Recent Water Damage Posts
How Do We Dry a Water Heater Leak?
Flood cuts allow us to completely dry areas affected by water damage.
Many of our customers have little to no experience when it comes to mitigation. We get many questions everyday about how we do what we do. In an effort to pull back the curtain on our process, we’re going to detail one of our recent jobs in this blog post.
In this particular case, a water heater on the first level of a house had a major leak that pretty much affected the entire floor. Luckily, the owners had installed water resistant floor tiles, so the floor didn’t retain any of the water. The drywall, however, was not so lucky. Using our moisture meters, our Production Technicians found substantial moisture readings behind the walls. The readings were high enough to require us to make a two-foot flood cut in almost every wall.
A flood cut removes the bottom two feet of drywall, not just to remove irreparable damage, but also to allow us to aim our air movers and dehumidifiers directly behind the wall. When done right, this ensures all potential moisture is removed and no pesky mold forms. Once we were able to completely dry all the walls, our Construction Team went in and replaced all the cut-out drywall and baseboards. Then we matched the paint job, so all of the rooms looked just as they did before the leak.
Hopefully, this helps you understand some of the steps we take to mitigate your water damage. It’s one of the many ways we make any disaster “like it never even happened!”
Flooding and Water Emergencies - Not Just an 8 AM - 5 PM Service
Have you ever noticed that the low battery indicator alarm in your smoke detectors always seem to alert you in the middle of the night??
Well, just like your smoke detector, flooding and water emergencies don’t always wait for regular business hours to occur. Luckily, SERVPRO of Winchester provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage can be very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Winchester arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Water Damage Timeline
- 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.
About SERVPRO of Winchester
SERVPRO of Winchester 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.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 540-665-0575
Water Damage Tips
Ceiling cave in from water weight.
Water damage is a big problem that can destroy not only your home and finances, but also the sentimental items that you can’t put a price tag on. For that reason it’s a good idea to know the causes of water damage. But if you cannot avoid it then here are some tips on what to do if you have been victimized by it.
The first concern should be the safety of you and whoever else is in the affected home or area. Some of the most common causes of injury after water damage to a structure are slip hazards, and electrical shock due to careless mistakes that could have been avoided. On this note, don’t just go about business as usual, avoid kitchen appliances, and avoid tampering with major electrical devices that are connected to the building until authorities have deemed that it is safe to do so. This includes ceiling fans, lights, and televisions.
The next concern should be to begin the cleanup process. Depending on the severity of your damage you may need to contact the local authorities, and insurance provider, but eventually they will most likely get a SERVPRO® crew out to your location to fix it up.
Learn more about water damage, or any of the other services that we offer at SERVPRO®. If you find yourself dealing with a disaster, and need emergency repair, contact SERVPRO® of WinchesterWinchester today! (540) 665-0575
Ready for Snow?
Snow! Why talk snow in October?
Here’s the thing. Like it or not, Winter is coming.
We are glad you have added us to your contacts in case you have a disaster at your home or business (That’s (540) 665-0575 for SERVPRO of Winchester, for those just joining us); however, we like to talk prevention before a disaster occurs.
Now is the time to prevent winter disasters. What can possibly happen in the winter? A few things. We will start with your roof. One thing to consider is the pitch of your roof. When you look at your roof is it steep or does it have a part that is almost level? These are the areas to look out for. The steeper the pitch is the easier it is for the snow to slide off. Snow is more likely to collect and dam up on a flat roof, a lot of commercial buildings have a flat roof.
Buildings with a flat roof need to make sure their drains are clear especially after the falling leaves. During the winter months, if we experience wet weather with cold temperatures and snow mixed in you need to make sure your drains are not blocked by ice. Ice blockage can cause the melting snow to stay there and become heavier with each freeze and new snowfall.
Buildings with a pitch need to keep an eye and make sure the snow is not building up too much. Snow is water, water is heavy. It is a good idea to have a roof rake on hand to pull down the snow. This is especially important for 3’ or 4’ around the eaves. If you have a snow build up (possibly evident by the appearance of icicles) this can cause the melting snow to be trapped creating what is called an ice dam. An ice dam can be damaging to your roof. The snow melts, can’t run off the roof, and refreezes when the temperature drops. Water expands as it freezes and this particular water has to freeze in an upward motion pushing at your shingles in a way you do not want. Usually this is happening under a layer of white snow so you are unaware and unable to see the ice underneath.
My best advice to avoid winter damage to your roof is this: Take your beautiful pictures to show your friends and family and then clean off the snow. That includes icicles. Icicles are pretty to look at but are very dangerous when they fall.
Be prepared. Be safe. Call SERVPRO of Winchester (540) 665-0575. We are “faster to any size disaster.”
