Recent Water Damage Posts

How To Prevent Sewer Backups

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Prevent Sewer Backups Heavy rainfall can cause sewer backup

How To Prevent Sewer Backups

Sewer backups are unpleasant to think about, but in just about any area of the country, including Cedar Grove,WA, they are a possibility. There's a lot of work involved in completing a sewer cleanup job. However, recognizing the potential causes of a backup could help you prevent one or at least prepare before the trouble happens.

  • Clogged and flooded toilet
  • Grease and fat poured down the drain
  • Too much or inappropriate types of garbage disposal
  • Lack of catch basin maintenance
  • Tree roots in the sewer pipes
  • Damaged or blocked pipes in the sewer system
  • Heavy rainfall

There are some situations you can control; spend a little time learning how to prevent trouble.

Preventative Home Maintenance

For example, you might ask a plumber what you can safely flush or look it up online. Do a little more research online to discover how to keep your drains open and functioning smoothly. Turn to your homeowner's manual to learn what can be put into the garbage disposal, and what should never be sent through the machine.

Home Maintenance Isn't Enough

No matter how much home maintenance you do, however; there are some situations you can't control. Hopefully, the sewer system in Cedar Grove,WA, is carefully maintained, cleaned, and inspected regularly. These actions should keep the catch basin clear and prevent tree roots and other debris from damaging or blocking the pipes. Regular sewer cleanup could improve the efficiency of the system.

Help Professionals Help You

When backups do happen, water damage restoration professionals are prepared to handle the unpleasant tasks involved in cleanup efforts. There are a few things you can do to get the job done more quickly. These include opening doors and windows to provide ventilation. Once the restoration officials have given you the okay, you can remove any furnishings, belongings, and carpets for cleaning. Finally, follow any instructions you receive from the professionals.

Careful home maintenance can prevent most sewer backup situations, but it's best to be prepared for the possibility. If your home is affected, sewer cleanup professionals are ready to help you get back to normal.

Water Damage in Your Renton, WA Home

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage can happen out of nowhere. Sometimes, you don't even know you have water damage until it is too late. Whether your damage is a leaking pipe, a pipe burst, flooding, or rain damage, SERVPRO of Renton can help. 

Our team of licensed professionals are dedicated to restoring your property after water damage strikes. We have a crew on standby 24/7 to assist with water damage emergencies. We are also available 365 days a week including weekends and holidays. 

Remember to keep SERVPRO of Renton in mind after water damage. We will make it "Like it never even happened." Click here to check out water damage restoration tips and learn what to do before SERVPRO arrives. Click here to learn more about the water damage restoration process.

Are the Fire Sprinklers In Your Building Functional?

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Are the Fire Sprinklers In Your Building Functional? Full inspections and system tests should take place on an annual basis with internal piping inspections every five years.

Fire sprinkler maintenance can reduce the risk of damage and increase safety by ensuring that a suppression system functions as intended. Regular inspections and tests should identify and address issues that could result in an accidental activation and preventable water damage at a building in Newcastle,WA. A commercial property owner can assess the general condition of fire suppression equipment by answering the following questions.

Was the System Designed for Current Usage?

The sprinkler system in a commercial structure may not be suitable for every tenant. Fire risks can increase or decrease or become concentrated in particular areas depending on building use. Property owners should consider the following factors:

  • Appliance fire hazards
  • Flammable materials
  • Temperature extremes

It is important to customize a fire suppression system to suit the current usage of a building. If new tenants move in, fire sprinklers may need to be adjusted in order to remain effective.

When Was the Most Recent Inspection?

Fire suppression systems should be inspected on a regular basis. Alarms, signal devices, control valves, hydraulic nameplates and mechanical components should be tested several times a year. Full inspections and system tests should take place on an annual basis with internal piping inspections every five years.

Do You Periodically Check Critical Components?

A building owner may spot a potential issue and be able to arrange for sprinkler maintenance before damage occurs. A building owner should check the following components at least once a month:

  • Gauges
  • Non-electric control valves
  • Sprinkler heads

These components can stop a sprinkler system from operating. Checking components can also identify issues such as corrosion or malfunctioning parts.

Regular sprinkler maintenance is necessary to prevent accidental activations and ensure that a fire suppression system is functional. If a sprinklers leak or cause flooding at a commercial property in Newcastle,WA, the owner should contact a water damage mitigation and restoration service.

