Recent Water Damage Posts
How Sump Pumps Work
Sump Pumps— Let's Break it Down
Understanding the home building process is extremely beneficial when understanding how sump pumps work.
After a hole is dug by an excavator for a basement, the next step is to put in foundation footings. Foundation footings in Alabama are typically a poured cement slab, often reinforced with rebar. The footings are poured into the excavated trench essentially in an outline of the foundation walls. The footings provide a foundation upon which the cement bricks of the foundation will be laid, or upon which the cement walls of the foundation will be poured, depending on the type of basement wall construction used. The soil upon which these footings are poured needs to stay at a consistent moisture level to prevent settlement, heave, or differential movement. That’s where the sump pump and its supporting system comes into play.
A drain system is installed around the perimeter of the foundation/footings. This drain system is essentially a system of pipes (surrounded by crushed stone) with holes in the top that collect water that is heading towards the foundation walls. The water that is collected in these pipes is redirected into a sump crock in the basement, where a pump then pumps the water up and out of the basement. Proper installation and maintenance of this entire system is essential to keeping a basement dry and stable.
Our mission is to help our community by serving you. The more knowledge you acquire around your home, the farther you set yourself ahead when potential damages come knocking on your door.
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Danger: Washing Machine Malfunction
One of the most well-known causes of water damage in your home, washing machines can cause costly damage. After the deductible is paid, the average claim nationally for water damage from washing machine malfunction is more than five thousand dollars.
Since washing machines have various ways of creating water damage to your home, many homeowners do not totally understand the prevention options, risks, or cleanup options. Knowing just a bit about how your washing machine can create water damage, you can save thousands of dollars and many headaches. When this happens, professionals should be called.
Supply Hose Leaks
Over 50% of claims from washing machine water damage can be traced to the failure of your supply hose. It can be caused by an aging hose, a poor connection to the wall or machine, or the hose being pinched while it is installed, causing a hairline break. Intake hoses are high-flow lines and can put out more than six hundred gallons of water in one hour. If the supply hose on your machine is over five years old or is not steel braided, get it replaced as soon as you can.
Drainage Issues And Flooding
If there is a clog in your drainage pipe, the sewer backs up, or your drain pipe is not properly lined up, the drainage system of your washing machine causes some water damage at least. Most importantly, avoid a clog in the sewer line. When this backs up, you can be faced with water damage that is filled with contaminates and poses serious health risks. You most definitely need the help of our professionals if this happens to you. It's important you don't DIY this, because proper equipment and training is needed for health safety reasons.
Your washing machine doesn't have to be incorrectly installed, old, or built poorly to create an internal leak. Overloading your machine on a regular basis can cause valves, gaskets, and bushings to crack or loosen. Smaller loads, even if it takes longer to do the laundry, keep your machine from shaking itself apart.
Identifying Your Leak
If you have a leak that is constant, you likely have an issue with the supply hose. It is probably an internal leak if it happens during the wash cycle but before the spin cycle. With water on the floor during the spin cycle or right after the machine turns off, you probably have a drainage issue.
SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma can handle any washing machine leak in a timely and efficient manner.
Types of Water Damage
Did you know that the water either coming into your home or from your home due to busted pipes or leaks has what we call a “category”? When it comes to handling mitigation in your home it is better to allow the professionals at SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion & Selma to deal with the emergency because you have to treat the water correctly to be safe. You never know what is either in your water or what the water has passed through to create contamination.
The information below explains the main types of water damage and could help you identify the problem quickly if it ever happens to you.
Category One: Clear Water
This water is the cleanest, most non-toxic form of water damage. It is potable water, perhaps directly from the tap. It is unlikely to cause you any harm, even if you are exposed for some time. Nevertheless, even clean flooding can lead to electrical and structural faults, so it is safer for you to call in the experts for repairs. Clean water comes from things like a broken water supply line, tub or sinks overflow with no contaminants, appliance malfunctions involving water-supply lines to name a few. However, once clean water leaves the exit point, it might not remain clean after contacting other surfaces or materials. Although it is considered the "safest" of the categories, it can degrade to category 2 or 3 if left untreated.
Category Two: Gray Water
Gray water damage is a little bit more serious and requires a speedier removal process. This is because it may contain potentially unsafe levels of chemicals, microorganisms, or dirt. Examples of Cat 2 water include, but are not limited to: overflow from dishwashers or washing machines; overflows from toilet bowls with urine; seepage due to hydrostatic pressure and broken aquariums.
If left untreated, it can quickly degrade into category 3.