Water Damage is not a DIY Project
When you think of water damage what comes to mind? Flooding? Basements? When I think of water damage I think of ceilings. A Leaky roof or an upstairs bathroom flooding can cause water damage leading to wet ceilings and/or walls. If you’ve bought a new home with past water damage you may not see the signs for a few months when the telltale marks start to bleed through the new paint.
Paint is like a bandage covering a problem but not fixing it at all. In fact your paint may not be covering a spot of old water damage but hiding a larger problem of a still leaking pipe or dampness or condensation in your walls. I’m sure you know where this is heading...mold! Mold is preventable. There is no need to get paralyzed with fear when you hear the “M” word or cover it and hope it will go away (it won’t). Mold is a natural occurrence, call the SERVPRO of Winchester Mold Remediation Professionals if you think you may have mold. Equally important though is calling SERVPRO of Winchester when you have water damage. It is important to clean and dry the area correctly to help prevent mold issues. We are trusted, trained professionals and we are here 24/7/365 to help you.
When I think of water damage I also think of Cousin Eddie. This is one of my personal experiences with water damage. We had just moved into a brand new home. Cousin Eddie dropped in to say “hi.” Cousin Eddie ended up spending the night! The next morning at breakfast Cousin Eddie says: “Man, you guys have a nice bathtub!” I’m thinking, what??? Our tub is an average shower/tub combo. Hmmm. Then Cousin Eddie says this: “I took a bath this morning. I think I was 12 the last time I was able to fit in a tub. Yours is so big I could be fully submerged in the water!!!” (NO, it is definitely NOT!!!) I may have let out a half whimper/sob as my eyes went to the ceiling (I couldn’t help it, I had to know). Sure enough, the ceiling was already starting to bulge with water. In Cousin Eddie’s defense (there really is none), part of the problem was the overflow valve on the bath tub wasn’t hooked up or hooked up poorly so it had the same effect as if Cousin Eddie’s bath water overflowed the tub onto the floor. In the bathtub overflow valve’s defense, it didn’t stand a chance of keeping up with the overflow of Cousin Eddie!
If you have a Cousin Eddie incident call SERVPRO of Winchester. We are “faster to any size disaster” leaving your house “Like it never even happened.” Phew!
Add us to your contacts!
Insurance Claims On Water Damage
Water Damage Insurance Claims
Water damage is one of the most common claims for home insurance. If you are thinking making a claim on water damage here are somethings you should know.
Contact us for help with your insurance claim on water damage, fire damage, or mold remediation!
Insurance claims for water damage can run into some trouble in certain cases. For example, if you are claiming something that was the result of gradual damage they might give you some problems. Gradual damage is anything that happened over time as opposed to an accident or sudden damage. These can be things such as leaky ceiling that was due to plumbing defects water damage caused by cracks in the foundation, a lot of times mold will also fall into this category. Basically, anything that has been happening for a long time is generally not covered by home insurance.
However, there may be some exceptions to this. For example, some insurance companies allow for mold remediation to be covered. This is especially true in the case of mold being the result of another claim that was covered under insurance, but was not properly fixed, and mold was the result.
A good practice for homeowners is to keep record of all repairs and transactions for services that are made to your home. This will prove valuable in the event you ever make a claim.
On the other hand if water damage is sudden and accidental you’ll probably have a much easier time getting covered for the damages. Of course everything is dependent upon the language of the policy that you purchased, but this is the very nature of insurance: coverage for sudden and accidental loss.
It is also worth mentioning that there are different types of water damage as far as insurance is concerned. Some cover flood, some cover sewer backup, and many times the items that are covered reflects what is commonplace for the region that you live in.
At SERVPRO of Winchester we are not only experts at restoring your home as if it never even happened, we are also experts at dealing with insurance companies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you through the entire recovery process today!
Flooded Basement Service and Causes
A flooded basement isn't fun...
A flooded basement is an emergency situation that cannot be ignored for very long because it can cause major damage to the walls, floors, carpet, event furniture. Not to mention, it can lead to mold if left untreated, that this is all fairly quickly.
SERVPRO of Winchester understands this. That’s why we are on-call 24/7 because you can’t wait for tomorrow when you have standing water in your house tonight.
Call our Flooded Basement team right away!
Our team can deploy technicians at any hour to remove the water from your basement, dry the carpet, repair the damage, and do whatever needs to be done in your situation, so that you can get back on with your life.
Here are some of the common sources that cause a basement to experience flooding.
There are generally only a few sources for a basement to receive water:
- Either it is coming through the foundation in the form of rain penetrating the walls;
- Water from over-saturated soil being pushed through the floor;
- Storm water from the sewer system; or
- Sanitary sewer water from a clog in your homes’ sewer line.
In the case of water seeping in from a crack in the foundation, you can know if this the cause of your water damage if the water is coming in at only one particular location, or at the exterior foundation wall.