What to do After Water Damage in your Renton Business

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Renton specializes in commercial water damage restoration services. Our warehouse houses enough equipment to handle any size water damage. Whether your damage is big or small, SERVPRO can take care of it. 

Our team of licensed water damage restoration specialists will ensure your business gets back up and running in no time after water damage strikes. With our state of the art drying equipment, you can rest assured that your business will be dried properly.  

If you are local to the Renton, WA area and suffer commercial water damage, give SERVPRO a call. We pride ourselves in being faster to any size disaster. If you want to learn more about our commercial services, click here. If you are interested in learning more about the water damage restoration process, click here

Flooded Basement

4/10/2019 (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.

What to do if my Basement Floods

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 of Renton

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.

Mold Remediation after having Water Damage in your home

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Mold Remediation after having Water Damage in your home This black mold developed due to Water Damage that wasn't treated months ago.

A couple months ago, Erika had a small leak in her basement powder room sink. She cleaned up the water, had a plumber out to fix the plumbing, and figured that was that. However, one day while doing laundry, she decided to use that room. Something seemed a little off. The room didn’t smell like the apple cinnamon air freshener that she had put in there. In fact, it smelled damp - as though the water had never been cleaned up. She SERVPRO of Renton, who was able to take moisture readings in the walls.

It turns out that not only did the water from the leak a couple months ago soak into the walls, but it had seeped halfway up the wall! Combined with the fairly moist environment already present in the basement, Erika was looking at a lot more damage than she had originally feared. The technician pulled back the baseboard, and found colonies of black mold growing! In the end, half of the wall had to be demolition, and Erika ended up having to pay not only for the SERVPRO services, but also the services of a general contractor put her bathroom back together.

Mold is such a tricky microscopic beast, because the spores themselves are in the air around us at all times. They float through the air unnoticed by all (except those who are allergic) until they are exposed to water. Here in the Pacific Northwest, mold is especially prevalent because of the amount of rain we receive annually. The constant damp air combined with a water loss in a house is a perfect breeding ground for mold.

How to prevent Mold from growing

There are a few ways to help reduce or prevent mold from growing in your home, however:

  • Make sure that all windows are air-tight.
    • A faulty seal in a window, especially in the winter, can allow moisture in and give mold room to grow.
  • If there is water damage, have someone out immediately to start drying.
    • It takes only 72 hours for mold to start presenting itself.
  • Ensure that laundry rooms are properly vented.
    • The moist heat from the dryer is a wonderful place for mold.
  • Ensure that crawl spaces, garages, and attics are properly insulated.

Even though mold may not be 100% preventable, it is 100% removable. If you think you may have mold present in your house, call SERVPRO of Renton at 425-225-2227 for a cost-free estimate today.

A Carpet Worth Saving

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage A Carpet Worth Saving Drying a carpet after a water damage in a Coalfield,WA home

A Carpet Worth Saving

You and your neighbors in Coalfield,WA, consider yourselves environmentalists. You’re not wasteful with money or materials, and you’re recyclers. However, a pipe break flooded your bonus room and you don’t know if you can salvage its soggy carpet and the underlying pad. The good news is that it’s possible, depending on how much time has passed and the water’s source. Those who work in the restoration industry categorize flood water to determine how clean or dirty it is. Read on to learn more about these classifications and how they can affect your clean-up.

Category 1

Water damage repair experts say you should be able to keep your carpet if it’s been wet for three days or less and the water came from lines to one of the following clean, Category 1 water sources:

• Faucets
• Drinking fountains
• Tubs
• Toilet tanks

You shouldn’t have to worry about exposure to Category 1 water related to skin contact, inhalation, or drinking. However, dry rugs immediately and replace pads if they are wet. Pads are like sponges and are a challenge to dry, which can lead to bacteria and odors. You may have a hard time removing the padding, which could lead to irreparable damage. Consider contacting a professional for help with this after a pipe break or other event.

Category 2

Category 2 water is also called gray water. It contains contaminants and generally originates from a failing sump pump, storm water, or toilets, dishwashers or washing machines.

Category 3

Category 3 water is known as black water because it’s unsanitary. Clean and gray water can become black water if they become stagnant or are allowed to remain on items for too long. This kind of damage comes from sources such as sewage, toilet backflows, streams, rivers, oceans, and other standing water outdoors.

Water damage is complex; no two leaks are the same. Arm yourself with knowledge of the various flooding sources so that if you experience a pipe break or pump malfunction, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not your carpet is worth saving.

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.