Recent Water Damage Posts
Is my home susceptible to water damage?
Water damage is a huge hazard and happens a lot more often than you might realize. It can happen to a home, old or new, at any time and can result in many different problems, leaving the homeowner in a (literal) mess. Any sort of leak, a leaky pipe or roof, can cause serious structural damage and, if not properly handled and repaired, this damage can worsen over time.
Many property damages caused by water and leaks could have been avoided. According to the American Insurance Association, over 90% of these issues could have been avoided had proper care and maintenance been given to small known problems. Here’s the problem: many people believe that they can fix water damage or a leaky roof or pipe on their own. This can certainly be true for small problems and damage, but what damage you can see is typically just the tip of the iceberg. Most damage is present deep in the walls of your house and leads to serious problems like structural issues that only a professional should diagnose and repair before the integrity of your home is seriously compromised.
Not only is your home susceptible to structural damage, but mold can quickly begin growing if there has been water damage. Health problems, both big and small, can be caused by some types of mold. So it’s best to not delay remediation and get the problem fixed before it gets too serious. Delaying repairs could end up costing a lot more money and could be hazardous health-wise.
However, the trouble with spotting signs of water damage can be tricky as it is not always apparent. Some cases are obvious but other times, it can be more gradual, subtle, and hidden.
Here are just a few things to be on the lookout for signs of water damage:
- Dark or Wet Spots
Keep your eye out for discoloration on the ceiling and the interior and exterior walls of your home. These watermarks are usually quite telling.
- Cracking, Bubbling, or Flaking
Water damage could be present if the drywall or paint on your ceiling or walls is beginning to crack, bubble, or flake.
- Pooling Water or Puddles
Leaks or ongoing drips can lead to pools of water. If a puddle comes back once you’ve cleaned it up that could mean you have a leak.
- Sounds of Running Water
Sometimes you won’t be able to see water damage, but you might be able to hear it. If you hear a dripping sound, a creaking floor, or even rushing or running water. Though, these sounds can also indicate a perfectly functioning system. So listen for changes in sound.
- Increase in Utility Bills
Have you noticed your water bill suddenly spiked? This could be a sign of a hidden leak.
- Damp, Musty, or Moldy Smell
Damp, musty, or moldy smells can be a big indicator of water damage. Dampness has such a distinct smell, it’s hard to miss. This smell is often accompanied by the smell of mold and, unfortunately, water damage.
If you suspect that there has been water damage in your home, it is best to call a professional right away! SERVPRO of Paulding/Polk Counties is on call 24/7 to help you make it “Like it never even happened.”
* Courtesy of https://hudsondouglaspublicadjusters.com/signs-of-water-damage-in-your-home/
Do I need flood insurance for my home?
Standard homeowners and renters insurance does not cover flood damage. To protect your home, be sure to understand the risk of flooding and what your insurance options are. You will need flood insurance if you live in a designated flood zone. But flooding can also occur in inland areas and away from major rivers. Flood insurance is available for renters as well as homeowners, but a special policy is required as flood insurance—like earthquake insurance—is not part of standard homeowners coverage. Flood policies are provided by the federal government and some private insurers. The federal government provides flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). While they are underwritten by the government, NFIP policies are generally sold through private insurance agents. In some areas, primary flood insurance may be available through private insurers. However, the NFIP provides only actual cash value coverage for your possessions. That means you'll get the current value of your possessions, which may be considerably less than the cost you'll incur to replace them, especially if they are older and have depreciated in value.
* Courtesy of https://www.iii.org/article/do-i-need-flood-insurance-for-my-home
Sources of Exterior Water Damage
There are many ways that water can infiltrate your home, often when you least expect it. It will destroy everything in its path and take over your entire world. In addition to increased stress levels, unexpected water damage can cause displacement for you and your family. Only a certified and insured restoration company should be trusted to mitigate the damage to your home. SERVPRO of Paulding/Polk Counties is your local resource to get your home back in working order.
Water damage can occur from both interior and exterior sources. Below are some ways you can help prevent water damage inside your home that comes from outside sources.
- Ensure that shingles, flashings or tiles on your roof aren’t missing, broken, cracked, curled or damaged in other ways.
- Cut tree limbs that hang above your roof so they don’t cling to shingles and trap moisture.
- Make sure the vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, and evaporative coolers are properly installed and in good shape.
- Check for leaks around rooftop air-conditioning units, vents for exhaust or plumbing, or other specialized equipment.
Gutters and Downspouts
- Clear gutters and downspouts from leaves, twigs, and other debris. Also check that they are in good condition so that water can flow freely. You can do this by installing metal screens to help prevent clogging.
- Ensure downspouts direct water at least five feet away from your home’s foundation. This helps direct water away from the foundation. Downspout extensions can be added if needed.
Doors and Windows
- Install window well covers to help prevent water and debris from getting trapped and causing water to eventually seep into your basement.
- Check for leaks near the corners of your doors and windows. Signs of leaks include peeling paint, paint discoloration or swollen frames.
- Installing overhangs or awnings above exterior doors and windows protects them from the sun, rain, and snow.
- Check for a tight fit on closed doors and windows. Any cracks between the sash and frame Close your doors and windows to check for a tight fit. Repair or replace damaged flashing or weather-stripping.
- Check for and repair cracked or broken siding boards, bricks, stone or another masonry, and structural sheathing.
- Remove any shrubs and other landscaping features from along the walls, and avoid directing water towards the house when irrigating the garden and plants to prevent excessive water near the foundation.
- Seal any openings from wiring, plumbing, phone, cable, and heating and air conditioning lines with foam or caulk. Repair any damaged or unpainted wood surrounding these openings.
- Termites can eat wood, plaster, and even metal siding causing holes and compromising structural integrity. Check for signs of termite activity on the walls and the wooden structures around your foundation.
- Ensure that the exhaust vent doors properly open and close.
Following these steps can help protect your home from exterior water damage. If water does happen to sneak into your home, make sure to have SERVPRO of Paulding/Polk Counties on speed dial. We’ll be there to make it “Like it never even happened.”
When Water Damage Strikes
The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.
SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.
SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.
To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you.
SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties' team of professionals will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and belongings. A final walk-through of the job-site will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to preloss condition.
EMERGENCY WATER DAMAGE TIPS
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Place aluminium foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
- Don’t enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Don’t use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water; this could cause electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
For more information on recovering from water damage, contact SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties today - 770-505-0555.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 3
Do You Know What to Do When a Flood Happens?
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river, or even in the desert—there is always potential for flood damage. Fema.gov reports in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past does not mean you won’t in the future. In fact, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas, and even just one inch of flood damage in an average home can cost you up to $27,000.*
According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers the following flood safety tips.
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties at 770-505-0555. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties will help you take it back.
*Facts and figures provided by fema.gov
**Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 3
Understanding Water Types
When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.
There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.
Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.
Damage from Clean Water
• Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
• Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
• 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 to allow more even drying.
• Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
• Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
• Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
• Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Damage from Contaminated Water
• Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
• Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
• Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
• Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
• Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties at 770-505-0555.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 3
Flooding Can Happen Anywhere
According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), “Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:
• Flash Flooding
• River Flooding
• Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
• Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
• Ice/Debris Jams
• Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
• Dam Breaks/Levee Failure
Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).
When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile® (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible. SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties is ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 3