contamination bacteria and a host of other hidden potentials. The other problem with this self clean up all too often people forget about what you cannot see. For example water comes in through the home, passes through your wall to get into your home. What is in your wall that you do not see? Insullation, Drywall, electrical wiring, maybe even insects and animal dropping or carcasses can all be behind there. When dirty water passes through there a lot that can go wrong, especially when you do not know it is even there.

Water restoration companies have special equipment that allows them to determine how wet certain materials are behind the scenes. They also have the training to understand water migration and that what is not always visible can still be there. Special training and equipment allows them to know to pull off baseboards, proper angle of fans in conjunction with industrial styled dehumidifiers to properly push the water out from behind walls into the air and extract it directly out of the air. There is a lot more to water remediation than getting it off the floor. You must then have the proper cleaners and anti-microbial sprays to rid the surfaces of all the bacteria and contaminants the water touched.

Please make sure you reach out to your local remediation company whenever you have water intruding into your home so that you can get back to normal as quickly and safely as possible.

Types of water damage to a home

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

House underwater Your home does not have to be underwater to have water damage. Know the signs

Water will not damage my home I am careful; I do not live in a cold climate my pipes will not burst. Let us examine that claim. Do you have kids, washing machines, dish washers, Ice makers in your refrigerator, air conditioners, tress on your property, an older home or gutters? Then you are at risk.  

Kids love things they do not understand, and they love to try and figure it out with their hands if possible. Water is exceptionally fascinating especially since a great deal of time is spent trying to teach them how to use a toilet and have a sense of personal hygiene. The drains in the sink, bathtub and toilet are an immediate fascination. Watching what happens as water swirls around and slips down into the abyss of the drain. What is even more fascinating is watching what happens as it bubbles up over the rim and begins to flow all over the bathroom. Kids will put many things into a toilet to force it to overflow. Drains will be clogged with all sorts of toys backing up the pipes flooding the bathroom.  

New technologies such as ice makers, dish washers and air conditioners have made our lives very convenient. Constant temperatures to keep us comfortable and ice when we want it for our favorite beverages and a hands-free time free way to clean it all up allows us the finer things.  There is a price to be paid for these luxuries.

Sometimes they fail resulting in flooded homes, flooded basements or water damage in the kitchen. Maintaining these appliances is crucial in making sure you check for ever small leaks as they can seep under the floor, water damage in between walls to porous materials can quickly become costly. New technological advances in types of hoses and piping techniques can reduce this problem inspect your home regularly and update any older hoses and piping areas to avoid massive water damage to your home.

Air Conditioning units are designed to collect water in a drain and transport it outside. If a blockage occurs your living room can soon become a serious source of water damage. These units are usually put on some sort of wooden structure which can and should be inspected frequently. Should you see your wood floors with water running over them or your carpet is saturated please call a professional as it is already too late to clean up this water damage yourself.

Trees and nature, while many of us like the convenience of the modern world we still want the beauty of the natural one. So you surrounded your property with trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers. Trees are tall, strong, and very resilient many surviving 100s of years. This is in part to their ability to seek out food and water. The pipes are full of food and water and due to the strength, we admire in the branches so to rings true for their roots. Many times, trees will break through weak spots in a pipe and drink from the water and soak up the nutrients from the sewage contained within them. The roots will continue through it growing within the pipe itself thus supplying it with a constant food and water source. Roots in a pipe can be a very big problem and a great source of trouble for sewage damage and water damage in and around your home.

Gutters can also cause serious water damage to your roof and attic areas. Many times these are unchecked due to lack of consistent access to these areas of your  home. When gutters get clogged with leaves and branches the water will no longer be able to flow down and seeks an alternative path, this is usually onto and through your roof. Once it gets through your roof the water damage will invade your attic and left unnoticed or unchecked can result in mold growth. 

So if you think that you would never have water damage in your home think again. Pipes bursting from the cold is not the only water damages your home. Be on the lookout and if you find something call a professional because you never know how long it has been going on.

