Recent Water Damage Posts
What to do after burst pipes
With the temperatures quickly rising and the hot summer season headed straight towards us, our natural inclination is to turn up the A/C indoors and head to the pool each chance we get.
However, just because the risk for frozen pipes has passed, the risk of water damage still poses a threat even during the summer months.
The extended use of air conditioning units, if not properly maintained, can cause drainage issues. To avoid this, make sure to change your air filter regularly. Regular inspections and cleanings are also important to prevent and stop any issues in your unit from worsening. One thing to keep an eye on is the drainage pan. Check to make sure water isn’t leaking and accumulating in the pan. Especially in the hotter weather; mold, mildew, and fungus can easily grow and spread.
Another thing that keeps in mind is the potential for pipes to burst. Although burst pipes are more common during the colder months, hot summer weather can still cause this headache for a home or property owner. A good rule of thumb is to notice whenever there is a change in your water pressure. While it could be simply just an irritation, it could also be a sign that something bigger is on the verge of happened. This could be a result of corrosion build-up which leads to leaks and eventually, water getting into your home or office.
The risk for pipes bursting doesn’t stop there. If you notice cracks appearing on the walls, especially around the corner, it’d be safe to assume there have been changes in your foundation. An easy solution, however, is to consistently water the soil and even place plants around the perimeter of the foundation. The plant helps moderate the temperature of the soil and can also serve to hold the ground together with its roots.
Help, My Photos and Documents are Wet
The water is everywhere and everything is wet, my wedding albums, my parent’s childhood photos, even the birth certificates are wet! HURRY!
Have no Fear SERVPRO of Culpeper &Fauquier Counties is here to Help! The Faster to any size Disaster Team is on its way!
How can you help our wet photos and document, is often what we are asked? Getting items dry and restored back to the original condition is our goal when we do Document Restoration.
As the industry leader, we have access to the only HIPAA certified document response crew in the area. Response time is critical to stabilize the wet documents before they begin to degrade. All documents are treated using the HIPPA confidentiality safeguards and rules.
Document Restoration begins with a method called vacuum freeze-drying. The documents are brought under extreme vacuum to low temperatures and sublimation will remove the moisture directly into a gas form.
Here is a list of items that can be saved using vacuum freeze drying:
- Books and manuscripts: coated papers, maps, parchment, pulp paper, drafting linens, textbooks, reference books, manuals
- Business/Personal records and documents: legal/bank/company files, patient and medical records, x-rays, engineering and architectural plans and drawings, catalogs, reference materials, certificates, contracts, passports, transcripts, tax records
- Historical and collectible items: archival documents, rare documents, maps, stamp collections, money collections
- Keepsakes: photographs, leather, and hide items, newspaper articles, recipe books, cards, scrapbooks, baby books, wedding albums, yearbooks, baskets, awards & achievements
- Textiles: embroidery and needlework, silks, tapestries, flags
- Artwork: acrylic paintings, linen drawings, watercolors
Toilet running all day
The experts at SERVPRO are here to help! You can call at any time of the day or year and we have crews ready to roll! We have trailers, trucks, and equipment always ready to go. No job is too big or small for our crew at SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties.
When our crew arrives they will get a plan on what we will need to do, we will start the drying process. Once drying equipment is in place it can take 3-5 days for it to be dry. But SERVPRO will not take any equipment from a job until the loss area is dry.
Choosing SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties to assist your needs will make your water loss is taken care of efficiently.
Example for calling SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties:
You come home from work and go into your basement and you have water to your ankles, you look around and notice it is coming through the walls and ceiling you go and find where else it is leaking from, you notice it is from your top floor toilet and it will not stop running. Not sure what to do next? Call SERVPRO and have us come take a look at what we can do to help get the water out and the drying process started. Once SERVPRO has a look at what needs to be done we can get a plan on what will happen next.
How to Shut Off Water in Case of an Emergency
Knowing where your main water shut off is essential. It can help you prevent major damage in case of an emergency. Things like a sewage back up, broken pipe, or broken seal can cause thousands in water damage if you aren’t able to shut your water off. In the winter months it is common for pipes to burst, severe cold weather can cause pipes to expand and break but being able to locate and turn off the valve can prevent some damage. It is also good to know where the main shut off is if you leave your house for a long period of time.
