Recent Water Damage Posts

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
Major infectious events

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.

Keeping Small Leaks From Becoming a Big Problem

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Water on a living room Living room water damage in Dahlonega, GA

Keeping Small Leaks From Becoming a Big Problem

Sometimes flooding happens and you don't even know it, developing in small locations that homeowners don't often see. Cabinets, crawl spaces and walls all have dark spots in which pipes run. If a small leak appears, it may not be discernible right way. Take, for example, the kitchen sink. It's used often, but small drips are hard to spot. Issues like these are seemingly innocent, but a can of paint and a cloth are not going to solve the trouble. Over time, the moisture can create water damage and possibly lead to mold. Action should be taken by professionals to minimize potential hazards.

1. Correct the Leak

At the first sign of wetness, turn off the valves. You want to prevent a break in the line and avoid accumulating more water in home interiors. Then, ensure that you don't have any appliances or electrical equipment near the liquid. Grab a mop, and dry up what you can. Do not use a vacuum, and avoid turning on the fans. Call out a plumber to immediately examine the pipe, fixing the source of the problem.

2. Call Insurance

When flooding ruins part of your home in Dahlonega, GA, contact your insurance agency, requesting assistance with the remediation. Establish an open claim, discussing your policy's deductible and services covered. Write out the agent's name, as well as the documentation and procedures needed. In addition, feel free to email pictures of the destruction as well as the plumber's bill to verify your situation.

3. Restore the Room

Work with a water restoration company to test the location, evaluating the moisture levels and estimating the kitchen repair requirements. Keep in mind that long-term dripping could have created a hot bed for mold spores, allowing fungus to breed on organic material and fluid. As a result, the professionals may recommend removing the wood and dry wall.
Work quickly when you find flooding. Turn off the water, and call for assistance. Swift steps may minimize your mess.

4 Tips for Avoiding Busted Pipes

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Insulation cover for pipes with a phrase that says COVER THEM UP. Cover your exposed pipes with foam or insulation sleeves to avoid water damage in your building

4 Tips for Avoiding Busted Pipes

Most accidents can be avoided with proper precautions. A regular maintenance schedule not only keeps your building in Holcombe, GA, in good working order, it also helps you avoid a large business claim with your insurance company. Freezing temperatures may increase the chances of busted pipes, but there are several things you can do to protect the plumbing on your commercial property.

1. Keep the Inside Warm

When you own an office building that is vacated by early evening every day, it can be tempting to turn the heater off at night to save money on electricity. Unfortunately, this can actually end up costing you or your insurance company more money if your pipes freeze. Maintain a constant temperature of at least 55 degrees at all times to keep pipes warm.

2. Add Insulation

Even if the interior of your building is warm, that may not be enough to protect the pipes by the external walls. If your pipe bursts, you may have to file a business claim for damage that could have been prevented. Just as insulating your building protects the interior from extreme outdoor temperatures, adding extra insulation to your pipes can protect them from freezing.

3. Repair Structural Damage

Cracks in your roof, foundation and exterior walls are not problems you want to ignore. Water damage specialists often see issues that stem from structural damage. Water may get into your building if there is precipitation outside, but cold air can also seep in, putting your pipes at risk. Repair any cracks you find as soon as possible.

4. Know Where To Find the Water Main

If you do get a pipe break, you may be able to minimize the damage by shutting the water off. Find out where the valve to the water main is so that you can get there quickly in the event of an emergency.
Not all accidents are preventable. A busted pipe and the subsequent business claim, however, can usually be avoided by following these tips.

What To Do About a Leak Under Your Kitchen Sink

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Drainage system under sink leaking Leak under kitchen sink

5 Steps to Follow to Minimize the Need for Kitchen Repair

The kitchen may be the heart of your Amicalola, GA, home, but it's also a common site of household flooding. If you notice a leak beneath your sink, here are five steps to follow to minimize the need for kitchen repair.

1. If the water is erupting from your sink like a geyser, shut it off completely. Find the sink's individual water valve, and turn it clockwise to stop the flow of water. In the event that your kitchen sink doesn't have an individual cut-off valve, locate your home's main water supply valve and shut it off.

2. Remove any items stored beneath the sink. This will give you easy access to the pipes so you can better observe the source of the water in home, as well as allow you to begin drying off any wet items that you want to salvage.

3. Identify the source. There are a variety of reasons why your sink's drainpipe may have sprung a leak. One of the most common is a loose or worn compression nut. This makes for a loose connection that can allow water through. A clog, or even pipes that are the incorrect size, may also be to blame. If you can't figure out where the flooding originated, it's likely time to call your plumber for assistance.