 Remember: With any kind of water damage in the home, time is of the essence! Drying the home in three days or less prevents the growth of mold

What kind of water damaged your home?

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage issue should be treated with urgency, the extent of what will need to be done for work can be affected by the cleanliness of the water.

Water and Sewage Backup

There are 3 Categories of water damage..how dirty is your problem…..When you have a water damage in your home it is good to know how severe your problem is. No matter if the water damage is in your basement, from a washing machine overflowing, in your kitchen because your dish washer line let go while you were at work, or in the bathroom because the football team visited and your toilet overflowed and cannot handle 15 teenage boys. The type of water that is all over your home makes a huge difference.

  1. Clean water
    1. Broken pipe
    2. leaky faucet
    3. 2) Gray water
  •          dishwasher
  •          Urine w no fecal matter
  •          Washing machine3) Black water
  • This water can quickly turn into stage 3 if not handled quickly..
  •          Standing water overflow w fecal matter
  •          Flooding waters Sewage back up should be handled immediately and considered an emergency since the water may contain viruses’ bacteria and other microbes that can cause serious illness. The severity of the health threat is going to depend on the source of the water and the extent of penetration into the home or business. How the water enters the area and the materials that are affected along with the time that the water sits will have an impact on extent of the damage is. Even floodwater or storm water which has not been directly impacted by sewage discharges is likely to contain a wide variety of microbiological organisms (e.g., from animal wastes, street runoff, etc.) and must be properly managed. Some of these pathogens, such as mold spores, can even establish themselves long after the water has receded.   If a home is located in an area subject to periodic flooding (such as in a floodplain) or where sewage backups have occurred, the homeowner should implement "all feasible measures" to prevent/minimize the nature and extent of impacts from such situations. Such actions can be preventive or pro-active.
  • Preventive actions include:
  • Prevention:
  • Obviously the ideal thing to prevent the problem but that is not always feasible and sometimes being pro-active and taking quick action are paramount. Mitigating the risk of infection is important to keep you and your family healthy.
  1. waterproofing the building foundation and/or sealing cracks in foundation floor or walls;
  2. installation of a check valve or shut-off valve on the building sewer close to where it enters the structure, which will protect your home from sewage back-ups due to surcharging conditions in the municipal sewerage system (you must check with the proper sewer authority prior to taking this action!!); and
  3. raising or removing any sink, toilet, washing machine, etc. in the basement that may be subject to backups when the sewer system surcharges.

Pro-active measures include:

  1. purchasing or installing a pump (e.g. sump pump) to pump out water that collects in the low point of the basement or structure;
  2. ensure that building gutter downspouts and drains are directed away from the foundation and toward low points away from the home;
  3. to the extent possible, keep furniture and valuables above flood levels where flooding has previously occurred; and
  4. if minor flooding occurs, follow the water to its point-of-entry and seal cracks or defects to the extent possible.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Flood insurance is also vitally important where properties are known to be in floodplains or flood prone areas. More information on prevention and flood insurance is available on the FEMA website.

Cleanup of Internal Areas

Once the flood waters have receded and the property can be accessed safely, cleanup operations should commence -Remember to check with local emergency management officials before returning to a property affected by flooding! The most important steps are to restore the environment to a dry state and salvage any valuable property. The longer that water/waste are allowed to remain in your home or on your property, the greater the potential for illness and irreparable damage to your home, its contents, and environs. Where they may be operated safely, use of pumps and dehumidifiers will be helpful in restoring dry conditions. In any flood cleanup project regardless of the source,one should assume that pathogens are present and take appropriate precautions.

The survival of pathogens depends on a number of factors: location (indoors vs. outdoors), season, type of surface contaminated, whether disinfectants are used, and also on environmental conditions such as humidity, temperature, and sunlight. Sunlight (UV radiation) reduces the survival rate of pathogens with numbers decreasing rapidly with increasing exposure to UV radiation. Mild temperatures and higher humidity in external situations result in longer survival times.

