Recent Water Damage Posts

How to Handle a Water Damage Emergency

6/19/2024 (Permalink)

Water damage can strike at any moment, often catching homeowners and business owners off guard. Whether it's a burst pipe, severe storm, or an overflowing appliance, knowing how to handle a water damage emergency effectively can save you time, money, and stress. At SERVPRO®, we understand the urgency and complexity of these situations. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate a water damage emergency efficiently.

Step 1: Ensure Safety First

Before anything else, ensure the safety of everyone in the affected area. Turn off the electricity if water is near any electrical outlets or appliances to prevent electrical hazards. If the water damage is severe, evacuate the premises and call for professional help immediately. Your safety is the top priority.

Step 2: Identify the Source

Identifying and stopping the source of water is crucial. If it’s a burst pipe, shut off the main water supply. For an appliance leak, disconnect the water supply to that appliance. Addressing the source will prevent further damage and make the restoration process more manageable.

Step 3: Remove Standing Water

Once the source is controlled, it’s time to remove any standing water. You can use buckets, mops, or wet/dry vacuums for smaller areas. For extensive water accumulation, professional water extraction services are recommended. Quick removal of standing water will help minimize damage to floors, walls, and furniture.

Step 4: Dry and Dehumidify

Drying out the affected area is essential to prevent secondary damage such as mold growth. Use fans, dehumidifiers, and open windows to promote air circulation. SERVPRO professionals use advanced drying equipment to ensure thorough drying of the space. This step might take several days, depending on the extent of the water damage.

Step 5: Clean and Disinfect

Water damage can bring in contaminants, especially if it involves floodwater. Clean and disinfect all affected areas to prevent any potential hazards. Use appropriate cleaning solutions and disinfectants. SERVPRO offers comprehensive cleaning and sanitation services to restore your property to its pre-damage condition.

Step 6: Inspect for Damage

Inspect your property for any structural damage. Check walls, floors, and ceilings for signs of weakening or deterioration. Pay special attention to drywall, insulation, and wood elements, as these materials are particularly vulnerable to water damage. Professional assessment by SERVPRO can help identify hidden damages and ensure thorough restoration.

Step 7: Document the Damage

Documenting the damage is crucial for insurance claims. Take photographs and make detailed notes of all affected areas and items. This documentation will support your claim and help ensure you receive adequate compensation for repairs and replacements.

Step 8: Contact Your Insurance Company

Inform your insurance company about the water damage as soon as possible. Provide them with all necessary documentation and follow their instructions for filing a claim. Having professional restoration services like SERVPRO involved can streamline the process, as we work directly with insurance providers to facilitate claims.

Step 9: Professional Restoration Services

Hiring a professional restoration company like SERVPRO ensures that your property is restored efficiently and thoroughly. Our team of experts uses advanced equipment and techniques to handle water extraction, drying, cleaning, and repairs. We’re available 24/7 to respond to emergencies, providing peace of mind during stressful times.

Handling a water damage emergency can be overwhelming, but following these steps will help you manage the situation effectively. Remember, SERVPRO is always here to help with professional, reliable water damage restoration services. Stay prepared and stay safe!

First Notice of Loss

2/4/2022 (Permalink)

I'm thinking it may be interesting to know the process here at SERVPRO of High Point when we receive a water damage call, or a call for any of our services for that matter.

We take turns here answering the phone but the responsibility for most of the calls rests with Marianna. She is excellent with the customers and is very thorough when filling out the FNOL form - First Notice Of Loss. This form is utilized when taking any new call.

It requires that basic information be documented like Name, phone, email, if the customer is the same as the caller or if the caller is a tenant/occupant. We also try and ask how they heard about us so we can follow up with our marketing team.

Then there's the loss address, details of the loss, type and cause of loss, when the loss occurred, and what specific circumstances were in play when the loss happened.

