Recent Water Damage Posts

Sump Pump Failures & What To Do

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

While stepping into your home, you hear a faint, flowing noise and note that specific smell of standing water lurking somewhere in your home.  You follow the faint noise, and it leads you to the basement door.  As you creak open the door, that smell of musty water fills your nostrils. You can practically taste it. As you reach for the light switch to the stairs, you notice the basement floor is moving!  The light clicks on in a flash and what you see throws you backwards into shock.  The basement is flooded!  Water is about to come up the stairs and your items are floating ever so effortlessly in the pool of water that is now the lower level your beautiful home.  You think to yourself, this cannot be happening! 

Oh, but it is.  What has happened, is that your sump pump failed you.  Sump pumps transfer water from the basement to the outside of the house. A sump, also knows as a basin, is a hole carved under the primary surface of your basement floor.  This pit holds the sump pump.  Sump pumps are equipped with valves that monitor rising water levels.  When the water level gets past a certain point, the sump pump pushes the water out of your basement and into an area away from your home outside using a discharge line. This line, called an effluent, connects the sump pump to a chosen, exterior, drainage area.

It is highly recommended that you get sump pump failure insurance ADDED to your policy.  Unless specifically asked for, insurance companies do not automatically cover sump pump failures.  This could result in thousands and thousands of dollars of damages.  Because a sump pump failure is a nightmare to deal with, call SERVPRO of Fredericksburg.  We will walk down into that eerie, pool of dark water.  Our machines are built extract large amounts of water and we can have your home restored in record time.  540-373-7000.

When Will Water Damage Turn Into Mold Damage?

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

When you walk into your home and are welcomed by flooding water down your walls and throughout the flooring of your home, you go into panic.  But no need to fret, SERVPRO of Fredericksburg is open 24 hours a day for your convenience.  What you do have to worry about however, is the time line.  The time in which you have to call and get help with a water damage vs a mold damage is actually fairly quick.  That is why the second you realize you have a water damage on your hands, call SERVPRO of Fredericksburg to start immediate restoration.

So here is the main timing you need to know: Water damage will turn to mold damage in as little as 24 to 48 hours.  If you wait more than 2 days after the initial water damage to call a professional or get the area dried %100 on your own, you will now be inquiring about a mold damage when you call.  If the water is not dried out within the first three days, a professional may apply antimicrobial products to prevent growth, if seen growth has not already started. This is why you should contact a professional, such as SERVPRO of Fredericksburg, no later than 48 hours after the initial water damage. 

As long as moisture is present, mold will grow.  Mold thrives in homes after water damages that are not completely taken care of.  Another note to consider, do not hesitate to call your homeowners insurance along with SERVPRO immediately.  Most homeowners’ insurances cover water damages.  Most homeowners’ insurances do not cover mold damage. When in doubt, call us.  We have teams available 24 hours a day.  We also offer FREE water damage estimates.  The sooner you call, the sooner you can avoid costly mold remediation processes.

Frozen Pipes Bursting

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

busted pipe with water coming out Busted pipes will cause a sever amount of water damage.

Ways a frozen pipe can burst and what to do:

WHY FROZEN PIPES BURST

During cold months and snow storms, temperatures can drop to below freezing.  When temperatures get that low, water in pipes start to freeze.  A frozen pipe expands about 9% larger than normal which causes pipes to burst.  At first, you may not notice a leaking or busted pipe due to the water inside being frozen.  However, when the ground thaws, and the water unfreezes, that leak will become very significant.  At this point, you will want to turn off the water source immediately.  SERVPRO of Fredericksburg suggests labeling the main water shut off in the home and making all family members aware of where it is and how to operate it. 

WHAT TO DO NOW

When the water is turned off, contact a plumber immediately.  If you have knowledge of fixing busted pipes, you can consider doing the work yourself. Before turning the water back on, the plumbing must be fixed.  During the course of the busted pipe, you will most likely have water damage inside the home to fix.  This is when you will want to call your home insurance to get them to set up a date where a restoration company, such as SERVPRO of Fredericksburg, can fix the damage in your home. If you do not have insurance, SERVPRO of Fredericksburg can still come out and estimate the job, along with doing the work if that’s what you choose.  Either way, water damaged floors, walls, ceilings and contents need to be restored as quickly as possible.  Mold growth will start after 24 hours of being exposed to water. 

PREVENT FROZEN PIPES

To prevent pipes from bursting, SERVPRO of Fredericksburg recommends insulating your pipes.  If that is too big of a job or an inconvenience, what you can do is open your cabinet doors in cold weather.  This will allow the warmer temperatures from inside your home to warm the pipes.  Also, a third and final option that you can do in connection with the others is open the faucet farthest from the main water source, just a bit, to allow a few droplets out every so often. This will keep the water in the pipes flowing, making it harder for them to freeze. 

