Archived Water Damage Blog Posts
Beware of Frozen Pipes This Winter
Prevention is Key to Preventing a Pipe From Freezing
Winter is here, and in the Chicagoland area that means cold weather and other problems for you home. One of the main problems during this cold season is frozen pipes. It is easier to prevent pipes from freezing rather than cleaning up after they have frozen. SERVPRO of North Elmwood Park will always be there to clean up the damage from a broken pipe, but let's stop it before it gets there.
Why Are Frozen Pipes A Problem?
Frozen pipes can be a problem because they block water flow to the affected outlets which poses a problem in itself. But worse than that, when water freezes, it expands which means that a frozen pipe can burst sending ice and water to surrounding surfaces like drywall. Fixing and cleaning up after a burst pipe can be very expensive.
Preventing A Pipe From Freezing
There are steps to preventing pipes from freezing:
*Shut off outdoor outlets such as sprinklers and open the valve to drain out the water.
*Check your home for pipes that may run through an outside wall and insulate those pipes.
*Insulate parts of the home that are cold like the basement.
*Call a plumber that can help spot vulnerable pipes and offer alternative solutions.
Help Protect Your Belongings
We can help protect your home and things from further water damage.
If you are ever unlucky enough to have to suffer through water damage in your home, one of the most important things you can do is act quickly to save your belongings. Your property is important to you and to us so we would like to give some simple tips for caring for materials affected by water.
When carpets or rugs become soaked with water, how long the water sits there is usually the deciding factor in if the material will still be usable. The biggest concern with carpets and rugs is mold and mildew growth. If you are able to extract water from the carpet, do so. Or at least dry the area as much as you can before professionals are able to make it to you.
Mold is also another factor to think about when it comes to drying furniture, clothing, or paper material. To save these from permanent damage, it is best to air dry them. You can take them outside or a room with lower humidity so they dry faster. Be sure to use caution when handling documents, books, photos, or other items that become fragile when wet. They could fall apart.
When is comes to electronics, please use extreme caution. Avoid putting oneself at risk for shock or electrocution by not turning on a device that was exposed to water or is currently wet. If it is safe to do so, you can wipe the surface of the items with a towel to prevent more water from getting into the device. It is smart to also have a trained professional look into the interior of the device to more accurately assess how extensive the water damage is and if the device is salvageable.
These are all small things you can do to help save your materials after water damage. To help with more severely damaged items call SERVPRO of North Elmwood Park at (708) 483-8636 to have our professionally trained technicians come help.
There Is Water in My Home. What Do I Do Now?
Tiled hallway with a large water puddle.
Whether this is your first time experiencing water damage or your twelfth, it is important to keep in mind that acting fast in getting it resolved is vital and can prevent problems from arising in the future. SERVPRO of North Elmwood Park has water damage specialists ready to help you get your space dried correctly and carefully. Here are some useful tips to use at the first notice of water damage:
- If possible, locate and shut off the source of water. If you are unable to, contact a qualified party, such as a plumber, to come stop the water source.
- Try to remove as much excess water as possible by mopping or blotting with towels. Never use a vacuum.
- Place wooden blocks or aluminum foil under the legs of furniture that is on wet carpet. This helps minimize the water damage affecting your fixtures.
- Move belongings, such as painting, computers, important documents, or anything not yet affected by the water to a dry location.
- Do not enter the affected spaces if there are live outlets, switches, or electrical equipment exposed to the water. Keep your distance from electrical shock hazards.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures, such as lights or fans, if there is water damage in the ceiling, especially if the ceiling is sagging.
If you have water or flood damage in your home or commercial space, give SERVPRO of North Elmwood Park a call at (708) 483-8636. We want to help you.
The Correct Drying Equipment is Important in Water Mitigation
SERVPRO uses the most up to date drying equipment. This is one of our large dehumidifers.
The IICRC S500 Approach to Determining Equipment Usuage
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification S500 (IICRC) is a non-profit organization that establishes and advances the standards and certifications for the inspection, cleaning, restoration and installation industry.
The IICRC has set a guide in determining the appropriate amount of drying equipment that is needed on a water damage restoration project. The guide first determines the "class" and "category" of water.
Air movers are used to move air across the wet surfaces which helps accelerate evaporation. One air mover is normally used for every 10 to 16 linear feet of a wall. Each air mover is pointed in the same direction. In a 12 X 12 room (48 linear feet of wall space), 4 to 5 air movers would generally be used.
Dehumidification is the removal of moisture from the air. Large dehumidifiers are used to remove the moisture. The goal of the dehumidifier is to remove a certain amount of pints of water per day. The IICRC came up with a formula to determine the size and amount of dehumidifiers used.
Using the right amount of air movers and dehumidifiers is important in drying the structure as quickly as possible. After the equipment is set up and running, the damaged area should be monitored every day to assure that the area is drying correctly and that the equipment is running properly.
SERVPRO of North Elmwood Park is trained and certified by the IICRC. We follow the IICRC standards of drying and the amount of drying equipment needed.
Types of Water Category Losses
Overflowing sink is a category 1 water loss
There are three categories of water. All three of them can cause significant damages to your home, but some are easier to cleanup than others.
Category 1 Loss - Clean Water Source. This loss can come from a broken pipe, sink or bathtub overflow or broken hot water heaters. This can be cleaned up easily and as long as the area is dried properly there should be no mold issues.
Category 2 Loss - Grey Water Loss. This comes when water is mixed with chemicals like when a dishwasher overflows or a toilet that has urine in it overflows. This should be cleaned up but you need to make sure that it is also properly disinfected to kill all the microorganisms.
Category 3 Loss - Black Water Loss. The worst of all three categories. This comes from sewage back up or water that is mixed with sewage. This needs to be cleaned up by a professional to make sure it is properly disinfected. If a Category 2 loss is not disinfected properly it can become a Category 3 loss.
When you have water damage in your house, be sure to know the cause of the water and the category it falls into.
Hidden Bathroom Water Damage
Water damage could be lurking in your bathroom.
The most troublesome water damage is the kind that you don’t notice until after it has already caused other significant damage. Small leaks from pipes can be silent and go unnoticed for extended periods of time. In rooms where humidity levels are already high, such as a bathroom, it can be hard to notice extra moisture. In a bathroom, a pipe in the toilet, shower, or sink could be broken. There could be grout deterioration that lets water get underneath tile or the tub. These types of damages can be hard to spot but here are some signs it may be happening to you.
If you can see mold or mildew, that usually means there is a hidden leak. It may not be a sign of extreme water damage, but it is a sign that there is some additional moisture that is aiding the mold growth. It is best practice to call water damage specialists to come look at it.
Bathroom walls are meant to take a splash of water here and there, but they are not capable of handling substantial amounts of moisture. If you see patches, stains, or cracks on the walls and ceiling, that is a sure sign of something being wrong.
If you start to notice an earthy or musty smell it is a very good indicator that there is a hidden leak somewhere. It can also be a sign that mold is growing.
If you experience any sort of water damage, or you suspect there is water damage call SERVPRO of North Elmwood Park at (708) 483- 8636.