Recent Water Damage Posts

Water Damage Contamination Levels

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle Water categories

Here Is a Breakdown of The Three Categories

When water infiltrates a home, it can cause significant damage. If your Hickory Hollow, TN, home has been damaged because of a flood or a broken pipe, your actions will depend on the toxicity level of the contaminated water. This will help you make informed decisions about how to proceed.
The toxicity level depends on the source of the offending water. A broken water supply line causes much less contamination risk than floodwater or sewage. Here is a breakdown of the three categories:

Category 1

This low-toxicity level is also known as “clean water” or water that has come from clean sources. Here are some examples:

  • A leaking appliance water line
  • A broken clean water pipe
  • A leaky water heater
  • Overflowing clean water from a bathtub or shower
  • Rainwater leaking in from above ground

Your conventional homeowner’s insurance policy will generally cover damage caused by contaminated water at this low level. Your agent can outline your coverage and initiate a claim.

Category 2

This moderately toxic level of water contamination is referred to as “gray water.” It may contain small amounts of food, soil or grease. Water leaking from the drain of a shower, washing machine, sink or dishwasher is considered gray water. This level of damage is likely to be covered by your homeowner’s insurance.

Category 3

“Black water” is the name for this highly contaminated category. Common sources include seawater, sewage, groundwater or floodwater. It is not recommended that you do the cleanup yourself if you have Category 3 damage. The contaminated water may contain toxic chemicals, sewage, and physical hazards. The best strategy is to consult an emergency water remediation specialist to assess your damage and supervise the safe cleanup process.
If you experience floodwater damage, you would need to have purchased a specialized flood policy prior to the damage in order to be covered. Your insurance agent can help you determine whether you need this type of policy.
A home water-damage event can be unnerving and costly. Once you have discerned whether you have clean, gray or black water, you can get the cleanup going and begin moving your home and family back to normalcy.

SERVPRO Holiday Safety Tips

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

The holidays are a wonderful time for traditions, family, and fun. While you’re decking the halls, cooking delicious feasts, and enjoying the warm glow of holiday lights, don’t forget to go through our SERVPRO Holiday Home Safety Checklist. Taking a few extra precautions will keep you and your home safe and prevent many common holiday season accidents. 

1 Hang your lights with care!

Inspect indoor and outdoor electrical outlets before you use them. Cracked or damaged sockets, exposed or loose wires and other issues can cause a shock, electrocution, or even start a fire. 

Don’t forget to inspect the cords on your lights and other electrical decorations as you put them up. Frayed cables can easily cause a fire. Also, make sure there is a bulb in each socket. Replace any damaged light strands each season. 

Do your Christmas lights have a holographic UL label? This means they passed strict safety tests at Underwriters Lab, a third-party safety testing facility. A red label indicates the lights are safe for indoor and outdoor use, a green label means they are only safe for indoor use. 

Holiday decoration and Christmas tree fires are often more damaging than other types of house fires. One easy way to prevent electrical fires is to use light clips to attach the holiday lights to your house instead of tacks or nails. Never hammer anything into an electrical cord. 

Only use extension cords that are designated for outdoor use for external lights and decorations. A simple rule of thumb to avoid overloading your extension cords is to plug no more than three sets of light strands into each extension cord. The best practice is to plug outdoor lights, inflatables, and other decorations into circuits that have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). This type of outlet will turn off if there is an overcurrent. 

Don’t forget your indoor light safety, too! Keep your indoor lights and electrical decorations away from furniture, carpeting, drapes, and other potentially flammable materials. Check the cords and extension cords before you plug them in. Keep the cords and decorations tucked away to prevent tripping, but make sure they aren’t crushed, kinked, or twisted.

2 “Candle, candle, burning bright…” Candle safety

December is the peak month for candle-related house fires.The Red Cross reports that holiday fires cause more than $554 million in property damage every year! Candles are responsible for an average of 22 reported fires each day during the holiday season. Many candle fires begin in the living room and dining room. 

The safest way to enjoy the look and smell of candles is to use flameless candles around your home. If you do decide to use real candles, keep them at least 12 inches away from anything that can melt or burn. Place them in sturdy candleholders that won’t easily tip over or spill hot wax. 

Be careful of loose clothing, hair, flowing decorations, and other flammable items. Never light candles if someone is using an oxygen tank in the home. 

Make sure you blow out all the candles when you leave the room. Avoid using candles in the bedroom or during times when you might doze off and don’t allow the candle to burn all the way down to the holder or container. 

3 “Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree…” Tree safety

Did you know that Christmas tree-related accidents result in an average $13 million annually in property damage? A dry Christmas tree, electric lights, and various heat sources can be a dangerous combination. 

Fresh trees are less prone to fire than dry Christmas trees. Choose a Christmas tree that has healthy, green needles that are a little difficult to pull off. Stay away from trees that are browning or “shedding” needles. 

Before you put up the tree, cut about half an inch off the trunk to help it absorb water. Use a tree stand that holds at least a gallon of water and keep the bottom two inches of the trunk submerged in water.

Place your tree away from radiators, fireplaces, heat vents, candles, and other heat sources. Live Christmas trees do better in cool temperatures, so turn down the heat a little and consider putting your tree close to the window or door. 

To avoid electrical fires, only use Christmas lights that have the UL or ETL/ITSNA safety seal. Don’t use any damaged light strands. 

Don’t forget to unplug the Christmas lights before you head to bed, even if you have a fake tree! Whether you turn everything off yourself or use light timers, this will keep your home safer, lower your electric bill, and give you peace of mind. 

4 Cook with caution

Cooking equipment is the leading cause of reported home fires. Thanksgiving and Christmas are two days with the highest reported kitchen fires. 

Many people enjoy baking and cooking special meals and treats during the holiday season. It’s easy to get distracted or take unnecessary risks while cooking your festive feast. 

Prevent stove fires by making sure your oven and stovetop are clean before you start cooking. Don’t forget to clean the exhaust hood and duct over your stove regularly to prevent dust, dirt, and grease build-up. 

Make sure you plug appliances into Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets to prevent electrical shock and other issues. Keep all electrical cords away from the sink and hot surfaces. Don’t forget to unplug everything when you are finished. 

As tempting as it might be, never disable your smoke detector. Many people unplug or disable their smoke alarms while cooking, but this is a dangerous practice, and it’s easy to forget to turn the smoke alarm back on. 

Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy in the event you have a small kitchen fire. Make sure you know how to put out cooking fires, especially grease fires! Speaking of deep frying, if you plan to deep-fry your turkey, keep the deep fryer at least ten feet away from your home and deck

Did you know that dull knives are more dangerous than sharp knives? Sharpen your cutlery before the holiday cooking frenzy to keep your fingers a little safer. 

5. Baby-proof your home

If you plan to have holiday guests with small children (or even pets), you can help everyone stay safe and rest a little easier by baby-proofing your home. Move cleaning products to higher shelves or lock those cabinets. Zip ties make easy, affordable temporary baby locks on cabinets. 

Cover all the outlets with safety plugs, and keep decorations with small pieces out of reach of curious fingers. 

Take extra safety precautions in the kitchen if little ones are around. Angle all the pot handles on the stove or countertop back toward the wall, so they aren’t easily grabbed, knocked, or pulled over (this is a good safety practice at all times). 

To check the “baby-proof” status of your home, get down on your hands and knees, and look around your home from a curious little kid’s perspective. Move hazardous items out of reach or into other parts of your home. 

6 Have an emergency plan

Fires and other home emergencies occur more frequently during the holidays. It’s critical to have an evacuation and response plan ready for your family. Now is a great time to either review your emergency plan or create a new one.

Make sure everyone knows how to evacuate your home in the event of a fire. Identify a safe place where everyone will gather if you do need to evacuate your home. Don’t forget to include your pets in the emergency plan!

SERVPRO is here to help with any type of disaster, from cooking and Christmas tree fires to frozen pipes and other winter home accidents. Our expert technicians are available 24/7 to respond to any size disaster, even during the holidays!

Preventing Winter Storm Damage Around Commercial Properties

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Cars driving on snowy road during a snow storm Snow and Ice can cause all sorts of damage to your property if not taken care of correctly.

Winter is on the way, bringing freezing temperatures, ice storms, snow, and other winter storms. From frozen pipes to roof leaks, there are many ways winter weather can take its toll on your commercial property. 

SERVPRO technicians are experts at helping businesses and homeowners recover from winter storm damage. However, with some preventative work, you can prepare your business for winter and avoid costly damages. Here are some practical ways to prepare for winter storms. 

Common Types of Commercial Property Damage From Winter Storms

Understanding the common types of winter storm damage can help you prevent damage to your own commercial property. 

Roof damage

Ice and snow are heavy and can cause the roof to buckle under the weight. Many commercial properties have flat roofs that are at higher risk of collapsing during a winter storm than other types of roofs. 

Roof leaks are more common than collapsed roofs. Leaks are often caused by ice dams. Ice dams form when a ridge of ice develops along the edge of the roof, preventing the melting snow and ice from draining correctly. The water has nowhere to go, and it leaks down through the roof and into your building. 

Leaking roofs can cause all kinds of costly property damage and can lead to other hazardous issues like mold, mildew, and weakened building structures. 

