Items That Could Cause Water Damage in Your Home | SERVPRO® of Crowley & South Johnson County
Severe weather is often one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about water damage. While storms and flooding are a major cause of water damage, they are often not the only cause for water damage. Instead, various items in your home can be responsible for many water damage situations.
What You Need to Know
Water damage is something that many homeowners will face, and it is the third most common reason for homeowners insurance claims between 2011 and 2015, with an average payout of $8,861 per claim.
First, let’s learn the difference between water damage and gradual damage, the latter of which can impact insurance claims.
Gradual damage is anything that happens over time, such as plumbing issues in the walls causing damage to the walls, ceilings or floors, or water damage caused by cracks in the foundation. Unfortunately, many of these are not covered by homeowners insurance, while storm-related water damage usually is.
A List of Common Culprits
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), the main causes of water damage are:
- Plumbing supply system failures, which can involve frozen pipes that can burst because of the increase in water pressure caused by freezing water or when the supply system material fails and causes a leaking or pipe to burst. Per IBHS, plumbing supply system failures are the leading source of residential water losses and cost an average of $5,092 per incident after the deductible. Also, homes that are 16 to 40 years of age make up a larger group of supply system material failure claims.
- Plumbing drain system failures can occur when a sewer drain backs up and overflows into a home or from a breakdown of materials used. In their study, IBHS found that 52% of drain system failures were caused by sewer backups, and 37% were related to material performance issues. Also notable is that the average drain system failure was more expensive in southern region states than in northern region states.
- Toilet failures are the second highest source of residential water loss after plumbing supply system failures and can be caused by faulty fill valves or clogged drain lines. According to IBHS, toilet failures that happen on the first floor of a home are more damaging and result in more claims than those that happen in basements or upper floors.
- Water heater failures. When water heaters reach their life expectancy, the tank will start to rust and corrode, resulting in leaking or bursting issues. IBHS found that 69% of all water heater failures resulted from a slow leak or sudden burst and, on average, cost $4,444 per incident after deductible.
- Washing machine failures are typically caused by supply hose failures, machine overflows and drain line failures. Washing machines are one of the top 10 sources of residential water losses. Per IBHS, supply hose failures accounted for more than half of all washing machine-related losses.
If you experience water damage in your home, our team at SERVPRO® of Crowley & South Johnson Countyis available to help with cleanup and restoration, making it look “like it never even happened.”
Copyright © 2018 SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County
3 Reasons To Check Under Your House After a Flood
Mold damage in a Wheatland, TX home
Check Under Your House After a Flood
When flood waters fill your space, you may find damage all over. Water can run down your walls, pool in your basement and stain your ceilings. How can you properly clean up after a home flood? Because there are so many potential damages, you need to check every part of your house after a flood. Your water damage restoration team in Wheatland, TX, may encourage you to look in your crawlspace for the following reasons.
1. Poor Drainage
Do you already know that your crawl space has poor drainage? If you've had flooding issues in the past, it gives you even more reason to check under your home after a flood. Storm damage can cause standing water to invade the lower levels of your home. Even if other areas of the house were free of flooding, poor drainage may cause excess ground water to run into your basement.
2. Mold Growth
If you don't check under your house after a home flood, you may encourage mold growth. Whenever excess moisture is left unattended, it increases the risk of mold growth. Even if the water drains out, you may still have high humidity in this small space. The high humidity may be enough to start a mold colony if you do not dry out the space properly.
3. Building Materials
You also need to check under your crawl space to make sure all of your building materials are in good shape. Your restoration company may check on the beams to make sure they are not warped. Other building materials to check on include insulation and vapor barriers. Failing to repair and replace these items after a flood can leave your home vulnerable to further damage.
Storms can cause a home flood. It is important you have this type of damage properly cleaned up to ensure your house does not suffer from secondary damage. Most homeowners are aware they need to clean up roofing systems and interior rooms, but you may also need to check under your house for more flooding damage.
3 Ways To Avoid Fires When Grilling
Grill in safe place in your Keene,TX
Three Ways to Prevent a Grill Fire
Gas, hardwood, and other types of grills generate a lot of heat and often rely on open flame. It is possible to grill safely if you take a few simple fire safety precautions. Here are three ways to prevent a grill fire at your home in Keene, TX.