Steps to take if this happens to you
- Turn off your water main
- Drain the faucets to release the pressure
- Inspect and fix the broken pipe
- Bring in a professional drying crew
Properly restoring your home after a water damage event requires specialized equipment and products. This advanced equipment helps us to remove the water, even hidden moisture, quickly and efficiently. We then dry the structure with powerful dehumidifiers. Finally, our SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties technicians will clean the affected area with professional grade cleaning and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety.
How to Prevent Moisture in Your Home
Most people think of water damage they usually think of flooding after storms. That isn’t always the case though, somethings you wouldn’t expect what may be causing moisture to build up in certain spaces in your home. Follow some of the tips below to help prevent moisture build-up in your home.
Humidity and Indoor Moisture
When warm air comes in contact with a cool surface it creates moisture. Things like showering, dishwashing, and cooking add moisture to the air. Cold water pipes that are uninsulated can also cause water droplets to accumulate in the summer. When condensation and water droplets occur, they can run down walls and into corners of your home. Once this happens, things can start to rot, paint can peel, and provide a good environment for mold to grow.
Ways to reduce moisture
- Use a dehumidifier
- Run fans in the house
- Run the A/C
- Clean A/C filters
- Take colder/ shorter shower
- Cover pots while cooling
- Cover aquariums
When Water Damages Occur To Your Home
When water damage occurs to your home, it is vital to prevent additional issues as quickly as possible. You want to get everything cleaned up right away. However, when Category 3 black water is present, it is not safe to do this yourself.
What Are the Water Damage Categories?
Different water carries varying levels of health risks. The bacteria present depends on the source. Some potential causes of flooding in your home include:
- Weather events
- Clogged gutters
- Broken pipes
- Sewage backup
- Appliance malfunctions
There are three types of restoration categories based on the cleanliness of the floodwater:
Category 1 damage is from clean water resulting from broken pipes, overflowing sinks or bathtubs, and rainwater leaks. This water does not pose a health threat to people and can be cleaned by removing any standing moisture and drying with an air mover.
Category 2 water contains contamination from chemicals, mold, or bacteria stemming from broken dishwashers, overflowing toilets, sump pump failures, or broken aquariums. Cleanup of this type requires personal protection equipment and carpet padding replacement.
Category 3 is the cleanup process for black water, which contains toxins and organisms that cause illness and disease. This type of flood requires professional restoration experts.
What Are the Dangers of Sewage Cleanup?
When sewer backups or rising floodwaters occur, the water is extremely hazardous. Flooding from these sources can contain feces, chemicals, fertilizers, medications, tetanus, and many other risks. Professionals must clean this type of damage to ensure proper drying and sanitation.
What Should You Do to Protect Your Home and Health?
You must call a professional restoration services to address this type of hazardous flooding. The unsanitary water can seep into the structure of your home and cause significant health problems for you and your family. Experts will thoroughly disinfect and restore your home.
Damage from Category 3 black water is an emergency that you must address right away. Enlisting professional help to restore your home to normal is the best way to ensure proper cleanup procedures and precautions.
Whose Water Damage Is It
Water damage is a pain; no matter what the source of cause.
Just think about the damage, the time, the money, the inconvenience, having to miss work; the list goes on.
Maybe the water damage has just begun. Or maybe the water damage is reoccurring, but you are just now noticing. Which means you may have to worry about mold too!
Now, imagine a scenario where you and your home are affected by water damage; but the source is coming from your neighbor!
This happened to a recent customer of ours.
The apartment above had a slow continuous leak coming from their cold supply line for the washer. This caused the apartment above to have water and mold damage to their floor. It also caused the apartment below to have the same damage but to their ceiling.
Which one is worse...?
Your home has damage and damaged someone else's home? (You have to deal with an upset neighbor and paying double).
Your home is damaged by your neighbor? (You have to go to your neighbor just to find out what is going on and make sure they pay for the damages).
Flooding & Its Damage
How might a flood occur?
There are many things that can cause your home or commercial property to flood. The first by weather: heavy rain, thunderstorms, tropical storms, hurricane, or a lot of snow. Water might rise with no place to go causing a flood. The second by something going wrong in your home: a pipe bursting, a clogged toilet, a faucet constantly running, the dish washer or laundry machine over flowing, and much more.
What can the flood do to your home or commercial property?
