Recent Water Damage Posts

Tips to Pump Water Out of a Basement

10/6/2022 (Permalink)

submersible pump pumping water Here are some tips to Pump Water Out of a Basement

Pumping out the basement isn’t difficult, but there are safety considerations.

  1. Before Pumping Flood Water. Wait until exterior floodwaters recede. If water is standing in your yard around your home’s foundation, it’s too soon to pump. Shut off electricity to the house if it’s still on. Keep children and animals away from the basement. A submersible pump is necessary for removing the water. The pump is encased in a waterproof shell and features a sealed electrical cord and a fitting that connects to a regular garden hose or a sump hose, which is larger in diameter. The larger the hose, the more quickly the pump will remove the water. In addition to the pump and a hose, you’ll need a heavy-duty extension cord and a generator to run the pump. A nylon rope is necessary for lowering the pump if the water is more than a few feet deep.
  2. Setting Up the Pump. Attach the extension cord to the pump cord before putting the pump in the basement. Secure the connection where no water can reach it by looping the cords around a ceiling joist or another heavy object that will hold the connection where it won’t get wet. Attach a garden hose or a sump hose to the fitting on the top of the pump and tie a nylon rope to the top of the pump. Most pumps have a place on top of the pump where you can tie the rope. Position the end of the hose away from the house on a grade where the water can drain into a gutter or storm sewer.
  3. Pumping Out the Water. Lower the pump into the basement, using the rope. If you’ve only got few inches of standing water, you can wear rubber boots and position the pump on the floor at the lowest spot. Once the pump is in place, start the generator and plug the extension cord into the generator. This will start the pump. You can speed the removal process by running two or more pumps at the same time. Once the water level is down to a few inches, position the pump at the lowest level in the basement to remove all the water.
  4. Wet/Dry Vacuum for Small Problems. If the water problem is limited to a small area and is less than 1-inch deep, you might be able to pump out the water with a wet/dry vacuum. Wet/dry vacuums work well, but they draw the water into a tank, which holds about 4 to 5 gallons of water. Each time the tank is full, you must carry it upstairs or to a basement drain and dump it. For anything more than very small water problems, this can quickly become labor-intensive.
  5. Dry-Out Considerations. The general rule is that you should replace anything porous if it was saturated with water to prevent the risk of mold growth. This includes drywall paneling and carpeting. 

Ways to Treat Residential Water Damage

10/4/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage can lead to severe structural changes and can also cause serious health and safety issues, so you must be able to treat current and prevent future damages caused by water.

Here are some effectual ways to deal with residential water damage successfully.

Mold Inspection

Water brings with it a great amount of moisture, and it is a known fact that moist and damp places serve as breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. It is possible that after a flood or leaking pipes in your home, you might have to deal with a mold problem. So, one of the first important things to do is inspect your entire house for mold spores and other signs of mildew. In case you do come across serious mold infestation, get immediate help from a mold removal service in order to prevent it from expanding its growth.

Dry Out Affected Areas

It is extremely vital to get rid of all the moisture from your home by drying out the affected areas as soon as you can. This is to prevent any further structural damage or the growth of mold and fungus. But this greatly depends on the extremity of the water damage. For instance, if you’re dealing with small leaks from broken pipes, you can place portable fans in the affected area to dry them out. However, if the damage is quite extensive, perhaps due to heavy rainfall, you might want to consider renting a large-sized humidifier to thoroughly dry out wet or damp areas. Another option is to SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago and Warrenville.

Remove Damaged Items

Residential water damage greatly affects porous materials, which include carpets, sofa fabrics, and other similar items. In case of serious water damage, all these things in your home are likely to be destroyed due to being soaked in water. It is best to remove them and get rid of them in order to prevent other problems from occurring. Water tends to permanently destroy porous materials, and if drying them out is not an option, consider disposing of them entirely.

Pump Away Standing Water

If there are big puddles of standing water inside your home, use a sump pump to remove all the water and pump it outdoors. This is a kind of a submersible pump that moves water in a continuous manner with the help of a pipe or hose. You can either rent a sump pump for a few hours or buy one if there’s a lot of standing water inside your home.

Why Is My Basement Ceiling Wet?

9/15/2022 (Permalink)

water damage on a ceiling Water damage to a basement ceiling can be caused by several different issues.

So, you’ve detected water damage on your basement ceiling, but where did it come from? The likely suspects include:

  • Pipe Leaks              

Faulty plumbing is often the root cause of water damage to a basement ceiling. Pipes can leak from high water pressure, corrosion, extreme temperature changes and faulty appliances. The culprit may also be a toilet with a poor or deteriorated wax gasket seal, a tub with a defective faucet, plumbing or aging caulk seals.

  • Broken or Improper Window Seals  

Another potential cause is improperly sealed windows. A settling foundation and varying temperatures over the years can cause window seals to deteriorate or the window itself to become misaligned. An incorrectly installed window could also be the origin of your water leaking woes. Moisture from window leaks can seep into the walls and floors above the basement, eventually working its way down.

  • Poor Water Drainage            

Water that is not adequately drained away from the dwelling has potential to leak into the basement from above. This could be caused by poorly aligned or debris-clogged downspouts, deficient grading of surrounding property or landscaping, or weak footing drains.

  • Sudden Spills and Accidents             

Life happens. Sudden spills, accidents or the overturning of a large quantity of water or liquid can work its way through the floors and result in a water-damaged basement ceiling. For those with pets in the home, that family companion could also be the culprit. Repeated pet accidents in the same location can result in a wet basement ceiling.

What Can I Do About a Wet Basement Ceiling?

Once you’ve discovered water damage, it’s time to remediate the damage and restore your home. Water damage should always be addressed by a water-damage specialist. SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago and Warrenville are IICRC-certified and equipped with the tools and knowledge to identify the cause, restore your home and mitigate the risk of future water damage.

Keep Pipes from Freezing

9/15/2022 (Permalink)

frozen pipe A frozen pipe that is ignored and thaws out can be a disaster

How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

With a few simple tips and tricks, frozen pipe prevention isn’t very difficult. First you must identify any pipes that are vulnerable to freezing. Any uninsulated pipes that run outside are at risk of freezing. Water supply lines that run through the garage, crawl spaces or attics are also vulnerable. Pipes under cabinets or pipes that run along exterior walls are also at risk. Hopefully, your home was built with freezing pipe prevention in mind. But sometimes a cold spell in warm climates puts many homes at risk.

First and foremost, the heat must be kept on in a home where you don’t want the pipes to freeze. A frozen pipe isn’t a disaster until it thaws out; after that, water flows endlessly until the water supply gets shut off. This is one reason many people shut off the main water supply when they leave town for vacation.

Exterior Water Supply

Any pipes that provide water outside the house should be drained and shut off during cold months. This includes outdoor showers or hose bibs that don’t have a frost-free spigot. Always disconnect and drain hoses on outdoor water bibs, even on freeze-proof bibs.

Leave the Faucet On

Moving water is much less likely to freeze and doesn’t allow pressure to build up in the pipe. For a temporary solution during a frigid cold spell, simply leave all the taps in your home lightly dripping. This will keep the water in the pipes moving and less likely to freeze. 