Is there standing water? Is water available? Is electricity available? Has the source been stopped? Is there visible mold? What type of structure? Was flooring affected and what type of flooring is it? What actual areas were affected? Crawlspace, ceiling, walls, attic, contents? And is the job a self pay or an insurance job? It is important to get all the insurance information during this first contact as well. Insurance company name, claim #, deductible amount, and name/phone number of adjuster.

There is a small area on the bottom right side of the form that says "Loss Notes". This gives Marianna a chance to ask what exactly happened in the loss. This is key as the technicians focus on this area to understand what equipment etc. is needed for the job.

It is important to catch as much of this information as possible. Water losses can be very frustrating for the customer and asking thorough questions not only shows empathy, but also helps all involved to be on the same page.

A Necessary Part of Life

2/4/2022 (Permalink)

When we think of water, what comes to mind? What comes to me is the fact that it is a necessary part of life. It's actually extremely important in the lives of every single person. The main goal for each of us is to keep the water where it is supposed to be. Water damage happens when water gets "out of control" and leaks or flows from an area that is supposed to be a containment area. Pipes, toilets, faucets are a few examples of where water resides on a property.

Having a home with defective pipe can be a nightmare. I own a home that was built with Quest recalled pipe. I've had multiple pipe bursts over the years, and one as recently as a couple months ago. I'm used to having water where it's not supposed to be! Possibly even worse, is having a burst pipe under the slab. This may run undetected for days, making the water bill extremely high. This is what happened to me recently, and my bill was $880. Luckily, the City of Winston Salem agreed to credit most of it except for charges that would be typical of two month's water use.

How To Prevent Water Damage

2/4/2022 (Permalink)

Sometimes the cause of water damage is beyond our control but sometimes we can take simple steps to prevent accidental water damage.

Promptly clean up any water spills or pooling of water on your floors. When you see any signs of moisture, grab a clean, dry cloth or mop immediately. Quick action will minimize or eliminate any impact on your floors.

Keep your floors in good repair. Floors that have lost their protective coating of polyurethane are susceptible to damage more readily than floors with a layer of polyurethane.

When cleaning your floors remember to never use excessive water or cleaning solution. A string mop is not recommended as this type of mop holds too much liquid. Take care when cleaning your wood floors because excessive amounts of water can be absorbed by the grain in the wood.

Check your plumbing and fixtures. Keep an eye on your plumbing and if in doubt call in an expert to be sure fittings and fixtures are in proper working order. Always have a professional install your appliances.

Water Damaged Wood Floors

2/4/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage happens when water is allowed to saturate a hardwood floor often the result is a condition referred to as cupping. This happens because more moisture is absorbed by the unfinished underside of the boards causing the bottom of each board to expand more than the top. The result is a wavy appearance and each course of wood is raised at the seams.

The hardest part when dealing with water damaged floors is waiting for the floors to dry out. If the floors are cupped like a washboard they may flatten out with time and you may avoid replacement. The best thing you can do is to call your local expert on wood floors, SERVPRO of High Point. We will take a moisture test and depending on the reading and the amount of cupping observed, the determination will be made to either try to dry out the affected areas, or replace them.

Water Damage Restoration/Reconstruction

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Now that we are actively pursuing not only mitigation work, but restoration and reconstruction work, I would like to explain exactly what this means to our customers.

Water damage restoration/reconstruction refers to the process of removing water from the home or business and restoring the property to its normal condition. Water damage restoration is more than cleaning or vacuuming as porous materials in the home or business absorb moisture quickly.

Whatever the cause of the damage, fixing it typically entails a five step process: inspection and assessment, water removal, drying and dehumidification, cleaning and sanitizing, and finally, restoration and water damage repair.

Restoration contractors like SERVPRO of High Point deal with the insurance companies to help get the parts of the property that are damaged by the water to be paid for by the homeowner's insurance company.

SERVPRO of High Point is very skilled and knowledgeable when working with insurance companies and knowing what repairs will be included in a covered loss.

