Recent Water Damage Posts

What To Do When Sewage Water Contaminates Your Home

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment set up in the bathroom of a Cumming, GA hotel Be sure to call a professional to clean up any sewage

Sewer cleanup is not simple. The water is quite dirty and can create several concerns for the home's structure; therefore, when wastewater invades a house's space, it's best to act quickly, working with professionals to understand the cause and begin proper cleanup measures. Be aware of the answers to the following three questions.

How Does Sewer Water Get Into the Home?

A sewer backup may occur from several factors. Tree roots may grow into the exterior pipes, breaching them and blocking the flow. Toilet lines clog when large or harder substances go down the tubes and cannot leave the system. During intense storms, overflows may displace fluid. No matter the cause, the effect is the water cannot correctly exit; thus, it flows into the home through the closest portal (often the commode).

How Should You Handle Sewer Contamination?

Sewer cleanup requires meticulous and prompt attention. The dirty liquid quickly contaminates the space. Focus on two things: dry out everything and sanitize as best as possible. The following steps should be completed:

What Should Be Replaced?

A flooded toilet from a backup issue delivers category three water into the home. This fluid contains high levels of waste and bacteria. As it spills onto the floor, it seeps into the materials and eventually reaches the walls. These porous materials are unlikely to be cleaned with traditional methods because they absorb so much. It’s best to toss these sponge-like items to ensure proper cleanup occurs.

Owners may choose to keep nonporous objects, but they should still be scrubbed with warm water and soap. Spray with antimicrobial spray.

For effective sewer cleanup, homeowners must carefully inspect everything for water infiltration. Lower moisture levels and get rid of contaminated belongings, then, call SERVPRO of Forsyth and Dawson Counties.

4 Ways To Dry Soaked Documents

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Wet documents Wet documents can be restored.

Four Methods For Salvaging Your Company's Records

If your business in Talking Rock, GA, experiences flooding, it is possible that your building suffers enough damage to require the services of expert water restoration professionals. Additionally, archives may become soaked. Fortunately, wet documents can be recovered. 

1. Freezing
Wrap reports in wax paper, parchment, or sealable plastic bags and then place them in a freezer. If you have time, apply separators between each piece of paperwork. Once your materials have thawed, follow up with one of the below procedures.

2. Air Drying
This option is best for smaller bundles of compromised files. Begin by spreading your items on flat tables. Place fans near your papers, but be sure that the airflow is indirect; otherwise, they may go flying. Blot dampened pages with a soft cloth or towel and then hang them on a clothesline with plastic clothespins. Note that it may take up to two weeks for some wet documents to completely dry.

3. Vacuum Freezing
Vacuum freezing is a better choice when a lot of document drying becomes necessary. Freeze your papers as outlined above and then place them in a vacuum chamber. This piece of equipment can be obtained from a salvage vendor. By using a process known as sublimation, ice crystals vaporize without melting. This assures a minimum of additional stress on the affected reports.

4. Vacuum Thermal Drying
Records that have suffered watery ravages ranging from minor pipe leaks to intense flooding can benefit from vacuum drying. Items are placed within one of these enclosed devices and dehydrated via moisture evaporation. Only use this method with records that do not need to be kept for long periods, as this strategy accelerates aging.
Wet documents are a severe problem for any business, but all is not lost. There is a good chance that a majority of your data may be able to be saved with one of these approaches.

4 Ways Water Can Damage Your Home

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

wooden floor damaged by water Wooden floor damaged in a Dawsonville, GA home

4 Ways Water Can Damage Your Home

Is your home in Dawsonville, GA, prone to flooding or heavy rains? It's important to know what kinds of damages, such as swelling wood, water can cause to your home.


1. Walls and Supports
If hail or heavy wind often accompany rainstorms near you, water can quickly get past the standard plastic siding. The hail can break big holes, and the wind can blow water up and behind the siding. Once this happens, there's only a small, thin sheet of wrapping that separates the water from the plywood of your home's structure. Other supports like wooden porch beams are also vulnerable. A common issue after heavy rains is swelling wood. This occurs when the wood is saturated with water and starts to expand and swell. This can compromise the structural integrity of your home.


2. Windows
While it's exciting and fun to watch rain pound against windows while you're safe and cozy in your home, windows are a big structural weakness that require consistent maintenance. The caulking, a type of rubber-like sealant used by workers when your windows were installed, can sometimes come loose, especially if you own an older home. If this happens, water can slip through the cracks between the window and its frame, which will cause water to directly enter your home.


3. Water Pipes
Water pipes: the tangled rat's nets of copper that everyone likes to put out of their mind. Yes, these can be impacted by heavy rains, too. The issue of swelling wood can put pressure on pipes, especially where water enters your home through the exterior in a supply line. It's best to keep an eye on your pipes and consider beforehand how a heavy rain might impact you. If you have the unfortunate luck to suffer a pipe break, however, you can always contact a water damage specialist to quickly clean up the damage.


