Can You Save Your Floors After a Large Leak?
It is Possible to Save Flooring in Your Home That Has Been Affected by Big Water Leaks?
Whenever a pipe in your home ruptures, your floors are often suddenly covered in inches or even feet of water, and water can quickly inundate your carpeting, wooden floors, tilework, and subfloors. Experts estimate that this catastrophic issue could result in more than 160 gallons of water per hour leaking into your residence. In a matter of hours, this could rapidly produce thousands of gallons of standing water in your home. Luckily, trained professionals can quickly remediate clean water damage if you call them soon enough. Water cleanup services like SERVPRO can help and save most kinds of floors.
How Does Water Damage My Carpets, Wooden and Hard Floors, and Subfloors?
SERVPRO has encountered various types of water damage affecting flooring. Our experience with water damage has ranged from relatively minor in effect to quite severe. Of course, each flooring material handles water exposure differently, and some react to it better than others. Some of the forms of water-related damage that affect carpeting are:
- Bubbling from water washing away the adhesive that binds it to the subfloor
- Delamination, or when the primary and secondary backing layers of carpeting separate
- Latex deterioration that leads to the loss of carpet fibers and reduces carpeting’s overall integrity
Although these effects can force you to replace this floor covering, you can usually avoid experiencing them if you address your standing water issue quickly.
Water’s impact on wooden flooring often depends on the construction, but the damage is usually more severe and costly. Moreover, it does not take long for these effects to result. A few examples of wood floor impairments due to water exposure are:
- Water stains or discoloration
- Swelling and warping, or deformation, of the wood
- Buckling that tents, or forces upward, floor sections at joints where they meet and at the walls
- Delamination of particleboard or oriented strand board (OSB) layers
- Dry rot resulting from fungal growths
If water ever covers your wood flooring, remember that the faster cleaning occurs, the less damage it usually does. The longer the liquid remains on floors, the more their wooden surfaces absorb. The water causes the wood segments of your flooring to change shape and eventually buckle against each other—also, ground coverings comprising weaker wood products like particleboard and OSB. Glued-together layers, which are more likely to delaminate, the more prolonged exposure to water occurs, compose these boards.
Hard flooring, like concrete, asphalt or vinyl tiles, and ceramic tiles, is much more resilient to water damage than carpet or wood floors. Often, it is also much simpler and less expensive to remediate. With that said, however, these ground coverings are harmed by water in the following ways:
- Blistering or flaking of painted concrete surfaces
- Mineral deposits from evaporated water in concrete
- Mold growth fostered by dirty, wet surfaces
- Separation of vinyl and ceramic tiles from the floor
- Warping and expansion of subflooring
Concrete and asphalt tile floors are least at risk of substantial water damage. Concrete floors mostly suffer minor surface cosmetic issues like paint flaking and calcium deposits. Often, water can only remove the finish from asphalt tiles. Since the adhesive of vinyl tiles dissolves relatively quickly, the tiles themselves are prone to separating from flooring if submerged for a sufficient period. Water can penetrate the grouting between ceramic tiles, causing the subflooring to swell and warp and break away from the floor.
What Can SERVPRO Do to Save Your Flooring?
When dealing with water-damaged flooring, SERVPRO employs various advanced tools and methods. Once our technicians extract all standing water with truck-mounted/portable extractors or wet vacs, they get to work on remediating your floors. Some of the tools and techniques they use to do the latter are:
- Wands using hot water extraction and shampoo to clean and extract excess water from glued-down carpets
- Heavier extraction devices to squeeze excess water out of thicker carpeting and padding
- Moisture meters that identify and measure moisture levels in affected flooring and subflooring
- Injectidry panel drying systems that dry out subflooring
- Sanders to sand out cupping and other forms of warping in wood surfaces
- Brushes and HEPA vacuuming to clean concrete surfaces
The Clothes Dryer: A Potential Fire Hazard
There’s perhaps nothing scarier for homeowners than the ignition of an unwanted fire in the home. When we consider our ideas of the most frequent catalysts of residential fires, the laundry room is most likely not included in that list. A whopping 92% of residential fires originate from an object in the laundry room, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. It may come as a surprise that this object is something that you use on a daily basis: the clothes dryer. Because fires have the ability to spread rapidly to other rooms and areas of the home, it is crucial to learn why clothes dryers can ignite fires and understand what steps you can take to protect your home.
Clean That Lint Filter!