It can cause structural damage like: windows/doors being warped or not closing properly, your roof, low bearing walls, and other damage that is unseen because it is inside the structure of something. It can cause cosmetic damage like: discolored ceilings, warped floors, damaged carpets, furniture, etc. It can cause electrical damage like: wires, appliances, burnt light switches/outlets, etc. It can also become a hazard to the sanitation in the home or commercial property. Lastly, if your house floods you could be looking at damaged personal belongings, and if it is a commercial property you could be looking at damaged inventory.
Cleaning A Flood
What should YOU do after a flood?
What should SERVPRO do for YOU after a flood?
First things first: shut off all of your gas, electrical, and water lines. (If interested, SERVPRO has an Emergency Ready Program which in tales tagging your gas/electric/water lines so you know exactly where they are in case of an emergency).
Next: call your insurance company and file a claim.
Then: have your insurance company/you call us.
While you are waiting on us to come to the job site (which don’t worry it won’t take long because we are faster to any size disaster); you can see if you are able to remove any water by using a wet vacuum and a dehumidifier.
SERVPRO will arrive in the appropriate attire and with the proper gear to examine the extent of the damage. We will quickly start the job with the proper cleaning equipment and disinfecting/cleaning products. It is important to leave the cleanup job to us because if the job is not done properly it can lead to further damage to your home and become very expensive.
Pipe freeze - what to do?
Lately, freezing weather has finally been hitting the Fauquier and Culpeper county areas! The best thing you can do is know how to keep your pipes from freezing before those below freezing temperatures hit. While common during this time of year, frozen pipes are preventable. SERVPRO® of Culpeper & Fauquier counties wants to offer some tips on how to keep this from happening in your home or business. Below Consumer Reports listed ways to help prevent your pipes from freezing and what you should do if freezing does occur.
How to prevent frozen pipes
Some of the steps experts recommend may go against your better instincts of conserving water and heat, but the extra expense is nothing compared with a hefty repair bill. Here’s what to do:
- Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if your sinks are on an exterior wall. (If you have small children, be sure to remove any harmful cleaners and household chemicals.)
- Let the cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe—even at a trickle—helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night. Again, during a cold snap is not the time to set back the thermostat at night to save a few bucks on your heating bill.
- If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
- For the long term, add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in those areas. And to prevent drafts, seal cracks and openings around windows, doors, and at sill plates, where the house rests on its foundation.
What to do if frozen pipes occur
If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, you may well have a frozen pipe. If a pipe has broken, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, which is usually at the water meter or where the mainline enters the house. If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, you can take the following steps. (Of course, if you suspect a more serious problem, call a plumber.)
- Turn on the faucet. As you heat the frozen pipe and the ice plug begins to melt, you want the water to be able to flow through. Running water through the pipe, as cold as it is, will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. As tempting as it may be, do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, a charcoal stove, or any device with an open flame; the high heat can damage the pipes or even start a fire.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. Check all other faucets in your home to see whether you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Water Damage Can Turn Into Mold
water to mold
Unless you have previous experience with water and mold, a lot of people do not realize that they generally go hand in hand. If you have any form of water damage in your residential or commercial property, it can very easily turn into a mold issue.
When something like a flood or extensive leak occurs, it can cause a lot of moisture in the air. When there is moisture in the air mold is then able to grow. The worst part about it is that mold can grow within a matter of days.
This now means that your are not only worries about the water damage you have, but now the mold growing in your house as well. The fastest way to fix this is by calling SERVPRO and we will remove the water and mold for you! 540-423-6688
Water Damage Restoration
We at SERVPRO understand that no matter how small the damage might be, it is always a big deal when it comes to your home. Water damage can happen overnight and quickly start damaging your flooring, walls, ceilings, furniture, even irreplaceable items from a loved one. Water damage can make you feel, well… Not so lucky…. Luckily, for our Culpeper and Fauquier County homeowners, SERVPRO is just a call away! With responding quickly, very convenient services, being able to contain damages, restore/replace damages, extensive experience, professionals, and our vast resources, we are able to get the job done swiftly, smoothly, and properly. We know that you want your house to be good as new; so that’s what we do! Using different forms of equipment, dependent on the job, like air mowers, dehumidifiers, injector dry system, drying mats, or air scrubbers (to clean and improve air quality), your water damage will disappear; making it “Like it never even happened."
Effects of long term water damage
Water is so powerful that it can form mountains. But, when water is left sitting in your property it can become hazardous to your health. SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties restored a house where a basement leak left standing water in a home for 3 weeks untreated.
Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and parasites that can be harmful to your health. While contaminated water poses a bigger health risk, bacteria will even grow in clean water. Mold can begin to grow and spread in as little as 48 hours.
In Warrenton, a home sustained a basement water intrusion that went undetected for 3 weeks while the homeowners were overseas. The homeowner contacted our office when he witnessed the amount of stagnant water as well as mold in the property. The complete basement and first level of the home, up to the ceiling, was covered in mold. Our team provided water extraction, drying, de-humidification, as well as mold mitigation. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings.
SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties is highly qualified to handle stagnant water. Our team members are certified and well-trained in water damage and mold mitigation. When standing water is found in your property, remember the team that is faster to any sized disaster, SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties.
Frozen Pipes Can Burst!
It has been colder here lately in the Warrenton, VA area! When cold temperatures happen that can cause pipes to freeze. Frozen Pipes can result in costly repairs to you as a home or business owner. The good news is there are ways to prevent pipes from freezing. Here are some tips for this winter.Frozen pipes are a problem by themselves because they prevent water flow, but even worse, frozen pipes can eventually burst, causing damage and potential flooding. There are ways to protect your pipes from freezing. These include:
- Keeping your house warm - If you are leaving for a period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on at your property. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions. The heat doesn’t have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it if you were home but keeping it set above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at all times is a good idea. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.
- Opening faucets - When temps hit the freezing level it is a good idea to allow faucets to drip. Allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure in the pipe. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. With the faucet open you avoid blockage in the pipes.
- Insulation is key - Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.
Service Response Guidelines
Have you heard of SERVPRO's Service Response Guidelines?
Within ONE hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will contact you to arrange for service.
Within FOUR hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services.
Within EIGHT business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to you by a SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
What can SERVPRO Franchise Professionals do for you?
- Fire smoke and Soot Cleanup and Restoration
- Water Removal and Dehumidification
- Crime Scene, Biohazard and Vandalism Cleanup
- Mold Mitigation and Remediation
- Contents Claim Inventory Service
- Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning
- Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning and Car
- Stain Removal, Stain Resistance Applications
- Odor Identification and Deodorization
- Upholstery and Drapes: Wet or Dry Cleaning Methods
What to do after a water damage
Understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical.
Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. Gray water is slightly contaminated water; clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, and chemicals. Black water is usually caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should ALWAYS be handled by a trained professional.
Make sure you...
-Shut off the water source if possible or contact someone to do it
-Turn off circuit breakers if safe from potential electrical shock. DO NOT enter rooms with standing water.
-Remove excess water by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing tabletop items. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
-Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions.
-Move any paintings, art, computers, documents, and other items of value to a safe place.
-Do not leave any books, newspapers, or magazines on wet carpet.
-Do not use your household vacuum cleaner since there is potential for electrical shock.
-Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and do not enter the room if the ceiling is sagging.
What to do until help arrives !
If you have a water damage from a clean source such as water supply lines, sink overflows, tub overflows, or appliance malfunctions, here are some things to do before SERVPRO arrives.
Shut off the source of the water.
Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access panel is safe from electrical shock.
Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting
Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items
Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying
Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors
What you need to know about Ice Damming
When it comes to owning a home or business, one way or another, water will find its way in. It could be minor from a simple spill or slow leak, to flood or broken pipe. Ice damming is another risk that can happen to anyone living in regions where they are affected by cold weather. What is Ice damming?
According to the University of Minnesota Extension, an ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. What causes this happen? According to the University of Minnesota Extension There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover, and outside temperatures that leads to ice dam formation. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof's outside surface must be above 32°F while lower surfaces are below 32°F. For a portion of the roof to be below 32°F, outside temperatures must also be below 32°F. When we say temperatures above or below 32°F, we are talking about average temperature over sustained periods of time.
The snow on a roof surface that is above 32°F will melt. As water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32°F and freezes. Voila! - an ice dam.
The dam grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it, but it will limit itself to the portions of the roof that are on the average below 32°F. So the water above backs up behind the ice dam and remains a liquid. This water finds cracks and openings in the exterior roof covering and flows into the attic space. From the attic it could flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the ceiling finish.
If water damage occurs inside the home, contact us immediately and we can assist in minimizing the amount of damage that is caused. SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties can also assist in finding trapped water in walls and ceilings before secondary damage arises.