1. Grill In a Safe Place
One of the best ways to avoid starting a barbeque fire is to move a safe distance away from structures and flammable items. Never operate a grill on a patio or porch that has a roof. You should also never start kindling a cooking fire inside. Always allow a grill to cool completely prior to storage.
2. Clean and Maintain Your Grill
A grill fire is more likely to break out on a grill covered with grease and flammable food residue. Maintain a fire for at least ten to fifteen minutes after cooking to burn off residue and scrape the grates with a wire brush. Give the entire grill a deep cleaning at least once or twice per season. When the grill is cool, remove the grates and drip pan and clean them with water and a suitable soap. Wipe down the interior and exterior.
3. Factor Fire Safety Into Food Preparation
Trim excess fat from meat prior to grilling. This can reduce the amount of grease that builds up on the grates or in the drip pan and lower the risk of a barbeque fire. You should also use igniting agents responsibly and store containers at a safe distance from an open flame. Keep other flammable items such as napkins and towels at a safe distance.
These measures can help you grill more safely. If a grill fire does start and cause damage to the exterior of your home, schedule an appointment with a fire and smoke damage mitigation and restoration company in Keene, TX.
Why Is Flood Water a Type of Black Water?
Flooded building in Crowley,TX
Flood water is considered Category Three black water because it may contain harmful contaminants. Flooding results when surface water overflows or heavy rain falls in Crowley, TX. Although this water may not initially contain solid waste, chemicals and other contaminants are likely to leach into standing water. Find out what the water resulting from flood or storm damage might contain and the risks it could pose.
Which Contaminants Are Found in Flood Water?
Water can pick up a variety of contaminants as it collects and stands outside or in a structure. These may include:
- Heavy metals
- Solid waste
Any of these contaminants can cause problems for humans or animals that are exposed to, or attempt to ingest, this water. In addition to potentially dangerous substances, contaminated water may also contain microbes that can cause illness.
What Are Some Possible Flooding Risks?
In addition to posing a threat to building materials and contents, water resulting from flooding can also pose a threat to individuals. A few possible risks include:
- Exposure to toxigenic substances
- Irritation of skin or other bodily systems
- Contagious infections
If water is allowed to stand for 24 hours or longer, the risk of mold growth will rapidly escalate. Schedule a complete cleanup sooner rather than later.
Are There Any Other Sources of Black Water?
Sewer backups are another common source of Category Three water, and these incidents may coincide with a storm. If heavy rains or flooding cause a municipal sewage system or septic tank to back up, it will also be necessary to drain, disinfect and dry the affected area.
Flood water can cause structural damage and expose occupants to contaminants. Mitigation experts will wear personal protective equipment and use professional cleanup methods to quickly remove water and limit the extent of secondary damage. Rely on a commercial storm damage restoration company in Crowley,TX.
How To Flush a Water Heater
Water damage caused by water heater in Cleburne,TX
A water heater, sitting in a dark closet or basement, is easy to forget. If you want to ensure the longevity of your hot water tank, then you may want to follow the steps below to flush the system, clearing out harmful sediment and debris.
1. Turn Off and Prep the Tank
To perform a water heater flush, you may want to have a garden hose and screwdriver handy. Additionally, you will need to prep the tank by first turning off the power and/or gas. Then, attach one end of the garden hose to the tank, and place the other end in a drainage area that can tolerate the hot water.
2. Flush the Tank
To empty the water heater, open the drain valve on the tank and make sure the water is escaping through the hose to the drainage area. After a few minutes, turn the hot water on from the nearest faucet. A couple of minutes after this, turn off the water supply. Once the water stops exiting the garden hose, turn on the water supply for only a couple of minutes to flush out the system again.
3. Refill the Tank
When all debris from the tank has drained, close the drain valve and turn on the water supply. Once the water pressure returns to the open faucet, you can be confident that the tank is filled. Be aware that the water from the tap will be inconsistent at first as air is flushed from the lines.