WHO TO CALL

If your pipes burst, give SERVPRO of Fredericksburg a call at 540-373-7000.  We can take care of the water damages, the insurance process for you, recommend a plumber if needed, along with repair company.  Let us do the hard work for you!

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Water Damage Restoration Timeline

12/13/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage Timeline

Water damage can begin the very minute water hits a surface and mold can follow close behind.  The time in which it takes for water damage to be cleared up depends upon the highly on the material affected. Normally, about 72 hours is an average dry time for most materials per 1 room.  After this time, the area will be dried and ready for reconstruction.

However, companies such as SERVPRO of Fredericksburg want to make sure the damage is completely taken care of and therefore under certain circumstances, dry times can exceed 72 hours.  This is abnormal but has happened due to very large flooding.  We have also seen where water damage problems have extended further into mold damage.  In this case, we would remove the mold and treat that separately. 

If your home was built before 1985, an asbestos test must be done prior to removing or opening up any walls for the drying process.  The testing may take up to 48 hours to get back.  Upon negative test results, SERVPRO of Fredericksburg will begin the drying process.  Upon positive test results, an abatement company will come in prior to SERVPRO to take care of the asbestos issue.

SERVPRO of Fredericksburg has equipment to excel dry times.  On even the largest of buildings, our dry times still remain between three to five days at max. 

Having an issue with water or mold?  Give SERVPRO of Fredericksburg a call to look at it.  We offer FREE water damage estimates!  540-373-7000

How Water Damage Affects Different Flooring Materials

12/13/2021 (Permalink)

How Water Damage Affects Your Flooring

Wood- If you think about all of the wood surfaces and cabinetry in your home, you will realize that you do have a lot of wood surfaces that could be damaged due to water exposure.  When water soaks into wood, it can cause the wood to rot, split, lift from the floor, weaken and warp.  Sometimes the damage will require complete removal and replacement.

Tile- Tile is waterproof.  So that is a huge benefactor when installing tile flooring in your home.  You will notice most people have tile flooring in their kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms due to high water damage occurring in those rooms.  However, the grout, in between the tile, is not waterproof unless it is sealed correctly and maintained yearly.  If grout is water damaged, the water that has seeped through it can cause the wood underneath to warp and eventually further crack and damage the tile flooring.

Carpet- Most carpet can be restored when water damage strikes.  However, the carpet pad underneath needs to be replaced.  One of the only times that carpet cannot be taken out, dried, and reinstalled, is when the water damage is sewage or contaminated water.  In this case, the carpets may need replaced.

Laminate- Water can destroy laminate flooring quickly as it causes swelling and lifting.  Once the water damage has soaked into the laminate floor, it will need replaced.  Now-a-days, some laminate flooring is waterproof.  This is an ideal option for flooring as it is highly durable and has is long-term resistant to damage.

Water damage can cause issues and problems for floors, walls, ceilings, appliances, furniture and much more in homes and businesses alike.  If you are experiencing a water damage emergency, give us a call. 

SERVPRO of Fredericksburg: 540-373-7000.

The Importance of Preparing for Water Damage to Strike!

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen with water seeping onto the floor Kitchen with water flooding onto the floor

Preparation is key in life and that goes for water damage too!

On average, major water damage happens at least twice in a person’s adult lifetime.  Whether that being an overflooded toilet, sink, bathtub or something more serious such as sewage or dirty wash water, it is important to be prepared for these things to happen.

First, in preparation for such an event to take place, you may want to think about furniture lifters. These are a ½ to 1 ½ inch plastic lifters that you can put on the bottom of your couches, chairs, dressers and more.  If a flood does happen, you will want to keep your furniture and belongings lifted.  Wood can quickly absorb water and permanent damage can be caused.  Lift your furniture before the water hits!

You will also want to check your machines regularly.  Thousand-dollar damage jobs have been done by a simple loose hose popping off the wash machine.  Machines and equipment that need to be checked regularly are anything that has water running to and from them.  In particular, check your clothes washer and dryer, dish washer, refrigerator, water heater, water pump, septic system, ac unit, and other machines that may leak or have running water to them.

Yet another part of the home to keep an eye on is piping (toilets, sinks, tubs… etc), roofing, window seals and framing.  These are your main issues when it comes down to water damage in your home.  If everyone did monthly checks on these listed above, SERVPRO would not have nearly as much work! 

If disaster does hit, remember, do not enter standing water.  Turn off power and water to the house at the meter by calling the electric company.  Do not enter standing water for any reason as electric currents may run through water and seriously injure or kill someone.  Remove children and other family members from the flooded area and call your local 24 hr emergency water damage crew (such as SERVPRO) and wait till they get there to help you with your issue. 