As always when there is water damage assess the level of intrusion, type of water, and make sure when in doubt you call a professional there is a lot at stake, because at SERVPRO family matters. The guidance of experienced professionals and public health officials who are able to view a home and assess the needs of your particular situation can make all the difference

Ice dam damage is real

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Ice dams do not often make it through the insulation. Damage can go unnoticed for a long period of time. Allowing mold to grow and wood to rot

With Colder weather approaching Ice dams are a common problem … Have you had ice dams in the past?

  1. How does an Ice dam form: Heat Loss from sides or roof of your home.
  2. How can it damage my home? When you get an ice dam it can damage your home if it gets big enough…The ice that is closest to the house will start to melt and follows the path of least resistance. Many times that is under your shingles. It will continue to follow that path which can be into your insulation, down onto a ceiling or exterior walls. As it moves through maybe behind an eave it can damage the wall and the paint. The Ice Dam can break free from your home it can pull on parts of the roof, shingles or gutters. As it falls many things could be in the way. Kids playing outside, cars, shrubs, other parts of the house. If the area remains wet and not fully dry mold and rot can start to take hold.
  3. What steps can I do stop an ice dam? There are steps that you can do to prevent an Ice dam from forming. A roof rake is a good tool for this. ( We recommend hiring a professional who uses a safety line) You have to be careful as there are really only 2 ways to use it. The first is from the roof itself pushing the snow off onto the ground. This means you have to be on a roof that has ice and snow on it. DANGEROUS>>>> The other is to keep your feet planted on the ground and pull what you can reach off of the roof. Which means you are in the path of falling snow and ice again DANGEROUS>> which again is why we recommend a professional. Replacing your roof with metal or standing seam is one way to get snow not to stick to it. While that may be expensive you could replace a smaller portion of your roof that is close to the gutters Approx. 3 ft with a drip edge. Keep in mind the incline on your roof will determine how effective or ineffective these options will be.

While all the above information will help you understand ice dams and how to work on preventing them, none of actually solve the problem of the heat loss. You have to deal with the ice dam once you have one. Let us tackle how to find out why they form to begin with and how to solve that problem.

Heat loss is how they form.. A warm roof or warmth seeping out from an unsealed edge of your home means snow has a chance to melt it will drip down to a point where it reaches the outside temperatures again and freezes again as Ice. Water follows the path of least resistance if that is down to the gutter or down into your home that escaping warmth will melt the snow and water will go to work. Should it drip down your roof it will eventually reach the colder outside air temperature. This build up over a period of time forms the ice dam. Heat loss is a very expensive problem that many do not notice until it is too late. There are many reasons for hear loss. The majority of the time it is through poor insulations or venting directly under the roof. The best solution is to work on insulation and preventing any convection through ceilings. Properly venting the space where the insulation and roof sheathing meet ensures that heat that seeps through is distributed away from the roof. Make sure you seal all living areas. A great resource is to have an energy audit with Thermograpic inspection so that you can see where the problems lie and properly seal insulate and vent in the right areas.

Obviously solving the problem is the best way to just not get an ice dam.

They do happen and when they do you have to deal with the problem. Our team is highly trained on dealing with the damage that an Ice dam can cause and are here for you 24/7. We will be here for you getting back to normal. Like it never even happened.

Ice Dam Damage

The Cause

The Fix

The solution.

Cause ..When you get an ice dam it can damage your home if it gets big enough…The ice that is closest to the house will start to melt and follows the path of least resistance. Many times that is under your shingles. It will continue to follow that path which can be into your insulation, down onto a ceiling or exterior walls. As it moves through maybe behind an eave it can damage the wall and the paint.

Should the Ice Dam break free from your home it can pull on parts of the roof, shingles or gutters. As it falls many things could be in the way. Kids playing outside, cars, shrubs, other parts of the house. Should the area remain wet and not fully dry mold and rot can start to take hold.