As for the subsurface groundwater, this is when your basement acts as a boat in a pond, water will enter through any hairline crack whenever the groundwater levels ride above the level of your floor. A perimeter drain system can be used to solve this problem.
In the case of storm water from the sewer system the rainwater in the sewer system can rise to such levels that the water flows backwards toward the house. If you already have a sump pump for this reason then you either need a new one, or the alternative is to dig up and cap the pipe that is running from the house to the street.
Lastly, if the event of sanitary sewer water backing up, you will know this is your problem if the water is coming through the drains of the floor and the sinks in the basement. In this case the installation of backflow preventers will do the trick. Also, pouring tree root killer down your toilets once a year can help with prevention of such disasters.
If you have a flooded basement contact SERVPRO of Winchester and have our team of experts help you out today!
How to Handle a Leaky Ceiling
Leaky Ceilings can be devastating, not just to the ceiling in your home or business, but also to your time, and money. This is because it is often hard to determine where the leak originates. Usually when you have a leaky ceiling, all you know is that the ceiling is dripping, but you don’t yet know why. Therefore, it’s imperative that you find the cause of the leak, and fix it because the longer it takes to find the leak the more damage it will cause.
Therefore, the first thing you should do in the event of a leaky ceiling is either call the experts at SERVPRO, or, if you are going to tackle the problem yourself, you must begin by finding the source of the leak. That can be tricky if you don’t know where to start. However, if you eliminate all the obvious non-causes that will at least allow you to start pin-pointing the problem.
When trying to determine the cause of a leaky ceiling often the best place to start is by considering whether the leak occurs only in inclement weather, or if it occurs non-stop. This will allow you determine whether the source of the problem is the roof. Obviously, if the leak only occurs when it is raining or snowing outside then the roof is the likely source of the leak. On the other hand, if the leak occurs regardless of the weather conditions outside then the leak is most likely caused by a plumbing line inside the house or structure.
Another thing that can help you pin-point the source of the problem is to consider is the water itself. If the water is clear and fresh that could indicate the water is coming from the water supply line. On the other hand, if water is coming from the roof you could see that dirt and other substances from the roof along are being dragged along with it, and it would stain the ceiling.
If you have eliminated the roof as the source of the leak then it is going to take an inspection of the pipes in your home or building to solve the problem. Of course, not all people are prepared for home improvements and repairs, especially when it comes to major repairs. If you have a leaky ceiling, or any kind of water damage to your home or business, give the pros a call. For more information visit our water damage services page. We’re faster to any size disaster.
Water Damage in Winchester: Causes and Prevention
Water Damage in Winchester, VA.
Common Causes of Water Damage in Winchester, Virginia
Water damage is a common problem that many homeowners in Winchester, VA face each year. These problems can cause thousands of dollars in damage, and even force the family out of the house temporarily, or in some extreme cases, permanently.
So what are some of the most common causes of water damage in Winchester? We've sat down with our field technicians and come up with a few of the most common cases that they have seem in Winchester. Read on to learn what they are.
The cause of water damage we have found to be most common in Winchester is usually a broken, busted, or leaking pipe. It is probably the most common one because most of the time it is not easy to see that a pipe is leaking or malfunctioning because it's out of site.
But what causes pipes to break? Several things can happen. First, the pipe can rust over time. Second the pipe can freeze over. On this note, the fact is that any drastic change in temperature, hot or cold, can cause stress on the pipe, and lead to damage of the structure.
Now, how do we prevent the pipes from rusting or breaking due to temperature change? For the rusting pipes, these things will rust over time, it's just a matter of how much time. Therefore we recommend having all your pipes inspected for rust once a year. If you find rusting on any of them have them replaced. These quick few dollars spent can save thousands in the future.
With regard to the pipes freezing over, the easiest way to prevent it is to simply allow the water to trickle out of the tap, even if it’s at a drip. This allows the water to continue to move, and discourage freezing in the pipes.
Now, another cause of water damage is children. Yes, children. Perhaps if you have children you know what we mean: action figures dropped in the toilet, kids overflowing the bathtub, anything like that. Simply being aware of what your child brings into the bathroom with them, and keeping an eye on their baths should help you avoid water damage in these cases.
Another very elusive cause of water damage is humidity. All of us in Winchester, Virginia know the humidity that we get in the Summer and Fall months. This environment allows moisture to drip through the foundation or roof. If left unattended it can lead to damage to the walls ceilings, and floors of these spaces.
You might have a hard time spotting this one because it happens over such a long period of time, but simply using a dehumidifier once in a while in these areas should prevent any significant water damage to them.
There are many other causes of water damage, but these are just some of the most common. As always, if you have a case of water damage in the Winchester, VA area you can contact us at SERVPRO of Winchester for the fastest service in town!