There is Water Under or Around your Refrigerator

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

There is Water Under or Around your Refrigerator

The ice maker in your refrigerator / freezer has a water line attached to it so that water can enter the ice maker, freeze and make ice. If you see water under your refrigerator, around your refrigerator or the floor in that vicinity becomes noticeably wet or soft and squishy, you may have a leak from the water line going to your ice maker. It could also be a leaking valve or a clogged condensation line.

What should you do? The valve allowing water to come into the ice maker is usually located behind the refrigerator, check the valve for obvious leaks. If you don’t see water leaking from the valve or the line itself cut off the valve to stop any further damage.

If you do not have a valve behind the refrigerator and the line (tubing) goes through the floor or ceiling to another area you will have to follow the tubing to the area where it is attached to the water intake valve. When you find the valve inspect it for leaks and then cut the valve off. If the water line is not in a controlled temperature environment it is also subject to freezing. Condensation line on the appliance can also become clogged and that will need to be check.

If you are unable to perform these inspections on your own call a professional to assist you with them but first turn the water to the appliance off.

Damage to your flooring should be mitigated by a professional restoration company. If you are filing an insurance claim ask your repair man to leave all repaired parts with you for the insurance adjuster.

What is Groundwater and is it Covered by Your Homeowners Insurance Policy?

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

Water sitting around houses Groundwater

What is Groundwater and is it Covered by Your Homeowners Insurance Policy?

Groundwater intrusion into you home or commercial building is when water enters into the structure accidentally by way of the foundation, basement walls, floors or drains.

This can happen due to many reasons, storm water, drain backups, sewage system back-up, foundation cracks, improper or inadequate run off around the exterior of the building or cracks in the floor and walls.

What is affected if groundwater enters your structure? If the area is finished or unfinished there will still be damages that need to be repaired. If the area is unfinished there will most likely be insulation on the walls that is damaged and will need to be removed and replaced, concrete flooring will need to have the water or sewage removed and then the concrete will need to be dried until it reaches an acceptable amount of moisture and any content that is damaged will have to be disposed of.

If the groundwater enters a finished area the damage will most likely be far worse. When groundwater enters a finished area there are many things to take into consideration, the type of flooring material and will it have to be removed and disposed of, were baseboards and drywall affected and if so, they will need to be removed, any wet insulation behind the drywall will need to be removed and replaced. All of the structure’s materials will need to be dried by a professional restoration company and a treatment applied to avoid mold growth. If this is a living area any furniture and content damage cost.

If you suffer a loss due to groundwater you will need to find the source of the water intrusion. Sometimes it is very obvious and other times you may have to call a professional to determine how the water entered. Once it has been determined how the water entered the building it is best to have the repairs made because it will most likely happen again.

Insurance coverage, most property insurance does not cover ground water intrusion but some companies do over an optional coverage you can purchase for groundwater coverage. If you have a concern about your coverage, contact your insurance company.

Water Damage

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage

Few have protection against water damage. Water Damage, most times is unrecognizable until the damage is huge. It is important to protect your home by following the tips below. 

  • Regular inspections and maintenance

It is during the inspection that you will be able to spot early signs of water damage. Inspect for any signs of water leaking such as damp areas or discoloration on the walls, floors and ceilings. If you spot mold growth, usually there is water source near it. 

  • Repair and protect your home exterior 

Water damage can either be caused by an internal or external source. Check areas in your home where water may enter your windows, doors, downspouts and others be sure to also check your roof and gutters. 

  • Protect your property 

Have you heard of the saying that goes " Better safe, than sorry ?" Especially true when dealing with water. You will never know when a storm comes or when your pipe breaks accidentally. 

Professionally Trained Technicians

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

Would you let an untrained technician work on your heating system or an unlicensed plumber work on your plumbing? We bet the answer is “Of course not”. Then you would not want an untrained, unlicensed water restoration company to do the water restoration on your home when you have experienced a water damage or sewage backup.

SERVPRO® of Fredericksburg is a nationally known water damage restoration company. We are licensed, insured and bonded. Our technicians have had criminal background checks and are trusted employees.

Training is a must for SERVPRO® employees because drying is more than putting a few fans in a room--it is a science. Our technicians use calibrated moisture meters to do readings. Does your restoration company use the IICRC standards for Water Damage Restoration?  If not, you should ask why not?

Call SERVPRO® of Fredericksburg for Professionally-TrainedInsured, Background Check and IICRC Trained Water Damage, Sewage Damage and Fire Damage Remediation Services 540-373-7000.

The Science of Drying A Water Damage

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of Psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. If your home or business suffers a water damage, we will:

• Inspect the property to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
• Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
• Set up professional drying equipment, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more.
• Use monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

If you need help with a water damage call SERVPRO® of Fredericksburg today at 540-373-7000.