4. Yard
Your kids might love to splash and play in the mud after a heavy rain, but these downpours can have other, less entertaining, side effects. If there is enough rainwater, or if your home has an inefficient gutter system, rushing water can wash away the dirt around your foundation. This can lead to basement leaks or even crack your foundation if the water freezes after it seeps through the concrete.
As an informed homeowner, you can help prevent water damage before it happens and avoid costly issues such as a water pipe repair.

Preventing Water Damage When You're Away from Home

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

wet floor on living room Water damage in Cumming, GA

Preventing Water Damage When You're Away from Home

A broken water pipe is one of the most common causes of damage to homes in Cumming, GA. If you're home when the disaster occurs, you have the ability to act fast to ensure it is cleaned up and you're able to call someone to perform your water pipe repair. If you're away when it happens, such as on vacation or an extended business trip, you could come home to a major problem.


Know the Common Causes
Knowing what causes a broken pipe can help you protect against it happening. The most common causes of water pipe breaks are:

  • Freezing temperatures
  • Corrosion
  • High water pressure
  • Clogs
  • Tree roots

You don't want to have a pipe break at any time, but especially while you're away and unable to make sure a water pipe repair and cleanup happens. You would return to a flooded home with secondary damage, including structural and mold. If you experience this type of damage, always work with a professional restoration company so you and your family remain safe.

Preventing Pipe Breaks
Before leaving town for any amount of time, always know your pipes are in good working order. Inspect under your sinks and around the water heater. Also check the hoses around your appliances, such as your washing machine, refrigerator, and dishwasher. If hoses look worn, replace them.
If the temperatures are going to be cold while you're away, provide your pipes with insulation. You should be doing this anyway. Make sure your outdoor hoses are disconnected and your spigots are covered with bib protectors.
Last, find a friend or family member to check in on your home often. If you don't have someone who can do this, shut off the main water and drain the pipes. Flush the toilets to empty them as well, and leave your cupboards under the sinks open to help keep the pipes warm.
You want to be home when there is any need for a water pipe repair. A busted water pipe will always cause a mess, but it doesn't have to cause damage. Damage is preventable when you take the extra steps to be proactive.

Is Your Shower Leaking?

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a shower cabin with glass wall that is damaged Signs your shower is leaking

A shower or bathtub leak might be a common household issue, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. The water damage that a leaky shower can potentially cause only serves to pave the way for subsequent issues, such as unwanted mold growth. If you suspect that your home in Dawsonville, GA, might have a leaky shower or bathtub, take a look at the following tips.

Signs Your Shower is Leaking

The following are some of the most common, tell-tale signs that your shower or bathtub is leaking:

  • Peeling, flaking or otherwise morphed bathroom paint
  • Water stains in the ceiling on the floor directly below your shower or bathtub
  • Mold or mildew growth in your bathroom

Identify the Source of the Leak
A shower pan leak can come in several different forms, and it's important to identify the issue before you set out to fix it. It's possible that your shower or bathtub leak is simply the result of an inadequate seal. Try spraying water all around the shower, including up against the glass or closed curtain, to see where the moisture is escaping from. Also make sure to check your shower's caulking, as these materials can crack and break as they age, losing their effectiveness. If you can identify where the water is escaping from, then your shower leak is simply a matter of replacing the grout or caulking. If doing so doesn't yield any definite results, your leak might be related to a shower tray or drain issue. If this is the case, you should hire professionals to test for leaks.
There are several different incidents that could have caused your shower or bathtub leak. Regardless of where the leak came from, you need to take the situation seriously and take immediate action to remedy the problem. Water damage can wreck havoc on your residential property if left untreated. If you can't identify the source of the leak or need help fixing the damage, contact water remediation experts for professional assistance.

Half of All Businesses Never Reopen After a Disaster

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO emergency ready profile The emergency ready profile contains a wealth of information to help you get reopened

The only thing certain in the world today is uncertainty. Disasters in Amicalola, GA, both natural and man-made, are increasing for a multitude of reasons. After the worst has passed, studies show that 40 – 60 percent of businesses will permanently shut down. Of those who survive, the majority are prepared with an emergency profile.

Disasters Are Everywhere

There are so many potential catastrophes facing business now, they’re impossible to list. Some of the most common types include

Natural disasters
Fires
Riots
Major infectious events
Cyberattacks
Fraud

Each type has many subtypes, as well. Cyber-attacks may shut down a business website while ransomware can lock down an entire local operation. More than one can occur at once, and when they do, the majority of businesses are wiped out.