Prevent ..There are steps that you can do to prevent an Ice dam from forming. A roof rake is a good tool for this. ( We recommend hiring a professional who uses a safety line) You have to be careful as there are really only 2 ways to use it. The first is from the roof itself pushing the snow off onto the ground. This means you have to be on a roof that has ice and snow on it. DANGEROUS>>>> The other is to keep your feet planted on the ground and pull what you can reach off of the roof. Which means you are in the path of falling snow and ice again DANGEROUS>> which again is why we recommend a professional. Replacing your roof with metal or standing seam is one way to get snow not to stick to it. While that may be expensive you could replace a smaller portion of your roof that is close to the gutters Approx. 3 ft with a drip edge. Keep in mind the incline on your roof will determine how effective or ineffective these options will be.

Cure. Guess what Yes you have to deal with the ice dam once you have one..How about finding out why they form to begin with an how to solve that problem. Guess what a warm roof is how they form.. A warm roof means snow has a chance to melt it will drip down to a point where it reaches the outside temperatures again and freezes again as Ice. This build up over a period of time forms the ice dam. A warm roof means you are losing valuable heat from your home. Be in through poor insulations or venting directly under the roof. Work on insulation and preventing any convection through ceilings. Properly venting the space where the insulation and roof sheathing ensures that heat that seeps through is distributed away from the roof. Make sure you seal all living areas. A great resource is to have an energy audit with Thermograpic inspection so that you can see where the problems lie and properly seal insulate and vent in the right areas.

Obviously Solving the problem is the best way to just not get an ice dam. The do happen an when they do you have to deal with the problem. Our team is highly trained on dealing with the damage that an Ice dam can cause and are here for you 24/7.

Frozen Pipes

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes make a huge mess and really affect the home. Many homes with out heat are looking at a potential disaster.Do what you can to prevent this

It is that time of the year again here in New England. Winter storm season. This 2018-2019 season is predicted to be much colder due to a weakened La Nina. NOAAs’ prediction is that the northern states will see a lot more snow than last year. Which was one of the warmest winters in 121 years. This year is predicted to be riddled with frequent storms and cold temperatures.

These colder temperatures and increased chance or more storms mean there could be more storm damage. This damage could be from the cold getting into your homes and freezing your pipes to heavy snow collapsing roofs. Now is the time to prepare and take steps to reduce the chances of damage to your home. Freezing pipe, ice dams and fires are the most common forms of damage during the winter season. Here are some key tips for helping to prevent major problems.

Insulate pipes.. ( this step is essential)

                We have said it before and we will say it again get some cheap foam from a home improvement store that rated for the type of water pipes you have. Put them on as many as you can find. Make sure you leave room when you get close to the heating units so that there is no risk of fire. Ok so this is something we do not normally have to worry about but the pipes in homes with no heat are looking at a unique situation. Get the pipes inside your home under your cabinets going up through your walls and into any heating units you have insulated. This is not a normal step but being with out heat one does not all of a sudden want to deal with a burst pipe and water damage.

Open Cabinet doors

                When the really deep cold sets in make sure you open cabinet doors. Ensuring under sinks, in bathrooms, cabinets and hutches that have piping running from one level to another are all open will help keep your pipes more warm

Run the water

                Yes run the water. A slow moving water drip will help prevent freezing because moving water takes more time to freeze. This is not a full on high running water it is a slow stead stream. Know the difference. Remember that it is one and if you can collect the water and place in front of your heat source so that you can introduce moisture back into your home and conserve a little water in the process.

Search for Gaps

                Look at pipes, vents especially dryer vents and electrical outlets that come in from the outside. If there are drafts fill the edges with caulking or spray foam. This will help keep the cold out.

Space heaters:

While they are not ideal as many fires are caused by them it is essential for those looking towards the winter months with out heat. Opening your cabinet doors will not do too much good if you do not have heat but if you place a space heater in the middle of the room and point it towards the open cabinet it will help keep the pipes more warm.

Properly setting your thermostat            

                Many of you looking to escape the dull gray skies will go on vacation. In an effort to save money so many turn their heat way down or off. ***DO NOT DO THIS*** Keep your thermostat at a minimum of 55 degrees we like 60 or better, and open any and all cabinet doors. The last thing you want at the end of your vacation is to come home to a soaking wet house that has been running for days.

