Recent Water Damage Posts

My Pipes Burst! Now What?

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage My Pipes Burst! Now What? When you have a pipe burst you should call SERVPRO of Renton

As a homeowner, you love the benefits and joys of owning a house; however, you also know that a long list of things could go wrong. Any one of these will require your time, effort and money to remedy. Bursting pipes, for example, can lead to a host of troubling issues. If you encounter this situation, it’s important to know what to do next.

The Causes

Other residents in Newcastle,WA, can attest that it’s not pleasant to deal with bursting pipes. It’s critical that you act quickly and that you understand how this ordeal can occur.

  • Low temperatures
  • Water movement/water hammer (occurs when pipes aren’t properly secured)
  • Irregular water pressure
  • Corrosion

Shut Off the Water

When a pipe burst, it can lead to excessive water damage. If this happens while you’re not at home, the results can be disastrous. Hopefully, you’ll be able to spot this problem quickly. As soon as you notice that a pipe has burst, shut off the water to the pipe in question. If you’re not sure where it’s coming from, turn off the main water to the house.

Evaluate the Damage

Once you shut off the water, drain excess water left in the pipes and figure out exactly where the broken pipe is located. Take note of the extent of the damage. It might be easy enough for you to fix a broken pipe if the damage is minimal. However, in more complicated, widespread cases, you should contact a plumber. You should also get in touch with an expert cleanup team to help get standing water out of your home.

Get the Right Help

If you’re not confident in your skills to repair the problem, it’s important to call a professional immediately. The broken pipe could be the result of a larger issue that you can’t detect on your own.

Understand the causes of bursting pipes and take these steps. These will help you reduce the risk of extensive flooding at home.

Keep Water Flowing in the Winter: 6 Tips To Prevent Frozen Pipes

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Keep Water Flowing in the Winter: 6 Tips To Prevent Frozen Pipes Frozen pipes are a concern in every home, no matter the climate

6 Tips To Prevent Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are a concern in every home, no matter the climate. When frigid temperatures cause you to bundle up, you best believe your pipes may be in danger. While the concern is that colder temperature will cause burst water lines, requiring the attention of emergency restoration services in the Renton,WA, area, there are plenty of ways to prevent that possibility.

1. Allow Air to Circulate

Most water lines are hidden in cabinets and behind closed doors. If you know that the temperatures are going to drop during the night or even through the week, you should keep these doors open, allowing the cold air of the cabinet to circulate with the warm air of your home.

2. Let the Water Drip

Another easy tip is to let the water from the faucet drip. It is hard for water in motion to freeze, so even a subtle drip can help to prevent frozen pipes from forming.

3. Stay Toasty

Obviously, frozen water lines require cold to actually freeze. Therefore, if you keep the areas where your pipes are located warm, then they will not freeze.

4. Seal Drafty Areas

Another way to prevent freezing is to seal any holes, cracks or drafty areas. The less exposure to outside temperature fluctuations the better, when it comes to your water lines.

5. Use Extra Insulation

For pipes that are located in crawlspaces or along exterior walls, you can add extra insulation. Most insulation is designed to protect elements from various degrees of temperature and climate changes.

6. Apply Heating Tape

Other tools can prevent pipe freeze, like heating tape. This tape is an electrical tape that is applied directly to the pipes, protecting them from colder temperatures.

Frozen pipes are a nightmare for most homeowners, but they don’t have to be. There are several methods to prevent freezing and protect against potential ice pressure causing a burst pipe.

Burst Pipes and Paperwork: The Basics of the Water Damage Claim

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Burst Pipes and Paperwork: The Basics of the Water Damage Claim Water damage due to burst pipe in Renton,WA

The Basics of a Water Damage Claim

An insurance claim, especially for burst pipes, is often a dreaded piece of paperwork, not only for the damage it represents but for the somewhat mysterious process involved. The basics have been broken down for you below to help demystify the process.

1. Request and Submit Claim Forms

After broken pipes cause a flood, call your insurance provider immediately and request any claim forms. During your initial conversation, it is appropriate to ask any coverage questions you may have. Understanding your policy now will mean fewer errors on the forms later and less likelihood of your form’s rejection after submission.

2. Mitigate Further Damage

While the insurance claim process can take several weeks to complete, you do not have to allow your home to sustain further damage. In fact, most insurers require homeowners take mitigative action to reduce the risk of continued loss. Therefore, you should remove excess water, board up any broken windows, shut off problematic water lines and clean out the affected areas.

3. Itemize Damages and Losses

After making a claim, your insurance company may send out an adjuster to assess the extent of the damage and any potential liabilities. You can make this process more efficient by itemizing any structural damages and property losses. Additionally, an adjuster may want a record of any acquired expenses because of the pipe burst damage, such as cleanup and mitigation costs. Keep Receipts for cleaning materials and pictures of losses as proof.

4. Ask Questions and Seek Assistance

While your insurance company can offer you the most significant insight into your coverage, you may want to search the Renton,WA, area for a restoration specialist who can answer your mitigation concerns. Mitigation professionals have the expertise to either help you understand the process or to complete the cleanup process for you. As most insurance companies prefer you work with a professional, it may be beneficial to secure several cleanup bids to show the adjuster when they come.