One of the leading causes of clothes dryer fires is neglecting to clean the lint filter, a simple action that only takes seconds. It’s important to clean out the lint filter because lint is highly flammable and with each load, more and more lint accumulates in the lint filter. Additionally, too much lint in the filter can prevent proper airflow, which increases the risk for fire. Therefore, be sure to clean out your dryer’s lint filter between every load. It isn’t sufficient to only clean it out once a week or even once every few days. It’s a small action that can protect your home from disaster in the long run.
Other Ways to Prevent Dryer Fires
In addition to cleaning the lint filter daily, it is also crucial to take several other precautions in order to lower the chances of a fire igniting in your laundry room.
- Pay Close Attention To Clothing Labels
Be sure to check tags for drying instructions on every item that you intend to put in your dryer. Often, tags will tell you the specific heat setting required for that particular item, which can range anywhere from “tumble dry low” to “high heat”. Following these instructions is incredibly important. Some items that require a low drying temperature can contain types of rubber and, if exposed to high heat, the likelihood of a fire igniting may increase.
- Check the Outdoor Vent Flap
While we’re most familiar with managing the dryer inside of the house, it’s important to remember that dryers have outdoor vent flaps as well. This vent flap plays a key role in filtering out lint and hot air from the dryer. As a result, a fire can ignite if the vent flap becomes obstructed. Check your vent flap for debris on a regular basis in order to prevent an unwanted fire.
- Move Flammable Objects Away from the Dryer
In many homes, the laundry room stores general cleaning supplies for the household. However, keeping cleaning supplies located in close proximity to the dryer is risky, as cleaning materials are generally highly flammable. In the event that a fire ignites in the clothes dryer, the fire can spread quickly if there are other flammable materials nearby. Therefore, while it is best that cleaning supplies be stored in another room, be sure to at least keep them a safe distance from the dryer.
If Disaster Strikes…
While it’s a hard reality to face, it’s important to understand that unexpected fires can ignite, even if you take precautions. In the event that your home experiences fire damage as a consequence of a dryer fire, look no further than SERVPRO. We respond immediately and our experienced team of fire damage specialists will restore your home quickly and thoroughly. Damage to your home as a result of a fire is often a stressful and upsetting situation, but know that SERVPRO will be there every step of the way until your home is back to normal.
Why Do Sump Pumps Fail?
Sump pumps are drainage systems that are commonly found in the basements of commercial buildings. They work to pump water out of the basement and away from the building, preventing flooding and water damage. A sump pump failure can lead to a flooded basement and cause water damage to furniture, essential materials, and other important objects, which could prove costly. Understanding why sump pumps fail is the first step in preventing a sump pump failure in your commercial building.
Power outages are one of the most common causes of sump pump failures, especially during the stormy summer months and hurricane season. Storms can dump large amounts of rain water for the sump pump to drain, but a power failure that prevents the sump pump from doing its job can leave your building defenseless and at risk for flooding. To prevent disaster, consider having your sump pump hooked up to a backup generator.
Sump pumps require regular cleaning in order to function properly, so infrequent maintenance can have serious consequences. To keep your sump pump from failing, clean its vents and run a vinegar solution through the unit.
Lastly, your sump pump might fail simply because it’s old. Over time, sump pumps will start to feel the effects of usage and therefore, failure is inevitable after 7-10 years. It’s recommended that your sump pump be replaced after 10 years in order to protect your building from a sump pump failure.
Sump Pump Failure? Call SERVPRO
If your commercial building’s sump pump has failed, resulting in water damage, remember that SERVPRO has you covered. We’re trained in flood and water damage and will use our trusted, advanced drying techniques to prevent mold and mildew growth, rapidly restoring any water damaged areas. Don’t hesitate.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned - a defensive cleaning program
Let us help you get back to business
As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
Extensive training and specialized products
As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities.
From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.
3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify
When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.
- Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
- Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials. In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible.
- Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.
Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation
We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.
Flooding in your home can cause many problems. That might sound like an understatement; however, many people do not understand what this amount of pooling water can do to their houses. First of all, flooding can come from groundwater that rises from a local river or stream. It can originate from a septic tank backup or through the less than adequate waterproofing in your basement walls. A leaking pipe or frozen pipe that bursts just about anywhere in your home and on any floor, can qualify as a flood because it causes many of the same problems. When standing water covers several rooms from a storm or malfunction, you need help.