Knowing your home:

                Where is your water shut of valve. Sure most of us know how to turn off the water if something happens to the toilet or the washing machine it is the valve right next to it. What about a pipe on the 2nd floor to mitigate your damages. Do you know where the main shut off valve is for the house? How about how to turn off your water heater? Learn where these things are and show everyone who is old enough how to do it as well. The sooner the water is shut off the less damage it can cause.

Ok so your home should be ok now we did not forget about your garden. We love the pops of color in the spring. The Home grown vegetables from the summer and the atmosphere of the leaves in the fall create a home outside for you and your family. It is important to take care of it during the winter months. Sure it will get covered in snow and there is not much you can do but before that happens here are few tips.

Before the first Frost:

                Any attempt to protect plants should be done before the first frost. You can usually find some information online about your area and when that typically happens.

Cultivation Protection:

                You can do a variety of things with the plants and their placement to aid in the winterization. Choosing sheltered spots will protect from wind damage and the sudden onset of cold weather. Know the North, South facing spots as well as how much sun these spots get this will aid in placement.

Mulching

I know mulching in the winter? It acts as a great insulator and holds a lot of soil from being washed away as the rain and snow move and.

Planters and containers

Create a portable garden that you can place anywhere based on the season.

Special wrapping & Structures

Insulating wrapping can be obtained to protect susceptible plants to keep the more warm during the freezing temperatures of the winter. Structures can also be built to protect from the heavy weight of the snow and any that could fall off of a roof onto plants near the house. “A” Frames are the easiest and most effective. Creating a windbreak or barrier can aid many plants as well. This can be achieved from other plants such as dense bushes or hedges. You can make one with some netting and posts staked into the ground

Drainage

It is important that you do not have pooling water in any areas of your yard. Extra wet soil just like extra dry soil will prevent the roots from holding firm and could have trees uproot. Ensure that your lawn is level and pooling does not occur.

Keeping these things in mind will help you have a worry free winter. Filled with family, friends, and fun. When spring comes you will ready to go with a lot less fuss. Have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy the winter.

Freezing temps... Result in Freezing pipes

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes cause a lot of damage during the coldest temperatures of the year. Knowing how to prevent them is your best defense.

Frozen Pipes:

With the first frost having settled in the area this AM.. We are looking to Frozen pipe season.

Frozen pipes are scary. If you have ever lived through a burst pipe due to frozen water, you know just how damaging and devastating they can be. If you have not, follow the steps below to help prevent them. Should you have a pipe burst please make sure you call someone immediately .In as little as two days you will start to get mold growth creating an even larger issue

What causes frozen pipes?

The recent extreme cold temperatures coming in have will create an increased risk for a frozen or burst pipe. As the temperatures drop, water in your pipes starts turning to ice. The problem will be not when it is frozen but on Monday and Tuesday when the temperatures start to warm up and the ice melts and water starts to flow out of the cracks in the pipes.

Ice causes pressure and blockage. Over time, the pressure can cause a pip to burst. This ends water flow to fixtures, causes leaks and will end in a major damage not only to the pipe but to your home or office. It does not matter what the pipe is made out of the increased pressure occurs to all pipes, including plastic, copper or steel.

Even a tiny crack in your plumbing line can release more than 250 gallons of water in a single day. That much water gushing out of your plumbing system can cause significant damage and high repair costs. Any delay in remedying the situation can result in a more costly delay.

How can I prevent frozen pipes?

  • Open the cabinet doors under your sinks and in storage areas to allow heat from the room to circulate around un-insulated pipes.
  • Allow a trickle of water to drip overnight; however, be careful not to run the water into a drain line that is exposed to the extreme cold because that line might freeze.
  • Insulate all pipes in unheated areas or against un-insulated outside walls, in garages or crawl spaces.
  • Apply heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables around pipes that are exposed and prone to freezing.
  • If you are leaving for the a vacation it is very important that you make sure your heat is turned on and is set no lower than 55 degrees.

