Recent Water Damage Posts
7 Steps in Preventing Water Damage
One of the highest insurance claims by homeowners is water damage, according to a study done by the Insurance Institute. In fact, leaky pipes and in often cases appliances cause millions of dollars of damage in freezing weather and storms annually. While you’re on vacation, it’s no surprise that a leaky pipe can burst and cause hundreds of dollars of repairs.
Step 1. Check for Leaks Before Going on Vacation
Before embarking on your trip, check pipes under your sinks and the water heater for any rust, cracks, or damage. You should also check the seals around your windows to make sure there are no cracks that might cause water damage. Additionally, check the exterior of your house and see what condition your roof shingles are in. If any show damage, getting them replaced before leaving for vacation is a good idea.
Step 2. Inspect Your Major Appliances
It’s important that you inspect the hoses that connect to important appliances in your home, such as dishwashers, washer/dryers, and refrigerator. If there is any damage, you should get the hose replaced before you leave to prevent extensive water damage.
Step 3. Clear Out Your Gutters
Make sure to get any debris out of your rain gutters before leaving for vacation. This way, you won’t have any blockages that can cause damage while you’re away.
Step 4. Inspect Your Sump Pump
Make sure it is in good condition and clear any debris from clogging the pit. You should also run a few tests, listening to the sounds it makes and making sure that the water in the pump is actually going outside. You should also install a battery-powered backup in case there is a power outage while you’re away.
Step 5. Insulate Exposed Pipes
If you are planning on being away from your home during the winter, it can be a good idea to insulate any exposed pipes. This will prevent them from freezing while you are away.
Step 6. Get Someone to Check on Your Home
Call a friend or hire a professional house sitter to check on your home every week while you are gone. Instruct them to ensure that the heat is always on if your vacation is during the winter. Also, show them where the water main is in case of an emergency.
Step 7. Turn Off the Water
Lastly, if you cannot find someone to check on your home, you should turn off the water main. You will also want to drain the pipes completely so that they do not freeze or burst during the colder months. To do this, run the water and flush your toilet after you turn off the water. You should also open the cabinets under your sink to let the warm air surround the pipes.
If you do experience water damage while you are away from your home, contact SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park as soon as possible. (813) 694-9085.
Ice Dam, What's that?
Have you ever heard of an ice dam?
Ice dams can be a little-known, but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and
into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall.
So what causes ice dams?
They’re often caused from poor ventilation and climate control within the attic of a home. When the attic gets too warm, this can cause snow on the roof of the home to melt. When your home has recessed lighting, skylights, intricate roof designs and/or heating ducts, you’re probably at an increased chance for an ice dam to form.
How can you check for ice dams?
You can look for some warning signs that will tip you off to the presence of the elusive ice dam. Icicles can be an initial sign, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.” Another sign is if ice is coming through the home’s soffits or forming in the gutters, or there’s ice appearing on the exterior walls.
Do you know what to do if you have an ice dam?
Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melt. If winter weather causes water damage to your property, we’re here to help. Call us at SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park; we’re available 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition.
Freezing Temps & Freezing Pipes
Now that winter is finally here, there’s bursting pipes everywhere!
As temperatures drop below freezing, water pipes both at your home and your workplace run the risk of freezing and potentially bursting. When this happens, flooding and damage can occur to the property and possessions. Although bursting pipes can lead to a myriad of issues, the good thing is that this can often be avoided. Here are a few tips to help safeguard against freezing pipes:
Add extra insulation
Pipes that are located in the basement or attic may not be adequately protected from freezing temperatures. Adding extra insulation, such as fiberglass or foam rubber, can be a solution for exposed pipe in these areas.
Caulk holes and cracks
All holes and cracks near pipes should be sealed to keep out cold air and keep warm air inside. This should be done both on the inside and the outside of the building.
Drip your faucets
Opening the faucet can relieve pressure in the pipe that is created from the frozen water, keeping the pressure from building up and therefore reducing the chances that the pipe bursts and you have a flooding situation.
Open cabinet doors
Warm air will more readily circulate around pipes if cabinet doors are kept open. If the air around the pipe is kept warm, the chances of water freezing within the line will be reduced.
