Recent Water Damage Posts

6 Tips for Preventing Water Damage in Your Kitchen

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

Many people can agree that the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house. When this room is out of commission, it can be a pain for everyone living in the house. Taking simple preventative measures can go a long way to avoid water damage to your kitchen.

Here are 6 tips for preventing water damage in your kitchen:

1.) Avoid putting any fats, oils and grease down your drain.

You should never allow fats, oils or grease go down your drain. This is a common cause of sewer backups, which can lead to contaminated water damage. In order to prevent this from happening, you can collect any fats, oils or grease in a jar and put it directly in the trash. 

2.) Make sure the caulk around your sink is in good condition.

Water can seep under the sink if caulk is worn, which has the risk of damaging the counter and cabinet. If you see that the caulk is wearing away on your sink, you should remove it and re-seal it with fresh caulk. 

3.) If possible, periodically check for leaks under your stove.

If you're able to move your stove, you should periodically be checking it to ensure there aren't any unknown leaks. You should also inspect for any signs of mold. 

4.) Never leave the dishwasher running when nobody is home.

You should never leave the dishwasher running if you're going to leave the house. This way if the dishwasher malfunctions and causes flooding, you will be able to stop it before the damage becomes extensive. 

5.) Check your refrigerator for leaks and have it at least three inches from the wall. 

Like your stove, you should periodically check underneath your refrigerator for any signs of leaking. Additionally, make sure there is a minimum of three inches between your fridge and the wall to prevent kinking the supply line.

6.) Rinse plates and silverware before loading them into the dishwasher.

Rinsing your plates and silverware off before loading them in the dishwasher will help preserve your dishwasher's filter and aid in preventing any leaking. 

Contact Information:

We provide kitchen water damage cleanup and restoration, no matter the size of the damage. If you have any questions about water or mold damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044. We service all of Central Oregon, including Bend, Redmond, Sisters, Sunriver, Madras, La Pine, Prineville and all of the surrounding areas.

What to Do When a Pipe Bursts

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Cold winter weather can be hard on overexposed pipes. Water expands when it freezes, which can increase the pressure in pipes and cause them to burst. If a pipe bursts on your property, you'll want to act fast to prevent as much damage as you can.

1.) Turn off your water main.

The first thing that you should do if a pipe bursts is turn off your water main. If you don't know where this is or how to do this, please see our article How to Find & Use Your Water Shut-Off Valve. This will turn off your water supply for the whole house, which will stop the pipe from causing any more water damage. 

2.) Drain your faucets and toilets.

Once the water main is turned off, you should run your faucets to flush out any remaining water. Additionally, you should flush your toilets until the excess water is gone too. This will aid in relieving any pressure from your pipes to minimize any more damage. 

3.) Turn off your heating system.

You will want to also turn off your heating system and drain the water from all of your hot water taps. 

4.) Take pictures of any water damage.

At this point, all of your water should be shut off and drained. This will keep any further damage from occurring. You'll want to take as many pictures as you can of any damaged interior or items as you 

5.) Clean up as much water as you can.

Dry up as much water as you can to prevent any further damage. Moist environments promote mold growth, so you'll want to be sure to eliminate any wet surfaces if possible. However, if the water is contaminated, you'll want to wait for a professional to professional (this can be a health hazard). If you're unsure if the water is contaminated, please see our How to Handle Water Damage Based on Water Type article.

Contact Information:

We provide water damage restoration for burst pipes, no matter the size of the damage. If you have any questions about water or mold damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044. We service all of Central Oregon, including Bend, Redmond, Sisters, Sunriver, Madras, La Pine, Prineville and all of the surrounding areas.

Sources:
Flo

What is an Ice Dam?

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

What is an ice dam?

Simply put, an ice dam is an accumulation of ice on the eaves of a roof. When your attic is overheated, it can cause the snow on your roof to melt and pool against ice on the cold edge. You can usually tell when ice dams have formed by seeing dry spots on your roof and icicles overhanging the side.  

How are ice dams formed?

Ice dams are usually caused from attics being overheated from air leakage. The heat emanates through the attic to the roof and melts the snow on top. This melted snow then pools against the icicles on the eaves of the house with nowhere else to go. Over time, the water may seep into your house and cause water damage. 

For information on how to prevent ice dams, see our article 3 Tips for Preventing Ice Dams.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about water damage from ice dams, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.