Frozen pipes

When the temperatures fall below freezing, there’s a chance the water pipes can freeze. When pipes freeze, the water expands and can cause the pipes to burst, leading to flooding and expensive water damage. 

Don’t forget about your sprinkler systems, too! When the temperatures drop below freezing, your fire protection pipes can freeze and burst as well. 

Ice damage

Ice is heavy! One inch of ice weighs about the same as a foot of snow (about 5 pounds per square foot). This is a lot of extra weight to put on canopies, loading docks, tree branches, and other things that can collapse and cause severe injury or damage. 

Preventing Winter Storm Damage

It’s better to prepare for winter ahead of time than to try to get everything done quickly before a looming storm. Before the temperature drops, be sure you get your property ready for winter.

Prepare for snow removal early

Having a plan in place for snow removal saves you a lot of hassle when winter weather decides to strike. Check the condition of your snow shovel, snowblower, or other snow removal tools. If you are using a snowblower, make sure it runs properly, and you have enough fuel, so you aren’t caught off-guard. 

If you do not plan to remove snow from your commercial property yourself, you’ll need to hire a snow contractor early. Make sure you clarify what areas they will treat (walkways, driveways, parking lots, loading docks, etc.).

Ice removal

Businesses need to keep rock salt or ice melt on hand to prevent injuries from slipping and falling. There are many types of ice melts on the market, and it can be confusing to choose one that works best in your area (each ice melt product is designed for a specific temperature range).

The most basic guideline for choosing the right ice melt product is this: if the temperature in your area is 5 degrees F or warmer, regular rock salt is an excellent choice; if you expect temperatures to fall below 5 degrees F, choose a salt blend product that includes calcium chloride. 

Prepare for power outages

Winter power outages usually happen when cars slide into telephone poles or falling trees knock down power lines. Make sure your pipes are appropriately insulated to prevent them from freezing if the power (and heat) goes out. 

Make sure you have flashlights, extra batteries, and other emergency supplies on hand. Check your backup generator in the fall to ensure it is in good working order. Also, check the backup batteries in any security systems, fire alarms, and other systems that primarily rely on electricity.

Winterize your landscape and address drainage issues

Even in winter, poor drainage can cause significant problems. Frozen patches can lead to dangerous, slippery spots for visitors, and oversaturated areas can cause your grass or landscaping to die.

Ensure your gutters, drain pipes, and other drainage systems are clear and in good condition to prevent ice dams from forming. Ice dams are easy to avoid, but they can cause extensive water damage. 

Trim trees and shrubs to reduce the risk of branches breaking and falling under the weight of ice or snow. Also, ensure the grading around your building is slowing away to avoid water and ice accumulating next to the foundation. This can cause serious water damage. 

Prepare your roof

Inspect your roof each fall. Look for loose shingles, damage to the flashing, or places where water is pooling. Also, assess the condition of the insulation in your attic area. Increasing the insulation in the attic can reduce heat costs and help prevent ice dams from causing water damage. 

Inspect the windows and doors

Inspect all the windows and doors to ensure the seals are in good condition. Replace old windows or doors as necessary. This helps reduce energy costs and prevents moisture from building up around the windows. Excess moisture can lead to property damage, mold, and mildew. 

Prepare your pipes

Avoid frozen or burst pipes by wrapping and insulating the pipes, and sealing cracks and openings around exposed pipes. Keep your thermostats indoors above 55 degrees F to prevent the pipes from freezing. Inspect the insulation around pipes each fall to make sure it is still in good condition. 

Despite your best efforts, sometimes the pipes freeze. Early season storms can catch people by surprise, the pipes may get caught in a freezing draft (especially in older buildings), or you might not turn the heat on early or long enough. If you don’t clean the frozen pipes up right away, it can lead to more property damage and other issues, like mold and mildew. 

Keep A SERVPRO Restoration Expert On Speed Dial

No matter what season it is, commercial property owners and managers should keep a SERVPRO restoration expert on speed dial. If you have an issue with frozen pipes, roof damage, or other issues caused by Mother Nature (or anything else), we will restore everything as quickly as possible so your business can get back to normal. 

We are available 24/7 to respond to any type or size of commercial property damage, and our mission is to make it "like it never even happened.” Contact us today to learn more about our commercial property services. 

Preventing Water Damage While You’re On Vacation

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Summer is finally here, and it’s time to head out for family vacations! Unfortunately, water damage is not just a winter concern. Even though you won’t have to worry about frozen pipes, many other things can cause water damage in your home during the hot summer months. 

Here are a few things you can do before you head off on vacation to prevent water damage while you are away. Remember, no matter what happens, SERVPRO is always standing by to help with any size disaster. 

Start outside

Begin by making sure all the rain gutters and downspouts are clean. Clogged gutters can allow water to pool on the roof or around the foundation of your home. 

While you are cleaning the gutters, check the roof for any loose shingles or damaged flashing that might let heavy rain to seep into your house. 

Next, inspect the windows and doors to make sure the seals are tight and the locks work properly. This helps prevent water damage and break-ins. Don’t forget to check and lock the pet door and garage door!

Check your water bill

There are hundreds of feet of water pipes snaking through the walls and floors of your house. Unfortunately, you can’t see them all to ensure there are no leaks. One way to catch leaks early is to keep an eye on your water bill. 

If you notice your bill increasing inexplicably or the amount of water consumed doesn’t seem to match previous months, there may be a leak somewhere. Be sure to take other factors into consideration, like hosting summer guests or watering the garden.

One way to keep an eye on your water consumption is to compare your bill for the current month to the bill for the same month one year ago. Unless there was a notable change, (more people live in your house, you added appliances, or the price of water has increased) there should not be a dramatic difference in the amount of water your household consumed. 

Check for leaks

Before you leave for vacation, check all the accessible places in your home for leaks. Look under all the sinks for signs of water damage and check the water heater for rusting or cracks. 

Ensure none of your faucets (inside or outside) leak or drip. Even small leaks can become big problems quickly, especially if it goes unnoticed for a week or two. 

Check all the water hoses in major appliances. Washing machines, refrigerator ice machines, and dishwashers use plastic hoses to connect to the water supplies. Make sure there aren’t any kinks, cracks, or leaks.

For an extra measure of defense, replace the standard plastic water hoses for more durable stainless steel hoses. This is a very cost-effective preventative measure against in-home water damage. 

Test your sump pump

Take the time to test your sump pump before you leave for summer vacation. Sump pumps help keep groundwater out of your basement.

Testing your sump pump is easy. Fill the sump pit with water and watch to make sure the pump activates and removes all the water. As it runs, make sure the motor is not making any strange sounds. 

If you haven’t already done so, consider installing a backup battery on your sump pump. This will keep your sump pump working even during a power outage!

Turn off your water heater

Not only will this prevent any potential water leaks, turning off your water heater while you are on an extended vacation helps save energy. If your water heater is well maintained, then there is little risk of having an issue, but it will give you peace of mind while you are relaxing at the beach. 

If you have a gas water heater, turn the thermostat up or to the “vacation” setting. If you have an electric water heater, simply turn the breaker off to save energy.

Turn off the water main

If there is nobody to check on your house while you are away, consider turning off the water main. If you are leaving for more than a week, turning off the water main prevents water pressure from building up in the pipes. 

If you have a clogged or weak area in your plumbing, turning off the water main will prevent the water pressure from building up and causing something to break while you are gone. 

After you turn the water main off, turn on all the faucets in your home to let the water drain out.

Have someone check your house

If your vacation plans take you away from home for more than a week, consider asking a neighbor or friend to check on your house every few days. This will give you peace of mind that nothing will go unnoticed for very long. 

Asking a trustworthy friend or neighbor to look after your home will give you peace of mind and ensure that any incidents are handled quickly. Leave your insurance and SERVPRO information in the unlikely event something goes wrong and your friend needs to call for help. 

Taking these easy steps before you leave for vacation will prevent water damage year-round and allow you to relax and thoroughly enjoy your holiday.

BONUS Two fire prevention steps

It is equally important to prevent fire damage while you are away on vacation. 

Unplug electronics: Before you leave, unplug all the electronic devices. Not only will this save electricity, but it also reduces the risk of an electrical fire. Don’t just disconnect cables from electronics; unplug the cords and power strips from the wall outlets. 

Check your smoke detectors: While you are checking for water leaks, make sure all your smoke detectors are in good working order. Consider installing smart smoke detectors that alert your home security system or send a notification to your phone if something goes wrong.

Preventing Storm Water Damage

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage is costly and often difficult to clean up. While SERVPRO is available 24/7 to respond to any water damage situation, we prefer that you not have water damage at all.

Here are eight steps you can take to prevent water damage from storms or flooding in your home or business. 

1. Clean your drainage systems regularly. 

This may seem simple and obvious, but clogged gutters and drain spouts allow water to pool around the foundation of your home or business. Make a habit of cleaning the gutters at least twice per year and inspect the drainage system. Replace or repair any cracked or damaged parts that might allow water to collect or leak near your home. 

If your property has drainage problems, consider installing a French drains system. They allow water to move away from your home or business via a ditch filled with gravel or rock and perforated pipes. This helps the water disburse over a wider area and prevent it from pooling near the foundation. 