Resilience is Everything
FEMA says that a whopping 90% of small businesses will fail within a year if they don’t reopen within 5 days. However, the overwhelming majority of businesses that do survive have an emergency profile ready before a disaster.

Survival in Steps
SERVPRO has helped many businesses meet the FEMA-recommended standards for business resiliency. Their Emergency READY Program is the industry-leading disaster plan available. Even better, it starts with a free assessment of your facility.
Once you visit the SERVPRO ERP website, you can create an account and download the free ERP app on your smart device. You can also call SERVPRO for technical support or any customer service needs.
There’s a local SERVPRO branch in your area. You may have several to choose from, but you can pick whichever one you prefer to act as your representative to deal with insurance companies and other contractors if you wish. Then you can begin creating ERPs for every property you own.
The ERP app not only helps you with your emergency profile, it contains a wealth of information to help you get reopened. It’s available through the cloud, so if you lose access to information in your building, you’ll have it anywhere you have internet access. You’ll have all the facility information you entered at the touch of a finger!

Everything You Need To Know About Drain Cleaners

6/13/2020 (Permalink)

Chemical agent used to unclog some pipes. Digital illustration Drain cleaners have some properties that can damage your pipes

When you are dealing with a clogged drain at home, it may sound tempting to just pour a chemical cleaner to eliminate the problem. However, this is not always the right solution. Drain cleaner has some properties that can damage your pipes and wreak havoc on your home in Cumming, GA. Educate yourself about this type of cleaner to use it appropriately.

The Basics of Chemical Cleaners

Liquid cleaners used in sewage cleaning can be either oxidizing, caustic or acid. No matter the type of chemicals, they create heat that dissolves organic blockage such as food, hair, or grease. Specifically, the cleaner triggers an electron transfer that either adds to or removes electrons from the organic matter. The heat generated by this exchange then weakens the clog, making it easier to flush away.

Potential Damage and Consequences
Despite the convenience of these cleaners, they are not ideal for every clogged drain case. There are specific situations where they can damage the pipes.

  • Plastic pipes
  • Older and weaker metal pipes
  • Complete drain blockage

The strong chemicals can diminish the pipes, leading to extensive water damage that only an emergency remediation service can fix. They also have secondary effects on both your health and the environment. Prevent these consequences by limiting use to partial blockage made of organic materials and only as a last resort when alternatives fail.

Alternatives to Cleaners
There are a couple of solutions to try before deploying a drain cleaner. First, you can go the mechanical route by using tools to manually unclog the drain. Augers and plunges are the most common devices for this method. If it does not work, try enzymatic cleaners. These products contain enzymes, or bacteria, that break down the clog. They usually take a day to unblock the pipe, but they are a safer option.
While chemical cleaners are a fast solution for a clogged drain, they are not always effective and should be used when out of options. Ensure your situation meets the right criteria before using this agent.

Polybutylene Water Pipes Should Be Replaced As Soon As Possible

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

Polybutylene Water Pipes Should Be Replaced As Soon As Possible

As building materials science has progressed, engineers have learned a lot about what does – and what doesn’t – work in new construction. Many concepts that seemed like a good idea at the time turned out to be unworkable. One of these is polybutylene water pipes.

The Plumbing of the Future – or So They Thought
When polybutylene pipes first started to be widely used in Marble Hill, GA, they were considered almost a miracle. They offered major cost savings for builders plus a few benefits to the consumer, including

Excellent temperature resistance against both hot water and freezing pipes.
Highly flexible and resistant to shock and water hammer damage.
Outstanding resistance to excess hydrostatic pressure damage.

Between 1978 and 1995, at least 6 million homes and businesses had them installed for water supply lines in new plumbing. Many experts believed the new pipes would last effectively the lifetime of the house, virtually eliminating leaks from common causes.
Unfortunately, no one thought about the impact of chlorine – the most common purifying additive used in civil water supply systems – on the pipes. Chlorine and certain other chemicals either found naturally in water or added for safety will eat away the pipes from the inside. This means that virtually all polybutylene plumbing is destined for failure, often catastrophically.

Experts Recommend Replacing Them Immediately
Since the damage is internal at first, there’s no way to know how close these pipes are to failure. In certain cases, you may be eligible to receive compensation for replacing them, based on a lawsuit against the manufacturer. However, in all cases, they should be replaced. The pipes are usually grey, but may also be blue, white or black. They usually have a characteristic metal or plastic crimp ring around each coupling, and most plumbing has its type and material labeled on the outside for easy identification.
If you’ve experienced water damage from your plumbing, you need a professional restoration company to come in quickly before the damage attracts wood-boring insects. They can help you determine what piping you have if it needs full replacing and if you are eligible for compensation from the lawsuit.