What should I do if I have frozen pipes?

Sometimes, despite the best efforts, things happen. If you know or suspect you a problem with frozen pipes, here are some immediate steps to take:

  • Shut off the water main to reduce pressure on frozen pipes and minimize flooding if the pipes burst.
  • If you don’t know where your water main is or have the tools to shut off the main, now would be a good time to get prepared.
  • Do not use an open flame to thaw your pipes. If your pipe is exposed, you can try a hair dryer.
  • If you suspect frozen pipes, contact your plumbing experts right away.
  • If you notice slower water flow that may mean your pipes are starting to freeze, call a plumber immediately. Typically, issues like this can be resolved before any damage occurs.

 STAY SAFE, WARM, AND HAPPY!!!

What you don't see....

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Mold does not always show up right away .. and it may be hidden under paint, wall paper, between a wall, or ceiling.

Your home should be your place of rest.

When water begins leaking – even small leaks in areas you can’t see inside your home could quickly become a source of stress. The possibility of harmful mold, rot and unseen damage may affect the value of your home and the health of loved ones. Professionals understand how disruptive water damages can be for your entire family and will help ensure the water is identified, regardless of where it hides. That’s why we offer 24-hour

emergency response by trained, uniformed restoration professionals. With top-of-the line equipment and time-tested cleanup and restoration techniques, and have the expertise to help make your house feel like home again.

After all, when it comes to your home and family even a small disaster can feel like a huge problem. So if water damage occurs in your home just call a professional and get the job done right the first time.

The professionals you call should be able offer the following. Please keep in mind these professionals while adept at water damage and clean up they are not plumbers and cannot fix the underlying cause of the water.

Identify the Source/Type of Water.

Measure Temperature and Humidity for Drying Analysis.

Survey the Extent of Damage and Inspect the Premises For Hidden Moisture.

Perform Emergency Water Extraction.

Move and Block Furniture and Contents.

Inspect Carpet Pad/Carpet and Provide Service.

Apply Necessary Treatments (Disinfectants/Deodorization).

Utilize Advanced Drying and Monitoring Equipment.

Dispose of Refuse.

Water damage that you do not see is the most worrisome to us. People are always looking to save money and we get that. This results in attempts to clean up water damage themselves. Not only is this a bad idea it can be dangerous.

Water backup is from improper drainage to the sewer lines on the streets. Think about that for a moment. ..Sewer line back up, Contamination bacteria and a host of other hidden potentials. The other problem with this self clean up all too often people forget about what you cannot see. For example water comes in through the home, passes through your wall to get into your home. What is in your wall that you do not see? Insullation, Drywall, electrical wiring, maybe even insects and animal dropping or carcasses can all be behind there. When dirty water passes through there a lot that can go wrong, especially when you do not know it is even there.

Water restoration companies have special equipment that allows them to determine how wet certain materials are behind the scenes. They also have the training to understand water migration and that what is not always visible can still be there. Special training and equipment allows them to know to pull off baseboards, proper angle of fans in conjunction with industrial styled dehumidifiers to properly push the water out from behind walls into the air and extract it directly out of the air. There is a lot more to water remediation than getting it off the floor. You must then have the proper cleaners and anti-microbial sprays to rid the surfaces of all the bacteria and contaminants the water touched.

Please make sure you reach out to your local remediation company whenever you have water intruding into your home so that you can get back to normal as quickly and safely as possible.

Faster to your Arlington & Somerville Water Damage Event

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Arlington/Somerville provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Arlington/Somerville arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (617) 629-5333

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Arlington/Somerville

SERVPRO of Arlington/Somerville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Arlington & Somerville Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Arlington/Somerville basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - (617) 629-5333

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Arlington/Somerville and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (617) 629-5333

Arlington/Somerville 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

10/6/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Arlington/Somerville is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (617) 629-5333

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Arlington/Somerville has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Arlington/Somerville

SERVPRO of Arlington/Somerville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.