4. Turn On the Tank
Turn the power/gas back on only when the tank is full to protect the integrity of the system. Once the heat is on and the water is flowing strong, you can turn off the running faucet. If you are experiencing problems with the water pressure or the heating element of the tank, you may want to call a professional in Cleburne, TX, to examine any possible causes.
A water heater is an essential element of any home, and flushing the system ensures its continued use. Following the steps above, you can perform this task yourself and maintain your tank for years to come.
3 Reasons to Call a Restoration Company
Flooded classroom due to a broken pipe in Keene, TX
If a broken pipe at your business left you with a water damage situation, you may be wondering if you should seek help from a trained technician to handle the pipe burst cleanup process and restore your property. The short answer is that you really should. Read on for 3 reasons why a water and sewer cleanup company is almost always needed in this situation.
1. They Can Help With Remediation
A host of other potential problems can arise from water damage, including mold growth and structural weakness. The right restoration company will be able to help you not only clean or restore everything that has been water damaged, but will also be able to help you mitigate any issues with fungi or other secondary concerns arising after a pipe bursts.
2. They Respond Urgently
With pipe burst cleanup matters, time is everything. The longer water sits, the more likely it is to cause further damage or become contaminated. Many certified companies operate on a 24 hour basis and are dedicated to responding quickly to emergency moisture situations.
3. They Know Cleanup
From cleaning wet surfaces to drying important documents, water damage specialists know how to help you get your business and property back running smoothly by understanding the many different issues that can arise after a pipe incident. They have seen some of the worst wetness nightmares that you can imagine, and will not be intimidated by a complicated job.
You may be tempted to sweep a broken pipe issue under the rug or handle the pipe burst cleanup process on your own. However, experienced Keene, TX, restoration technicians understand what can happen to commercial buildings like yours when large amounts of water come into play. If you let these knowledgeable professionals tackle the accident, you can spend more time on getting your business back to a normal state of operation.
Becoming the Sherlock Holmes of Roofing: How Regular Inspection Can Save Thousands in Costly Roof Repairs
If you experience any type of storm damage in Crowley, TX SERVPRO is ready to help
Severe weather is worrisome for most homeowners, especially when it comes to their roof. Roof repair can be a significant expense depending on the level of roof damage, and while many acknowledge the risk associated with hail and water, wind damage is often overlooked. To mitigate the risk of costly repairs, there are a couple of things that you should know.
1. Inspections Save Money
Many roofing companies recommend that you have biannual inspections performed on your roof to ensure that it remains in tip-top shape. These roofing inspections will look for any potential flaws in shingles or asphalt sheathing, making sure to repair any minor issues to protect you from significant damage in the future.
2. Look for Signs of Potential Damage
Aside from inspections, you should perform property walks and basic visual checks of your roof after any severe weather. These walkabouts will likely alert you to any signs of storm damage, like missing shingles, loose flashing, or any other number of minor things that can turn into a significant roof repair if left untouched.
3. Not All Damage Is Detrimental
While seeing any kind of damage to your roof can be stress-inducing, it is important to remember that not all damage is detrimental. The important thing is to take action on any issue, as to protect yourself from having to do a full roof replacement. If you have any questions about the significance of the damage, you should find a roofing specialist in the Crowley, TX, area to assess the situation further.
Roofing issues can be a primary concern for homeowners, but if they are vigilant about performing regular inspections, it doesn’t have to be. Performing regular biannual inspections and walkabouts after a storm can be the difference between a roof repair that cost a few hundred dollars or a few thousand dollars. The choice is yours.
Do Not Despair, You Can Repair
Mold cleanup and remediation in Cleburne, TX
Mold Is Everywhere
The appearance of mold is a fairly common occurrence, but major infestations are increasingly frequent as more severe weather events affect Cleburne, TX. There are always mold spores in the air. All it takes is some extra moisture to activate them. Once that happens, serious mold cleaning is called for. In that case, the best (and safest) course of action is to call a professional.
Mold remediation techniques can range from simple to complex, particularly when it involves a treasured family heirloom, such as a pricey painting. While mold damage to a painting can often look quite serious, it does not mean that the painting is unsalvageable.
How To Prepare
After you have made that all-important call to a trusted mold remediation service, there are certain things you should do:
- Avoid any areas that are affected by mold.