Encourage Circulation

Sometimes frozen pipes are a result of poor air circulation. You can encourage warm air circulation in your home by leaving all the doors open and using fans to direct warm air into neglected areas. Leaving the cabinet doors open under sinks also ensures there are no cold spots around exposed pipes. 

Insulate

Wrap pipes with pipe insulation to protect them against the cold. These come in many different shapes and sizes specific to the type of pipe. 

Heat Cable

Heat cable (heat tape) is specifically designed to wrap around pipes and use electric current to warm them. An outlet must be nearby to use heat cable, and the pipe must be exposed to allow easy wrapping access. These tapes come in different styles: one that turns on when it senses heat is needed and another that runs constantly. A GFCI-equipped outlet should be used for plugging in heat cable. Heat cable is effective, but it’s an expensive solution if you need to protect pipes for a long period of time. 

Provide a Heat Source

In areas outside the home like a well house or a garage with water pipes, heating can help prevent frozen pipes. Heating these areas can be cost prohibitive, so if you don’t need water in these areas, shut off the supplies to them. In a well house that supplies your home with water, light a kerosene lantern or keep a light bulb on if the structure has power. The heat from these appliances should hopefully be enough to keep the pipes from freezing, if the structure is small enough. If it’s not a small structure, you may want to consider a long-term solution like insulating the well house or moving the well pump inside. As always, take care when using these heating appliances; a kerosene lantern is a fire hazard.  

Should Carpet be Replaced After Water Damage?

9/13/2022 (Permalink)

Carpet being cleaned with steam cleaner Water damage can happen to just about anyone

Act Quickly and Safely to Stop the Flow

First and foremost, safely stop the flow of water as soon as possible. Take extra caution before entering an area where electrical appliances, or other electrical equipment is present. If feasible, and to minimize risk, shut off the electric power before you enter a flooded room.

Next, move with purpose, but be aware that a wet floor can be very slippery—especially surfaces like tile. That last thing you need is to injure yourself while dealing with a flood situation. Carefully make your way to the source of the water and stop the flow. Once the flow of water has been stopped, take a quick assessment of the area. It’s important to deal with any standing water as soon as possible. The longer water sits in an area, the more extensive the damage.

Get towels, buckets, and/or a mop to remove as much standing water as possible. Also, try to minimize the flow of water from one area to another, use towels and blankets—while you continue to remove as much water as possible.

Identifying the Source

Determining the source of a flood can range from relatively easy to very difficult—burst pipe, clogged drain, leaky roof flashing. If you’re unable to pinpoint the source, call in an expert with experience in damage assessment. They can quickly identify the source, assess the damage, and help you get your home restored.

Once the standing water has been removed it’s time to assess the damage. Tile floors are the most forgiving when it comes to flooding, wood and carpet, not so much. But what about carpet?

Assessing Carpet Damage

When dealing with carpet that has been exposed to a flood there are a few things to consider before making a final decision on whether to keep or discard it. One of the biggest factors is the age of the carpet. Indoor/outdoor carpet, which is designed to withstand the elements will hold up pretty well to water. Plush, or deep shag carpet on the other hand is very difficult for the average homeowner to dry and may require SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlet, West Chicago and Warrenville to sufficiently dry the carpet. Once the carpet is completely dry the damage can be properly assessed. Does the carpet have an odor? Is it discolored or permanently stained? If not, it may be worth saving.

Don’t Forget to Check the Sub-Floor

Before making a final decision the padding and subfloor—what’s under the carpet—will have to be evaluated. Any water damage must be repaired, not just covered up. If the damage is not properly addressed mold could develop and create a serious health threat. Even if the sub-floor appears intact, it’s always a good idea to have SERVPRO check for structural damage. If no permanent damage is detected, and the carpet and padding are dried completely, leaving the carpet in place is an option.

5 Ways to Prevent a Soggy Basement

9/1/2022 (Permalink)

water in a basement Prevent basement flooding. These 5 tips will help.

According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), floods are the No. 1 disaster in America. But did you also know that melting snow and ice poses a chilling risk for basement or other property-related flooding? Commonly known as winter thaw, rapidly melting snow and ice can quickly become a property owner’s worst nightmare, leaking into basements or other areas of home, leaving behind extensive water damage and destruction.

Other causes of basement flooding, or flooding in any area of a home or office, include flash flooding, burst pipes, cracks in foundation, poor lot grading, sewer back-up, and overfilled eaves, troughs and downspouts. What can homeowners do to lessen the risk? Prevention is the best approach to reduce the risk of flooding.

These tips on preventing basement flooding will help:

Fill and Seal Cracks

Look for cracks or gaps in walls, floors, windows and foundations that water can come through. Seal cracks as well as window wells. Use epoxy on foundation cracks and masonry sealer indoors. If the problem looks serious, call SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago, and Warrenville.

Clean Gutters and Downspouts

Clean out gutters and downspouts of all debris and position downspouts away from your home’s foundation. Make sure downspouts are draining properly at least six and a half feet away.

Place Plants or Shrubs Around your Home

Plant shrubs, flowers or plants around your home and install porous pavement to help absorb as much excess water as possible.

Have a Plumber Install a Sump Pump

Have a plumber ensure your plumbing is in good condition and fix if it is not. If not already installed, have a plumber install a sump pump. It pumps water from sump basin and redirects it outdoors. Place it in the lowest part of the basement and regularly check to make sure it is clean. Also, sump pumps need power to work so think about having a back-up power source. 

Avoid Blocking your Drains and Pipes

Don’t dispose cooking oil and grease down your drains as it can cause drain blockage. Try to avoid flushing objects down the toilet that could potentially block the sanitary pipe.

Bonus winter weather tip: When shoveling the snow from your driveway or sidewalk, toss it away from your home. Piles of snow next to your home often lead to water disaster.

Water mitigation is needed after plumbing failures or storms cause water to rush into your home, whether it’s the basement or another area of the home. Soaked rugs, damaged walls, warped flooring, and ruined furniture are only the beginning of the damages property owners will experience. It’s important to act quickly in the face of an emergency such as flooding from plumbing failure or storm water backup.

Minimize Water Damage From a Sink

3/3/2022 (Permalink)

bathroom sink overflowing If your sink is flooding it can damage your home

When it comes to water damage from a sink flood there are some ways in which you could minimize the damage. This article offers you tips on how to minimize the water damage from a sink flood. The one main thing that is important for you to do in order to minimize damage from a sink flood is to get the water to your house shut off immediately.

Key Takeaways:

  • If your sink is flooding it can damage your home
  • Make sure to shut off the water immediately
  • Use any fabric you can find to create a barrier to isolate the water

A sink overflowing with water is a common cause of water damage and have the potential to cause much more than just a wet mess in your home. If the water gets out of control, it may result in flooding and serious interior water damage to your property.  It can also create serious health hazards as it can develop eventual bacterial growth.

When dealing with an overflowing sink, your best line of defense is always to do your best to prevent it from happening.  Thankfully, avoiding a sink flooding isn’t hard to do; you just have to keep in mind that most overflows happen due to a clogged drain. If you easily maintain it by keeping your drain clear, water should be able to flow to the sewers as intended. If not, you may end up dealing with some sink flooding.

