Recent Water Damage Posts
3 Ways To Prevent Pipes From Freezing
If your home suffers any water damage, rely on SERVPRO, we have a trained team ready to help you.
Three Ways To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing
Freezing weather can cause a pipe to burst and result in serious damage to a home. Pipes may freeze in any climate. Homes in warmer climates could be more likely to have frozen pipes due to the design of the plumbing and insufficient insulation. It is a good idea to determine the risk that a pipe will freeze and take these three preventative measures ahead of time.
1. Run the Heat
Heating a residence can help to prevent a pipe freeze. Maintain a comfortable temperature while residents are at home. If you leave for an outing or trip, be sure to maintain an interior temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
It can also be a good idea to keep cabinet and other interior doors open so that pipes are warmed by the heat in the home. The one exception to this rule is the door to an attached garage, which should be kept closed. You may still run the risk of frozen exterior pipes or pipes that run through uninsulated space.
2. Drip the Faucet
Another effective way to prevent frozen pipes is to allow a faucet to drip slightly. This relieves pressure in the plumbing. Pipe bursts occur due to pressure building up between a blockage in the line and the faucet. Even if a pipe freezes, the pressure will not accumulate and pipes should not burst.
3. Seal and Insulate
Cracks or holes in building materials can expose pipes to freezing temperatures. Fill in breaches on interior and exterior walls. You may also want to add more insulation around exposed pipes or wrap these pipes with heating tape.
These three methods to prevent frozen pipes focus on keeping pipes relatively warm and relieving a potential pressure build-up. If a pipe bursts in a residence in Graham, WA, contact a water damage restoration firm as soon as possible.
3 Strategies for Finding a Tub or Shower Leak
When your home requires water damage repair and restoration, our crew is here to help! We're standing by 24/7 to respond to your emergency.
3 Methods For Detecting A Tub Or Shower Leak
When water appliances in your Sumner, WA, home start to leak, they can cause quite a bit of damage. A bathtub leak on an upper floor or a slow leak in a shower can weaken the floor underneath or cause hidden mold growth that may be difficult to remove later. If you suspect a problem with your tub or shower, there are a few ways to find potential leaks and prevent troublesome water damage.
1. Note the Age of the Shower Pan
A shower pan leak can have several causes, but one of the most common is advanced age. While the pans are designed to last for years, one that is over 30 may start to experience a failure. You may be able to identify a failed pan by discolored tiles near the base of the shower. If you have a crawlspace, you can inspect it for leaks, as this can be another sign of a worn-out shower pan.
2. Check the Ceiling for Old Water Stains
A bathtub leak or failed shower pan on the second floor of your home can cause a dangerous situation, especially over time. The floor could weaken and cause the ceiling to dip, or repeated leaks could cause mold to grow inside your ceiling. Stains directly below a second-floor bathroom may indicate a leak, but if you are unsure about the source, consider calling in a water damage and restoration service to inspect it and to repair the water-damaged ceiling.
3. Inspect the Shower Tiles
Your shower’s tiles can tell you a great deal about whether or not the unit is experiencing a leak. When a shower pan leak occurs, the tiles on the lower half of the shower may loosen or fall off. If the wall behind a loose tile feels damp or looks moldy, you can assume there is a leak somewhere.
Chasing down a shower or bathtub leak in your Sumner, WA, home can be a challenge. However, when you know which signs to look for, the job may go easier.
Flush Your Water Tank and Keep Your Hot Water Flowing
When your water heater fails with a flood, you can call SERVPRO, we are always ready to respond.
Keep Your Hot Water Flowing by Flushing Your Water Tank
Performing this one-hour task once or twice yearly will save you money on repairs, reduce your energy consumption and keep your water heater running at peak efficiency. It can be done in six simple steps.
1. Assemble Your Tools
The tools needed for a water heater flush include:
- A garden hose.
- A flathead screwdriver.
- A pump or 5 -gallon bucket if no drain is available.
2. Shut off the Energy Supply
For gas heaters, shut off the flow of gas to the unit. For electric heaters, turn off the appropriate circuit breaker.
3. Prepare the Tank for Draining
Attach the hose to the drain valve of the water heater. Ideally, the other end should go to a floor or shower drain that is at or below the level of the valve. If you don’t have such a drain, you will have to determine a draining method that works for you. Keep in mind that the water is hot and could cause burns or damage lawns and shrubbery.
4. Drain the Tank
The goal here is to drain the tank and flush it with clean water. This is a three-step process.
• Open the drain valve which allows tank water to flow out and fresh water to flow in.
• After a few minutes, open a hot water faucet in the kitchen.
• Finally, shut off the water. When empty, give the tank one last quick flush.
5. Refill the Tank
Close the drain valve and open the water supply. Once the open water faucet shows a steady flow of water, shut it off.
6. Turn on the Energy Supply
Just reverse what you did earlier to shut off the power supply. For gas, confirm that the pilot light is lit.
Failure of Your Water Tank Is Inevitable
When your water heater fails with a flood, you can call water damage remediation specialists in Sumner, WA. They have the skills and the equipment to perform your cleanup and quickly return things to normal.
What Goes Into a Toilet Replacement?
For any water damage in your home, SERVPRO is always ready to respond.
What Is Involved In A Toilet Replacement?
Oftentimes, a leaking toilet or other water-related issue can occur when you least expect it. It is easy for these minor problems to result in major headaches. Many Puyallup, WA, homeowners are aware that such issues can be common, yet they can become overwhelmed at the steps involved in repairing the faulty system. The three pointers below help clarify the main steps professionals take during a toilet repair.
1. Leaky Systems
An old home can be especially vulnerable, mainly because it likely has an old toilet. Even if your home is relatively new, a pesky water problem can occur with any system. Usually, homeowners can spot leaks by tightening the bolts of the toilet; when this approach doesn't prove successful, the next step might be removing the toilet altogether.
2. Simple Steps
Of course, discovering that you need to replace a toilet is likely not the most exciting part of your agenda, but professionals generally complete replacements in a few steps. First, they go to the shutoff valve to cut off water. After removing the lid, it is important that as much water drains from the leaking toilet as possible. Professionals then disconnect the water supply tube and remove bolts that fasten the toilet to the floor.
3. Trusty Toilets
Once professionals remove the faulty toilet altogether, they can begin installing the new system. They may need to apply a pipe-joint compound to the fittings before getting the new toilet in place. After setting the toilet down on a wax gasket, the toilet can be refastened to the floor. Lastly, professionals may check to ensure the toilet is aligned with the wall of the bathroom.
Whether your Puyallup, WA, home has been loved for decades or is fresh off the market, a leaking toilet can become quite the nuisance. By updating your knowledge on the steps involved in a toilet replacement, you can have peace of mind that the problem gets addressed quickly and effectively.
3 Steps to Making a Water Damage Claim
SERVPRO of Puyallup/Sumner is here if you need professional assistance.
Making A Water Damage Claim In Three Easy Steps
Taking in the damage after a flood occurs in your Puyallup, WA, home can be overwhelming. Ruined furniture, wet carpeting and damaged electronics can mean thousands of dollars in loss. Once flooding affects your home, one of the first actions you should do is file an insurance claim. To minimize stress, there are a few simple steps you can take when it comes to creating your claim.
1. Call Your Insurance Agent
Calling your insurance agent to report flooding in your home right away can help jump-start your claim and ensure that there is no delay on record later once the insurance company begins gathering data. Report when and how the flooding occurred, and ask your agent what he or she will need and whether your provider will be sending out another agent to assess the damage. Remember to give the representative your policy number and other information relevant to your coverage.
2. Take Photographs
Once you can safely enter your home again, take photographs of the damaged areas. If a pipe burst and caused the flood, snap a few photos of the broken plumbing. Photograph as many damaged items as you can, including big-ticket items such as televisions, washers and dryers, and mattresses. Once you finish taking photos, send them to your claims adjuster.
3. Meet With the Insurance Adjuster
Once your insurance company reviews your insurance claim, it may send the insurance adjuster out to speak with you and have you fill out additional paperwork. Have a list of questions ready for the agent, such as whether your policy covers the cost of a flood cleanup and remediation company to repair your home and whether your damaged items can be replaced at their full value.
Making an insurance claim for flooding in your Puyallup, WA, home can be a stressful ordeal. However, when you know which steps to take, you can move forward and focus on repairs with confidence.
3 Categories of Water Contamination
There are three types of water contamination.
Learn To Distinguish The Three Categories
Water is pooling on the floor at your home in Graham, WA, as you search for the cause of the leak. Are all leaks created equal? No, in fact, some leaks are far more dangerous than others. Depending on the source, it can be clean water, contaminated water, or somewhere in between. Learn to distinguish the three categories, the sources and the necessary clean-up for each type.
Category 1: Clean Water
This type of water is the best-case scenario. Generally, it is not hazardous to your health if dealt with quickly.
• Sources of fresh water could include a broken pipe, water heater leak, fractured supply line, overflowed sink/tub, or sprinkler system.
• Water restoration specialists remove the excess water with professional vacuums and pumps. Air movers and dehumidifiers dry the area.
Category 2: Gray Water
Although considered contaminated water, gray water does not typically contain bacteria or viruses that make you sick. Rather, it may contain detergent or bits of dirt.
• This water comes from a problem with the clothes washing machine or dishwasher.
• Similar to clean water, excess water is removed and the area is dried. When dirt is involved, however, the area is cleaned and disinfected as well.
Category 3: Black Water
Black water is the most contaminated and bacteria-infested. You can become seriously ill if you ingest it.
• Sewage water is the culprit here, either from a toilet in your home or a backed-up exterior sewer line.
• In addition to steps taken with other water types, all porous contents are removed and discarded from your home. This may include items such as drywall and flooring. Disinfectants and air filtration devices are used to properly sanitize the area.
As a homeowner in Graham, WA, dealing with contaminated water in your house can be a time-consuming and stressful situation. With the help of professionals, the category of water type is identified and dealt with accordingly.
How To Handle a Toilet Overflow
Don't handle sewage waste on your own.
How To Handle a Toilet Overflow
If your toilet backs up, flooding water over your bathroom, is this a major problem? Can you simply mop it up and move on? Believe it or not, this situation is actually far more serious than you might think. The premises have been exposed to black water, as this fluid contains high levels of microbes, fungus, and bacteria. Therefore, homeowners in Puyallup, WA should be extremely cautious of any sewer damage. Professional cleanup is needed to sanitize and safely restore the property.
1. Seek Help
As liquid starts to spill over, the contamination moves into several problematic areas: the floor, drywall, and carpet. Even tile's grout is porous, allowing the moisture to seep into it, moving throughout the room. Stop the flow quickly by immediately contacting a sewage company. This team should evaluate if a blockage or break is present and repair the source of trouble. Once this has been completed, call insurance and a water remediation company. Bleach and household cleaners won't eliminate the pollution. The specialists have the equipment to handle it.
2. Remove and Dry
If sewer damage ruins absorbent material tear out these items, discarding the contamination. This includes carpeting and rugs. Other valuables, such as furniture and photos, may be sanitized using specialized equipment that kills germs. Speak with your crew about what is available. In addition, drywall and baseboards should be tested and monitored for moisture exposure. Allowing the spillage to fester could lead to microbial or fungus growth. Prevent this by initiating drying procedures. Establish a contamination zone, and begin running industrial dehumidifiers.
3. Patch it
That flooded toilet caused quite the mess. The room is torn up; items have gone to the trash. With pollution minimized, the workers can apply antimicrobial spray and tackle the rebuild, securing replacements for what was lost.
When sewer damage takes place, contact specialists to correct the underlying issue and disinfect your space.
How Water Exposure Can Lead To Serious Secondary Concerns
Water damaged bedroom in Puyallup, WA.
Homeowners should be aware of the numerous complications of water exposure. When a pipe breaks or a toilet overflows, residents have more to deal with than excess dampness and a plumber's bill. The home's structure is at risk as the fluid quickly seeps into the porous materials. Concerns such as black mold and wood rot can develop, leading to significant home overhauls and cleanup procedures; therefore, homeowners in Puyallup, WA should understand the possible underlying issues and how to avoid them.