Quest Recalled Pipe

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

My home was built with polybutylene pipe. Polybutylene pipe is also known as Quest pipe. It was pipe that was used in mobile homes mostly, but several builders used it in single family homes as well.  This type of pipe was made with defective fittings, to where they would easily be compromised when water ran through it over a period of time.

I bought my home in 1995 from the original owners who had it built ten years prior. On the buyer's full disclosure report, this defective pipe was not noted. After our first six months in the home, we had our first pipe burst. Then over the next fifteen years we would have an additional seven pipe bursts. A couple were under the slab, behind the hot water heater, in the bathroom walls and ceiling. I came home way too many times to water everywhere.

I'm sure now that part of the reason this happened was so I would know what it feels like to have water damage. I can very much relate and empathize with my customers especially after they experience a water loss.

One Stop Shop

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage mitigation is one of our core services. In the past, we would extract all excess water and remove parts of the structure that were damaged by the water loss. After we completed this portion of the job, we'd often recommend another contractor to do the repairs, "put back", and reconstruction. 

In an effort to simplify the process for our customers, allowing them a "one stop shop", we hired a Project Manager, Troy Lescalleet, to oversee and manage the job of putting the structure back together after the mitigation portion is completed. Troy has been with us almost a month now, and he is very knowledgeable in his approach to knowing how to work with the customer.  The SERVPRO of High Point team continues to put the needs of the customer as priority one.

How To Stop Window Condensation

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

In the winter, you may think that low humidity is all you have to worry about in your home. This would be a mistake. One of the biggest issues with moisture that homeowners face during the winter months is window condensation. If you notice moisture forming on the inside of your windows, you may feel tempted to brush it off. But you shouldn't. Doing so could encourage the development of mold, which can be seriously harmful to your respiratory health. Commercial dehumidifiers are an easy way to take some of the humidity out of the air. They are commonplace in stores and online, and you should have little trouble finding one that fits your aesthetic preferences and budget. In this area, the lack of color outside during the winter can take its toll on you. For this reason, many people try to compensate with houseplants. If you have a ton of houseplants and are noticing window condensation, you might have gone a little overboard. You may want to give some of them away to friends. And finally, do you air dry your laundry on a drying rack? This is an excellent, energy-efficient choice for the environment, but it might not be such a good idea if you have too much moisture in the air. Machine drying your clothes instead could help to stop window condensation.

Why Is My Water Bill So High?

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Water is a major utility in any city, making it a significant concern for homeowners, renters, and commercial property owners alike. A high water bill is troublesome not only because of the financial cost, but also because it indicates that precious water may be going to waste somewhere. According to the EPA, the average household's leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of wasted water each year, and ten percent of homes leak 90 gallons or more per day. When your water bill is higher than normal, it's important to track down the cause and correct it as soon as possible. There are 8 reasons for a high water bill: 1) Leaky/Running Toilets. In most cases, these leaks will be caused by a faulty flapper in the toilet tank. 2) Leaky Faucets and Fixtures. The most common cause of a faucet leak is a faulty rubber washer in the faucet handle. 3)Irrigation Leaks. This type of leak becomes evident in your lawn where there are unusually damp patches or areas of grass that are more lush than their surroundings. 4) Lateral Line Leaks. In some cases, one of the underground pipes feeding water from your metered connection to your home may have a crack or loose joint. 5) Old, Outdated Fixtures and Toilets 6) Recent Changes In Water Use.  One small change in your water use habits or household situation can have a big impact on your utility bill. 7) New Water-Consuming Equipment.  Pools, sprinkler systems, washing machines, freezers, and other new equipment can result in a sudden increase in your water bill. 8) Bad Water Wasting Habits.  Lengthy and unnecessary shower times. Running water to thaw meats and frozen foods. Washing dishes by hand. Keeping water running while brushing teeth or shaving.

What is Hygroscopic Material?