Category Three: Black Water
Cat 3 water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Cat 3 water can include, but are not limited to: sewage; toilet backflows from beyond the trap; flooding from seawater, rivers or streams, ground surface water, or other contaminated water entering the indoor environment.
Your SERVPRO friends are professionally trained, certified and equipped in the safe handling of the different categories to eliminate the risk of sickness.
What to Do During a Water Damage
Water damage can happen at any point for anyone, home or business. We understand that in the heat of the moment, you can feel lost and nerves can get shot. So we'd like to share some tips to keep in mind so you'll know what to do and prevent more damage.
- The most important step: locate and turn off the source of water. Knowing where your water shut-off valve is will help you save time, especially with a pipe burst.
- Make sure to not enter a room with standing water since there could be a risk of electrical shock. Stay safe by turning off the electricity to that room until safety is guaranteed.
- Call your local SERVPRO: (205) 252-8110.
- Until help arrives, you may begin removing excess water by mopping and soaking up with towel. This is especially important for wood furniture.
- If it is safe to do so, you can move furniture out of the water to ensure that more damage isn't sustained by the furniture.
- It is recommended to not leave rugs and furniture upholstery wet against one another because the fabrics have the potential to bleed colors between each other.
- Some things just aren't meant to DIY, so trying to remove water with a household vacuum isn't recommended. We have professional equipment for that.
These tips are meant for clean water, whether it be from a pipe burst or a hot water heater. However, we want to warn you to stay clear of sewage water. Sewage is a different type of water damage that requires a different level of restoration.
Our team at SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion & Selma wants to help educate our community so when disaster does strike, you'll know what to do. We are ready to assist at a moment's notice with any of your water mitigation emergencies. For any questions, either water damage for your home or someone you know, call us and we'd love to help.
Indicators of Water Damage in Your Home
While it’s not a guarantee that you’ll come up against water damage, it’s certainly more likely than not. We want you to know what to look for in case one occurs in the future.
Water Damage Signs:
Unpleasant, musky odors. When water enters an area, it will begin to create an odd odor over time as it seeps into the carpet and marinates in the dry wall, even if its clean water. This smell will only arise when mold and mildew are present in the environment, a sure indicator that area is damp. Even if you can’t see mold yet, your nose is trying to tell you to find where water is coming in.
Flaking paint on masonry or walls. Yes, the paint can may say that it’s waterproof, but what that really means is that it will hold off the signs of a water leak longer than regular paint, but it will eventually give way, revealing an even bigger, built-up problem. If you’ve got bubbles and cracks, you’ve got a water issue.
Foundational cracks. Water damage over time can cause a fault line to form in your foundation. Cracks can show up in the floor, the ceiling or in your walls, and they often indicate that uneven pressure is being applied to your home’s structure, possibly due to a cracked foundation. Hairline cracks are no big worry, but if they become larger, they should be examined immediately.
If you notice any of these signs in your home, let us take a look. SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion & Selma is equipped with trained and experienced water restoration technicians that can help you determine what is causing these issues and how to treat it properly. Contact us today to learn more: (205) 926-6010.
Need-to-Know Water Damage Facts
When a pipe bursts, a drain backs up, or a flood occurs in your home, it can be hard to see past the mess. A million questions will run through your mind.
What do I do now?
What’s going to happen?
Is my stuff ruined?
And the most important question of all: Will my homeowner’s insurance cover the damage?
There’s no doubt about it. Water damage is extremely stressful, and the more you know about it, the better you’ll be able to decide how to address it. Here are five things that every homeowner needs to know about water damage.
1. There are different insurance policies for flood damage and water damage.
You might think that water is water, whether it’s from flooding or a burst pipe, but flood damage is not covered under homeowner’s insurance. If your area in Marion, Selma or Centreville county is likely to experience flooding, you probably already have a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP). When you report the claim to the insurance company, make sure to specify whether the claim is for water damage or for flood damage, so they can begin adjusting your claim correctly.
2. Not all water damage is covered by your insurance.
It is a good idea to look over your insurance policy and familiarize yourself with any exclusion to your water damage coverage. For instance, most policies cover sudden damage, like water damage from a really bad storm or from an overflowing washing machine. On the other hand, any water damage that happens because you didn’t maintain the property may be excluded, as well as gradual leaks that caused water damage over time.
3. Once water damage has happened, the clock is ticking before it gets worse.
When your property has been water damaged, you don’t have the luxury of waiting around for a convenient time to start the cleanup. Secondary damage from mold growth can present serious health effects associated with mold in the living environment.