2. Inspect your roof.

Schedule an annual roof inspection. It’s a good idea to have this done each spring to assess any damage done over the winter but before the big summer storms roll in. Catching any issues early will go a long way to prevent rain and wind damage.

3. Assess your landscaping.

A well-planned landscaping design will help guide water away from the foundation of your home or commercial building. Make sure the ground slopes away from the foundation. 

Experts recommend a slope of ¼ inch per foot going away from your home. This allows gravity to work in your favor, pulling the water away from the foundation. If necessary, add some fresh soil to make sure you have this grade.

During a small storm, go outside and observe how the water flows through your property. Note any areas where water is collecting or places where rainwater is running toward the foundation. If it would be helpful, mark the “problem” areas with little construction flags so you can address these landscaping issues later. 

4. Have sewers and septic systems checked. 

If the groundwater rises too high, it can impact the effectiveness of sewer and septic systems. In more extreme cases, it can lead to sewer backup or waste leeching to the surface or back into the house. Make sure these systems are inspected regularly.

5. Inspect your foundation.

The most common cause of basement flooding is cracks in the foundation that allow water to seep in during a storm. Have your basement and foundation inspected regularly and repair any cracks as quickly as possible. Some cracks can be repaired easily with caulking or similar products. 

Make sure any windows in your basement are in good shape. The wood frame around a window can rot or deteriorate over time, allowing water into the basement. Aluminum or vinyl windows tend to last longer than wood. 

6. Consider a sump pump.

If your basement or crawlspace floods regularly, consider installing a sump pump. These handy little gadgets are installed under the floor in your basement or crawl space to collect groundwater and redirect it away from your home before it can cause problems. 

If your crawl space or basement has belowground moisture, you should consider a sump pump as a “first line of defense” against flooding. The American Society of Home Inspectors says more than 60% of homes are prime candidates for sump pumps due to ground moisture. You should always have a sump pump if your home is located in a flood zone

If you have a sump pump, make sure to have it serviced to keep it running at tip-top shape. Make sure the back-up battery works, so the pump will continue running if you lose power. If your pump does not have a backup battery, many plumbers can easily install one.

7. Protect your products and information.

Whether you own a home or business, you have valuable property, products, and documents. Make sure critical paperwork is backed up electronically and store important documents in a waterproof file cabinet or safe that will protect them from fire, water, and smoke damage. 

Keep non-waterproof items above floor level or in waterproof containers to avoid potential water damage. Store valuable items on high, stable shelves or stacked wooden pallets. 

8. Check your trees.

Make sure there are no dead or diseased trees on your property. These trees may not be able to endure a major storm and come crashing down. Remove any precarious tree branches that might damage your home or power lines if they break. 

Even though most insurance policies cover damage from falling trees, prevention is far easier and safer. 

Preparing for a coming storm. 

If you know a major storm is looming, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself and your property. 

Unplug it. 

If you know a major storm is on the way, unplug appliances or use surge protectors. This will protect your electronics and help prevent electrical fires. 

Secure outdoor areas. 

In strong winds, outdoor furniture can become dangerous flying objects. A strong gust of wind can toss a patio chair or even a grill, breaking a sliding glass door or causing some other damage. Bring outdoor furniture in and anchor heavy objects. 

If you live in a low-lying or flood-prone area, consider putting up floodgates, sandbags, tarps, and other “dry flood protection” materials. These will help keep floodwaters out of your home or business.

Take photos for the insurance company.

“Before” photos are very helpful in filing an insurance claim and throughout the recovery process. “Before and after” photos, video, and documents make it easier for agents to assess the full extent of the damage. 

Create an emergency response plan and kit. 

Whether you have a family and home or a business and commercial property, an emergency response plan allows everyone to know how to react in an emergency. 

Write down important phone numbers for family, friends, and important business contacts. Even if you have the numbers memorized, it’s helpful not to need to rely on your recall in a stressful situation. 

Pack an emergency supply kit that includes all the food, water, and supplies you might need to survive up to 72 hours on your own. Store your kit in an easy-to-carry container like a plastic bin or duffle bag, and make sure everyone knows where it is. 

Dealing with Water Damage in Your Home

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

A water emergency can happen at any time and often without warning. Recovering from a water emergency, and the water damage left behind can be overwhelming and scary, thankfully, there are plenty of ways for you to recover from such an event and restore your home.

A water emergency can be anything from your basement flooding due to a broken, cracked or clogged pipe, improper sealing on the flooring or walls, or debris in your gutters to a disaster-related event like flash flooding. In the last five years alone flash floods and floods, in general, have been experienced in all 50 states. It is becoming more and more common for homeowners to experience flooding related to natural disasters than in previous years. Since flooding and water emergencies are common, it is important to know how to deal with flood damage, water removal, and water cleanup to successfully restore your home after receiving water damages.

How to Deal with Water Damage and Water Removal

When a flood or water emergency impacts your home, there are many things to take into consideration. For example, water can contain mud, bacteria, sewage, and other toxins that can contaminate your floors and belongings. This is why it is important to deal with the water removal and water cleanup as soon as possible following a flood event. It is imperative to start the water removal process as soon as you can safely enter your home or access the flooded part of the building. The safest and quickest way to deal with water removal and the cleanup is to contact a professional. However, you can assist in the process by removing excess water. This can be done with the use of a mop or towels to soak up any of the remaining water. You can also bring in large fans to assist with drying the area out and removing any furniture or rugs from that area. Essentially, you want to remove any objects from the impacted area and place fans or turn on the air conditioning to assist in the process. You should also keep mold damage in mind as you start restoring your home.

Restoring Your Home after Water Damage

Once your home has dried out you will want to keep an eye out for mold. Mold infestations are common after flooding, and you can often identify them just by observing the area that was impacted and received water damage. Keeping the area cool and dry can help reduce the likelihood of a mold infestation, and the restoration process also helps with mold remediation. Here are a few things to keep in mind when restoring your home after water damage. The restoration process helps improve your living space by preventing mold and mildew; it also allows you to preserve your home’s value by cleaning and restoring the home quicker and often to a better state than it was previously. Many homeowners explore selling their homes after water damages, or flooding occurs, but many find this difficult due to the state of the home, which is why restoring it is a great option!

When your home suffers water damage, it can be difficult, and when it comes to water damage repair, it can be hard to know where to start. Finding a professional water damage repair and restoration business in your area can make a huge difference in recovering from water emergencies. The benefits include: stopping further damage; ensuring a proper cleanup; reducing your losses and saving you time and money.

What to do When Water Damage Happens

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

It’s horribly inconvenient to have your daily life disrupted by water damage. Whether it’s a pipe burst, a flood, a slow leak from the ice machine, or your little tyke decided to shove his favorite stuffie down the toilet, water damage can be costly and stressful. SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow has experienced professionals who are equipped to help you deal with even the worst water damage in an organized, thorough manner.

We hope you never have to call us to restore water-damaged property; but if you do, this guide will help you understand the different classes of water damage, first steps to take, and what to expect during the cleanup process. 

What to do first when you find water damage

No matter how much water damage your home or business suffers, it’s important to act quickly and take the right steps to prevent further damage.

Before you do anything, make sure any water sources that may be leaking are turned off. You don’t want water to continue leaking, causing more damage. Next, turn off the electricity in the impacted area. Electrical shocks and similar accidents are surprisingly common in water damage situations because people are so concerned about addressing the water issue that they forget about other dangers.

Next, identify the class of damage and the type of water involved. Only licensed professionals can officially identify the “class” of water damage your property has suffered. Knowing this information is important, as it will determine certain steps in the cleanup process and make sure you cover all the proper safety measures.

What are the classes of water damage?

There are four classes of water damage and three types of water that may be involved.

Class 1 Cleanup: This is one of the smallest water damage situations and the simplest to clean. The impact is confined to a small area and the water did not sit for very long, so very little moisture seeped into the flooring or other materials.

The cleanup process can be as easy as mopping up as much water as possible. Circulate fresh air and get fans and dehumidifiers in the room to make sure everything dries thoroughly to prevent mold and mildew from growing. Quickly remove furniture, area rugs, or anything that needs professional cleaning and throw away anything that is unsalvageable.

Class 2 Cleanup: This level of damage usually impacts an entire room, damaging carpets and padding, subfloors or plywood, and even concrete. Moisture may have crept up to 24 inches up the walls, damaging structural wood, drywall, insulation, and other materials.

Class 2 water damage situations can quickly deteriorate so it is important to dry the area as quickly as possible by circulating fresh air and using dehumidifiers and fans. This will help prevent mold and microorganisms from growing.

It will be difficult to thoroughly dry the area without professional equipment and expertise. With this level of saturation, surfaces often feel dry to the touch but still have water trapped deep inside. That trapped water can cause mold and structural problems down the road if not properly addressed.

Class 3 Cleanup: This is perhaps the most serious level of water damage. A significant roof leak, a pipe burst, or a catastrophic failure of an upstairs appliance that leaks hundreds of gallons of water is often the cause. Damage usually impacts the ceiling to subfloor and practically everything is saturated.

Because of the extent of the damage in a Class 3 cleanup, it is wise to avoid the area until professional help arrives. Take extra safety precautions when entering the area. Wear gloves, goggles and a respirator to protect you from exposure to microorganisms, mold, and other contaminants.

Class 4 Cleanup: This level of water damage often includes standing water that can only be removed with special equipment. Standing water quickly grows bacteria and other microorganisms that pose health threats and can cause further damage beneath the surface.

Class 4 cleanup is perhaps the most extensive and involved cleanup and restoration process. After the standing water is removed, the drying process can begin. Materials like wood, brick, or concrete can trap water deep in the pores. It takes special equipment to thoroughly dry these materials and spaces.

The type of water that caused the damage matters

There are three categories of water that can cause damage to your home or business. The type of water that causes the damage significantly impacts the cleanup process.

Category 1 water is potable drinking water or safe water. It does not pose any threat to people or animals and comes from “clean water supplies” like broken pipes, overflowing sinks, and some broken appliances.

Category 1 water is the easiest to clean up because it does not pose an immediate health risk or contain potentially harmful bacteria.

Category 2 water is also called “grey water”. It contains large amounts of chemical, biological, or physical contaminants. Grey water can cause illnesses and infections because of the microorganisms, bacteria, or viruses in it.

Broken toilets, sump pumps, water leaking from dishwashers or washing machines are the most common causes of grey water damage. While Category 2 water does not contain sewage or seawater, it is important to clean the affected area cautiously and use the proper chemicals.

Category 3 water is known as “black water” and it poses the greatest health risk to animals and people. It contains harmful bacteria, sewage, and other contaminants.  Black water often comes from seawater, river water, backed up sewage lines, and similar sources. Back-flow from toilets, sewage pipe bursts, or large-scale floods are the most frequent causes of water damage by black water.

Professionals must take extra precautions when cleaning black water damage as it can cause serious illness and infection. It is important to take the proper safety precautions and use the right chemicals and cleaning methods to restore everything safely.

Time, temperature, and other factors can cause the water-damaged area to deteriorate. Even clean category 1 water can quickly become a category 2 situation if left untreated. A category 2 water leak can quickly become a serious health hazard if not cleaned properly.

Call the professionals

SERVPRO has certified experts and specialized equipment to handle any water damage situation. They use sensors and other equipment to identify the water migration line and all the materials that were impacted by the water. The sensors also help them find where the water may still be “bound” in materials—even where the surface feels dry!

Our technicians are trained and equipped to handle water restoration, carpet and upholstery cleaning, mold mitigation, and drying techniques to help minimize property loss after water damage. And we’re available 24 /7.

Our first step on the scene is to perform a detailed inspection of your home or property, including a damage assessment. We determine the scope of damage and develop a plan of action.

Next, we check for any sources of moisture to make sure all the potential water leaks are stopped. Then we check for contaminated water to ensure everyone’s safety. Identifying the type of water and classification of water damage is important to make sure your home or property is fully cleaned and restored.

Depending on the amount of water that needs to be removed, SERVPRO technicians will use pumps and wet/dry vacuums to clean up any excess water. Carpets, padding, and other materials that easily hold water are inspected and removed if necessary.

SERVPRO technicians use infrared cameras to find “hidden” water behind walls, ceilings, and in floors. Industrial-grade dryers and dehumidifiers help us remove all the water from the area. Moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other devices measure the extent of the damage and ensure everything is fully dried.

We hope you’ll never have to call us to restore water-damaged property, but if you do you’ll know what to expect and be equipped with the right information.

What Should You Do When Your Basement Floods?

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

It's every homeowner's worst nightmare: basement flooding. Not only can flood damage be devastating on an emotional level, but it's also becoming a more common scenario for American families to experience. During the last five years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. In order to reduce the impact of water damage, it's important to know exactly what to do if and when your basement floods. That way, you can control the situation as much as possible and seek out the emergency services you need right away. Here's a brief checklist that you can follow if flood warnings turn out to hold water.

    • Put Safety First: Before you do anything else or think about water cleanup, you'll need to put safety first and foremost. That means you'll want to shut off all power (including both gas and electricity) to your home. If you are unable to access the circuit breaker or do not know how to turn off the power, you'll want to call your electrician to help you. Do not enter a basement that's flooded until the power is shut off and you have confirmation it's safe.
    • Get Moving: Once you know your basement is safe to answer, you'll be able to start the water cleanup process. While you may be able to move out and save certain items, keep in mind that the longer your belongings are exposed to standing water, the less likely it will be that the environment will be a sanitary one for you to be in. You should always wear gloves, boots, and a protective mask when in your flooded basement. If you can safely move these items to a place where they can dry out, you may be able to salvage at least some of the items you might otherwise lose. However, you should not attempt to save any appliances that have been exposed to water, as these will likely be irreparably damaged.
  • Contact the Professionals: Although there are some homeowners who might assume that they can handle water cleanup on their own, the truth is that any extensive flooding requires help from professional emergency services. Whether the flooding is the result of a natural disaster or a burst pipe, it's important to have the water cleaned up as efficiently as possible. Your DIY methods may simply not cut it -- and you may not even realize you've sustained water damage or are experiencing mold growth until much later. If you call the experts from the start, you'll be able to have the problem cleaned up and the damage restored with urgency. Ultimately, that means you can beat the flood at its own game.

Although you can take steps to minimize the effects of a flood, you may be proactive and still require emergency services to mitigate flood damage after the fact. Whether you tried to prevent this damage or the flooding caught you by complete surprise, we're here to help. Contact us right away in the event of a flood and we'll be there -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

3 Sneaky Signs Your Home May Have Hidden Water Damage

1/17/2019 (Permalink)

For many homeowners, the possibility of water or flood damage can bring up a lot of fears. But you can't let that fear about what you might find keep you from staying on top of your home maintenance. Otherwise, you could end up dealing with water emergencies, mold problems, and more significant restoration costs down the line. It's essential for you to recognize the potential signs of water damage in your home so that you can take steps to rectify the situation right away. Here are a few such signs to watch out for.

    1. Musty Odor: There's a reason why basements have a reputation of smelling rather musty. Of all homes that have basements, over 98% of them will experience water damage at some point. But contrary to popular belief, that odor actually isn't normal. It indicates the presence of moisture where it doesn't belong. Musty, moldy, or damp smells are very distinct (some liken it to wet newsprint or cardboard) and should be taken seriously whether your home is older or newer.
    1. Discolored Spots: If you've noticed discolored streaks running down your walls or a darkened spot on your ceiling, you could very well be dealing with a leak or prolonged damage from water. Visible staining will usually develop when a leak is consistent and slow. If you've recently moved into a new home or apartment, it's possible that the leak may have already been taken care of before you got there but the discoloration has remained. More than likely, however, the problem may still persist. Pay close attention to dark marks or even bubbling of paint, wallpaper, and flooring materials.
  1. Steep Bills: You might not realize it, but your monthly water and energy bills may be able to give you a clue about whether you're dealing with hidden water damage. A room that's persistently difficult to heat and that always feels damp regardless of the thermostat temperature may actually have some moisture in the walls. And if your water bill keeps increasing but your conscious water usage does not, that could be a telltale sign you've got a leak somewhere in the home. It's a good idea to track these expenses carefully; while higher HVAC bills may point to several other issues, consistent draftiness and increasing water bills may be cause for alarm.

You shouldn't be forced to wait until your home starts to leak before you take action. If you know what to look for, you'll be able to spot the possible signs of damage from water and contact the professionals as soon as you believe there might be a problem. Being proactive about this issue can save you time, money, and frustration in the long term. To learn more about how we can help with water removal and damage repair, please contact us today.

6 Things That You Can Do to Prevent Water Damage

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Most homeowners’ insurance covers water damage claims depending on the policy. However, most homeowners would prefer not to deal with water damage at all. The stress and worry are simply not worth it at all.

Despite the insurance coverage, a water disaster can cause damage that will lead to exorbitant expenses.

When it comes to dealing with water damage, the best approach is to protect your home through prevention. Here are the things that you can do to protect your home from water damage.

6 Things You Can Do to Prevent Water Damage

1. Know the Location of Your Main Water Valve

The location of your main water valve is one of the most important information that you should know as a homeowner. When there’s a pipe leak or water heater failure, you can rush to shut off the valve to prevent any kind of serious damage.

Your main water valve is typically located outside your home, usually near the street and is either below ground or with a cover or in a concrete box. It may also be located on the side or back of your home.

This is also important in case you will be out of the house for a long time. You should shut off the main valve if you will be gone for several days or weeks.

2. Regularly Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to clean your gutters at least twice a year.

Your gutter will collect leaves, sticks, nests, and other debris which will stop it from working properly. On a rainy day, your clogged gutter or downspout will create standing water that may be sent up through the roof and down your basement. This goes without saying that this could lead to flooding.

Therefore, make sure that the downspouts are properly cleaned and pointed away from your home.

3. Check for Leaks and Fix Them Right Away

Regularly check your home for potential leaks. Any sort of leaks should be addressed right away. Ignoring or postponing these repairs can lead to significant moisture damage. Your pipes will become a home for mold, mildew, and dry rot. At its worst, the leaks may even lead to structural damage.

Do yourself and your home a favor by fixing the leak as soon as you see it.

While your homeowner’s insurance offers coverage for accidental or sudden damage, you can’t say the same if the damage is from lack of maintenance.

4. Check Your Water Bill

Sometimes, detecting a water leak can be downright difficult. However, a sudden jump of your water bill might indicate that there’s a water leak. If your water bill seems abnormally high, inspect your home pipes for leaks or running water that you’re not aware of.

With this, you can possibly prevent any sort of water damage before it makes a turn for the worse.

5. Disconnect Hoses

During the colder months, the hose will accumulate standing water which will eventually freeze back into the pipe. This effectively creates an ice block that stops the water from flowing. In the worst case, the frozen standing water may bust your home pipes which could damage your floor, walls, and foundation.

Make it a habit to let the faucets outside your home drip as it will allow the pressure to be released. This is especially important if you’re going on an extended holiday and leaving your home for several days or weeks.

6. Install a Water Leak Detection Device

A water leak detector is a small electronic device that sounds an alarm whenever the sensor gets in contact with moisture.

There are many low-cost leak detectors that come with sensors which you can set up near a water heater or under the sink. There are even higher-end leak detectors that will send an alert to your smartphone when the device detects moisture or when there’s a significant change to water usage.

There are also leak detection devices that can even monitor the flow of the water and will automatically shut off the valve if there’s a significant change to the water used.

As a bonus, your home insurance company may even offer a discount if you install these leak detection devices.

Get Pros to Handle Your Water Damage Issues

Follow the steps above and you should be able to prevent your home from significant water damage.

However, if your home has already succumbed to water damage, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO in Nashville, Percy Priest, and Hickory Hollow.

How to Prevent Water Damage During the Holidays

12/17/2018 (Permalink)

Whether you are traveling to be with your extended family for the holidays or just escaping the cold weather of winter, you will need to prepare your home for your absence.

While you are away, leaky or burst pipes can wreak havoc on your property if left unchecked. Flood water can damage electrical appliances, damage wooden parts of your home, cause mold growth, or even bring down an entire wall if left to stand for long.

Here at SERVPRO, we understand how frustrating it can be to come home to a flooded house. If a water disaster occurs, you can always count on us to clean and restore your property.

But before it gets to that, here are a few expert tips to prevent residential water damage.

Expert Tips to Prevent Water Damage this Holiday Season

1. Locate the Main Valve and Shut It Off

The most important measure to prevent water damage while you are away is to ensure that the main valve is shut off. This valve controls all the water that enters your home, and turning it off can prevent a potential disaster.

While you are at it, address the outdoor faucets. These are usually the first parts of your plumbing system to freeze and burst when temperatures drop. To prevent faucets and pipes from freezing, make sure you insulate them before you leave.  Even if you have frost-proof faucets, you still need to shut off the main supply valve.

After closing the main supply, open the faucets to drain any water that might have remained in the pipes. Don’t leave any hose connected to your outdoor faucets, as it can trap some water.

You can also prevent water from freezing in your interior pipes by adjusting the thermostat to at least 60 degrees. This will keep your house warm and ensure that water in the pipes within the external walls doesn’t freeze and ruin your plumbing system. It’s also wise to leave your kitchen sink cabinets and bathroom doors open to allow more heat to your pipes.

2. Turn off Valves to Probable Water Damage Culprits

Sometimes you might not want to completely cut off the main water supply because you are having a friend or neighbor water your plants or check on your pet while you are away. However, it’s crucial that you turn off the valves to any appliances in your house that may cause flooding. These include the dishwasher, washing machine, and ice maker.

You can find individual water shutoff valves on the supply lines that lead to these particular appliances. They usually have a small oval or round handle that you can turn clockwise and stop water from flowing to a specific part of your house.

3. Ensure your Sump Pump is Working

A sump pump system is an equipment that keeps groundwater off your basement. Before you head out for the holidays, test the sump pump to ensure that it’s fully functional.

If it isn’t working, check the breaker as well as the outlet pipe to ensure there’s no blockage.

If you can’t fix it, call a technician to help you out. Also, consider adding a backup battery to the sump pump so that it stays functional even if there’s a power outage.

4. Inspect Gutters and Waterways

Clearing sticks, leaves, or any other debris in your gutters and downspout extensions can prevent potential water hazards.

Before you leave, check your downspout inlets to ensure that rainwater flows smoothly down the spout. Also, ensure those downspout extensions are well-positioned to discharge rainwater away from your house’s foundation. Repair your roof accordingly to prevent any leaks.

Residential Water Damage Restoration with a Trusted Partner

If you will be spending the holiday at your home, you may consider investing in devices like water leak detectors to alert you on any leaks. You can then take the necessary precautions to prevent a disaster.

Like any other disaster, water hazards can’t always be prevented. Accidents happen and when they do, you need a reliable damage restoration partner.

If you are in need of any water damage cleanup and restoration, feel free to call SERVPRO of Hickory Hollow and Percy Priest. Whether it’s flooding or storm water damage, we have all the necessary to tools and equipment to get your home back to its pre-damage state. What’s more, we will offer mold remediation services to prevent any mold or mildew growth after the water damage.

Don’t Take a Chance with Water Damage

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Life is a beautiful collection of happenings - both planned and unintentional.

In the most ideal of scenarios you’ve been fortunate enough to build a happy and healthy home environment. Your day-to day life is filled with general tasks that are common in most people’s routines. You work hard, take care of your family, and seek to keep a productive and safe household.

Unfortunately, water damage has no regard for this.

Whether because of some minor piping issues or as the result of a chaotic natural disaster, water damage can strike any of our homes. Water damage can include even the most minor of pipe leaks all the way up to wide spread damage resulting in a need for emergency restoration services.

As a longtime service provider to the people of Percy Priest, Nashville, and the surrounding area, SERVPRO knows how impactful house flooding and water damage can be.

We’re here to provide just a few of things to consider based on our industry expertise for ways you can safeguard your home and personal items against water damage.

Gut Your Gutters and Others

It’s not the most glamourous work, but it could pay off, and not at the expense of your wallet, in the long run.

Routine maintenance on your gutters and eavestroughs are a very simple way to prevent water damage.

Over time pathways can become filled with debris which eventually lead to the water flow being blocked. When this happens, the water buildup can become too much for the gutters and ultimately cause it to collapse.

To avoid this, be sure to clear debris from any part of your home that has the purpose of leading water from the house. Gutters, downspouts, eavestroughs, and storm drains are all things you’re going to need clutter free when heavy rains come.

Home Improvement

It may seem like a stretch, but routine home maintenance and beautification all play a role in preventing water damage during floods.

Keeping your roof, pipes, and drainage systems up to code are obvious tasks to keep your home free from easy occurring water damage scenarios. Beautifying your lawn through landscape work is another deterrent to flooding. Homes with gardens and other vegetation have an added benefit of being natural buffers by minimizing soil erosion.

Additional improvements you can make are to take a survey of your sidewalks, driveways, and any patio areas you may have. These tend to have general ware overtime and that damage can make it easier for water to collect in faulty areas.

What the Tech?

What you can’t see can hurt you.

We’ve covered mainly preventing water damage that can affect your home physically, but as an extra tip we advise you keep your data in mind.

It can be more of an afterthought in the wake of a flood to remember everything you’ve stored on your computers and electronic devices. However, once those tech gadgets are destroyed that data is lost.

Whether they’re professional files or personal ones, take a moment to back up your hard drive into a cloud-based platform. Insurance may cover getting a new a computer, but it won’t recover your precious files.

Be Smarter Than Backwater

Even if you’ve made it past the worse of the storm there can be more foul possibilities awaiting.

It’s already a best practice to ensure that your pipes are clear for water to flow out, but make sure you’ve taken measure so that something can’t get back in.

With waters rising, sewage systems can become full to the point of tracking up your pipes and out of your home’s draining points. The result would not only be water damage but whatever sewage comes along with it.

We recommend having a plumber to install a backwater valve which is a device that prevents water from reentering your house during heavy rain periods. Like all your water damage prevention efforts, this too should be a routine check.

Water damage is one thing, but sewer water is a burden of another breed.

SERVPRO Can Help

We at SERVPRO know how water damage of any kind can become a costly situation and the dangers flooding can cause.

You may not be able to help that the storm season is picking up, but you can certainly take measures to safeguard your home and family from water damage.

SERVPRO’s 6 Quick Water Damage Prevention Tips

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

You’re a busy person with a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.

The last thing we at SERVPRO want you to have to worry about is random water damage occurring in your home. This is especially true considering that much of it is very preventable with a little foresight.

Our Top Water Damage Prevention Tips

Below, we’ve assembled a list of quick water damage prevention tips for our friends and clients in Nashville, Hickory Hollow – and the surrounding area to make sure that you’re a step ahead of potential issues.

No Leak Left Behind

This is probably one of the simplest water damage prevention tips you can use.

You’re already aware that your pipes, whether in the kitchen or in the bathroom, are made to carry water. You should make it a good practice to look under your counters every now and then to see if there are any leaks. If you do it enough you can catch them when they’re just beginning and may even be able to fix them yourself.

However, if you find yourself in a worst-case scenario, give your local SERVPRO professional a call.

Avoid Water Backup

Water backup can occur when waste and water which has already been disposed comes back into the house. This can be caused be excessive flooding when the sewage and waste systems are filled to the brim.

There’s a great potential that everything you send down the pipes will come back through, and maybe some things you didn’t.