The insurance claim process may seem a bit daunting, but it really comes down to paperwork, mitigation, itemization and cleanup. The process, while intimidating, is manageable when you understand the basics above.

Flooded Basement

11/17/2016 (Permalink)

Harold and Jenny decided to go on vacation for a couple weeks. They did everything they thought they were supposed to: lock the doors, have someone watch their cats and water their plants, and make sure their heat was set to low so they weren’t charged for using it while they weren’t in town. However, one day the boy who was watching their cats and watering their plants noticed a small puddle of water in the basement. Of course, he thought nothing of it. He contacted Harold and Jenny, told them about the water, and went on his way. Fast forward to five days later the couple returned. Harold went to the basement to check out the “small” puddle of water. Turns out a pipe had cracked while they were on vacation, and now they were dealing with a flooded basement. That small puddle of water Jimmy had mentioned had turned into a small lake in the basement.

Some may say this situation is exaggerated, but this happens more often than people think. As the weather gets colder and many start taking vacations in warmer climates, the plumbing is often the first aspect of a house to suffer. When pipes aren’t run regularly, the small amounts of water left over in the pipes will collect in areas of the lines. If the temperature gets low enough, that water can freeze, which will cause the pipes to shrink and crack.

Now, some may think: “Well, what am I supposed to do when that happens?” There are a few answers:

  • Turn off the water
    • This will stop the immediate problem of leaking water.
  • Call a plumber
    • Get that leak fixed so it doesn’t become a future problem
  • Call SERVPRO

This is probably the last thing someone wants to think about right after coming back from a relaxing vacation, so there are also a few steps to take prior to leaving that can save a call to a plumber:

  • Keep the heat above 55 degrees in the house
    • This is something a lot of apartment complexes recommend for people who leave during winter breaks (usually college students), but this also applies to homeowners. This will reduce the likelihood of your pipes freezing.
  • Let the kitchen sink drip
    • If it’s an older home or older plumbing this will keep water from standing in one place
  • Make sure that parts of the home that may not be as well insulated (garage, basement, attic, etc) are well-heated.
    • Space heaters are a simple way to heat large rooms.
    • Note: This will probably increase your heating bill, but that is drop in the bucket compared to the price of a plumber and mitigation team. Not only will you be paying for the repairs, mitigation, and dry-out, but your family may also be displaced for a while, depending on the amount of damage.
    • Especially with colder nights coming, pipes in the garage, basement, or attic are sometimes the first to freeze up.

Remember that mold spores can start growing into colonies about 72 hours: waiting to call if there is water damage can only make the problem worse!

If you do have water damage in your home, please call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle for a cost-free estimate at 425-225-2227 today! We can have a team out to your home to assess and mitigate the problem immediately.

Flooded Basement

9/20/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flooded Basement This is the drying process after a pipe burst in a household bathroom.

Harold and Jenny decided to go on vacation for a couple weeks. They did everything they thought they were supposed to: lock the doors, have someone watch their cats and water their plants, and make sure their heat was set to low so they weren’t charged for using it while they weren’t in town. However, one day the boy who was watching their cats and watering their plants noticed a small puddle of water in the basement. Of course, he thought nothing of it. He contacted Harold and Jenny, told them about the water, and went on his way. Fast forward to five days later the couple returned. Harold went to the basement to check out the “small” puddle of water. Turns out a pipe had cracked while they were on vacation, and now they were dealing with a flooded basement. That small puddle of water Jimmy had mentioned had turned into a small lake in the basement.

Some may say this situation is exaggerated, but this happens more often than people think. As the weather gets colder and many start taking vacations in warmer climates, the plumbing is often the first aspect of a house to suffer. When pipes aren’t run regularly, the small amounts of water left over in the pipes will collect in areas of the lines. If the temperature gets low enough, that water can freeze, which will cause the pipes to shrink and crack.

Now, some may think: “Well, what am I supposed to do when that happens?” There are a few answers:

  • Turn off the water
    • This will stop the immediate problem of leaking water.
  • Call a plumber
    • Get that leak fixed so it doesn’t become a future problem
  • Call SERVPRO

This is probably the last thing someone wants to think about right after coming back from a relaxing vacation, so there are also a few steps to take prior to leaving that can save a call to a plumber:

  • Keep the heat above 55 degrees in the house
    • This is something a lot of apartment complexes recommend for people who leave during winter breaks (usually college students), but this also applies to homeowners. This will reduce the likelihood of your pipes freezing.
  • Let the kitchen sink drip
    • If it’s an older home or older plumbing this will keep water from standing in one place
  • Make sure that parts of the home that may not be as well insulated (garage, basement, attic, etc) are well-heated.
    • Space heaters are a simple way to heat large rooms.
    • Note: This will probably increase your heating bill, but that is drop in the bucket compared to the price of a plumber and mitigation team. Not only will you be paying for the repairs, mitigation, and dry-out, but your family may also be displaced for a while, depending on the amount of damage.
    • Especially with colder nights coming, pipes in the garage, basement, or attic are sometimes the first to freeze up.

Remember that mold spores can start growing into colonies about 72 hours: waiting to call if there is water damage can only make the problem worse!

If you do have water damage in your home, please call SERVPRO of Renton for a cost-free estimate at 425-225-2227 today! We can have a team out to your home to assess and mitigate the problem immediately.