When you see the standing water in the basement, crawlspace or lowest level of your house, whether you know the source or not, heavy pumping equipment is needed to mitigate the impending water damage.
The water begins by being absorbed into building materials and furniture such as wooden pieces and their fabrics. If the water has gotten into your basement from the first floor, it may have passed over and through a storage closet. Therefore, clothing may have been impacted as well as stored personal items, electronics, and photo albums. It has also gotten into and behind walls, under sinks and any ceilings and sub floorings
The increased moisture level can also create a perfect environment for molds to grow with 48-72 hours if the structure is not quickly dried. Drywall that has become soaked with this liquid can start the process of breaking down. This breakdown can be noticed as a bulging and crack as well as deteriorating and falling away from the attached studs. Electrical wiring may create a hazardous situation.
Water Damage Process
Although experiencing water damage in your home or business can be a stressful event, getting professional help is effective in limiting your anxiety and restoring your property. There are a wide range of procedures that water damage specialists do in order to restore your property to its former condition.
Water Damage Experts Work In Teams
Following exposure to water damage, it is critical that you prevent secondary water damage from affecting your home or business. After assessing a course of action, rapid water removal will help to stymie progressive water damage. Some results of secondary water damage include continuing damage to furnishings, mildew and mold. Water removal specialists prevent these dangerous fungi from spreading by working in teams. By having multiple technicians working on different areas of your house, a water remediation company can expedite the cleanup process to ensure that your home returns to its former sanitary, safe state.
Water Removal Experts Use Specialized Equipment
One of the reasons that the crews from SERVPRO of Elk Grove/Laguna are so effective in water removal is the use of heavy duty, specialized equipment. Water extractors remove large volumes of water rapidly, therefore, decreasing the time needed for dehumidification equipment to continue the water removal process. These water remediation specialists also use air-moving machines to increase the evaporation rate of interior moisture. Because the only effective way to stop secondary water damage is by thoroughly drying the affected area, these machines are very important during the restoration process.
Make a Water Damage Check Part of Your Routine Maintenance
There are many ways in which a house can develop issues, but one of the most detrimental things for homeowners is hidden water damage. Not only will there be problems with water spots, mold and more because of it, but it can also lead to structural problems in the home’s walls depending on what parts are effective.
Thankfully, there are many things you can look for to check for water damage in the home as part of your regular home maintenance routines. This can help you catch any issues before they become too serious and has the added benefit of not being as expensive of a claim on your insurance.
How to Check for Water Damage Around Your Home
Inspect your walls and ceilings. Walls tend to hide leaks rather well, but if you look closely at your drywall, you can often find evidence that they are there. Small things like discolored areas, paint that is peeling or soft spots might be indicative of a hidden leak that you should have a professional check out ASAP.
Don’t forget to look down. If water damage is present, it can gradually work its way down and get into the floor of your home, soaking into the subfloor and causing problems. If you notice any soft spots or buckling of your floor, it might be a sign that the subfloor has become saturated with moisture.
Inspect your roof. Your roof is your home’s best defense against water damage, so it is wise to check on it often. You can inspect it easily from the ground with binoculars to look for loose shingles or other signs of wear. You can also go out during the next rain shower to make sure your gutters are properly functioning and keeping water away from your foundation.
Pay close attention to the basement. Basements are not supposed to be the damp and musty places they have been given the reputation of being—in fact, they should not be. Check your basement often for signs of moisture and mold, and if you do notice any issues, be sure to have a professional check it out right away.
Prepare in Advance for Severe Weather
It is difficult to know if a storm that is forecasted to move through an area will be severe enough to cause damage before it arrives. Storms—as well as the damage they cause—can vary wildly, which is why we always recommend taking an approach grounded in advanced preparation to remain as safe as possible.
By taking steps to protect your home, you can be certain that no matter what type of storm moves through your area, you are as protected as possible.
Be as Protected as Possible From Storms
Prepare your home as much as possible. Though the nature of storm damage might seem erratic, by doing some preparation work in advance to protect your property, you can ensure you are taking the right steps to mitigate any possible damages. Trimming back any dead or overhanging trees is a great start, as is securing any objects that could possibly become loose during a storm. Many homeowners also have whole-home generators installed, allowing for utility usage if your power is out.