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

A hydroscopic material is one which readily takes up and retains moisture. As the humidity increases, hygroscopic materials take on more and more water until they reach equilibrium with the environment. This increases substantially above 60%Rh. If water evaporates too quickly into warm interior air without a corresponding humidity reduction, the result increases the chance for microbial growth, thus damaging hygroscopic materials. Therefore, hygroscopic materials, previously undamaged by liquid water, can become damaged if the humidity is not controlled. This is referred to as secondary damage and is what occurs when air movers, which increase the rate of evaporation (adding humidity), are placed without setting up an adequate dehumidification capacity. The humidity will rise rapidly and can cause secondary damage to hygroscopic materials. A very important point is that the rate of evaporation is directly proportional to the vapor pressure differential between the surface of wet materials and the adjoining air. This indicates that the capacity for dehumidification should actually exceed the rate of evaporation. This "abnormally dry" air mass insures an even greater rate of evaporation.

An Open or Closed Dehumidification System?

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

The open drying system uses ambient outdoor air to reduce the indoor humidity. The most appropriate outdoor conditions for using an open drying system are when the temperature is high and the relative humidity is low. Always take an outside reading to check your dew point temperature. The open system is thus utilizing the principle of dynamic equilibrium for indoor humidity reduction. However, considerations must be made for energy loss and cost, building security, changing weather conditions, and all psychrometric data indoors and outdoors. The closed system utilizes air movers, dehumidifiers and psychrometrics to artificially control the indoor environment. The acceptable range of allowable humidity in an indoor environment for health and comfort is between 30%Rh and 50%Rh. The use of dehumidification equipment should always be considered in sealed structures to prevent equilibrium. In a flood damaged structure the Rh always seeks equilibrium and then the evaporation process stops. The vapor pressure equalizes in the contained space until the maximum humidity is reached or there is no more available water to evaporate. One of the best times to utilize a closed drying system and create positive pressure inside the building is when the outdoor humidity is high.

Structural Drying

1/21/2021 (Permalink)

Moisture content in structural components must be a concern in all water damage situations. After evaluation of carpet and pad, a careful evaluation of structural materials must be done. Replacement of structural components if damaged beyond repair will be much more costly than replacement of contents such as carpet and pad. Thus, consideration and inspection of any structural component that has the remotest possibility of being wet is vital. If moisture is detected, rapid drying of the structure must be the primary concern. The use of a hygrometer to measure air space moisture in attics and crawl spaces and the use of a moisture meter to measure the extent of saturation of porous materials is considered standard procedure in all water losses. The permeance of a structural component should be considered when determining drying procedures. Vinyl-covered drywall may require holes to be drilled into and air forced through them for drying due to possible vapor barrier. Wet baseboards act as a moisture barrier and should be removed to drill holes to speed up the drying process. Since this is the molding that covers the joint between a finished wall and the floor, when it is replaced it will cover the holes.

Fresh Water Damage Cleanup

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

As an industry standard, all flooding water must be surface extracted and removed from all wet content and building materials. Fresh water left beyond 24 hours should be disinfected from unwanted fungi and, when necessary, followed up with structural drying. This often involves removal and disposal of damaged pad and carpet, while attempting to salvage most carpeting. Wet floors, especially hardwood flooring and sub-floors are always extracted, air-dried and dehumidified in an attempt to salvage costly building materials. In most instances, wet drywall will dry out on its own or with drying equipment, but in some instances fungi are known to habitat inside wet drywall, studs, insulation and other wet building materials. If fungi becomes a building or occupant health concern, SERVPRO of High Point will ask the customer for written permission to open wet wall cavities in an attempt to clean, sanitize, and replace damaged building materials. Our main goal is to always keep the customer informed during every step of the process. 

Restorative Drying

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

The restoring drying specialist may be asked from time to time to dry water damaged documents. While such procedures are not normally recommended because it is almost always impossible to produce "before loss" appearances, some situations involving irreplaceable items, such as original historical documents, items of sentimental value, original tax files, out of print books, etc. may necessitate an attempt. In some cases, simply drying out so the documents can be copied will provide a valuable service. Freezing or drying items such as books and papers saturated with Category 1 water within 24-48 hours can greatly reduce damage done by moisture. Transporting while frozen to an area where thawing and drying can be closely controlled and monitored will then give the restorer an opportunity to preserve the documents. Keep the items frozen until controlled drying can commence. If book pages are coated, wax paper is inserted between each page to alleviate pages from sticking together. When this need arises, SERVPRO of High Point has a resource within our own Corporate office in Gallatin, TN. They've restored documents for the Library of Congress!

Effects of Water On Carpet Padding

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

If carpet is present at a water damage site, its construction and type of installation will have an affect on dry-out procedures.  Carpet cushion or pad acts like a sponge and soaks up water to capacity if exposed to flooding conditions.  In most cases, it is advisable and more cost effective to replace saturated padding rather than attempt to dry it out.  Even when the decision has been made to dry the carpet on location, replacement of the pad may still be the best alternative. If the cushion or pad are saturated with Category 2 or Category 3 water, it definitely should be removed and disposed of. Most pads have a scrim or thin "skin" on the topside to allow the carpet to slide over it during installation.  Sometimes, usually when installed over concrete, this scrim is non-porous and actually forms a water barrier.  If water is present under the pad, attempting to dry the pad is impractical and the pad should always be replaced.

Effects of Water on Wood Flooring

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

An important thing to remember when drying wood floors is to introduce air flow to the flooring surfaces and sub-surfaces as quickly as possible and determine a drying goal before attempting restoration.  Vinyl flooring/laminated wood flooring installed over the sub-floor may require removal for complete drying of the sub-floor.  Due to the nature of construction of this type of flooring, complete replacement may be necessary when a large amount of moisture seeps underneath it.  A non-penetration moisture detector will reveal the extent of moisture in the sub-floor.  Plywood is more resistant to water damage than particle board because of the manner in which it is constructed, and the fact that its wood vaneer assemblies potentially provide greater resistance to damage.  The exception would be if delamination has begun to occur.  Then replacement of the damaged portion of the floor is required.  The same is true of swollen, damaged particle board, which almost always delaminates when flooded.

The Importance of Air Movers

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

The air mover is a very important piece of equipment for professional water damage restoration.  Sometimes referred to as squirrel cage fans because of their appearance, these instruments are specifically designed and engineered to deliver a high volume of airflow over and under surfaces to expedite the drying process.  They dry wet surfaces by causing increased evaporation due to air movement and are vital in avoiding prolonged drying times, the number one reason for extensive damage in water damage situations.  Increased airflow also inhibits the growth of microorganisms.  A air mover works by having a powerful blower wheel driven by a thermally protected electric motor.  As the wheel spins, it discharges a large flow of air through the snout at high speeds.  The volume of airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and is determined by the size of the motor, its RPM and the size of the wheel.

Classes of Water Damage

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

There are four classes of water damage that technicians will come upon on a regular basis and must be able to communicate to all concerned parties.  Class 1 has a slow evaporation rate.  This is for water losses that affect only part of a room or area.  Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion is present.  Class 2 has a fast evaporation rate. These are water losses that effect the entire room or carpet and cushion.  Water has wicked up the walls.  And there is moisture remaining in structural materials.  Class 3 has the fastest evaporation rate.  This type of water loss involves the greatest area of moisture absorption by materials, and the greatest potential rate of evaporation.  Class 4 relates to specialty drying situations.  This is when water is hidden, trapped or found within building materials and assemblies such as wood and concrete, resulting in a low potential rate of evaporation.

Emergency Water Damage Tips

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

For starters, shut off the water source, if possible or contact a qualified professional to stop the water source. Then, 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 aluminum 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.  Do not enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards. Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water.  This could cause electrical shock or damage to the device.  Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. And make sure to call the water damage mitigation professionals at SERVPRO of High Point!