Make sure the heat is up
Keep your household or business temperature above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, even when there’s no one occupying the building for periods of time.
In the event that disaster does strike and damage is done by frozen pipes flooding your property, our team here at SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park is ready to spring into action and make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us anytime, we're ready to respond to your emergency 24/7.
Drying Out Water Damage
After an inside plumbing disaster, Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park homeowners need more than simply using a water-vac to pull water off the floor, open the doors and windows, and rent a rug shampooer from the local big box store. To completely restore a home takes a professional restoration service.
Drying out a home with water damage in Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park requires attention to four key factors that affect humidity. SERVPRO restoration specialists train to analyze each one, so they know which drying methods and equipment they need to use in each home. It all comes down to HEAT.
Humidity levels are determined by the level of water vapor in the air in a home compared its capacity. A level of 60 percent or higher indicates the air is saturated. That greatly slows evaporation and increases drying time. Specialists use dehumidifiers to reduce the humidity level in each affected room. Properly working dehumidifiers can lower the level up to 20 percent every 24 hours.
Evaporation is the natural process of water converting to vapor. With large amounts of water, it is very slow. Our SERVPRO specialists use pumps and smaller extraction devices to remove the bulk of the standing water. Once they get the amount to less than two inches in depth, the rate evaporation rapidly increases. They can also augment the rate of evaporation with dehumidifiers and using exhaust fans to increase movement, forcing saturated air outside the home.
Air Movement can also be increased using air movers to force warm, dry air throughout affected rooms and across damp surfaces like walls, tables, and countertops to gently increase the rate of evaporation as well. The combination of air movers and fans to increase air movement is also very useful to dry out clothing in a gentle manner which does not damage the fabric.
Temperature is also an important factor, especially in cold weather. Since the preferred range to dry home and property is 70 to 90 degrees, we try to engage the HVAC system if it is operational carefully. If not, then specialists use space heaters to raise the internal temperature. They carefully monitor the temperature in every affected room to keep it under 80 degrees on the first day; however, since a higher temperature can increase the humidity.
At SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park, we use every tool and method available to return every residence to a dry, safe condition for families to live in once again. If you have had a recent water issue in your home, call us at (813) 694-9085 to schedule a visit. We are here for you.
Water Damage Emergency Tips
When you're dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park responds immediately and uses advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. They closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly.
After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Have A Water Damage Emergency?
Call (727) 521-2562
What To Do After Flooding
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
What NOT To Do After Flooding
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don't use television or other household appliances.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
However, if disaster does strike, trust your local SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park to be by your side when you need us. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week- including holidays!
3 step plan for a flooded furnace
Dealing with a furnace flood as the result of a burst pipe in can feel like an all-encompassing task. Divide the process into three manageable steps to decrease anxiety, increase efficiency in the claims process and get your business up and running again.
The furnace is most likely your top priority. However, it’s important to also note other property damaged in the area. Use the following process to document losses and assign values in a notebook or spreadsheet.
• Photograph the damage.
• Write down the serial number or another unique identifier if available.
• Assign a value.
Don’t forget to include items that may have no monetary value but are still of high value to your business. There are professional recovery services that may be able to save these irreplaceable items such as documents or photographs.
Investigate Coverage and Decide To Repair or Replace
A burst pipe resulting in a furnace flood is often an insurable event, so make sure to check with your provider. The AHRI recommends replacement versus repair of a flooded furnace. Property owners may receive advice that the furnace will work again after a total dry-out and perhaps some minor electrical repair. This is often the case and good news if the furnace isn’t covered. However, the life of the unit may have been reduced. You likely don’t want to choose repair over replacement and have a related problem surface a couple years later, long after the claim has been closed.
Care of Air Ducts
The quality of air from a furnace is often only as good as the ducts it travels through. Your final task is to schedule a professional air duct cleaning to ensure ducts are clean, dry and free of mold and debris.
Tasks associated with a furnace flood are something nobody wants on their to-do list. Take this systematic approach to efficiently ensure the return of a safe and comfortable environment in your commercial property in St. Petersburg, FL for years to come.
For more information, please visit us at SERVPRO of Greater Carrollwood / Citrus Park