4. Repair the leak. Once the source of the unwanted water has been found, it's time to fix it promptly. You may be able to perform simple repairs, such as tightening a loose compression nut, on your own if you wish. For more extensive repairs, however, seek the help of a professional plumber.

5. Clean up. The extent of the leak will determine the type of cleanup involved. If water damage is substantial, such as that which springs from a long-hidden leak, your best bet is usually to enlist the help of a trusted water damage mitigation company.
Flooding in the kitchen is an all-too-common occurrence, but it doesn't have to be a catastrophe. Follow these five steps to restore your kitchen safely and quickly.

3 Things To Do Before an Adjuster Inspects Your Home

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Technician writing on a clipboard Adjuster inspecting a home in Jasper, GA

Here Are Three Things To Do Before Inspection

If you've suffered water damage in your home, your insurance company could help pay for the repairs. Before you get a check though, you'll need to take several steps such as filing a claim with your agent and having a home adjuster survey the property, determining the estimated cost and need for repairs. While this time can feel overwhelming, taking some time to prepare might reduce the stress and help make the process a bit smoother. Here are three things to do before inspection.

1. Gather Documents

Put together photos and documents that support your claim. Hopefully, you documented pictures and uploaded them to the cloud prior to the event. If not, review your home photos, searching for ones that show various rooms. Then, snap images of the ruined locations. There is no such thing as too many. It's better to be over prepared.

2. Establish Communication

When you file an insurance claim, you'll receive a number and a specific person with whom to work; make sure to keep this handy. Then, after reviewing paperwork begin emailing that insurance agent, saving all communications in a file. Discuss several aspects of your policy. Is flood insurance covered? What is your deductible? Will items be replaced on new value or depreciation? Ask about any additional steps that may be needed before you begin work.

3. Make a List of Issues

As you go about your daily activities, record any damage, creating a list for the home adjuster. Also consider things you can't see such as electrical malfunctions or trouble. In fact, you may wish to have an electrician inspect the home prior to your adjuster's visit. Just have the report ready to pass on. Finally, set aside lots of time to walk the home. With the list in hand, go through each concern, showing those original pictures to validate any need for repairs.
Help expedite the process by providing the home adjuster a good overview of what you need and having documentation prepared. With the insurance check, you can then pay your a water restoration company in Jasper, GA, for the needed repairs.

Dealing With Toilet Overflow

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

a toilet full of contaminated water Try is using a plumbing snake to clear out any blockage.

Dealing With Toilet Overflow 

The plumbing in your home works hard each and every day to cover all your basic necessities. Without a properly working system, you may go without water for some time and end up requiring a lengthy sewage cleaning from professionals. Damage that can occur in the meantime includes:

  • Bacteria growth
  • Weak subfloors
  • Ruined flooring

One sign that there may an issue is an overflowing toilet while you shower. Here are the basics on how a toilet overflow needs to be taken care of.

Why Does a Shower Cause an Overflow?

Your plumbing is one interconnected system. When something is wrong with one section of your pipes, you may not notice an issue until another water fixture shows problems like when an overflowing toilet occurs while running your shower.

See, the water in your shower goes in your home’s water waste lines. If it encounters an issue like a clogged pipe, then the first place it can head to is the nearest toilet. The first thing you have to do to fix this issue is conduct appropriate sewage cleaning.

Repairing Overflow

The first step you can try is using a plumbing snake to clear out any blockage. A snake that can extend up to 25 feet is recommended. Removing the toilet may also be required in order to properly access clogged piping. Be sure to periodically run your shower to see if the overflow problem has disappeared.

If that method doesn’t work, try locating your home’s drain clean out. It is likely situated somewhere outside your home. Please note, that certain homes in Dahlonega, GA may not have this particular sewage component. Try using a plumbing snake in your clean out to see if your blockage may be there.

If neither of those solutions work, then it may be time to contact the right plumbing repair specialist for further assistance in sewage cleaning.

Leaky Toilet Fixes Made Simple

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

If your bathroom sustained damage from the seepage, contact a water damage restoration specialist for immediate advice.

Toilets are among the most reliable devices on your property. Even these workhorses can malfunction, however, given enough use and enough time. Leaks are the most common problem, but they don’t have to involve an expensive plumber’s visit. There are a couple of easy DIY fixes you can try first. Follow these tips for repairing a leaking toilet and get your Cumming, GA, bathroom back on track.

What Causes Leaks

The most common cause of a leaking toilet is the weakening and eventual failure of the wax seal beneath the bowl. Still, failed gaskets are far from the only source of toilet troubles. Other causes include:

  • Loose supply tubes
  • Cracks in the bowl
  • Loose bolts

Fortunately, there are easy DIY fixes for a variety of old toilet problems.

Gasket Replacement

Start by turning off the water supply. Grabbing the bowl beneath the seat hinges, rock it to and fro to break the old wax seal. Once done, lift the bowl and carefully set it aside. Be sure to scrape off the old wax using a putty knife or similar implement. Take a second to look at your flange and make sure it’s not bent or cracked. If it is, you’ll need to replace that as well. If it is okay, center the new wax ring on the floor and replace the bowl.

Loose Bolts

Sometimes the issue is a leak beneath the bowl caused by loose bolts. Using a screwdriver, pop off the caps covering the bolts. Tighten them with a wrench and replace the caps. Adding caulk around the base is also a step you can take for an extra layer of leak protection.

Toilets are one of the most durable items in any building, but they aren’t indestructible. The above tips can help stop some water issues, but if leaking toilet problems continue, don’t hesitate to call a qualified toilet repair person. If your bathroom sustained damage from the seepage, contact a water damage restoration specialist for immediate advice.

How the Pros Clean and Restore Your Materials After a Flood

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Forsyth and Dawson Counties has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial flooding or water damage emergencies.

There’s a lot to worry about following a flood in your office building. You have expensive equipment that’s vital to your day-to-day operation. Fortunately, there are ways to salvage and restore many items that have suffered water damage. A flooded company should always contact a content restoration specialist to take a look at documents, furniture, electronics and other items in your workplace.

What Steps Will They Take?

Qualified technicians have the skills, experience and tools to clean up and save a large number of contents. Whether a broken pipe caused flooding, or whether it was an environmental factor, water can wreak havoc on your building.

A professional team will do the following once it arrives at your office:

• Survey the scene, assess the situation and make a plan
• Use dry cleaning or wet cleaning methods
• Use spray and wipe techniques
• Use foam cleaning or abrasive cleaning
• Use immersion cleaning

Wet or Dry

Depending on what suffered damage at the flooded company in Cumming, GA, the crew may use different strategies and tools to clean the items. Dry cleaning is usually a preliminary step to wet cleaning, as it removes residues from the objects. If the residues are too extensive or heavy, the use of water and cleaners may be employed. If it’s safe, the most heavily damaged materials are dipped into a bath of chemical for a deeper immersion cleaning.

Spray, Wipe or Foam

For delicate items such as documents, the technicians may not be able to use wet cleaning or immersion. This is where the team will employ a lighter touch such as the use of a spray or foam. In some cases, even a gentle wipe with the right cloth will do the trick. Foam cleaners are often most effective on furniture.

There are a number of ways the pros can help a flooded company such as yours save important items. These tried and true methods can give the peace of mind you need when you desperately need to restore your office belongings.

Follow These Water Mitigation Procedures When You Spot Flooding or Leaks

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Wood floors was damaged by water. SERVPRO was able to help from start to finish.

You rely on what extensively for your everyday living. You use it for drinking, cooking, showering, and bathing, and for keeping the grounds of your Dawsonville, GA, home looking nice. But it’s also the last thing you want to see on your floors, walls, ceiling or other areas of the house. Without proper response and attention, something such as a leaking water heater can lead to extensive damage and catastrophe.

What Will the Pros Do?

Fortunately, you don’t have to handle a flooding nightmare by yourself. A residential water cleanup team has the expertise, experience, and equipment to solve even the most troubling problems. Here are the steps the team will follow:

  • Inspect the damage and cause of the problem
  • Remove water from affected areas and items
  • Dry and dehumidify where the damaged occurred
  • Clean and sanitize
  • Restore

Identifying the Culprit is Essential

Whether you have a failed water heater, or whether heavy rains brought flooding to your home, the experts will assess what went wrong and ensure the problems doesn’t repeat itself. This step is important because it will also help the company formulate a game plan of how to attack the water damage and get things back to normal in your house.

Cleaning Up

A broken water heater can spill gallons of water onto your floors. The team will use commercial-grade extractors to ensure there is no leftover water on your floors, furniture or walls. To discourage the growth of mold, the team will also thoroughly dry and sanitize any concerning areas, especially near a leaking water heater.

The Restoration Process

The team may not be able to safely salvage some portions of your property. If this is the case, the crew will immediately begin work on the removing rotten drywall, ruined flooring, or any other areas beyond repair. Experts will replace these portions of your house to make everything as good as new.

Don’t let a leaking water heater kick you out of your home for good. These efficient processes can make your home safe and sound again.