Why Is Water Buildup Concerning?
Flooded rooms, because of the additional fluid, have high humidity. The longer the moisture sits, the more dampness enters the air and belongings. Permeable objects such as cushions, curtains and carpet absorb the liquid quickly. These secondary matters, often invisible to the eye, add to the repair cost and timeline.
How Does an Increase in Moisture Hurt a Home?
Air drying does not resolve the difficulties. That tactic can permit any or all of the following dilemmas:
- Wood deterioration
- Foundation cracks
- Black mold growth
- Mildew stains
- Musty odor
- Electrical and appliance damage
- Metal corrosion
Owners may think that it takes weeks for deterioration to start; however, that is false. Within 24 to 48 hours, fungal spores activate with water exposure. In no time at all, a house could become contaminated with microbes feasting on the organic matter and fluid.
How Does a Homeowner Reduce Further Harm?
Shut off the water supply, and have a water restoration company address the primary issue. With that completed, curtail secondary damage development by focusing on moisture reduction efforts. Tear out soaked carpeting, and cut out drywall, extracting at least a few feet above the waterline. Minimize humidity by running industrial dehumidifiers around the clock, checking the room often with a moisture reader tool.
Fixing the dampness source is pivotal, yet that action isn't the end of the cleanup. Homeowners should concentrate on thorough moisture removal to avoid secondary headaches such as black mold.
The Steps for Creating a SERVPRO Ready Plan
The easiest way to start your profile is to download the ERP app.
If you want to create an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) through SERVPRO, there are a few steps that you can take to make the process easier. Here are the simplest steps for creating your ready profile.
The first thing you need to do to create an emergency profile for your business in Puyallup, WA is create an account. You can do this by:
- Visiting the ERP website
- Choosing your local franchise
- Creating an account
- Downloading the app to a phone or tablet
- Launching the app
At this point, you may have to wait for the data to sync. After a few minutes, all of the information you entered online will appear in the app. This allows you to access the information from your mobile devices.
Setting Up Your Profile
It is recommended that you use a tablet to set up your emergency profile and conduct your own walkthrough. This allows you to input information and upload high-quality pictures if needed. If you don't have a tablet for your business, you should use the website to type in data and your phone to upload images. If you cannot do the walkthrough on your own, you can have a representative from your local disaster remediation company come and assist you.
Sharing Your ERP
Once you have created your emergency profile, you will want to share it with important parties. For instance, you will want to share the information with those responsible for executing these plans. Also, share your ERP with the professionals that you choose. This ensures they have access to the information they need to get started on remediation as soon as a disaster strikes. You can email your ERP as a file from a computer or mobile device.
The easiest way to start your profile is to download the ERP app to a tablet and conduct your own walkthrough. You can also do this with a phone or computer. Once you are finished, be sure to share the information with all relevant parties.
The Importance of Tending to Both Primary and Secondary Damage
Water and mold damage in a South Hill, WA home
The Importance of Tending to Both Primary and Secondary Damage
Black mold is a fungus that thrives on dampness. When water penetrates something organic, it triggers the mold's development, permitting fast reproduction. Homeowners may concentrate on the mold but not think much about how it started. Both the source, though, and the result are significant. If one isn't fixed, then the other may just continue to reappear down the road; therefore, homeowners should be aware of the house's secondary and primary damage. When both are understood and cared for, the property can be properly restored.
What Is Primary Damage?
Something initiated the trouble, causing a level of high humidity or excess wetness. This is considered the primary cause. For example, any of the following would fall into the classification:
- Pipe burst
- Sewer backup
- Leaky faucet
- Missing shingles
A water restoration company in South Hill, WA, should investigate the premises, searching for the source. The experts then should shut off the water supply, fixing any plumbing issues. By taking this step first, the professionals mitigate the devastation.
What Is Secondary Home Damage?
Secondary complications stem from primary cause. A broken pipe, for example, allowed moisture to penetrate a space. When it soaked into the walls and flooring, the fluid started secondary concerns. Black mold, for example, might begin to grow. In addition, wood can rot, carpet can get contaminated and valuables are likely to become ruined.
The team tends to the secondary damage by extracting moisture, sanitizing the property and replacing spoiled items. Drenched dry wall and carpeting is pulled out. These porous materials are too difficult to fully clean. Instead, replacements are needed. Content cleaning can be applied to things that fall into the following categories:
Speak with the crew about anything special. They can advise of the proper treatment.
Black mold isn't something you want in your home. To keep it at bay, you'll want to be aware of primary water damage. With that under control, residents are less likely to suffer other headaches.
Saving Documents After a Flood
Anything damaged by water can restored with the right method
If your commercial business in Enumclaw, WA has experienced a flood or hurricane, the mitigation and restoration process can be overwhelming, but it must be done before you and your employees can come back to work. Your first step should be calling in a water damage restoration company and mitigating any immediate damages. However, after that, you will need to care for any damaged contents, such as wet documents that have been damaged. Use this information to understand how to restore any documents that have been damaged during a flood and begin the document drying process.
What Can You Save?
Flooding in your commercial building can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Depending on the efficiency and time of mitigation, it can affect if documents can be restored or not. Documents that stay in flood water for an extended amount of time may be prone to excess ink bleeding and deterioration. Important documents should be saved as quickly as possible, including:
• Medical documents from employees
• Financial documents
• Legal information
Restoration methods for wet documents includes air drying and freeze drying.
You may want to choose air drying if you have only a few documents to restore. Air drying requires soaking up any excess moisture with a towel and laying documents on a flat surface with proper air circulation for a few hours until documents dry.
The freeze drying method is better if you have multiple separate documents. To freeze dry damaged documents, put them into a ziplock bag as soon as possible. Leave the ziplock bag in the freezer for multiple hours until it is completely frozen. Once it's frozen, you can remove the bag from the freezer and proceed to air dry them.
In the event a flood, it's important to try and save as many important documents as possible. Although wet documents may have been damaged, many can still be restored with the right method.
Water Damage and the Restore Versus Replace Debate
Water damage in Puyallup, WA
Water Damage and the Restore Versus Replace Debate
A water disaster in your home in Puyallup, WA, is something that you might worry about now and then. After all, leaking roofs, floods, failing appliances and broken pipes do happen everyday in homes throughout your region. Knowing what steps to take can be helpful and could save you time and money. Calling for the services of a professional water remediation company in your area makes a lot of sense. A knowledgeable company that has your best interests in mind will practice a restore versus replace philosophy. They know that swelling wood in cabinets and subfloors is a bad sign and will likely require the replacement of the materials.
Fortunately, many items impacted by water released from a supply line break or other situation can be restored. Experienced technicians will closely inspect and if necessary test each item to see if it can be saved. The appearance of swelling wood is one indicator they consider. The following items are often excellent candidates for successful restoration:
- Real wood
- Personal belongings
- Non-porous materials
To get items back in good condition, technicians will use a variety of drying and cleaning methods. They will use techniques that go beyond ordinary cleaning and that benefit from specialized equipment.
In certain situations, an item or material is just too damaged to restore. Replacement becomes desirable. Cabinets where the water has soaked in enough to cause swelling wood will never look good again. The best course of action is to order new cabinets, which will often be covered by an insurance policy. In the case of sewer damage, more items will need to be replaced due to the impacts of contaminated water. A home water problem cleanup requires a restoration company to have skills such as water pipe repair and mold testing. A restore versus replace mentality is one way to save you money during the process.
How to Repair a Burst Pipe
Bursting pipes can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time, making them a scary issue for many homeowners. If your home in Puyallup, WA, is experiencing a pipe burst, chances are you will need to call a plumber to help resolve the issue. In the meantime, you can secure the leak using the following technique.