We suggest having a backflow valve installed to prevent any form of backup. This is designed to prevent anything from coming back up the pipes from the sewage, whether water or waste. It’s an extreme case for this to happen, but ultimately one which you’d be happier to prevent.

Install Water Detection

This is a costlier solution but will be worth the investment if you can detect water issues in advance.

Water detectors are small devices that alert you whenever the sensors meet water. The beauty of these are that they can detect even the lowest levels of abnormal moisture. This means that you can detect potential water problems long before they’ve had a chance to cause any major issues.

Watch Your Grease

Never poor grease down the sink.

Ever.

Grease might as well be glue, because it has the capability of becoming very clingy inside your pipes. Once enough of it sticks it will be very difficult to loosen up and will result in serious damage to your pipes. The best thing to do is to put it in your old cans and toss it out when it hardens.

Plant a Flower, or Two

Having a garden can do a whole lot more than winning you yard of the month award.

A little yard work helps in the case of heavy rains because it’s more difficulty for the soil be displaced by flood waters. Think of it as a first line of defense that water must break through before reaching your house.

An alternative to this it to make sure to manage any large trees or vegetation. These should be just as kept as a garden because if the roots get out of hand they can grow to the point of breaking into your utility pipes.

Check Your Appliances

It’s always a good idea to make sure your household appliances are functioning properly, so why not take it a step further?

When preventing water damage, you should routinely check appliances that use water They’re bound to already have factory instructions for proper use, and these should include water related tips. However, even if you’re not sure about how the appliance can lead to water damage it’s easy to spot an issue.

If you see water coming out where it shouldn’t - it’s probably a good time for maintenance or to get a replacement.

Just in Case – We Are Always Here!

Perhaps you’re just reading this after already discovering there is extensive water damage to your home. No worries. SERVPRO specializes in emergency restoration services and can get your home fixed via our team of experts.

However, if you haven’t seen any damage yet, this is the time to get everything around your house set up so that you can feel confident knowing you’ve done everything you can.

Prepping Your Home for Travel to Avoid Water Damage

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

We hope you don't need our industrial moisture control systems, but if you do, we have you covered.

The summer season is finally here.

However, nothing can put a damper on your travel plans than a lack of peace of mind that your home is safe. Life happens whether on vacation or at home, but you can always take small steps that go a long way to keeping your home protected from the unexpected.

Water damage can happen anytime and it doesn’t take a large flood or storm to do it. At SERVPRO in Nashville we know how expensive repairs can be – from minor leaks all the way to our most extensive emergency restoration services.

However, before you pack up for your summer holiday, we have a few tips to help with any concerns you may have about leaving your home.

SERVPRO’s Fast 4 Tips for Preventing Water Damage

Here are some tips which will prevent your home from water damage during your summer travels, and also any time of the year. You’ll be able to have more peace of mind and fully enjoy your summer travel knowing that you’ve acted on our 4 tips: 

  1. Declutter Those Gutters

It’s not a glamorous job, but someone’s got to do it.

We recommend cleaning your gutters at least twice a year to make sure they maintain an unblocked flow. Perhaps, ice dams are a more well-known issue for gutters. But during summer, gutters still can cause water damage. Blocked water can affect your roof and even the gutter itself.

Additionally, if the downspouts aren’t clean and secure, it could create overflow and eventually cause foundational damage. This summer, don’t let this easy fix become a water damage nightmare.

  1. Detect, Not Neglect

Technology is a great way to inspect the unexpected.

Installing water detection devices is a tech-savvy way of being notified if you’re at risk of any water damage or even recognizing it’s begun. Water detectors are small devices that notify you when their sensors pick up moisture. These can be placed in typically hazard areas like water heaters, sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers, toilets and others high water traffic areas.

A good thing about these is they’re capable of detected low-moisture levels meaning that you can most likely catch the issue before the damage becomes to extensive.

  1. Control the Mold

By the time you see mold, there’s more damage than meets the eye.

Mold forms over time and neglect. Perhaps it’s a small problem now but imagine it after being gone from home for a month or two. If you consider the summer heat, then there’s a steamy situation is on your horizon.

SERVPRO strongly advises to not ignore or postpone repairs of any existing moisture damage. When left unattended, this seemingly harmless moisture can evolve into mold, mildew, dry rot, and structural damage to your home. The warmer summer conditions will only make this situation worse.

It all begins with a small leak that you may overlook as being a little light water damage. Don’t take this for granted, and get it fixed before hitting the road.

  1. The Water Main Attraction

How can you have a water leak inside your house if no water is running into it?

The water main should be the “main” thing you consider before leaving for summer travel. Whenever you’re leaving for a long period of time, you should make sure that your water main is off. It’s a simple move that can remedy most of your water damage risks.

In fact, ensuring that your water main is shut off can prevent most non-existent water damage issues from occurring while you’re traveling. Existing water issues may persist, but at least they won’t be amplified by running water.

A Happy Home

There will always be things you don’t expect to go wrong, whether from natural disasters or just faulty parts. For those, SERVPRO has emergency restoration and maintenance services, but the simplest action you can take to prevent water damage begins with you.

Before you set out for a wonderful summer vacation, make sure to check your home using our tips and even to identify existing water damage that needs our attention. You’ll have a much happier summer if you do.

What to Do in Case of Water Damage in Your Home

1/29/2018 (Permalink)

It’s quite unnerving that the water we require for our existence can sometimes be so destructive.

From thawing snow to hurricanes and typhoons, water is a force to reckon with.

But what about that small leak in your home?

Can this humble and often-overlooked water problem cause any serious damages?

You’ll be surprised that even the smallest of leaks can greatly affect your house’s structural condition, especially if it goes undetected for a long time.

Before handling a water problem in your home, you need to know the common signs of water damage:

Key Signs of Water Damage in Your Home

One of the most common signs of water damage in your home is the discoloration of the ceilings and walls.

The stain usually appears brownish or yellowish, and its size is aligned with the extent of the water damage. In some cases, the paint on the wall might start peeling off or some tiny bubbles might start to form. For the parts that are made of iron, you may notice some rust on them.

Wooden floors may also show signs of water damage. Infiltration of water into the wooden floors results into buckling. This is where the wooden floor detaches from the ground and curves upwards or warps.

But the most crucial area is the house’s foundation.

Once water gets into the foundation, it weakens the entire structure and can make the entire house to collapse – water damage can lead to the total destruction of your home.

Whether you have leaky pipes or a flooded home, it is always recommended to call for professional water damage restoration professionals.

Contact SERVPRO in Hickory Hollow for Quick and Top-Notch Restoration Services

After you experience a water disaster in your home, you’ll be so heartbroken to do a proper clean up and restoration by yourself. You’ll need help!

And that’s why SERVPRO is here. We are a leading and reputable company in the restoration and cleaning industry. We will make sure that most of your household items are restored and are back in good condition. This way, you wouldn’t have to replace them.

What to Do in Case of Commercial Water Damage

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

Water can cause severe damage to your commercial building.

Some of the common problems include destruction of equipment, degradation of important documents, water-logged carpets and furniture, dampness which subsequently leads to mold, discoloration of painted walls – the list is endless.

The damage is not only traumatic, but will also cost you a huge amount of money for repairs, especially if you run a business that depends on certain equipment and tools.

If you have a flooded commercial building, chances are, you are not going to sit around with the water on your things.

Good thing, there are a few things you can do to mitigate the damage.

3 Important Things to Do in Case of Commercial Water Damage

1. Prioritize Your Safety and That of Your Employees

First things first, assess the situation.

Are there any live wires anywhere near the area affected by water? Is the floor you are standing on still stable to support your weight?

A water disaster in your business premises presents a serious threat of electrocution and can saturate and weaken your floorboards.

If the situation seems unsafe, it is always best to exit the building and wait for the professionals. Nothing is worth your life!

2. Save Your Valuables

If your flooded building seems safe to use, cautiously enter and try to retrieve your business’ valuables such as documents and expensive electronics that can be salvaged.

Before you start removing large items from the building, ensure you take photos and videos of the water damage for insurance purposes.

You can also ask your employees to help remove some furniture and other important office items. These items will need to be taken out of the flooded building at some point in the restoration process, so it won’t hurt to start early and minimize the damage.

3. Call the Pros

The longer standing water stays on your floor, the more damage it will cause to your building and equipment. It is, therefore, necessary to call professional restoration experts for help.

Call SERVPRO for Emergency Water Damage Restoration in Hickory Hollow

If you are struggling with commercial water damage, then seek the services of a reputable restoration company. Failing to do this may completely damage your equipment and items, and you may be needed to replace them.

At SERVPRO, we understand that you want to get your business up and running in the shortest time possible. That’s why we offer top-notch restoration and cleaning services 24/7. You can always count on us!

How to Prevent Frozen Water Pipes in the Winter

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

Bag packed, check. Vehicle fueled, check.

If you are planning a vacation to escape the winter, keep in mind that your home will still have to brave the cold.

The water in your pipes can freeze at the low temperatures and cause the pipes to burst.

The next thing you know, you are coming back to a water-logged home.

How do you prevent this from happening?

Most people use antifreeze compounds in their water pipes during the winter.

But this is a really bad idea.

Antifreeze has been established as a notorious and hazardous pollutant that not only damages your lawn but is also harmful to your family’s health.

So what are the proper ways of protecting your pipes from the freezing and bursting during the winter?

2 Super-Easy Ways of Preventing Frozen Water Pipes During the Winter

Keep Your Home Warm

Set the indoor temperatures above 550F at all times. This will ensure your pipes remain warm and prevent the water inside from freezing.

It is, however, important to note that this will increase your home’s energy bills, something that can be easily resolved.

Keeping your heating systems running even when you are away may seem to be costly, but it will save you a lot of money in repairs and replacements in the event your home is damaged by water.

Keep the Taps Slightly Opened

This is perhaps the easiest way of preventing frozen water pipes during the winter. The continuous flow prevents the water from stagnating and ultimately freezing.

Moreover, this method won’t have any significant impact on your water bills. Nonetheless, you should ensure that you maintain the amount of water trickling out of your taps at an absolute minimum.

But what should you do if you already have a water damage in your home caused by a pipe burst?

You Can Count on SERVPRO Water Damage Restoration in Nashville

Nobody likes to clean up and restore their homes after it has been hit by a water disaster. In fact, most homeowners would prefer to have all the damaged items replaced.

But you don’t have to spend all that money on replacements. You can leave the cumbersome strenuous work to the water damage restoration professionals like SERVPRO. We are equipped with state-of-the-art restoration equipment and highly trained technicians to offer top-notch services.

With SERVPRO, you can rest assured that your home will be back to pre-disaster condition before you know it.

How to Prevent Water Damage in the Winter

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Many homeowners have past experiences dealing with water damage.

If you have been fortunate enough to avoid a water disaster, then you have probably heard some horror stories from your family and friends about burst water pipes and flooded basements.

In fact, such experiences are so common that home water damage is one of the major reasons why Americans file insurance claims for their homes. 

The winter is an especially dangerous season for water leaks and floods.

Apart from the year-round drainage threats that are always lurking, you have to deal with frozen pipes, snow buildup, and thawing ice.

5 Ways to Prevent Winter Water Damage in Your Home

Take the following steps and avoid filing a claim this winter season.

1. Have your Drainage System Inspected

Hire a professional inspector to examine your water supply system, washing machine, refrigerator, and other appliances.

In most cases, water supply lines will last for only five years before they need replacement. Steel-braided and rubber hose, however, tend to last longer. 

2. Clear Snow from Your Foundation

Ice and snow build up around your home can damage the structure of your foundation and pose a threat to the stability of your house.

Make sure you regularly check for snow build up around your home and clear it as soon as possible. Also, entry points like ground windows should be properly locked and sealed to prevent thawing snow from leaking into the basement and cause flooding.

3. Clear Your Gutters and Downspouts

Debris like snow and leaves can block your gutters and create ice dams on your roof. This can ultimately destroy the roof due to the excessive pressure.

When the winter is in full swing, it may prove challenging to clean your gutters and downspouts. It is recommended to hire a contractor.

4. Install a Pipe Leak Detector

Sometimes, leaks may occur within the walls or ceiling and go undetected for a long time until they cause a serious damage. Fortunately, there’s a solution to this.

A pipe detection device has sensors that will alert you of any water pipe leaks. This device will prevent a major water damage to your home.

5. Prepare Your Home for Your Winter Getaway

If you have planned to head somewhere warmer this winter season, remember that your home is suffering in the winter cold.

You wouldn’t want to come back to a flooded home, would you?

So shut off the main water supply to prevent flooding and set the heat to moderate to prevent pipe freezing and bursts.

Call Professional Water Damage Restoration Experts in Percy Priest

In the unfortunate event your home is damaged by water, you don’t have to despair. You also don’t have to replace all your water-logged items.

Call SERVPRO for quick and professional water damage restoration services.

Leaving Home for the Holidays? 3 Ways to Prevent Water Damage

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

The holiday season is a great time to unwind and relax with friends and family.

It’s the time to love, give, and show appreciation to people around you. Ideally, it is also the time when everything should go right. This means no emergencies, no accidents, or injuries.

However, we all know that life isn’t that ideal.

Preventing Water Damage During the Holidays

So, whether you are going for an obligatory holiday dinner at your in-laws or escaping the winter by heading down south, here are ways to prevent water damage to your home when you are away:

1. General Maintenance

Before going for holiday, ensure that you set aside some time and do a quick inspection of your drainage system. If you noticed any leaks or damages, ensure that they are repaired as soon as possible.

In addition, clean all the gutters and downspouts extensions before you leave.

2. Shut off Major Electrical Components

This will significantly reduce your energy costs when you are away.

Unplug the electrical appliances that will not be in use and set a few lights on a timer. This will give an impression that somebody is occupying the home and discourage burglars.

However, don’t switch off the thermostat because low temperatures can freeze and break your water pipes. Lower your thermostat to around 55F – this should reduce the risk of water damage to your home.

3. Shut off Water Valves

The most common sources of home water damage include washing machines, ice makers, toilets, and dishwashers. Shutting off individual water valves should help prevent water damage.

The shutoff valves to most appliances, faucets, and toilets are usually found on the supply lines.

You can also shut off the main water valve to stop water from coming into your home for the period you’ll be away. The main water valve is located at the water meter. This is a good way to prevent major pipe leaks and floods.

Hire Water Damage Restoration Experts in Nashville

Water damage, especially during the holiday season, can be overwhelming.

But you have the option of hiring professional water damage restoration experts like SERVPRO in Nashville. SERVPRO has highly-skilled professionals, top-of-the-line equipment, and innovative cleaning products to get the work done in the shortest time possible.

We are a 24/7 emergency restoration and home cleaning experts that you can count on this holiday season.

Quick Fixes for Minor Water Damage in Your Home

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

Even if you’re not quite the handyman — complete with a box of tools and screws – there are some simple home fixes you should be able to handle on your own.

Water damage can be very difficult to manage if you're not an expert but there are minor cases that are easy enough to remedy even for first-time homeowners. Once you know how to tell the difference between water stained walls and a coffee spill, you can try your hand at one of these quick fixes.

Kill the Mold

If the mold infestation isn’t that serious, this is one of the easiest things to fix right away. You don’t even need store-bought mold killer to do this yourself. Just grab an empty spray bottle, pour in some regular household vinegar, and spray away. Vinegar kills off the mold and it should go away within a day after spraying.

However, you should still be careful when coming in contact with fungi — no matter how insignificant they appear. Always use protective gear such as gloves and a mask to prevent mold exposure.

Take Out Replaceable Parts

Consider yourself lucky if the damage contains itself within a couple of wooden panels or any detachable and replaceable part of your home. Wood is one of the most water-sensitive building material that is easily stained.

You can try some DIY stain removal techniques or — if you have some cash to spare — simply take it out and replace it. Doing this prevents any fungi growth from spreading to perfectly good tiles.

It’s also a good idea to replace rusty pipes as soon as possible. Rusty pipes are weak and could easily burst, leaving you with an even bigger problem than what you started with.

Dry the Area

When it comes to water damage, the longer it stays moist, the worse the damage. Once you spot the affected area, drain the water immediately and let it dry.

If you have time, use a blow dryer or set up a few electric fans to speed up the drying process. This not only prevents the structure or furniture from deteriorating, it also lessens the chance of mold and bacteria from contaminating the air.

Know When to Call a Water Restoration Pro

Quick fixes are only good for small scale water damage that you can address even without proper training. If you go down your basement and it looks like a river miraculously sprouted from the ground, you know it’s time to call in the experts.

Trying to fix serious water damage can not only result in more damage, it could potentially be dangerous as well. You’ll never know if there are any live wires or other hazards lurking in that pool of water. 

At SERVPRO, we provide top-quality services for residents of Hickory Hollow, Antioch 24/7. Let us help restore your water damaged home!

4 Effects of Water Damage in Homes

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

Bad weather conditions, faulty plumbing, and old pipes — those are just some of the most common causes of home water damage here at Percy Priest, Nashville. We’ve all heard about what water damage is and what it can do to your home, but how bad can it be?

The simple answer is: it can be an absolute nightmare.

It can make living in your home extremely inconvenient and in the worst-case scenario, it can also force you to pack up your things and find somewhere else to live. Water damage is no light matter. Not to mention, not all kinds of water damage are covered by home insurance.

To give you a better idea on why you should take this issue seriously, here are four common effects of water damage that you might not know about.

  1. Lowers Your Home’s Resale Value

Nobody wants to buy into someone else’s problem. If you ever decide to sell, there are agents who come in and inspect your house for signs of deterioration. Including — yes, you guessed it — water damage.

It’s one of the top things real estate agents look for when assessing the value of a home. Not only is it a clear sign of disrepair, water damage also creates long term issues that might make your home unsellable if the damage is too great.

  1. Attracts Insects and Pest

Nasty little bugs, insects, and other creepy crawlies love snuggling into moist corners where they get a steady supply of H2O.

Areas like under the sink, clogged gutters, and other places where stagnant water accumulates creates a haven for unwanted pests. If you don’t want to compete with little critters for your home, it’s best to make sure your home is free of water damage.

  1. Serious Health Hazards

Besides bugs and insects, a moist environment also breeds things like molds and fungi that could pose a serious health risk for you and your family.

Mold exposure can trigger allergies, respiratory issues, food poisoning, and a bunch of other problems — especially for children and those with weakened immune systems. When you see any sign of mold, it’s important to call experts right away before matters get worse.