Create a family communications plan. When your family is all at home when severe weather is forecasted to come through the area, you can move as a group to your designated sheltering area and be certain you are all safe. However, if a storm catches one or more of your family members while they are out and about, it is important to have a communications plan so you can check in and be certain that everyone is safe.
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked. The best thing you can do to be prepared for any emergency is to have an emergency kit in your home, and storms are no exception. Your emergency kit can house everything your family might need, both during the storm and after the fact. Items like flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, food and water are all good to keep on-hand just in case.
Consider getting a weather radio. Having cell phones has made it much easier to receive emergency weather alerts no matter where you are, but in case of severe weather, it is always good to have a backup such as a weather radio. Storms can cause power outages and even knock out cell towers, so having a weather radio that is either powered by replaceable batteries or a manual system is smart.
Is Mold Covered Under Insurance?
Mold remediation covered under insurance can alleviate much stress associated with the fungus. However, you must understand your insurance policy fully to receive compensation for mold damage. If you have mold growing somewhere in your home, you may not have to pay to remove and repair the damaged areas. However, not all instances of mold come as part of your policy. Learn when mold covered under insurance is partially or fully your responsibility below. Also, find out what to do about it if you do or do not have the proper coverage.
Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover Mold Damage?
Some homeowner’s insurance does cover mold. However, the mold covered under insurance must fall under covered peril. The language of your policy includes the conditions qualifying for a covered peril. As long as the specific thing causing the mold is a peril on your plan, you have coverage. Examples of peril include water damage resulting from accidents, or other factors. Some claims handle the removal of the mold, as well as reimburse you for any property damage.
Keep in mind, insurance companies limit the amount of coverage they offer so that additional coverage may cost a lot more. Again, it all depends on your insurance policy stipulations. There are also different types of claims to consider depending on your status as an owner with tenants or the owner or renting party.
First Party Coverage Claims
When you have mold in your home and make a claim with your insurance company, it’s known as a first-party property claim. You must be the policyholder to receive insurance coverage for the claim.
Third Party Coverage Claims
If you rent a home or apartment and your tenants file an insurance claim for mold, this falls under the third-party claim.
Tips for Dealing with Mold Damage
Whether insurance covers the mold in your home, you must address it as soon as possible. Allowing it to grow can lead to health problems, such as respiratory issues, throat irritation, and others. Mold thrives in moist areas. If your home has vulnerabilities to water leaks, you must address the incident quickly. Doing so can mitigate some of the health risks and property damage brought on by mold.
How to File a Claim for Mold
Each insurer has its own set of policies, but the general order to file a mold claim is as follows:
- Call your insurance company and set up an appointment with an adjuster.
- Try to dry the impacted area with fans, open windows, and other means of removing excess moisture. Avoid cleaning or removing mold because the adjuster must first assess the damage.
- Take pictures of the damaged areas.
- Talk to your agent about mold coverage limits.
In most cases, the homeowner must prove the mold is a result of a water damage claim resulting from burst pipes or some other event. Even if your policy covers your mold event, it may only cover a certain amount.
Without Proper Coverage
To get mold covered under insurance, you need qualifying circumstances. Your insurance company cannot remove or repair mold damage due to your lack of upkeep. For instance, failing to fix a minor leak that becomes a significant leak does not qualify you for mold coverage.
Other examples include mold resulting from:
- Long-term leaks
- Long-term moisture
- Construction defects
Tips for Handling Your Claim
Because insurance companies can make handling your mold problem a significant process, there are a few things to keep in mind before you make a claim.
- Never offer a guess as to the origins of the mold
- Do not agree with your insurance company if they suggest the mold has been around for a long time
- Allow the company to conduct a full investigation before signing off on any paperwork provided by the insurance company
Other Tips for Handling Mold
The best way to handle mold is to prevent its growth at the onset. You can limit mold growth by doing the following:
- Use air humidifiers and air conditioners to keep air moisture between 30 percent and 60 percent
- Do not place carpets or rugs in damp areas such as basements
- Fix small leaks immediately
- Inspect faucet fixtures and nozzles under sinks and toilets to check for leaks
There are several measures you can take to decrease the chances of mold growth. It is especially important in humid states where moisture collects easily in different parts of the home.
Flood and Water Restoration for Home and Business
We are available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed or vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. We have the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration - in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
WHAT TO EXPECT
when you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring. Including how many SERVPRO professionals are needed.
What To Do After Flooding
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
What NOT To Do After Flooding
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don't use television or other household appliances.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
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