Recent Water Damage Posts
How to Shut Off Water in Case of an Emergency
Knowing where your main water shut off is essential. It can help you prevent major damage in case of an emergency. Things like a sewage back up, broken pipe, or broken seal can cause thousands in water damage if you aren’t able to shut your water off. In the winter months it is common for pipes to burst, severe cold weather can cause pipes to expand and break but being able to locate and turn off the valve can prevent some damage. It is also good to know where the main shut off is if you leave your house for a long period of time.
Steps to take if this happens to you
- Turn off your water main
- Drain the faucets to release the pressure
- Inspect and fix the broken pipe
- Bring in a professional drying crew
Properly restoring your home after a water damage event requires specialized equipment and products. This advanced equipment helps us to remove the water, even hidden moisture, quickly and efficiently. We then dry the structure with powerful dehumidifiers. Finally, our technicians will clean the affected area with professional grade cleaning and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety.
How to Prevent Moisture in Your Home
Most people think of water damage they usually think of flooding after storms. That isn’t always the case though, somethings you wouldn’t expect what may be causing moisture to build up in certain spaces in your home. Follow some of the tips below to help prevent moisture build-up in your home.
Humidity and Indoor Moisture
When warm air comes in contact with a cool surface it creates moisture. Things like showering, dishwashing, and cooking add moisture to the air. Cold water pipes that are uninsulated can also cause water droplets to accumulate in the summer. When condensation and water droplets occur, they can run down walls and into corners of your home. Once this happens, things can start to rot, paint can peel, and provide a good environment for mold to grow.
Ways to reduce moisture
- Use a dehumidifier
- Run fans in the house
- Run the A/C
- Clean A/C filters
- Take colder/ shorter shower
- Cover pots while cooling
- Cover aquariums
4 Problems That Can Cause a Toilet Leak
The toilet in your bathroom is a relatively simple apparatus, but multiple things can still go wrong that cause it to leak water onto your floor. There are four things that plumbers look for to determine the reason behind your leaking toilet.
- Loose Bolts
Pooling water at the base of the toilet can mean several things. The easiest thing to fix is a loose bolt. Before you call for a plumber in Springfield/Mt. Vernon, try tightening the bolts around the base. If this stops your bathroom leak, that is likely the only thing that was wrong.
- Faulty Gasket
The wax gasket is the seal that holds the toilet in place. It also keeps water from escaping and damaging your floor. To replace a dry or broken gasket, you have to remove the toilet and scrape the old gasket off the floor. Once you've determined the flange is intact, you can replace the gasket and return the toilet to its position. Most homeowners have the tools to do this themselves, but a plumber can help if you are not comfortable with the task.
- Broken Valve
If the shutoff valve is broken or malfunctioning, it will probably result in a leaking toilet. Water damage specialists often have to replace walls and flooring when a faulty valve releases a lot of water in a short amount of time. Plumbers can inspect and replace bad valves so that your toilet runs efficiently.
- Cracked Bowl
If the toilet bowl itself is cracked, water is likely to leak out of it. If you cannot see the crack, it can be difficult to determine the source of the problem. Inspect your tank thoroughly to look for this possibility.
A leaking toilet is often an easy fix, but you want to make sure to fix it quickly. Finding the source of the leak is the first step in doing so.
Restoring Water Damage in Virginian Homes
SERVPRO Technicians Report to the Flooded Scene with Equipment to Properly Dry Out the Property
Virginian homes are vulnerable to flooding from weather and more common accidents. It is especially true for carpets and wood floors. No matter where the water comes from, a professional restoration service can deal with removing, cleaning, and remediating the ill effects a flood causes.
Treating water damage first requires stopping the flow and removal of any standing water as soon as possible. SERVPRO certifies each member of our 24-hour response team on every piece of equipment needed for this and every action we take to return a home to its original state.
Since most house flooding comes from failed plumbing, stopping it is relatively simple. Upon arrival to a job site, one of our technicians first turns off the water main to the house. With that accomplished, the response team performs a complete inspection. If the weather permits, we open every window and door to the residence to enable crossflow of air.
Now, SERVPRO technicians bring in the equipment needed to remove water; commercial grade pumps and water extraction wands. The pumps remove water down to the surface of carpets and floors and then we use the wands to draw out water trapped either in or under both.
Once the carpets are free of water, they are now light enough to lift. It allows technicians to examine the floor for any remaining moisture. If there is, we use a combination of air movers and exhaust fans to force warm, dry air under and over the carpet to dry it. If there is a pad underneath, they remove and dispose of it.
The same fans and air movers work well for wood floors as well to dry them. If a moisture meter test still indicates the presence of water, it may be necessary to drill holes into the floor in corners or under the baseboards to allow additional ventilation for drying. In cases where there is water pooled under the floorboards, SERVPRO technicians may have to remove one or two boards to use the extraction wands.
Most of the effects from water damage can be eliminated or significantly reduced by quickly removing the moisture and drying out the affected property. For more information about what SERVPRO of Springfield/Mt. Vernon can do for your home, call us today at 703-644-0620.
Water Damage Prevention
Avoid the cost and hassle of severe water leaks! Follow SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon’s simple tips to prevent water damage in your home.
- Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid costly gutter damage. Defective, clogged downspouts can cause severe water damage to your home- including rot, mold, and basement flooding. Be especially cautious after heavy rain and snow storms to ensure that your spouts are properly secured and that no residual water remains to seep into your house.
- Disconnect idle water hoses. This protects your home against busted pipes, damaged walls, and flooded floors.
- Maintain appliance pipes and hoses. In our professional restoration experience, defective pipes and leaky hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss. Be sure to replace yours regularly to prevent significant water damage.
- Install a water detector. A water detector will immediately alert you at the sign of water damage. Our professionally trained restoration crew suggests that homeowners install this device close to areas most prone to water damage i.e. water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, toilets, etc. This prevention method will protect both your home and your pockets from the physical and financial costs of water remediation.
- Monitor your water bill and water pressure. Too high water pressure can cause erected pipes and hoses. Likewise, irregular water bills can point to problems with the water flow in your home. Act immediately on any signs of water damage or leaks to prevent mold, mildew, and other water disasters.
If you have any questions, or if you need our help in protecting your home against water damage, contact us today at (703) 644-0620. Our heroes are ready to help 24/7!
A Vacation Ruiner
Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than a phone call alerting you to catastrophic damage to your house, or returning to a home that has been sitting in water due to a broken/frozen pipe or a hot water heater that defaulted into a flood. Turn off your main water valve before going on vacation!
If you are traveling during the winter it is also a good idea to drain the lines too. It is easy to drain the lines by simply turning on a faucet on the main floor or in the basement. If you do not know where your main valve is, ask your plumber. It is also a great idea to make sure that the valve works.
If for any reason you are not able to turn it off yourself sometimes the water company will shut it off for you. This simple act can prevent thousands of dollars of damages.
Water Damage Nightmares: The Washing Machine
Water damage occurs when excess water begins to pool in areas where it shouldn’t. This issue may arise due to bursting or leaking pipes, faulty or malfunctioning household appliances, or a natural disaster or weather related issue. One appliance that frequently causes water damage in homes is the washing machine. Homeowners leave washing machines unattended to complete other chores throughout the house or even fall asleep until the next morning. DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE! In some instances, washing machines may fail to transition from the “filling stage” and continue to fill with water until the water is shut off. This causes water to overflow from the machine and begin to fill the house.
It only takes minutes for water to quickly spread throughout the property, saturating everything in its path. Water may be absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings, furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets, and photographs, books, and other paper goods may swell and warp. If you are unfortunate enough to have to face water damage in your home, don’t do it alone. Contact SERVPRO of Reston, your regional flood specialist, at 703-471-6040.
- We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
- We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
- We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
- Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
- We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
- Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment
Water Damage and Category type
IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration sets three categories of water that cause damage in buildings. They are summarized as follows:
Category 1 Water - Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as "Clean Water". Category 1 water may become contaminated if it mixes with soils or floor coverings, building assemblies, etc... Time and temperature can promote growth and amplification of microorganisms in water can cause Category 1 water to degrade.
Examples of category 1 water are: a broken water supply line (including the toilet), and tub or sink overflows.
Category 2 Water - Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants. These contaminants can cause discomfort or sickness when exposed or consumed. This water type carries micro organisms and is nicknamed "Gray water."
Examples of catagory 2 water are: toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, dishwasher water discharge, and washing machine water discharge.
Category 3 Water - Nicknamed "Black Water" and are grossly unsanitary. These indoor water sources contain unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness.
Examples of type 3 water are: water sources from sewage, seawater, stream or river water, ground surface water or standing water.
Category 2 Water that is not promptly removed and remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back-ups that originate from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.
Knowing the classification of your water may help you understand personal safety concerns and the necessary material and debris removal anticipated.
Hose Bib Winterization - Avoid Water Damage
To prevent damage to your home drain your outside hose bibs during the winter months! If you don't you run the risk of water freezing in the pipes; then when the exterior hose bibs are turned on, they will attempt to push water through, breaking the pipes and flooding inside your walls. Last spring several Fort Belvoir families were inconvenienced by these burst pipes and the ensuing repairs. Your hose bibs have been equipped with anti-siphon devices to prevent your pipes from storing – and subsequently freezing – excess water.
***** Always disconnect hoses from the exterior hose bib faucets. *****
If you use your faucets during the winter months make certain to drain the hose bib of any excess water.
If you do not expect to use the outdoor faucets during the winter months, we advise that you drain the hose bibs and shut off the water line from inside your home.
This simple process can save you a lot of aggravation and money.
Ice Dams can lead to roof and mold issues
Ice dams are a silent enemy of your roof
Ice dams for when snow melts. The water runs down your roof and refreezes forming icicles. This only occurs when part of your roof warms to above 32 degrees F, warm enough to melt the snow, while the roof edge remains below freezing. When snow builds up on the roof the heat from inside the house will warm and melt the snow which runs down the roof side and refreezes.
The water pools up and freezes back up under the shingles. In some cases it can go as high as 6 to 10 feet up the roof. Later as it melts, it drips through the roof and into your walls or worst yet your ceiling.
Damage can be serious; Can cause peeling paint, rot, mold and more. The problem is most common after a heavy snow.
Faster to Your Springfield/ Mt. Vernon Water Clean up
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Faster To Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 703-644-0620
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
About SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon
SERVPRO of Springfield/ Mt. Vernon specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.