Preventing Sink Flooding

One way to prevent sink flooding is by following these tips to keep your drain line clear:

  • Don’t dispose of food scraps through your sink. As particles accumulate, they can form a solid clog that restricts water movement.
  • Just because fat, oil and grease look fluid doesn’t mean they’ll go right along with water to the sewers. These substances can deposit and solidify in your drainage pipe and cause a clog.
  • Avoid getting hair into your sink. Hair can create a barrier that prevents the escape of water into the sewage system.
  • Always have a drain cover to filter out large, solid objects that may fall into your sink’s drainage pipe. Dispose of these particles in the trash.

HOW WATER DAMAGE CAN AFFECT YOUR WALLS

3/3/2022 (Permalink)

wet drywall Water can wick up through the drywall and cause issues and leave hidden damage.
We know just how difficult a broken water pipe or an emergency storm can be. But are you aware of just how terrible water damage can be to your walls? We think naturally of the floors, as the forces of nature that we’re all familiar with tend to drag the water down there. However, the walls are just as important—and, if there’s drywall on your ceiling, you’ll need to be concerned about that too. It’s not just mold and aesthetic damage, either—too much water can lead to a collapse!

WHAT CAN WATER DO TO YOUR DRYWALL?

Well, the first thing that you need to know is that water can wick up through the drywall and cause issues. Even if the waternever touched the wall in an emergency, your walls can have plenty of water in them anyway, which can lead to appearance damage and structural issues with the drywall. The water can wick up the walls by 1 inch an hour, meaning that if the water sits for a day without any treatment, the water can be as far up on the wall as two feet.

Once the water is in the drywall, one of two things can happen. The first and most destructive end to the water damage is that of buckling and warping. You might not be familiar with this kind of wall water damage, but it’s definitely worth looking into. If the water saturates the drywall, it will collapse under its own weight. Gypsum (or plaster), being drywall’s main ingredient, is well known to absorb water and get much heavier as a result. The same can happen to your ceiling if it’s made of drywall, as well, with far more disastrous results. 

Another big issue is that of mold and mildew. Gypsum is porous, as you might have guessed from its ability to absorb water. Well, because it’s porous and holds water, it can provide a great medium for mold growth both on the outside and the inside. If you start to see or smell the signs of mold, you may end up replacing that portion of the drywall (or the whole thing, if the problem gets too far out of hand). 

WHAT IF I HAVE WOOD PANELING?

You’re still not safe from water damage if you have wood paneling. Buckling is not as big an issue for wood paneling, but damage can definitely occur. While the wood should be treated to prevent rotting, there’s always the chance that it’s not, especially if it’s particularly decorative (as treated lumber doesn’t look nearly as nice as untreated). There are also major issues of aesthetic damage, as lumber is extremely susceptible to discoloration and other issues with its appearance. Depending on the lacquer, the wood can lose that as well, meaning that while there’s fewer structural issues with wet wood wall damage, there are more issues of appearance which can cost just as much to fix as the drywall. 

Tips For Drying Wet Carpet And Preventing Mold Growth

3/3/2022 (Permalink)

wet carpet Wet carpet can cause damage to your home beyond just the flooring.

Whether you’re dealing with the aftermath of a flood or leaky pipe, coping with a soaked carpet is no laughing matter. Wet carpet can cause damage to your home beyond just the flooring – a problem that’s incredibly unpleasant.

If you have wet carpet, there’s no time to lose. Follow these steps for drying your carpet properly and preventing the spread of moisture and mildew.

1. Remove The Moisture

The most important part is first stopping water from flowing into the problem area. The easiest way to get the moisture or water out of your carpet is by removing it with a wet vacuum. Wet vacs are the perfect tool for getting rid of water in your carpet. They’re relatively inexpensive, and you can easily rent one if you think you may need a wet vac just once.

2. Assess Your Furniture

If you have furniture and fixtures in the room, check to see whether the moisture impacted those items. While you can remove, dry, and replace some objects, others – like upholstered furniture – may require more special attention. Unfortunately, you may have to dispose of items that have severe water damage.

3. Create Air Flow

Create as much airflow as possible in the wet area to help clear the odor and moisture from the room. Open windows, turn on fans and put a fan on the floor to help dry things out.

High-powered fans are best for this job. However, if you only have standard fans, a little airflow is better than none. Consider using a dehumidifier to remove even more moisture from the atmosphere.

4. Replace Carpet Padding

In most cases where water has saturated your carpet, your carpet padding is a goner. Replace it to prevent the main carpet from becoming saturated with mold.

5. Steam Clean

Steam cleaning wet carpet removes any toxins and deodorizes it. You can do this yourself or call a professional for help. Steam has a high enough temperature to kill any toxins, and also removes the toxins when the steam cleaner sucks up the dead mold spores.

6. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda works wonders when it comes to lifting and removing trapped moisture. Simply sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda over your wet carpet and allow it to sit for at least half an hour. Then, vacuum it up and enjoy fresh dry carpets.

7. Sanitize Other Room Surfaces

To further prevent the spread of mold and mildew, thoroughly clean the other surfaces in the room. Scrub the walls and baseboards to remove the remainder of water and any mildew from your room.

Appliances Most Likely To Endanger Your Home With Water Damage

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

Appliances Most Likely To Cause Water Damage Water damage does happen due to malfunctions inside the home, like pipe bursts or leaks, and from appliance mishaps, and certain appliances.

Water damage often happens because of outside waters from flooding or heavy rains and storms. However, water damage does happen due to malfunctions inside the home, like pipe bursts or leaks, and from appliance mishaps, and certain appliances are more likely than others to cause damage. Here are the most common appliances to cause water damage issues for homeowners.

Hot Water Heater

A leak or break in your hot water heater is a huge risk to your home.  While yearly maintenance may seem like an inconvenience, it can help reduce the risk of flooding from the appliance. If you notice leaking from/around the heater,  contact SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago, & Warrenville to repair any damage as quickly as possible to reduce the chances of mold growth.

Air Conditioners

Air conditioner units reach throughout your home. If the water becomes an issue, it can spread throughout the entire home. Attic air conditioners run a bigger risk of damage than AC units located in different areas of the home. Watch for moisture and leaks within the system. 

Washing Machine

Washing machines hold a large amount of water. There are also several types of complications a washing machine can have that could cause water to escape and damage the home. Hoses are one of the main concerns with washing machines. So are drains! Watch for clogged drains or worn-out hoses to help keep your washing machines running smoothly. 

Refrigerator

Leaky refrigerators are really a nuisance. Not just because of the water leaking out, but because a problem with the fridge could mean an issue for the food inside it as well. Water damage from refrigerators usually are caused by a freeze or clog in the defrost drain. When this happens, water builds up and escapes from the waterlines. Leaks from refrigerators can happen without notice for some time. Water often leaks toward the back wall or under other appliances like the stove. Be sure to check around your fridge often to inspect for water damage.

Dishwasher

Wherever water is in a home, there is a risk for water damage. The dishwasher is another appliance that can experience problems in the drain, hoses, and other plumbing connections.

The older your appliances are, the more likely they are to cause water damage. Be mindful of where water can turn up (or hide) and make sure to check for signs of water damage. Signs can include warped flooring or floorboards, discoloration of paint or wallpaper on nearby walls, musty mildew scents, and an increase in the water bill.

If any of these appliances cause an issue with water inside your home, do not wait to get help. The longer water is allowed to sit, the more time it has to spread and cause further damage. Water will quickly spread to other areas and, if not dried up immediately. 

Preventing & Removing Ice Dams

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

What Causes Ice Dams? Ice dams are formed when the snow on your roof starts to melt and runs down towards the colder eaves.

Mother Nature has been wreaking havoc on our homes all winter long, with ice dams being at the top of that list. With below-freezing temperatures and unexpected snowfall, this winter season will not be very fun for most homeowners. This winter, the water damage experts at SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago, and Warrenville have helped dozens of homeowners cleanup and repair water damage inside their homes from frozen pipes and ice dams. 

What Causes Ice Dams?

Ice dams are formed when the snow on your roof starts to melt and runs down towards the colder eaves. Poor attic/roof ventilation can cause your roof to become warmers than the eaves. When this happens the newly melted water refreezes when it reaches the eaves and then compounds.

Why is this a Problem?

It can be surprising to discover that your roof and gutter system have problems with supporting frozen water. When the ice starts to accumulate along the eaves and within the gutters, the weight of that ice starts to build…and build, causing some major stress on your roof and gutters. This additional weight can cause severe damage, and in some cases, can cause your gutter system to completely collapse potentially damaging shingles or siding on the way down. This can become a major safety hazard if someone is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Not to mention that when the water from an ice dam melts, it can start to seep into and under your roofing, causing significant water damage to your attic or crawlspace. More often than not, this type of water damage goes unnoticed until the water starts seeping through light fixtures, causes the ceiling to bubble and sag, or causing discoloration to the walls and ceiling.

Preventing Ice Dams

The great news is, with some proper preparation and a little elbow grease by you or a reputable contractor, ice dams can be prevented. The best ways to keep ice dams from forming are by having proper attic insulation and roof ventilation.

Additional ways to prevent ice dams from forming:

  • Maintain your gutters. Clearing your gutters from fallen debris and leaves will help any melting snow finds the right place to drain. Clogged gutters can slow down the flow of the melting water, allowing it to freeze in inconvenient places.
  • Reduce the heat in the attic or crawlspace. Did you know that uninsulated recessed lights in the room below your attic or crawlspace can allow a significant amount of heat into the attic or crawlspace creating ventilation problems? Make sure your lights are properly insulated.
  • Invest in a roof rake to keep your roof free of heavy snow.

If ice dams have caused water damage to your home contact SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago, and Warrenville.

WATER DAMAGE DUE TO SPRINKLERS – CAUSES AND PREVENTION TIPS

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

WATER DAMAGE DUE TO SPRINKLERS Both the interior and exterior of your house could get damaged by water because of the ongoing sprinkler system.

In the summertime, homeowners always try to keep their lawns green and their bushes bright amid the intense heat. Sprinklers are an excellent way of keeping your lawn looking great with minimal work. However, the added water usage on your property may present damage to your home without you knowing. 

Both the interior and exterior of your house could get damaged by water because of the ongoing sprinkler system. To prevent that damage to your home, taking preventative measures is a must. 

The damage may be caused by many factors, from human error to mechanical mistakes. But generally, water damage caused by your sprinkler system can be rooted in three circumstances:

  • Improper Installation

The sprinkler system supplies water to all areas of your garden through the underground pipes. If it wasn’t properly installed, you risk getting chaos in and around your home. 

The pipes could run too close to your home’s foundation and leak underneath. Eventually, that may seep into your house and cause severe damage. 

  • Burst Pipes

Since your sprinkler system is connected to your house’s waterline, a burst pipe could lead to damage in your home. That damage could result in water easily flooding the inside of your home or even creating sinking areas across your yard. 

Either way, the damage can be massive and requires immediate attention. 

  • Overspray

Another common cause of water damage to homes is overspray. While more frequently seen in graffiti and commercial paint jobs, overspray may also happen with sprinkler systems. 

To prevent that, ensure that your sprinkler heads are fully functional and in order before setting them off on timers throughout the day and night.

How To Avoid Water Damage to Your House 

There are some precautions you can take to prevent water damage to your home. For instance, you can install a rain sensor that can help check water levels and notify your sprinkler to skip the next cycle. That way, your lawn won’t get overwatered, and the excess water won’t seep into your home structure.

When you don’t set a timer, you might find pools of water in your backyard that can damage your home’s foundation. The most important thing is that you monitor your sprinkler system’s schedule so you can control the amount of water around your home.

The Dangers of Water Damage

A water-damaged home is a perfect environment for mold and mildew. These can pose serious health effects to your family, from allergic reactions to respiratory concerns. It’s vital to keep moisture away from your home’s foundation, especially when you have children and pets.

Conclusion

Once you know the dangers of water damage to your home, you can establish the best preventative methods to save your home from the risks. Once you have these measures in place, you don’t need to worry about extensive damage to your home anymore. 

Hard Water Can Cause Many Problems

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Dangers of Hard Water The more serious potential problems of hard water are more difficult to see.

Hidden Dangers of Hard Water

The more serious potential problems of hard water are more difficult to see.

Hard water can leave deposits of calcium carbonate and other mineral salts. In places where hard water is regularly heated or evaporates, these deposits can accumulate as a hard, flaky buildup commonly known as limescale (sometimes shortened to "scale").

If your home has hard water, limescale is likely to build up around the heating elements of a traditional storage water heater, and potentially in the heat exchanger of a tankless water heater. This can reduce the efficiency of your water heater.

Limescale can also build up inside the pipes and valves of water-using appliances. In an automatic coffee maker, this can be remedied with a little diluted white vinegar. But in appliances that are harder to clean, limescale can clog up and shorten the life of your appliances.

Hard Water in Your Pipes

That same limescale that builds up in your water heater and appliances can also accumulate inside your pipes. This can lead to a whole host of problems, including:

  • Decreased water pressure as the supply flow is restricted.
  • Leaks as water pressure build-up behind blockages.
  • Clogged, corroded, cracked, or burst pipes.

These problems are much more common with the galvanized pipes than with copper, PVC, or PEX pipe. If your home was built after 1975, it probably has copper, PVC, or PEX pipes. These modern materials are more resistant to hard water corrosion and scaling, so you're less likely to have issues with limescale causing low water pressure, leaks, clogs, or burst pipes. You might still want to address your home's hard water to protect your major appliances and speed up your showers. But unless your water is extremely hard, it likely isn't hurting your pipes.

If your home was built prior to the mid-1970s and hasn't been completely repiped, you probably have galvanized pipes. These pipes are made of steel, galvanized (coated with a thick layer of zinc) to prevent corrosion. High-quality, well-coated galvanized pipes can last for many decades. But much lower quality galvanized pipe was used in the post-World War II housing boom. The thinner zinc coating may wear off more quickly, particularly in hard water conditions. And once the underlying steel is exposed, hard water can corrode it quickly... then build up limescale on the pitted surfaces.

It may take years for limescale buildup to cause noticeable problems, but, if you have hard water and galvanized pipe, it may have been accumulating for many years, even decades. Maybe you've already noticed a slight decrease in your water pressure. Maybe there's already a slow leak hidden behind a wall.

Negative Effects of Water Damage in Your Home

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Your Home Gone unchecked, stray water can bring about the negative effects of water damage in your home.

One of the reasons why water damage in your home is so harmful is because water is known as a solvent — it dissolves more substances than any other liquid. And in your home, it can dissolve major structural parts and leave behind some really terrible effects. Here are six of the most common negative effects of water damage in your home:

Devalued Property

The signs of water damage are difficult to hide. They’ll usually reveal themselves to any appraiser even if you attempt to patch affected areas or paint over the stains. Also, when the water’s left untreated, a repellent smell can linger which will probably turn buyers away. 

Structural Damage  

Structural damage occurs depending on the amount of water surrounding the affected area. Drywall begins to deteriorate and the subfloor can easily warp or even split, meaning you’ll end up replacing and restoring the affected areas. Even solid materials that foundations are made of, whether masonry, concrete, or stone, can soak up small amounts of water through their cracks and pores. Unless these pockets of water are removed, they can create defects in the building foundation that eventually weaken the entire structure.

Mold

If you’ve ever owned a home and experienced leaking or flooding, you already know that one of the worst effects of water damage is the growth of mold afterward. Any presence of water with the right temperature can cause mold to begin growing in as quickly as 48 hours. Once the mold is present, it can be very difficult and expensive to treat and remove. Also, if mold is left untreated it can spread and can cause adverse health effects. 

Electrical Damage

Once electrical systems are damaged by moisture, wiring, outlets, and electrical boxes become unsafe to use until they’re professionally inspected. Electrical water damage usually occurs to kitchen appliances, washing machines, dryers, hot water tanks, furnaces, and low-mounted electrical outlets.

Health Hazards 

A home or business exposed to floodwater is susceptible to harmful bacteria and other microbes. If not treated correctly, toxins will linger on your affected furniture, carpets, and inside your HVAC system long after the water has dried. Those bacteria and microbes can cause serious respiratory issues and other health effects. 

Damaged Personal Items 

The same water that causes structural damage can quickly destroy many personal items including photographs, books, electronics, and personal documents, among other items. However, if you act quickly and call in a water damage expert, you may be able to reverse this negative effect of water damage and save many of your personal items.

As you can see, when water damage occurs in your home, immediate action is needed. That way, you can mitigate the negative effects of water damage and minimize cleaning and restoration costs. 

Water Damage Cleanup Mistakes

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

most common mistakes property owners make in the face of unexpected water damage Experiencing water damage in your home or business can be extremely stressful.

Experiencing water damage in your home or business can be extremely stressful, and most people react by trying to jump to action to clean up the mess immediately.  While it’s crucial to begin mitigating the damage as soon as possible, certain mistakes could cause worse damage to your health, the structure, or both.  The following are some of the most common mistakes property owners make in the face of unexpected water damage.

Doing it Yourself – The Wrong Way

How many times have you spilled something and said, “no big deal, it’s just water!” And this is completely true for small spills.  The problem comes when this attitude attaches itself to larger water damage.  Some water damage truly can be cleaned up with a DIY effort, but it’s important to know what you’re looking for so you don’t miss anything.  Water is pervasive and can easily cause hidden damage if not properly dried.  Drying out and restoring water damage is a far more time-consuming and intensive process than many people realize, which makes it easy to skip steps.  Improper drying and cleanup can lead to more damage in the long run because it causes people to wait too long to complete the drying process.

Waiting Too Long

As mentioned, time is of the essence when dealing with water damage.  For something that seems to be small water damage, it can be tempting to try to DIY and put off hiring a professional and calling your insurance company.  A little bit of water doesn’t seem like that big of a problem.  Unfortunately, even a small amount of water can cause a lot of damage.  Water can seep into cracks and crevices where it will remain unseen, soaking into building materials and encouraging mold growth if it continues to go undetected and unmitigated.  While the damage may seem small initially, it can quickly snowball into a massive problem.

Taking Short Cuts

The unfortunate fact of water damage restoration is the work done must be exceptionally thorough.  There are no viable corners to be cut or shortcuts to take.  The appropriate drying equipment must be used and properly monitored, and the amount of time it takes for the water to completely dry is just how long it takes.  Properly drying, cleaning, and restoring water damage is an investment in both time and money if the job is done correctly.  The consequences of taking shortcuts can be severe – from mold growth to degradation of building materials.

Not Hiring a Professional

Truly, the biggest mistake that can be made when handling water damage is not involving SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago, & Warrenville.  At the very least, a technician or project manager should come out and do readings with a moisture meter to assess the damage for you.  Many property owners are surprised to realize the extent of the damage that can’t be seen with the naked eye.  We have the equipment and knowledge to properly assess, dry, and restore water damage from any source, and it’s always best to involve an IICRC certified company such as SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago, & Warrenville when you have water damage. The "small" water damage may be far more serious than you thought, and you may change your mind about filing an insurance claim. 

Preparing for Water Damage Disaster for Properties

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Preparing for Water Damage Would you know what to do if emergency water damage happened at your property?

Would you know what to do if emergency water damage like a burst pipe or heavy rain intrusion happened at your property? Chances are you don’t have a disaster preparedness plan ready.

We believe it is our responsibility to educate our community about how to protect themselves and their properties. That includes informing our customers about the water damage restoration process so they know what to expect from a professional water damage expert.

Because we take our responsibility to you seriously, we also want our community to know what to do before we arrive at the job. SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago, & Warrenville is your partner when water damage strikes and we want you to have the right information so you can help us mitigate the damage before we arrive.

Emergency checklist

What should you have in a disaster management plan?

  • Contact information for parties you need to involve.
  • Where to locate and how to turn off natural gas.
  • Where to locate your emergency water shut-off valve.
  • Information about how to shut off fire sprinklers.
  • Know the safety features of your property & where to locate them.

Building & Emergency Contacts

The first part of disaster preparedness is knowing who to call and how to reach them before an emergency or disaster happens.
The obvious contact to have on hand is your insurance agent, but they won’t be much help in mitigating damage. Your obligation to them is to do your part in preventing more damage from happening when a pipe bursts. Therefore, you’ll need to know who to call to satisfy your insurance agent.

Which Contacts Do You Need When You Need Help?

1. Emergency Services
  • Fire Department
  • Police Department
  • Health Department
  • Department of Transportation (spill response)
  • Poison Control Center
2. Contractors
  • Plumber
  • Electrician
  • Locksmith
  • Security Service
3. Building Contacts (for rentals housing developments, HOAs, or commercial properties)
  • Building Owner
  • Onsite Management
  • Offsite Management

Hardwood Floor Water Damage Problems

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Hardwood Floor Water Damage Hardwood flooring can be expensive. Know how to protect it.

It’s obvious that the longer a hardwood floor stays wet, the less chance it has at being saved, and the higher the chance that the floorboards will cup or warp even after proper drying. Some of the most common problems with hardwood floor water damage are:

  • Cupping: Cupping occurs when the sides of the flooring are higher than the center of the boards. This usually produces a concave shape. Both solid and engineered (made up of different woods) can cup when exposed to water damage. Hardwood floor cupping is usually a result of a change in the moisture content levels of the wood flooring. In many cases, you can reverse hardwood floor water damage with the use of a professional.
  • Warping: Warping is similar to cupping but is much more severe. This usually involves the floor buckling or even popping off the subfloor. This needs to be taken out immediately to prevent further damage. Warping is usually a result of humidity fluctuations and can impact all types of wood, whether brand new or old. Unfortunately, water does not have to be present to cause warped hardwood floors. Water vapors being present in the area surrounding the hardwood can warp your floors.  It can also be from environmental influences like quick humidity changes in the weather. Warping is most noticeable in the summer, where hardwood floors will expand with the humidity and sometimes buckle up.  Fortunately, professional hardwood floor drying equipment can prevent warping if caught early.
 
  • Mold: If hardwood floor water damage is not taken care of immediately, mold growth may occur. This usually happens due to pieces of paper that are normally installed directly underneath the floor during installation to prevent squeaking. Hardwood floor water damage can produce mold spores on furniture, clothing, and other areas of the house if not taken care of right away. If your floor has been wet for an extended amount of time without care, there is a chance that your floor is permanently damaged.

Water Damage Prevention While On Vacation

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage Prevention While On Vacation - image of man on couch surrounded by water 6 Steps to Prevent Water Damage While Away From Your Home

It’s every homeowner’s nightmare: arriving home from a relaxing, wonderful vacation only to find that your house has been flooded with water, damaging everything it touches. The second most common homeowners insurance claim across the United States is water damage, usually coming from leaking pipes or appliances while the homeowner is away, especially on vacation. Floods, leaks, or any other water-related problem can go undetected for a matter of days or possibly even weeks if no one is home, potentially resulting in thousands of dollars of damage. 

Of course, this can all be avoided if the proper steps are taken before and during your vacation. Here are 6 steps to water damage prevention while on vacation, just in time for spring break!

Step 1: Check The House
Check your home for any signs of leaks. Make sure to look at all pipes underneath sinks in both the kitchen and bathroom. Look closely at the water heater for any cracks and/or rust. If you can, get on top of the roof and look for any damaged or dislodged shingles, making sure to fix them appropriately if they are damaged.

Step 2: Examine All Hoses
Examine all hoses that are connected to any major appliances, such as the washing machine, refrigerator, and dishwasher. Look for anything out of the ordinary to ensure they are functioning properly.

Step 3: Remove Blockages
Remove any and all blockages from rain gutters and downspouts. If your house has a sump pump, check to see that it is working properly by listening to the motor and checking to see that the water is going outside.

Step 4: Insulate
Insulate any exposed pipes to ensure that they do not freeze during the winter.  If the weather is particularly cold or continuously dropping below freezing, you may want to leave the heater on low while away.

Step 5: Ask A Friend 
One of the most effective ways to ensure water damage prevention while on vacation: ask a close friend or family member to check on the house periodically while you are away. They should know where the water main is located, in case of any floods, or pipe leaks.

Step 6: Turn Off Main Water Valve 
If no one is available to check on the house, turn off the main water valve during the trip. Drain pipes by continuously running the water until and it runs out and flushing the toilets after you’ve shut off the water. Doing this will eliminate the chances of a pipe leak or burst that could flood your home.

Recover from a Pipe Burst

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

pipe burst Know what to do in case of a pipe burst in your Bartlett home

Burst pipes are one of the worst nightmares of a homeowner. A burst pipe might not flood or damage a whole area within your household. However, if left unsupervised, it can cause lead to structural issues in addition to health concerns for the residents.

On the flip side, a serious pipe burst can spill gallons of water to flood your house endangering your valuable belongings or properties. We always recommend homeowners to think ahead when it comes to residential water system maintenance or checkups.

A pipe burst can turn out to be an emergency situation in no time. Recovery from a pipe burst depends on how smart and efficiently you plan the whole process.

Safety first

The chaos of a pipe burst can compel you to take immediate action to save your valuable possessions within your house. Restrain yourself from caving in on all these impulse thoughts and think safety first.

A water leak near an electrical appliance or an outlet can second electrical conduction. Even the floor mat and walls can turn out to be an electrical conductor.

Ensure that you turn off the main water supply first and then the electricity to your house prior to rushing in to inspect or rescue.

Move your furniture

Bulky or upholstered furniture, especially couches can absorb water and remain waterlogged for longer durations. While carpets can be easily dried out, this furniture can continue causing issues.

Move all your upholstered furniture out prior to drying your carpets or flooring. If the weather is favorable, you can leave them outdoors to air dry.

Standing water check

Pipe burst often leads to standing water puddles. Attend to the situation quickly and get rid of water collected using a bucket and dry towel.

If the puddle forms over carpet insulated flooring, it is ideal not to try and lift the carpet as it can cause permanent damage.

Dehumidify

The next step is to dehumidify and ventilate the indoor area. If the weather permits, open windows and doors to let in the fresh air.

Using a dehumidifier is always recommended over using a household heater and a heater or dryer as a combination of moisture and warm conditions can trigger mold growth.

Seek professional help

On some occasions, you might not be able to contain a pipe burst completely. This is where you have to resort to the idea of calling a plumber.

Once the leak has been contained, you might need to seek the help of SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago, & Warrenville. This step is highly recommended if the whole situation leaves you with soggy carpets, drywall, and insulation.

When seeking professional assistance, it is ideal to choose a company that offers the following additional services:

• Drying, dehumidification & water extraction
• Mold remediation
• Carpet, rug & upholstery cleaning

Recovering from a pipe burst can be slow and painful. We recommend you to consider these tips to act smart and quick. Invest some time and effort to residential water damage prevention tips to reduce the risk of encountering pipe burst related emergency situations.

The 3 Categories of Water Damage

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

Categories of Water Damage; pipe spewing black water Learn the 3 Categories of Water Damage

Flooding in your property can cause serious damage. Regardless of how well you are prepared, flooding or water damage can produce unforeseen scenarios and threats.

Minor property water damage incidents can be restored via the DIY checklist. However, severe water damage cleanup or restoration requires professional supervision and industrial grade tools & machinery.

Identifying the water damage category is the first step to water damage restoration. Water damage restoration professionals customize their restoration process based on this information for an effective and timely recovery.

This post features the three categories of water damage and the respective considerations.

Clean water or Category 1

Category 1 water damage is water damage from broken pipes, overflowing sink, or rainwater. Health risks associated with category 1 water damage is low, provided, you respond to the situation in less than 48 hours.

On most occasions, overlooking the fact that water damage can cause major headaches if left unattended escalates the situation.

Category 1 water damage if left untreated for more than 48 hours gets exposed to different contaminants which can turn it into category 2 water damage.

Greywater or Category 2

Some common sources of greywater are equipment discharges, chemical wastes like detergent, laundry, and soap. Category 2 water damage can pose mild to severe contamination risks. Greywater can promote microbial growth and the severity of the condition usually escalates with time. Both direct and indirect exposure to greywater damage can affect your personal health and property.

Blackwater or Category 3

Waters from sewers or water containing grease, oil, urine, etc. are ideal examples of black water. Presumably, this water type hoards bacteria, viruses, and other toxic allergens, which makes it contagious. 

It is mandatory to exercise special caution when dealing with black water.

Beware Of Water Damage Cleanup Caused By Sprinkler Systems

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

sprinkler systems Maintain your sprinkler systems to avoid water damage to your home.

We all know how important our sprinkler systems are to keep our yards from scorching in the summer sun. We also have to worry about blowing out sprinkler systems in the fall to prevent frozen pipes and we still need to take into consideration proper maintenance of our sprinkler systems to avoid any potential water damage. While most residential flooding is associated with heavy rains, broken water pipes, or overflowing appliances, sprinkler systems can be culprits also. Here are some things you should look for this fall to ensure your sprinkler system isn’t going to start watering inside your home.

Water Damage Cleanup 

Over-spray:

When sprinklers overshoot their intended watering targets and spray on or near your walls, water can seep into the foundation and possibly into your basement. Especially if it is happening every day. The longer water is targeted at a specific area of your home, the weaker and more susceptible that area will become to leaks. 

Improper Installation: 

Your sprinkler system delivers water to different zones via a series of underground rubber tubes or hoses that are connected to your home’s main water line. If these hoses get a leak in them near your foundation, water may find its way inside. 

Broken Pipes: 

Since the pipes that supply the water to your sprinkler system are connected to your water line, any build up in pressure in any of the pipes could cause them to burst and break inside or outside. Broken pipes lead to flooding water, so you want to make sure all the lines are clear and water pressure is normal so there is no extra strain on any of your water pipes.

User Error: 

Changing the setting on your system that is not recommended by the manufacturer may lead to problems or malfunctions in the system that could result in water damage to your home. It is recommended to have your sprinkler systems checked at least once a year by a professional, and it is also a good idea to have them blown out to ensure there are no clogs anywhere in your lines. 

Sprinkler systems are a great convenience to homeowners, but failure to maintain them properly may result in water damage and cleanup costs. 

3 Common Water Damage Myths

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

water damage myths, man in water Be sure to have the right information when it comes to water damage

Water damage in your home can come from many different sources and can strike at any time. When you are caught off guard, it is hard to know how to respond – especially with all the misleading information out there regarding water damage cleanup. When it comes to water damage, we at SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago, & Warrenville don’t want you to get caught believing these 3 common myths; or the damage to your home and belongings could actually get worse. 

  1. If you don’t see the water anymore, it must be dry and can just dry on its own.

If your home sustains water damage, the most important thing to guarantee proper restoration is to get it removed, cleaned, and dried completely. Water in your home will not dry completely on its own. Water hides in walls, in carpet, and even under floorboards. As porous materials are soaked with water, they begin to absorb it. Wood, drywall, insulation, carpet fibers, and carpet padding, will hold onto water even when it appears that it has all been dried. Hidden moisture trapped in unseen spaces causes more damage. Mold will grow anywhere moisture is present. Once materials have absorbed enough water, they can begin to swell, warp, bow, bend, and deteriorate. Just because you cannot see it, it does not mean that water is not there. Water will not dry itself and needs the proper drying and detection equipment to ensure no hidden moisture is left behind. 

  1. The smell will eventually go away.

When water is not dried quickly and completely, mold will begin to grow. Since mold is a type of fungus, it gives off a very strong odor wherever it grows. The musky and earthy smell that lingers around following water damage is not something that will just resolve itself. Dehumidification is required, along with complete drying, followed with antimicrobial treatment to stop mold from growing following water damage. If mold has already begun to grow (you will be able to tell by the smell), then mold remediation is required in order to safely remove the mold.  Do not wait around for the smell to just fade away, because it will not happen. 

  1. It is not a big deal if cleanup does not begin right away. 

Time is of the essence when dealing with water damage and mitigation of further damage. The longer water sits, the worse the damage gets. There is a very short window between water damage and mold growth, and the longer materials and belongings are exposed to water, the less the odds are of them being salvaged. To minimize losses and the risk for mold, you need an immediate response to water damage. Water damage cleanup cannot wait – it needs to begin as soon as possible. 

Small Leaks Can Cause Big Problems

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

small leaks can harm your home Be on the lookout for small leaks, they can cause big problems

When serious flooding occurs, the catastrophic images of cars floating down the street dominate the local news cycle. Dramatic rains cause tens of millions of dollars in repair costs to homes and businesses. However, a simple, slow leak can also lead to substantial damage and reconstruction costs to your home.

Water damage is progressive; the longer that small water leak is allowed to drip, the more damage to your home. Here are just a few of the consequences of even a simple water leak:

Structural Damage

Waters weakens wood and corrodes metals. The most home construction relies on both materials along with concrete.  A compromised structure can also lead to buckling floors and collapsing walls and ceilings.

Sheetrock walls are also vulnerable to slow water leaks. Again, the gypsum base, faced by paper, creates a sponge that pulls water deeper into the core of your home. The walls will not only become weak but also harbor mold.

When the water has long sustained contact with unsealed bricks or concrete, cracks and erosion can result. If the moisture freezes and unfreezes, the damage is exponential. Cracks in the foundation can lead to expensive and complicated repairs to the destabilized foundation.

Damage To Floors And Fixtures

Water also weakens the backings of your carpets and rugs, making them more susceptible to wear and tear.  Carpet is durable but not designed to stay damp; this invites rot, decay, and insects.

Leaks can also cause damage to metal fixtures like sink taps and showerheads. Rubber gaskets decay and become debris in the line, reducing water pressure.

In the bathroom, a slow leak may loosen tiles near the tub or shower. In your kitchen, damage may progress to warped or discolored floorboards near the dishwasher, sink, and refrigerator.

Bugs, Fungus, And Mold

Standing water attracts insects and insects bring germs (and more insects!) Once a moist environment develops inside your home, airborne mold spores could flourish. 

Water Damage To Your Wallet

Any water damage will become an issue when you sell your home. Avoiding repairs in the present will create expenses in the future. For example,  the home inspector will spot and document water damage not properly addressed. Potential buyers will make a ‘low ball’ offer for less money or worse, infer that the home too much trouble to take on.

Water Damage: What To Look For

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Causes of water damage Being proactive can save you lots of money when it comes to water damage

Often times the damage from water is caused when a problem goes without being noticed. It may take weeks or even months before the damage shows up.

Time is of the essence when you are dealing with any type of water damage, and the key is to act fast!

Not only can the water ruin your carpets, ceiling, and furniture, but it can also destroy precious family possessions, important documents, and irreplaceable, personal items.

You may need to vacate your home during the repairs, and the disruption of your normal routine could really have a huge impact on your way of life. Having to stay in a hotel or at a friend’s home isn’t the way you want to spend your week, or sometimes, weeks.

Moving quickly increases the chance that your belongings can be saved or restored.

Common Water Damage Causes

Water damage can take many different forms and show up in your home or business in a number of different ways. If you suspect that you might have water damage, it’s important to know what the common causes are so that you know how to prevent minor water damage from turning into a huge problem.

Some common causes are:

  • A leaky roof from a passing rainstorm or melted snow from a snowstorm
  • A broken pipe from your garbage disposal
  • Condensation around your air conditioner
How Quickly Should I Address Water Damage?

Even if the issue is handled swiftly, water damage has been known to wreak havoc even months down the road. Often times the leak isn’t noticeable and may be behind a wall or in the ceiling.

The longer a leak goes unnoticed, the more money it can cost you to get fixed. Moving quickly also increases the chance that your personal belongings can be saved or restored.

Insurance Coverage Tips

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

An insurance agent will open a claim and begin the process of collecting on flood damage. One of the first steps taken with water damage mitigation involves stopping further damage from happening. Flood damage mitigation starts with an emergency visit to the main water valve shutoff. The insurance company may also guide a person on a good water cleanup company. Nevertheless, the person doesn't have to call the flood damage mitigation company they recommended, and he can choose whoever he wants for property restoration.

Not All Water Cleanup Covered under Insurance

Before a person ever buys a policy on water in home, he should first review the policy. This goes the same for if he owns a business and has water in business. The vast majority of policies will cover restoration from after a terrible storm or a malfunctioning washing machine, but gradual leaks for water in home or water in business will not be covered.

Drying Water in Home

Whether people have water in home or water in business, one of the best policies even before calling a water cleanup company involves drying the water. To do this, turn on a fan and bring in some fans to blow on the water and help with drying. Always exercise caution around water and electrical outlets: Water and electricity do not mix. While drying near an electric outlet, people may be better off leaving it alone and calling in a professional water cleanup company.

Real mitigation can be summed up in two words: future prevention. If a person has water in business from a leaky roof, it does little good to repair the damage inside if he failed to fix the shingles on the roof first. The restoration process involves repairing the flood damage after identifying the cause and eliminating it. Water cleanup can stress a person out, but when they take these steps, it lowers the risk and makes it more tolerable.

Flooding Cleanup

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage in a basement can cost home owners thousands of dollars to fix. When water gets into a structure and it is dried incorrectly, rot, mold and mildew can form making the occupants extremely ill. Trained and certified to the highest standards in the industry, our professional production team responds immediately - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - to mitigate loss and meet every challenge with professionalism, reliability, compassion and respect. Our technicians identify the full extent of moisture damage, both obvious and unseen, by using sensors such as moisture detectors and state of the science technology.  Meanwhile, we help homeowners overcome their feeling of helplessness by explaining the process in a way that they can understand what is happening, what to expect, and what they can do. SERVPRO of Streamwood/ Bartlett/ West Chicago City commitment to customer excellence includes insurance professionals; which means that insurance agents and claims adjusters can expect effective, ongoing communication and reporting. We understand insurance industry requirements. Our professional production team will provide a complete estimate, including photos, to the agent or adjuster within 24-48 hours. Call SERVPRO of Streamwood/ Bartlett/ West Chicago City and get quality water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration, mold and mildew removal and if your home, business or insurance customer needs one of our large selection of biohazard removal services, we are ready, trained and equipped to provide you with any clean up, mitigation and restoration service. 

Call us today at 630-562-9212 

Finding Water Leaks

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

With all the rain, it’s very important to notice the signs of water damage and know what precautions to take to prevent it. Properties today are well built and insulated, however, they also have the unfortunate ability to trap excess moisture and condensation inside. Here are some tips for identifying problems before there is damage: 

 Signs to Recognize

  • Rust stains on the ceiling that appear around light fixtures.
  • Mildew along ceilings, walls and baseboard edges.
  • Condensation buildup along Windows and cold surfaces.
  • Musty odors.
  • Growth of mold and mildew in areas around your home.

Preventive Precautions

Keep proper circulation and ventilation throughout your home to avoid the buildup of condensation. Maintaining fixtures such as faucets and toilets is a great way to prevent leakage and dripping. To control humidity in your home, invest in a portable dehumidifier and keep it in areas such as the basement where it may be very damp. Storm windows are a great investment, as well, to keep condensation from building up on windows.

Other Signs

Listen up for any hissing sounds because this could possibly mean a leak in the water line. Check periodically around the water heater, under sinks, and behind clothes washers for signs of leaking. These places are usually hard-to-reach and are often forgotten about. The filter and ice maker lines to your refrigerator should also be monitored.

Discolored floor coverings usually indicate a sign of a leak. Loose or damaged plumbing fixtures are usually the causes of water stains and wetness. The wax ring at the base of the toilet may deteriorate because of moisture, but this can be easily replaced.  

If you find any of these signs in your home, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Streamwood/ Bartlett/ West Chicago City. For more information about cleaning up water damage in your home, please reach out to our office 630-562-9212

Mitigation Techniques

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Streamwood/ Bartlett/ West Chicago City extracts out moisture under carpets and replaces carpet pads to reduce the risk of delamination and mold from forming.

The current storm season in Bartlett/ Streamwood area has hit our area with massive amounts of rainwater. Despite the millions of gallons of water that have fallen out of the sky, it is the hundreds of gallons from failed appliances, leaky pipes and failed sump pumps that cause the majority of damage to homes.

Water damage to Bartlett/ Streamwood homes primarily affects walls, carpets and floors. SERVPRO technicians train to remove any standing water, extract it out of surfaces, and take quick drying action to prevent secondary damage.

We start with removing water. Depending on the depth, we begin with commercial grade pumps to draw out the majority of it and then switch to water extraction wands. These two devices help us to not only get the water out but to draw moisture out of carpets and floorboards carefully.

Drawing out moisture helps lower the risk of delamination in carpets. It happens when the water softens the adhesive in the carpet which causes the layers to separate. That allows bubbles to form between the layers and carpet fibers to loosen and pull away when vacuumed. The risk of delamination is why we remove the pad from underneath every carpet. It is a source of water that soaks every inch of a carpet it touches.

Floorboards absorb standing water, and even pressure treated wood can start to twist and buckle after a single day under just an inch of it. The extraction wands allow SERVPRO restoration specialists to pull water from between the individual floorboards, reducing that risk of damage. Quickly removing the water also helps reduce the chance of mold infestation in floors, carpets and drywall.

To speed along the drying process, we use air movers to force warm, dry air over and under the carpets and floors. Our specialists can adjust both the temperature and speed of the airflow to dry out both types of flooring without splintering the wood or heating carpet adhesive too quickly and forming air pockets. Mold spores cannot expand and grow without a source of moisture, so this technique will help prevent any further damage.

If you have a leaking refrigerator, out dated sump pump, or a split water line leading to your washer machine, SERVPRO of Streamwood/ Bartlett/ West Chicago City is here to help you restore your home to its original, dry condition.

Call us at 630-562-9212

Water Damage Timeline

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Streamwood/ Bartlett/ West Chicago City arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Flooding and water emergencies don't wait for regular business hours and neither do we.  SERVPRO of Streamwood/ Bartlett/ West Chicago City provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week-including all holidays.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Streamwood/ Bartlett /West Chicago City is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 630-562-9212

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Streamwood/ Bartlett/ West Chicago City has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Streamwood/ Bartlett/ West Chicago City/ Warrenville

SERVPRO of Streamwood/ Bartlett/ West Chicago City specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.