Water Damages and Why They Need to Be Mitigated By Trained Professionals

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

There are many different components to a building’s structure and those components are made from many types of materials. Some materials are made with water, and even though the material appears to be a solid object there is still an acceptable amount of water/moisture in the material. Other materials have no water/moisture in the material at all.

When water damage occurs in a commercial or residential building, materials such as walls, floors, cabinets, counters and personal items may get wet. In many cases the water has actually traveled much further than it appears. How would you know, other than seeing or touching the areas that look wet? How would you see inside the wall?

That is why a trained professional is needed because they have the knowledge and equipment to test the materials and they know what is considered to be an acceptable amount of moisture for different materials based on The IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration) standards. Trained professionals have the proper meters to read the materials, set the drying goals, place the drying equipment and monitor the progress until the materials reach the standard goals.

Moisture in the Home and Commercial Buildings

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Moisture in Homes and Commercial Buildings

There are many different signs to watch for that will give you a pretty good idea that there is too much moisture inside your home or commercial building. Moisture is commonly known as humidity, and to much humidity inside a building can lead to many damaging problems.

This brings us to the question “What are some of the signs that there is too much humidity inside of my home or commercial building?”

Well, the answer to that is that there are many different reasons there can be too much moisture but here are few for you explore. Do your windows fog up and collect moisture on the inside? Have you noticed any rotten wood or microbial growth?

Bubbling paint, peeling wall paper and unpleasant musty smells are another sign of too much moisture.

 A few things that can cause excessive amount of moisture build up in your building is poor ventilation from no bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans or improperly working exhaust fans. Exhaust fans should be jetted to the outside of the building.

Improperly exhausted dryer lines, dryer lines that are exhausted into the home, under the home or that are clogged.

Heating and air conditioning systems that are not insulated properly, humid weather and water damages.

Commercial Water Damages

6/9/2017 (Permalink)

Water damages can occur in commercial buildings affecting the structure, content and daily operations of a business at any time. Commercial buildings vary from a free standing individual business, a one-story strip center, to a multi-level building that contains many suites and many different businesses.

There are many different components in a commercial building that can contribute to a water damage.  A few are:

~Plumbing

~Heating, Air Conditioning & Ventilation Systems (Usually Rooftop)

~Ice Makers

~Roof

~Windows

If you are in a multi-level building your business could experience a water damage from water that originates from a unit on another floor, on the same floor, the roof, or other areas of the building.

It is important to understand the terms of your leasing agreement and know what you are responsible for repairing if your business were to experience a water damage. Go over your insurance policy with your agent, making sure you understand the terms and conditions of your policy, as well as knowing your deductible. Keep your insurance company contact information readily available outside of your business just in case your building has a damage that does not allow you to re-enter the building.

If you would like to have a no-cost mobile Emergency Response Plan done for your business, call SERVPRO® of Fredericksburg 540-373-7000.

Preparing Your Home For Cold Weather-Part 3

11/9/2016 (Permalink)

Here is Part Three of our Three-Part Series on preparing your home for the winter months. Here are some helpful hints you can do to prepare your heating system and conserve energy.
~Have your heating system serviced by a professional, by having a winter tune up.
~Pre-program your thermostat or lower it when you leave home to save on energy.
~Change your furnace filters when needed.
~Insulate your duct lines.
~Run ceiling fans in reverse, clockwise rotation will push the warm air that has pooled at the ceiling down into your living space.
~Have your chimney cleaned and inspected, and your gas logs tested for leaks.


SERVPRO of Fredericksburg wants you to be safe, warm and cozy all fall and winter.

Preparing Your Home For Cold Weather-Part 2

11/9/2016 (Permalink)

Part Two of our “Three Part Series” of helpful hints on how to keep your house from having some of the typical problems that occur when we don’t prepare it for winter:

~Insulate any water pipes that may be exposed to cold temperatures, this includes pipes under your sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms.
~Make sure all crawl space access doors are closed and insulated.
~Install storm doors and windows.
~Put plastic insulation kits on windows where needed.
~Use caulking and weather-stripping to stop drafts.

 

Preparing Your Home For Cold Weather-Part 1

11/9/2016 (Permalink)

Here is Part One of a "Three Part Series" to give you some helpful hints on how to keep your home from having some of the typical problems that occur when we don’t prepare it for cold weather. Don’t let this happen to you!!!!

~Turn off the water to the outside spigot.
~Remove your garden hose, drain and store it inside for the winter.
~Install Insulated foam faucet covers over outside spigots.
~Make sure all gutters are clear of leaves, debris and they are tightly secured to the home.
~Make sure downspouts are secured to gutters and free of all debris.