Mold spores are everywhere, but they need moisture and a nutrient source to grow. And that is exactly what your wet carpet or drywall offers.
There is a 24 to 48 hour window from the time something gets wet until mold CAN begin to grow. After that time, mold will multiply rapidly. When mold growth is widespread, you may need the services of SERVPRO mold remediation service to safely treat and remove the mold.
To prevent mold growth, you will need to get your property completely dry again within that 48-hour window. To do this, you’ll need to contact a company that specializes in water damage restoration and emergency water extraction. Like us, they will have the professional water removal equipment and drying equipment to get the job done as quickly as possible. Many have 24-hour a day emergency hotlines, so you can start recovering your property almost immediately.
4. Your insurance company needs to know right away.
It’s a good idea to call your insurance company right away when you discover water damage. Your insurance agent can start the claims process immediately, as well as guide you through the first steps you will need to take to protect your property from more damage, like stopping the source of the water at the main water turnoff.
5. The pollution level of the water is important.
Water damage is categorized as one of three levels by how polluted the water source was that caused the damage.
Category 1: Water from a clean water source, like a fresh water line for a dishwasher. This water will not cause illness or any ill effects.
Category 2: Water that may cause illness through contact. It may have bacteria in it,
Even though water may start out as Category 1, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Any contamination that the water touches, such as dirty carpeting or soil from the ground, can change water damage Category to 2 or even Category 3. And since standing breeds bacteria, the longer the water is around, the worse the contamination of your property.
More contamination can mean that the restoration team will have to use more aggressive measures to clean your structure and property, and it might mean that soft furnishings, like your carpet and the carpet pad, may have to be discarded for your safety.
Water damage can be dangerous and expensive, so preventing water damage is an important part of home maintenance. But if you know the basics of what to do once it happens, you can prevent it from doing its worst.
Call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma for any water damage restoration you may have. (205)-926-6010
Fall Water Damage Prevention Tips
1. Adjust your sprinkler timer
Water during the early morning and evening hours to reduce evaporation and find out how much water is required to effectively water your lawn. You'll see a difference in not only your lawn but also that water bill!
2. Check for leaks and building damage
Inspect all interior fixtures, as well as basements and crawlspaces and you may also want to inspect your building’s exterior for damage. With the increase of storms this time of year, water will try to find it's way inside.
3. Insulate water pipes in unheated areas
To reduce the likelihood of future freezing, wrap water pipes in unheated areas with insulation tubes and apply heat-tape prior to wrapping pipes with insulation. Doesn't hurt to get a jump start on this for the cooler weather ahead.
4. Know the location of your property shut-off valve
Knowing the location of your shut-off valve could save you money on water and damage repairs. The faster you can turn off the water, the less goes to waste.
5. Install a smart water flow monitoring system
When excessive water usage is detected, it immediately notifies the property manager that water spike above the preset limit has occurred. The alert can be sent to both a computer and a smartphone for the manager to act upon, and can be customized for business hours, as well as after hours and weekends.
Unpredictable Water Damages
What do water damages include?
- Plumbing issues
- Bursting/leaking pipes
- Malfunctioning appliances
- Weather-related water damage
Water enters unprotected areas quite often and need professional assistance to help them recover fast.
It may be comforting to know that someone trustworthy is available to provide you with the services you need to keep your business running.
We respond to your service request and provide you with rapid response times, and a unique solution to your problem. With several years of experience in the restoration industry and quality equipment at our disposal, we have the ability to handle water damage incidents affecting a single unit, or your entire building.
The information you provide during your initial call, helps us determine the amount of equipment and personnel needed to address your situation properly. So that once we arrive on your property, we can address any possible hazards and fully inspect the affected area for damages, getting to work immediately to solve your problem.
We have access to both hand-held and truck mounted water extraction equipment, each with three main elements, a heater, pump, and vacuum system. Portable extractors hold anywhere from five to twelve gallons of water, while the truck mounted version handles up to 100 gallons of water or more, making it easy to remove excess water from various types of flooring, including carpeting and other upholstery items, such as rugs, and curtains.
Our SERVPRO technicians use a variety of equipment to locate hidden moisture pockets, in walls, attics, and crawl spaces; water cannot hide from a quality infrared moisture detection device. Making it possible for us to dry hard to read, or hidden areas throughout your building and prevent secondary water damage from developing.
SERVPRO technicians place the proper amount of air moving equipment and dehumidifiers into the affected area. We also use detection devices to check the vicinity for moisture and monitor relative humidity to ensure a proper drying environment exists to complete the water damage restoration and limit any interruptions to your businesses daily operations.
Time & Damage Progressions During Water Losses
It's stressful when water damages occur in either our home or business. In a home, the water can damage family mementos and possessions, limit the amount of space available for you and your family, and cause a financial burden to bear. In a business, these types of damages can limit productivity, disrupt day-to-day operations, and cause a loss of income for you and your employees. To reduce the severity of these potentially disastrous occurrences, SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma offers 24/7/365 emergency response to begin mitigating water damages ASAP. When water damage strikes, it is important to understand how the damages can progress if not quickly handled:
- Water spreads throughout your property, beginning to saturate items within its path
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, belongings, and other porous surfaces
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets
- Photographs & Paper Goods become damaged
- Drywall Swells
- Metal Surfaces Tarnish
- Furniture and Flooring begin to warp/mold
- Odors begin to form
48 Hours-1 Week
- Microbial Growth begins to occur
- Metal begins to rust
- Doors & Windows begin to swell and warp
- Biohazard contamination becomes possible
Over 1 Week
- Structural safety becomes compromised
- Microbial growth spreads
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically
- Biohazard contamination poses a serious risk
If you home or business has suffered a water damage, call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma at (205) 926-6010. We have the expertise, experience, and equipment to take care of you and your property as quickly as possible, helping to make your damage “Like it never even happened.”
We are Cleaning Experts
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma 205-926-6010
Leaks, Big and Small
Small or big leaks, they are all big! A leak from a hole that is 1/16" in diameter can pour 822 gallons of water a day into your home!
With any leak or spill, it is the water you don't see that can cause the most damage. In order to find what materials are wet we mainly rely on a Moisture Meter. There are two types, penetrating and non-penetrating. Penetrating Moisture Meters measure the resistance between test pins inserted into a piece of wood/building material and use that reading as a proxy for the object’s absolute moisture level. Non-Penetrating Moisture Meters rely on the ability of moisture to inductively distort an electric field created by turning on the meter. This sounds like a bunch of scientific talk, and it is! But mainly the moisture meters will tell you when something is wet and how wet, so you can find any hidden wet spots in your home. While the surface may seem dry, the water you don’t see can contain bacteria, cause mold or rot, and cause other unseen damage that must be mitigated immediately.
SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma has the tools to find where any water is lurking and we can come out and inspect to see how best to tackle any water damage. Call us today! 205-926-6010
Why Pipes Burst
When water freezes, it expands. That's why a can of soda explodes if it's put into a freezer to chill quickly and forgotten. When water freezes in a pipe, it also expands the same way. If it expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes and serious damage results.
Surprisingly, ice forming in a pipe does not typically cause a break where the ice blockage occurs. It's not the radial expansion of ice against the wall of the pipe that causes the break. Rather, following a complete ice blockage in a pipe, continued freezing and expansion inside the pipe causes water pressure to increase downstream. Between the ice blockage and a closed faucet at the end. It's this increase in water pressure that leads to pipe failure. Usually the pipe bursts where little or no ice has formed. Upstream from the ice blockage the water can always retreat back towards its source, so there is no pressure build-up to cause a break. Water has to freeze for ice blockages to occur. Pipes that are adequately protected along their entire length by placement within the building's insulation, insulation on the pipe itself, or heating, are safe.
Call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma if you experience a broken pipe in your Marion or Selma home (205) 926-6010.
Flooding is serious, flooding can cause a lot of damage to your home which can also put you in danger, whether it is from a over flowing near by lake or river, or from a pipe busting and leaking non-stop, both can cause damage enough to maybe put yourself in danger. Most importantly during a flood if the water is at least to your knees be extra careful where you walk and what you step on, and during a pipe burst if it's in the ceiling be careful because the ceiling could fall in at any time, and if it's in the wall or floor be careful because it could have been going on long enough where you could fall through the floor or have black mold. If you have any problem with water call us at 205-926-6010, SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma is always here to help.
Simple ways to avoid a water damage
Be careful with planting trees
Planting trees may not be that popular, but if you are looking to add some shade to help your home cool down in those summer months, Be careful of trees with invasive roots. Trees with invasive roots can cause problems with irrigation problems, pipes and even septic tanks.
Keep an eye on your water bill
It is always a good idea to monitor your water bill regularly. That can be the best indication of a leak that you might not know about.
Chemicals may not be the best thing when unclogging your sink
Clogs happen. Everyone experiences them and those unclogging chemicals are extremely handy but they can eat away at pipes causing future problems. If you can avoid those chemicals and try using a drain snake instead.
Never pour grease down your sink
Grease can be harmful to pipes if it hardens inside the trap and cause back ups. Even if you think diluting grease with water would help, it doesn't. The best thing for grease is to put it in a disposable container and let it harden before you throw it away.
What happens after a leak?
Over flowed toilets, sprinkler systems and broken pipes can all be culprits in water damage to your home. When water issues in your home go undetected or ignored it can lead to major issues and large bills. Water has away of getting in all those little tiny places and can be easily over looked. The average cost on a water is between 1,000 to 4,000. This is not including any construction to get your house back to its original state.
A few things to keep in mind
- The longer your water damage goes unnoticed with, the more likely you are to have a mold issue.
- If your furnishings are not dried out properly and in a timely manner they also have a high chance of mold.
- The length of time the water sits can greatly affect the restoration costs.
- How much water was involved in the loss
- What kind of water was involved, clean water contains little to no contaminates, grey water contains significant amounts of contaminates, black water is extremely contaminated.
Water damage can’t always be avoided, but with the proper equipment and knowledge it can be cleaned up “Like it never even happened.” If you find yourself with a water emergency don’t forget your favorite crew, SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, an Selma is here to help 7 days a week, 24 hours a day you can reach us at 205-926-6010
Choosing reliable home restoration experts
There are many companies out there who claim to offer excellent storm damage, wind damage, hurricane damage, ice damming, and hail damage restoration services. Unfortunately, not all of them will deliver the quality of service you can be proud of. Before choosing a certain company for water restoration:
• Ask for referrals from friends who have suffered river flooding or wind damage, roof leak or roof damage.
• Contact the company and explain your river flooding, roof damage, wind damage, ice damage or hurricane damage situation. Get a quote for the water restoration process.
• Invite the home restoration experts to your home to assess the ground water levels, ice dams, roof leaks, hail damage and frozen pipes, flood water and ground water to see how much home restoration and storm remediation. is needed.
• Move out of the home if it is fully involved to allow the experts to have an easy time carrying out the water restoration and storm remediation.
Steps on what to do until help arrives
During a water loss it is important to take some steps that may help minimize the amount of damage to your property. The first thing to determine whether the water damage is from clean water. Clean water meaning it holds no threat to you and your health.
In the case of water damage caused by clean water, the first thing you should do is shut off the source of water if possible or contact a professional if you are not sure how to do so. If it is safe to access the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock, turn off the circuit breakers.
Remove as much excess water as possible by means of mopping and blotting. If the affected areas have electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers to electrical equipment are exposed to water do not enter. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
The next thing to do is keep your possessions and valuables top of mind. Wipe excess water from your wood furniture. Raise them on blocks to avoid direct contact with wet flooring or carpet. Do not leave your books, newspaper, magazines on wet floors that may cause staining. Your important items such as computers, documents, and other valuables should be moved to a dry area. Do not use appliances while standing on wet carpet or floors. Hang furs and leather good to dry separately at room temperature.
If the water loss happens to be caused by contaminated water the steps you should take are completely different. Avoid all contact with sewage and contaminated water. Try to avoid walking through the affected areas because it may lead to spreading the contaminated water. Do not turn on the HVAC system because there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air. Do not use household fans to dry structures because this too may spread contaminants. Always makes sure to wash your hands thoroughly to avoid further contamination.
Once you have taken the above steps, be sure to contact SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma to find the solution to your water loss needs. Our experts will remove all the water and properly dehumidify your home. We will also make sure the water damage does not lead to mold issues if it has not already happened.
Contact SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma at (205)-926-6010.
Water damage information
Water damage cleanup in school basement
SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We received a call at 3 pm from a local school that had excessive rain water backing up into several buildings on campus . One buildings basement was flooded with over a foot of water. We worked that night until 7 pm extracting water. Then set up drying equipment. We came back the next morning on Saturday and finished tearing out damaged material and extracted the rest of the water. Job completion time including dry out was 3 days. Please remember to call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma for all your cleanup needs.
Residential water damage
SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
Got a call at around 2 pm on Monday 7/3/2017 for a water damage for distraught home owner. The couple had just gotten home from an 11 day stay at the hospital due to the husband having a stroke. So they came home to a water damaged home due to a stopped up outer drain that caused rain water to back into there home. We responded immediately to help them. We extracted the water and setup drying equipment. The couple were so thankful that we were able to get there so fast to help them.