The Importance of Moisture Meters

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

Why do we need moisture meters in water damage repair at every step of the job? The answer is quite simple. Moisture meters are used for moisture control to avoid mold build-up and to check moisture in floors, cabinets and other furnishings to avoid cracking, checking and warping.  When disaster strikes, a pipe breaks, a roof leaks, or floods occur, we need to act swiftly and remove the excess water before mold builds up. Therefore, every responsible water damage repair company needs moisture meters and thermo-hygrometers to determine the extent of water damage,and later to check the drying progress, then last to confirm all excess water has been removed. Here, the challenge is to find the moisture from the surface to the depth of the absorption.  Pin and pinless meters are helpful. Both meters have advantages and disadvantages, and it is not always an easy or clear choice. It is important to use a reliable meter because you do not want to replace materials unnecessarily, you want to replace only the damaged materials with a high moisture content.

Restorative Drying

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

The most important principle of drying is to understand the transfer of energy.  No one can argue that drying at the correct temperature is the most effective way to restore a wet structure to it preloss condition.  Dry too slowly, dry too fast, dry too little, or drying too long are all problematic. Humidity, airflow, temperature and time are four very important elements.  Drying time is directly related to the temperature differential between water trapped in materials and the surrounding air, making heat, arguably, one of the most practical ways to dry.  The exchange of heat and water vapor from a wet surface determines how quickly a surface will dry. This has been shown in numerous studies on various materials.  When we are evaporating moisture we are changing water from a liquid to a gas and as our team of professionals understands, using a chart or calculator helps to make what is often invisible - visible.

Floods

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

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.  Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last five years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.  According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster.  The ARC 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 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.  Do you live in a potential flood risk zone?  Check out FEMA's Flood Map Service Center by visiting msc.fema.gov, where you can easily enter your business, home, or other address to determine if your property is at risk for flooding based on a visual flood map.

Water Types

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

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 contaminents 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. When dealing with black water, it is imperative to wear the proper PPE to insure proper safety practices.

Flooded Basement

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

Unexpected water in your basement can damage walls and floors, destroy carpeting, ruin furniture, and lead - pretty quickly - to mold.  And perhaps the most upsetting of all:  As these places are so often used for storage, a wet basement can ruin irreplaceable items like photo albums, antiques, and family heirlooms.  When you experience a flooded basement for the first time, it's imperative to determine if the water problems are going to recur or if it was a one-time event.  Can you safely leave your property downstairs once you've got the mess cleaned up?  Or does everything need to come upstairs immediately?  What's certain is that if water in your basement is a consistent problem, it's time to start making decisions.  Determining where the water is coming from is the first and most essential step in solving this problem.  Beyond observable flooding around your home and in your neighborhood, there are four common sources of water entering basements:  Surface water running down foundation walls.  Groundwater in water-saturated soils being pushed into the basement by hydrostatic pressure.  Storm sewer water from the municipal storm sewer system backing up into the home's existing perimeter foundation drain and leaking into the basement.  Sanitary sewer water from a clog in your home's sewer line, the municipal sewer line, or the combined municipal storm/sanitary sewer system backing up into the home's drain system, causing sewer water to come up through sink drains and floor drains on lower levels.  Each source has its own specifics and requires it own course of action.  Find out more about your home's drainage system by consulting a contractor or plumber.

What is Sewer Backup?

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

While floods are probably best known for causing extensive water damage to homes and businesses, they can also cause sewage from sanitary sewer lines to back up into houses through drain pipes.  These backups not only cause damage that is difficult and expensive to repair, but also create health hazards.  Most homeowners and business owners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral-the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located under the street, and the building.  The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that may extend into the street or public right of way.  A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system, contributing to the sewer backup problems.  To prevent backups in your lateral and in the city main you need to do several things.  One is to dispose of grease properly.  Do not wash grease down the drain with hot water.  As the grease cools off, it will solidify either in the drain, the property owner's line, or in the main sewer causing the line to constrict and eventually clog.  Another is to dispose of paper products properly. Paper towels, diapers, and feminine products can cause many problems in the property owner's lateral as well as in the city main because they do not deteriorate quickly, as bathroom tissue does.  Next, you may want to replace your line with new plastic pipe.  One way to prevent tree roots from entering your line is to replace your line and tap with new plastic pipe.  If you still have problems with tree roots growing in your lateral, you may have to have roots cut periodically. Shrubs and trees seeking moisture can make their way into sewer line cracks causing extensive damage.  They may start out small, getting into a small crack in the pipe; but as the tree or shrub continues to grow, so does the root.  Tree roots can enter the service pipe at joints and cause blockages.  Sometimes a blockage is the result of a combination of city and private trees.  In this case, costs are split between the city and property owner.   

Frozen Pipes

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.  A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly. To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:  Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as, outside hoses.  Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air circulate near the plumbing.  When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.  Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night. And call SERVPRO of High Point if you do experience a pipe burst that results in a water loss.

What Not to Do If You Have Water Damage

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Don't enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist. Don't enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrial equipment are exposed to water. Don't leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining. Don't leave oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining. Don't use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner. Don't use tv's or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors. Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

What To Do If You Have Water Damage

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Shut off the source of water 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 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 and sensitive to moisture. Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors. Hang draperies and coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

Most everyone is aware that water problems can lead to mold growth…let’s look at some simple steps you can take to help prevent mold growth.  We know that water is needed for the growth of mold, so I want to share with you the EPA’s Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips from their website, www.epa.gov.

  • Act quickly with water leaks or spills occur indoors. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases, you can prevent mold growth.
  • Clean and repair roof gutters regularly to keep outside water from penetrating inside your home and creating a moisture problem inside the walls and ceiling of your home.
  • Make sure the ground slopes away from your home’s foundation so water cannot collect or enter at the foundation
  • Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
  • Keep indoor humidity low (between 30 and 50 percent is ideal but anything below 60 percent relative humidity is good).  Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) instrument available at many hardware stores.
  • If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes, act quickly to dry the wet surface. Condensation can
    be a sign of high humidity.

Ways to reduce humidity and prevent condensation include:

  • Vent appliances (such as clothes dryers and stoves) to the outside of the house when possible.
  • Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering.
  • Use exhaust fans when cooking or running the dishwasher.
  • Cover cold surfaces such as cold water pipes with insulation.

Increase ventilation or air movement by opening
doors and windows (whenever practical) or using fan

Plumbing Problems?

10/17/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage can be costly and a big inconvenience. It can occur as a result of many circumstances and you cannot control all of the sources or situations that may lead to water damage.  However, there are things you can do to reduce the possibility of water damages occurring.  Today we are going to focus on Plumbing as the cause. Here are the most common reasons for water damage in your home or business as a result of plumbing:

  • Faulty Construction
  • Malfunctioning Water Filtration System
  • Problems with Dishwasher Supply Line
  • Sink Malfunction
  • Problems with Ice Maker Water Supply Line
  • Toilet Overflow or Back-up
  • Malfunctioning Water Heater
  • Frozen Pipes – Pipe Breaks / Leaks
  • Problems with the Clothes Washer Water Supply Line

It is always good to keep a check on the plumbing areas you can see…toilets, sinks, refrigerators and washing machines to make sure they are in good running order. By routinely checking, you could find any small problem before it becomes a major problem.  This could save you from having a major issue in your home.

Basement Waterproofing

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

Basement Waterproofing

Basement Waterproofing is needed anytime a structure is built at ground level or below ground.  Waterproofing and drainage considerations are especially needed in cases where ground water is likely to build up in the soil and raise the water table.  This higher water table causes hydrostatic pressure to be exerted underneath basement floors and against basement walls. Hydrostatic pressure
forces water in through cracks in foundation walls, through openings caused by expansion and contraction of the footing-foundation wall joint and up through floor cracks. Hydrostatic pressure can cause major structural damage to foundation walls and is likely to contribute to mold, decay and other moisture related problems.

Warning signs that you have waterproofing problems in your basement can include:

  • Signs of Mold and Mildew Fungus - this can grow in damp or dark areas, and cause discoloration, or musty odors.
  • Moldy Odors - This is the result of the decay process from mold, and dry rot.
  • Peeling Paint – This is a sign that you have moisture problems and may have waterproofing issues.
  • Damp Spots on Walls – Water has absorbed through your walls and you need to confirm the source of the water.
  • White Substance on Basement Walls – This is a chemical breakdown of the bonding agent that holds your walls together. This white substance can be a sign of possible structural deterioration.
  • Cracked Walls – These should be inspected to determine the exact cause.
  • Rust on Appliances or Furniture Like furnaces – Rust is caused by a wet environment and can be a sign of waterproofing issues.

If you have on-going occurrences in your basement you may need to investigate on procedures to waterproof your basement.  Mold remediation can be handled professionally but but if the source is not repaired you will be dealing with the various signs above over and over again.  If any of these signs sound familiar please make sure you look into fixing the source of the water intrusion instead of fixing the affects of the water damage time after time.  It may cost money up front but it will save you money in the long run and help to maintain the structural integrity of the home.

A Leaky Roof Can Lead to Trouble

7/14/2016 (Permalink)

If you see spots in the ceiling like this one it may be time to have your roof inspected for a potential leak.

If you discover that your roof is leaking it is extremely important to take prompt action to have it repaired.  Not doing so may put your entire home at risk.  If your roof is leaking, even if it only appears to be a minor leak, this could be an indicator of a much greater problem.  Even a small leak in your roof can cause a great deal of damage if it persists long enough, so make sure you do not let it continue once a leak is discovered.

Usually a roof leak will be noticed from inside of the home when water rings or ceiling stains form on the ceiling. A leak of any kind can create an environment that can lead to ceiling instability, water intrusion through cracks or electrical receptacles, deterioration of the structure and even mold growth.  Water Damage can really damage the structure of a home and the repairs can be costly.  Early detection and proactive maintenance can greatly reduce the damage and cost of these repairs.  It may be difficult to readily identify the source of the water intrusion, which is why water rings or leaks should never be ignored.  Roofs are one of the biggest protectors of our home and over time they can become damaged due to bad weather, harsh climates and poor maintenance.  The strength and longevity of a roof can also be compromised due to poor quality materials or improper installation so make sure you hire a professional company with experience who stands behind their work.

Once a roofing company is contacted, they should do whatever is necessary

initially to protect the inside of your home from more moisture. Usually, a roofing company will use tarps to protect the interior of your home from further damage until the roof is repaired or replaced.  Fortunately, a roof assessment can reveal if the damage occurred due to storm damage and sometimes insurance companies provide coverage for this scenario.  When it comes to protecting your home, investing in quality materials and workmanship is always worth the cost!

It's The Water You Don't See

5/15/2016 (Permalink)

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.  The key to avoid costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property.  SERVPRO of High Point has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry the unseen water before secondary damages occur.  The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss.  When time matters technology and equipment must be counted on to perform.  We will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment.

Here are just some of the tools we use:

  • Moisture Sensors which are used to detect moisture in carpets baseboards or walls.

  • Moisture Meters which are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials.  This allows us to monitor the drying process with accuracy.

  • Thermohygrometers which are used to measure the temperature and relative humidity of a structure.  This allows us to create an environment most conducive for drying.

There are many other tools and equipment used to make sure we can discover the water you don’t see and make sure it does not become a problem for you in the future.  The bottom line is your SERVPRO professionals have the equipment, technology, training, and experience to help make your fire, water and mold problems “Like it never even happened.”