Fix Broken Pipe Using a Clamp and Sleeve
A clamp and sleeve kit can provide a temporary patch to stop the leak while you wait for remediation experts to arrive. Patch your bursting pipes using the following technique:
- Shut off the main water line. Use a metallic file or steel wool to smoothen any rough areas around the damaged section of pipe.
- Position the rubber sleeve so that it is centered over the burst. The clamp's seam should be facing the opposite direction of the break.
- Position the metal clamps around the rubber sleeve. Use a screwdriver to tighten the clamps.
- Reopen the water supply to the pipe. Watch carefully for any leaks.
The above technique should temporarily solve the issue while you wait for the plumber to arrive. If it doesn't fix the leak, simply repeat the process and reposition the clamp until it solves the issue.
Dry the Water
As soon as you stop the leak, you need to start drying the water. Standing water can quickly cause a lot of secondary damage, such as mold growth, so it's important that you act quickly. If the leak was small, you can resolve the issue by mopping up the water with a towel. Larger leaks that create a lot of water damage likely require professional assistance.
It's important that you take immediate action to fix bursting pipes as soon as you discover it. The subsequent water damage can wreck havoc on your home and cause several subsequent issues. Contact water remediation experts for help assisting with damage cleanup.
Quick Cleanup Can Prevent Damage to Wood Floors
Wooden floor damaged In Eatonville, WA
When a pipe burst happens in your Eatonville, WA, that wet floor has the potential to become a costly fix if not properly cleaned, especially if it is wood or engineered wood. Since wood is porous, even a small spill can absorb into any cracks and begin to start creating damage and potentially lead to an ideal environment for mold to grow. Taking immediate action can prevent the need for a water damage and restoration expert or a costly floor replacement.
Steps to Avoid Damage
Even if properly finished and sealed, a wood floor gets normal wear and tear that can provide openings for water to penetrate. The moment water is found, the following steps should be taken as quickly as possible to prevent issues.
Remove and water-logged items that are on the floor.
Wipe up small spills are use a wet-vac on larger ones to completely remove visible water.
Disinfect the floor’s surface.
Place a dehumidifier and fans in the area to dry the wood and capture evaporation, including near the sub-floor if there is one.
Even if the area looks dry, a pipe burst or similar source of large amounts of water may have already been absorbed into hidden areas. The floor and subfloor should be checked for potential mold growth. Since the floor may require weeks to fully dry, a moisture test should be conducted before any finish work is completed. If there was flooding, it is very likely that the floor will need to be sanded and refinished, as well as damaged boards replace. That kind of damage can degrade sealants and coatings, making them even more prone to damage down the road.
While a pipe burst may be unavoidable, the damage it can cause can be prevented with quick action. Keep your wood floors protected and looking like they should by immediately addressing water problems.
What To Know About Toilet Replacement
Toilet replacement in Elbe, WA
A Few Things To Remember While Replacing a Toilet
It’s important when considering the replacement of a leaking toilet in your Elbe, WA, home to understand how to do so correctly. Understanding how things fit together and where to check for water damage can help you mitigate future problems. Here are three things you should remember.
1. Check for Water Damage
During a toilet replacement, it’s important to check for water damage before installing a new unit. In most cases, this will occur around the water line in the wall or the flooring around the wax seal. If water damage is found a water damage restoration service can help. Let them know you have an old toilet that has been leaking and where you think the damage may have occurred. These professionals can also check for any additional damages as well.
2. Turn Off the Water Before Removal
Before removing the water lines from a leaking toilet it’s important to turn the water completely off and drain the unit. Doing so can help prevent accidental flooding. In most cases, there is a valve behind the toilet that can be turned tightly to the off position. The tank can then be drained by holding the flush lever down until any water in the reservoir is gone.
3. Ensure All Fittings are Tight
Another important step in toilet repair or replacement is to ensure that all the fittings fit snugly before turning the water back on. Doing this should help prevent any future leaks and subsequent water damage.
If you need to replace a leaking toilet it’s important to turn the water off before removing the unit. Once the toilet is out of the space you can look for water damage and have a restoration professional may any repairs that may be needed. When the new toilet is installed it’s important to check that all the fittings are correctly tightened in order to prevent future problems with leaking.