  1. Encourages Further Water Damage

If left unaddressed, even the smallest sign of water damage can eventually lead to catastrophe. It can ruin your flooring, carpet, walls, and seep into the very foundation of your home. Once this happens, you might be better off moving somewhere else than spending on repairs.

Severely water damaged homes are dangerous places to live in and it pays to act quick in order to avoid a worst-case scenario.

Quick Response for Emergency Repairs

When it comes to maintaining the integrity of your home, trust only the experts at SERVPRO here at Percy Priest. We provide highly trained technicians to get to the bottom of the problem and provide efficient water restoration services.

Our team is fully equipped with all the tools needed to have your home looking brand new, as if nothing even happened.

Test our top-quality services for yourself! Contact SERVPRO in Percy Priest at 615-731-4222 today and we’ll show you what reliable emergency service is all about.

Are You Seeing Signs of a Drainage Problem?

2/17/2017 (Permalink)

Don't let a drainage problem linger - it can cause major damage!

You don't need a degree in engineering or plumbing to find drainage problems. Sometimes you'll catch them when they're still a small inexpensive fix. This saves you potentially thousands of dollars down the road. There are also times when we don't catch water damage until it's a costly problem. To help, here are a few tips to see if you could be dealing with a drainage problem:

1) Dumping Downspouts

Did you know you can overflow 10 bathtubs with rainfall from your roof? That can produce up to 1,000 square feet of water or 600 gallons of runoff! This kind of dumping can land close to your foundations and create issues. Depending on the structure of your house, it could end up in your basement and walls. That much water running through a home means destroyed flooring, furnishings, and possessions. The threat of mold and mildew increases in these situations as well. An even worse scenario involves  water embedding in the soil and then harming the foundation walls. In this case, you’ll  want professionals like the ones at SERVPRO of Percy Priest/Hickory Hollow to ensure you never see that kind of damage.


2) Walls with Flaking & Deposits

If you are finding gray or white crust on your basement walls, you are looking at mineral deposits. This is called “efflorescence,” a condition created by evaporating water. Another sign you should be on the lookout for are big flaking patches. This is called “spalling” and is an indicator there could be water damage in the masonry. Before the situation gets worse, have your downspouts, gutters, and soil grading checked. Foundation integrity is a big problem and one to avoid at all costs.


3) Water Stains in the Basement

Stains on the floors or walls of your basement, or unexplained puddles, can be the result of surface water. This could also be the result of water that's traveling underground. The pros at SERVPRO of Percy Priest/Hickory Hollow know how to look for signs of fluctuating water tables or to see if the basement lies below a municipal storm drain. The sooner this problem is dealt with, the less the damage and expense.

Drainage can be a slow, invisible threat to your property. SERVPRO of Percy Priest/Hickory Hollow is the ideal resource for finding and correcting these threats quickly and affordably. Give us a call today!

How to Prepare for or Recover From Ice Damage

2/10/2017 (Permalink)

When you live in Tennessee, you know that plunging temperatures mean one thing - ice. While ice makes it very dangerous for drivers, ice is even more dangerous for homeowners. From bursting pipes to sagging ceilings, frozen water can wreak havoc with the homes of the Antioch and Percy Priest areas. When you know ice is on the way, there are certain steps you can take to prepare. Even if these steps don't work, there are also steps you can take to make sure that the restoration work is done correctly the first time. Ice is an enemy, but it's an enemy that you can defeat with the right knowledge.

Ice Damage Preparation

There are a few steps that homeowners know must be taken when the temperature drops below freezing. First, your home needs to be sealed as well as possible to keep heat in. This, generally, means keeping your windows and doors closed as much as possible. Once this is done, you'll need to make sure that your pipes are not given a chance to freeze. Keep the water in your pipes moving by letting your faucets drip and expose pipes to hot air as much as possible by keeping your cabinets open. This can help stop pipes from freezing and help you to prevent most severe internal ice problems.

As far as external damage goes, the best recommendation is to keep outside faucets covered if possible, and make sure you keep your car either in a garage or a car port. You should also keep any tree limbs on your property trimmed away from your home as the weight of ice can cause limbs to break.

Ice Damage Recovery

The recovery process from ice is a little more complex than preparation. There are several types of damage that might occur, so your main job is to mitigate further damage until professionals arrive. Your smartest move will always be to inspect your property thoroughly after ice to make sure that no major damage has occurred.

If the damage is structural, do what you can to move personal items out of the area and then call for help. A good damage remediation team can get to work quickly and help you to deal with major structural problems. Always let a professional deal with any damage that occurs due to ice, as the problems are often quite severe.


You should also always make sure to call SERVPRO of Percy Priest/Hickory Hollow. They are able to not only help you make sure that no water damage occurs, but will assist in recovering from ice issues by checking for the damage you can't always see. With the right help, you can recover from damage caused by ice.

4 Tips for Keeping Your Water-Prone Rugs in Top Condition

2/3/2017 (Permalink)

Make sure your rugs and carpets stay dry!

4 Tips for Keeping Your Water-Prone Rugs in Top Condition

Decorative and antique rugs are beautiful and important pieces of room decor. Many rugs in nice homes are handmade, expensive, or unique with history. A handmade or expensive rug can last for generations if they are cared for properly. For example, a lot of people enjoy having large, lavish rugs outside of their hot tubs. This can make caring for the rug an arduous task. If you have a beautiful, expensive, or handmade rug, be sure to follow specific cleaning instructions. Here are four tips for keeping your exterior rugs in the best condition possible if water damage occurs:


Tip 1
Regardless of how much fun you have inside of your spa, it gets serious the minute you finish drying off. The first tip is to remove the water from the rug as quickly as possible. It does not matter if you stepped on another towel to dry off because your rug is wet from humidity. There are vacuum cleaners known as wet-dry cleaners designed to remove water from carpets and rugs. Here is a list of the best ones from October 2016.

Tip 2
Exhaust fans are your friends! If you have an indoor tub, keep the fans going constantly and have exhaust fans in the windows. This will help to dry out the water damage to the rug and circulate fresh air.

Tip 3
Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture out of the air and your rug. Even after vacuuming and using fans, there will still be moisture trapped in your rug. A dehumidifier will cool the air and limit mildew and mold growth.

Tip 4
Saving the best for last! Have the carpet and the spa room cleaned using a service like SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow. We know exactly how to keep your spa and rugs looking brand new. Give us a call today!

 

Caring for a Rug Prone Subjected to Constant Water Damage

Rugs positioned outside of hot tubs are there for decoration, but no matter how beautiful or durable they are, water damage is ugly. Mold is the biggest concern, so consistent cleaning is on the schedule.

How to Prepare or Recover From Frozen Pipes

1/27/2017 (Permalink)

Be careful when freezing temperatures hit your area!

How to Prepare or Recover From Frozen Pipes

Snow, ice and frigid temperatures don't often visit Tennessee, but when it does, it can be hazardous. Harsh winter weather will damage the pipes and homes of many residents if you aren't prepared. SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow has a few tips to keep you and your home safe to help prevent your home’s plumbing from freezing over.


Getting Prepared to Combat Winter Weather and Water Damage

Frozen pipes can lead to an expensive, stressful and messy situation. So the following information will focus on winter weather advice from a variety of sources, including the American Red Cross.


Preventing Frozen Pipes Will Prevent Water Damage and the Need for Expensive Restoration

Fixing burst pipes is expensive, so proper prevention is key. Cracked and burst pipes occur because water expands when it freezes. No matter what material your pipes consist of, they are going to face expansion problems.Plastic or metal, exposed pipes are the most at risk if they are exposed to the cold temperatures such as, sprinkler and swimming pool lines, hose bibs and supply pipes.Supply pipes that are in unheated crawl spaces, basements and garages are also susceptible.

 

Prevention Specifics

There are quite a few preventative measures, and it all depends on when you want to implement them. You can begin preparations before winter, or the steps can be carried based on a forecast of cold weather. There is no risk to your pipes or property if you prepare right away. Here are the best five courses of action to help prevent ahome pipe burst disaster.

 

  1. Drain water from supply lines to outside items like hoses or sprinklers.
  2. Comb your attic, basement, garage, and crawl space for any unheated water lines and insulate them.
  3. Take all your outdoor hoses and remove, drain, and store them somewhere heated.
  4. Check your house thoroughly, including the basement, crawl spaces, the attic and garage. Insulate any of these hidden water lines.
  5. Insulate water lines and pipes with sleeves, heat tapes or cables, providing extra protection.

Recovering from frozen pipes

Sometimes, pipes are going to freeze and burst no matter what you do or burst due to poor preparation. Fortunately, there are steps to thaw pipes and solutions available in case they burst.

  1. Keep your faucets open and running.
  2. Use an electric heating pad and hair dryer to thaw out the frozen section of the pipe.
  3. Continue applying heat until water pressure is restored.
  4. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, contact a plumber as soon as possible.

Worst Case Scenario

If you are unable to thaw the pipe or the weather is too cold to manage the problems alone, call a plumber immediately. SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow can help manage restoration from any water disaster before more damage occurs.

Dealing with frozen and burst pipes can be a stressful experience. We hope these tips help prepare and protect your home this winter.