- Avoid disturbing or touching the mold; this could cause it to spread.
- Do not make any attempts to dry the mold.
- Turn off all fans and/or HVAC systems.
- Do not attempt to do any mold cleaning on your own with products such as bleach or disinfectant.
What To Expect
Once the professionals arrive, there is a standard process that will bring relief. Through various technologies, the mold damage will be inspected and assessed. One of the first things will be to address any water or moisture sources. This will prevent the formation of additional mold colonies. Then, by controlling the air flow, the mold will be contained, thereby halting any further spread. Once heavily damaged, porous materials such as drywall are removed, the cleaning process can commence. Thanks to a wide array of mold remediation techniques and technologies, most mold damage can be successfully repaired.
While a mold infestation can be a traumatic experience, having to throw away treasured items such as paintings need not be a foregone conclusion thanks to modern mold cleaning methods.
How To Replace a Leaky Toilet
Every homeowner will likely face issues with an old toilet at some point.
It’s never a good sign when you have a leaking toilet in your home. The leak can become a major flood if not taken care of quickly. Follow these steps to learn how to replace your own toilet.
Removing the Old Toilet
Before you can install a new toilet, you have to remove the old one:
1. Measure the distance from the wall to the bolts on the base of the toilet and from the wall to the side of the bowl to ensure your new toilet is the correct size.
2. Turn off the water.
3. Flush to remove the water from the tank.
4. Take the tank lid off and wipe up leftover water.
5. Disconnect the water supply line from the tank, unscrew the nuts, and lift it off the bowl.
6. Wipe up leftover water inside the bowl and remove the nuts at the base.
7. Lift the leaking toilet up and set it onto a garbage bag.
8. Remove the wax ring from the drain hole, clean out excess wax, and put a wad of paper towel into the hole to prevent sewer gas from venting.
9. Clean the floor if needed, remove the old closet bolts, and replace them with new ones.
Installing the New Toilet
Now it's out with the old and in with the new. Here's how to install your new commode:
10. Warm up a new wax ring with warm water and place it onto your new toilet.
11. Remove the towel from the drain hole. Carefully place the toilet onto the hole. If you miss, it’s better to start with another new ring. Gently wiggle the toilet so it’s flat on the ground and aligned squarely with the walls.
12. Install any necessary hardware to the new tank, set it onto the bowl using a level, and tighten the bolts.
13. Connect the water supply, slowly turn the water back on, and check for leaks.
Every homeowner will likely face issues with an old toilet at some point. When it becomes a leaking toilet, follow these steps to replace it yourself or call a local toilet repair company in Crowley, TX, to ensure everything is done correctly and avoid the risk of future flooding. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcrowleysouthjohnsoncounty.com/.
How To Create a Business Emergency Plan
A business continuity plan can help you prepare for an emergency situation.
As a commercial building owner in Crowley, TX, it is up to you to make sure your business is ready for anything that comes its way. For many, this means making a continuity plan. This type of emergency plan lays out what should happen in the event of an emergency. Use this quick how-to guide to help you make your own plan.
1. Consider your daily operations. How could flooding affect your ability to perform day-to-day operations? If your business provides goods to customers, you may lose inventory. Your emergency plan may need to include a clause that helps protect your inventory or keep your customers happy.
2. Think about a plan B. You know how your company normally runs, but could your employees do their work from another location if needed? Your continuity plan may include renting a temporary workspace or setting up work-from-home time during the repair process.
3. Spend time training. Making a plan is one thing, but you also have to ensure your employees know what to do if a bad storm rolls through. Have emergency training that goes over standard protocols to help make sure everyone is ready for the worst-case scenario.
4. Find someone to help. While you're making your plan, think about the cleanup of any storm damage. Finding a commercial storm cleanup crew before the disaster hits can save you time after your building is affected by the bad weather.
5. Go over your insurance policy. Understanding your insurance coverage can help you better prepare for damages done by a storm. For example, some policies may help pay for a secondary workspace or cover the costs of some of the repairs. Going over your policy can help you figure out where you need more coverage before your building is damaged.
A business continuity plan can help you prepare for an emergency situation. Working with a professional may make creating this type of plan easier. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcrowleysouthjohnsoncounty.com/.