Recent Water Damage Posts
Water you don't see can cost you money.
Water is the single most amazing substance on the planet. Over 70% of the planet’s surface is covered by water. Our bodies are made up of over 60% water. Life as we know it is not sustainable without water. If you’re in the water damage restoration business what may amaze you the most is water’s incredible ability to travel. Water has an uncanny ability to travel around, over, and through about anything. For this fact, we at SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin often talk about the water you don’t see. Hidden moisture in your Joplin property can cause serious damage to your home or business and even your health. That is why even perceived “small” water damages should be handled by professionals.
To protect your investment you really need to view every water intrusion as a real threat. SERVPRO has the experience, training, and the tools to properly scope water damaged property. Today we want to focus on the basic tools we use track the moisture.
- Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture. They can detect moisture in drywall, carpets, moldings, and other building materials. This tool is used to map out the full extent of the affected areas. What may appear dry or be dry to the touch may be affected and this tool helps us find all the moisture.
- Moisture Meters are used to actually measure the amount of moisture in the materials. This is a vital part in determining a drying strategy. Moisture meters are used throughout the drying process as areas are monitored daily to document the progress in drying.
- Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. SERVPRO techs use this information to create an environment in which materials can dry. As with the meters, this tool is used throughout the project to measure and document the progress of drying.
With a full and complete understanding of the severity of a water intrusion SERVPRO can eliminate the possibility of secondary damage resulting from a flood. A call to SERVPRO brings immediate action with our full arsenal of tools to prevent the further spread of water and the possibility of further damage such as rot and mold.
What is In Flood Water?
Not all water damages are the same. Many of our friends in Jasper and Newton counties have found that out after recent flooding. The cleanup caused by recent flooding in much different than say a burst pipe you may have experienced in the past. In this blog we will look at the different water types.
What we call “clean” water when referring to water damage is water from a broken supply line for example. Clean water is pretty self-explanatory; it comes from a clean source. Rain water CAN be considered clean water if it is an isolated incident not related to wide spread flooding.
The second type of water is “grey” water. Grey water is slightly contaminated water. A good example of grey water is drain from a dishwasher. Keep in mind that water types can change. Clean water left too long without cleanup becomes grey water as bacteria and other contaminates can begin to grow.
The final classification is “black” water. Black water is highly contaminated as it is the result of encountering sewage, chemicals, or harmful bacteria. The tragic flooding we experienced this spring would be considered black water. Yes, we said earlier rain water was considered clean but as this water flowed out of control through farms and cities it picks up contaminates. Flooding to this extent has mixed with local sewage systems, as well as been in contact with an endless list of chemicals and contaminates.
SERVPRO of Carthage- Joplin always recommends you leave water damage cleanup to the professionals but we cannot stress enough how harmful black water can be. The type of water determines our protocol for proper cleanup. When handled improperly, it is easy to contaminate other areas of your home or business and instead of mitigating damage you may accidentally increase it. Black water should always be left to the pros.
Tips for Sewage Cleanup
A key step in sewer cleanup is making sure the bacteria from the backup are eradicated.
No one expects to find their home flooded from a simple flush of the toilet, but occasionally such problems do occur. Sewer cleanup experts in Carl Junction, MO, assess the problem in your home and take the appropriate steps to get it back to normal again.
Identify the Source
The source of the water informs the entire cleaning process, so identifying where it came from is typically the first objective. Water from a sewer backup requires a more intense cleaning process because it is likely contaminated with various substances that you don't want to remain in your home:
- Bacteria or other microbes
- Harsh chemicals
Remove Water and Materials
Before they can disinfect the area, technicians must remove the excess water and any materials that it has destroyed. This may include tiles, drywall or any other porous materials that cannot be salvaged. It's important to tear out damaged materials so that secondary problems such as further saturation or mold growth don't set in and spread.
Disinfect Affected Spaces
A key step in sewer cleanup is making sure the bacteria from the backup are eradicated. Specialists use strong cleaners to get rid of any microorganisms that remain. To get the cleaning solution into some of the smaller cracks and crevices, they may need to use special equipment. After a thorough cleaning, the specialists test the area to ensure that the microbes are gone.
Restore the Room
The whole area around the flooded toilet must be cleaned and dried, but the remediation process isn't complete until everything is back in place. New walls and flooring that match the existing patterns are installed. The issue that caused the toilet to back up in the first place must be resolved so that there are no more issues.
The sewer cleanup process is pretty straightforward, but it's important that no step is skipped. Experienced specialists complete the process as efficiently as possible.
4 Tips for Avoiding Accidental Fire Sprinkler Activations
Unfortunately, not all causes of activation are completely accidental.
Four Tips To Avoid Accidental Fire Sprinkler Activations
Preparing for a potential fire in your Neosho, MO, building is highly important. One aspect of this is installing and maintaining a system of fire sprinklers. Unfortunately, if this isn't done properly, you could experience an accidental activation. The resulting moisture from it may cause water damage. Unfortunately, many people are unsure about how to conduct preventative sprinkler maintenance.
1. Keep the Heads Away From Heat
One of the most basic ways to activate a fire sprinkler is by placing it next to a heat source. Since sprinklers rely on heat to determine when water should be released, this is bound to backfire. Here are some things to avoid:
2. Disallow Nearby Items
If a fire sprinkler is jostled in some way, it may be activated. Therefore, it's important to prevent any items from getting too close. If there's tall furniture or stacks nearby, try to place each one away from the heads. Don't let anyone use the sprinkler or its protection to hang decorations, either.
3. Conduct Inspections
Unless this is your field of expertise, you won't be able to conduct sprinkler maintenance on your own. Having a professional come in to test your system is an excellent step to take. Make sure that the worker checks the state of your pipes. A corrosion or leak could cause substantial water damage.
4. Install Guards
Unfortunately, not all causes of activation are completely accidental. If your building experiences any vandalism, the destruction may cause the fire sprinklers to be triggered. In order to prevent this activation, you can try installing guards over the heads.
Fire sprinkler systems involve substantial amounts of water, so activating one is likely to cause damage. In order to avoid this, try to conduct regular sprinkler maintenance. If damage does occur, remember to call a water damage repair company, as well as your insurance providers.
Act Fast to Avoid Mold Growth
One of the biggest stresses when people in Carthage, MO face a water intrusion is the possibility of mold growth. Many believe a flood automatically means the triggering of mold. While the possibility of mold growth can develop after a water damage, it’s not a certainty.
Most species of mold need 72 hours to begin growth. That is plenty of time for a professional mitigation contractor like SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin to begin the drying process. Drying the structure in a timely fashion is the best way to reduce the chances of mold growth. In fact, the vast majority of water damages we mitigate in a timely manner never have issues with mold. That’s why a fast reaction is important.
Drying surfaces is just half the battle. If moisture remains in the air inside your home or business mold could develop. Any atmosphere over 60% relative humidity can contribute to mold growth. Use of a professional mitigation contractor will insure a full dry out of the surfaces.
Disconnect Garden Hoses
For most people the season to use garden hoses are over and many have disconnected them and put them away for the winter. Some of us however still have use for a garden hose and use them often even in the winter months. Still yet some just procrastinate or just plain forget to disconnect them. For whatever the reason is, if your garden hose is currently connected to an outside faucet you need to disconnect it immediately.
Winter temperatures are starting to settle in across our region, especially overnight. A garden hose full of water is exposed to these cold temperatures and is vulnerable to freezing. This puts pressure on not only the hose but to the faucet and the interior plumbing. Ice takes up about 10% more space than when its liquid form of water. That expansion can bust faucet fittings or those pipes that supply the faucet. This can result in extensive damage and costly repairs.
SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin see dozens of water damages each year caused by this. Don’t get left out in the cold. Or at least don’t let your garden hose left out in the cold.
Winter Weather Survival Tips - Frozen Pipes
It’s almost that time of year again! Our SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin crew has been enjoying a few weeks of beautiful fall weather but woke up to our first freezing rain of the season. Winter is teasing its arrival and with that comes frozen pipes, leaking roofs, ice dams, and finicky appliances.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III.org), water damage and freezing made up 23.8% of insurance claims in 2018. Most of these could have been avoided with preventative maintenance. To better assist our homeowners, we have compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you safeguard your home from the hazards of winter. This week's tips are how to prevent frozen/burst pipes.
- Keep your thermostat set above 55 degrees, even if you leave for vacation or are away from the home for any length of time.
- Leave the cabinet doors under the sink open to allow the warm ambient air to circulate around the pipes.
- Leave your faucets on to drip slowly – running water helps prevent the pipes from freezing.
- Wrap insulation around any pipes that are exposed to the outside elements or in crawl spaces.
- You should never use a space heater, blow torch, or other open-flame device to thaw frozen pipes. A blow dryer or an electric heating pad/blanket wrapped around the pipes on a low setting will thaw the pipes safely and efficiently.
- Keep your faucets on to allow the water to flow once it starts to melt.
- Seal all cracks and gaps around the perimeter of your house with caulking to keep cold air from seeping into your home.
In the event water should find its way into your basement, through the ceiling, or anywhere else in your home, call a professional water restoration service like SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin to come and help you.
Keep Your House Dry During the Rainy Season
Spring Storms graphic from weather.gov - NOAA
The birds are singing, flowers are blooming, the days are getting longer, and the temperatures are climbing. The allergens are also in full blown attack mode too, but that is a whole different topic. You know what this means? Spring is here.
Tomorrow is April 1, and I am sure you have heard the adage April showers bring May flowers, haven’t you? Well, it is that time of year again and we have already seen a fair amount of wet weather with plenty more to come.
The wet, rainy and stormy season is upon us and there are precautions we can take to help keep the inside of our homes dry as well as keeping our families safe:
- Make sure you trim the trees and branches
- Make sure landscape or yard ornaments are secure
- Make sure your gutters are cleaned
- Make sure the roof does not have any leaks or holes, if you find holes, repair them before it gets any worse and causes any more damage.
- Make sure you have a safe place to go, whether is be a basement, cellar or a room/closet in the home that does not have any windows
- Stock an emergency kit- make sure to include water, a flashlight, extra batteries, personal hygiene items, jackets and a first aid kit. If you visit https://www.weather.gov/owlie/emergencysupplieskit you can see a full list of great ideas to make sure you include in your kit.
While I am hopeful that the storms do not cause a lot of problems for any of us, if you need help with cleaning up water from an unexpected leak or a flooded basement, do not hesitate to call someone who knows the importance of a job well done. Call SERVPRO of Carthage/ Joplin at 417-623-1388.
Moving Furniture After Water Damage
Furniture blocked up after a water loss.
After water damage or a flood, one of the first things that could be done is to make sure all furniture is lifted from the floor and blocked up; provided the loss is not caused by sewage or any other type of category three water loss.
Blocking the furniture is as simple as lifting the furniture and placing something between the furniture and the floor, it could be anything from plastic to foam as long as it is something that will not rust or discolor the flooring. Moving the furniture allows for drying the wet furniture a lot faster and also helps make sure the flooring underneath can get enough air to dry it out like it should and also helps in the prevention of carpet or floor stains.
It also helps to make sure everything can dry like it should and helps avoid mold growth under the furniture, carpet/padding and even on the furniture itself.
If you are unsure what caused the water damage or suspect the water did not come from a clean source, then it would be better to wait for the professionals to help you out in order to avoid coming in to contact with anything that could potentially make you or your family members sick.