Sources:
Houle Insulation

3 Tips for Preventing Ice Dams

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

Ice dams are formed when water melts and pools against overhanging icicles on your roof. This is usually caused by a warm attic melting the ice on the top of your roof, while the overhanging icicles remains frozen on the edge of your roof. Over time, the melted ice on the top of your roof will pool against the icicles. This can cause water to seep into your home and cause water damage. 

The best way to prevent ice dams is to keep your attic and roof cold. You can tell if your roof is cold if there is a consistent layer of snow across the roof. If your roof is warm, you will see spots of melted snow and there will likely be icicles hanging from the eaves of your home. 

Here are three tips to keep your roof cold and prevent ice damming on your home:

1.) Stop unnecessary air leakage.

Air leaks are commonly caused by gaps in drywall and cracks around light fixtures, pipes and chimneys. Unfortunately, these can sometimes require a lot effort to stop. If you climb up to your attic and rake back the insulation, you can use caulk to plug the unwanted cracks. Not only will this help prevent ice damming, but it will also lower your heating and air conditioning bills. 

2.) Make sure that you have enough attic insulation.

The recommended level of insulation for attics is approximately 12 to 14 inches. If you have had ice dam problems and notice that you have less than 8 inches of insulation, you should consider adding more. This sort of job is usually best handled by a professional, but you can sometimes rent a machine to do it from a home center for free with the purchase of needed insulation.   

3.) Make sure that you have enough attic ventilation.

Ventilation is important for getting rid of warm air in the attic and keeping your roof cold. It is recommended to have no lesss than 1 square foot of ventilation per 300 square feet of attic floor. In order to determine this, you could view the stamped dimensions of your existing vents and compare it to the square foot of your attic floor. 

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about water damage from ice dams, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.

Sources:
The Family Handyman

How to Handle Water Damage Based on Water Type

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

If you have a commercial or residential building that experiences water damage, knowing what type of water is causing the problem is essential to properly address the situation. 

Three Types of Water

  • Clean water: This would be described as water from burst pipes or rainwater. This type of water would not be considered a safety hazard for cleaning.
  • Gray water: This water would be considered contaminated to some extent. Clean water can turn into gray water from bacteria growth if it is left untreated for too long. 
  • Black water: This water is filled with bacteria, chemicals and fungi, and it is considered highly contaminated and a safety hazard to clean. This water is typically caused by sewage backups.

How to React to Clean Water Damage

Your first reaction when experiencing "clean" water damage is shutting off the source of the water. This can be done by turning off your main water shut-off valve. For more information on how to do this, see our article How to Find & Use Your Water Shut-Off Valve. Once the water is shut off, do your best to extract as much water as possible. You should remove any items that are exposed to moisture to prevent them from being further damaged. Avoid leaving books or magazines in the water damaged zone because the ink can cause staining.

How to React to Contaminated Water Damage

You should not attempt to clean contaminated water by yourself because it can be hazardous to your health. Do your best to avoid the contaminated water if you can. It is recommended that you shut off all fans and call a water cleanup specialist to handle the job as soon as possible. 

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about water or mold damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.

How to Find & Use Your Water Shut-Off Valve

9/27/2019 (Permalink)

Knowing where and how to use your water shut-off valve is very important in the event your home experiences major leaking or flooding. If you are unable to stop a leak in your home, turning off your main water shut-off valve is a great solution. 

How to Find Your Shut-Off Valve

If you don't know where your water shut-off valve is, a good place to start looking is the perimeter of your house. Typically, the valve will be on the side of your house that faces the street (since the water main begins there). If you're having trouble finding your valve, you can check your property inspection report in the "plumbing" section. The location should be written there accompanied by a picture of the valve. As a last resort, you can always use the street-side shut-off valve located at the start of your water main. 

How to Operate Your Water Shut-Off Valve

Once you're able to locate your water shut-off valve, you'll want to know how to turn it off and on. Depending on what type of valve you have, there are different ways to turn it off and on. This is how you operate the most commonly used valves:

  • Knife Style Valve. A knife style valve resembles a straight handle. In order to open the valve, you'll want to put the handle parallel to the pipe. Turning the handle sideways will then shut the valve. 
  • Round Handle Valve. A round handle valve turns in a circular motion to be turned on and off. In order to turn the valve off, you'll want to turn it left until it is tight. 
  • House Side Valve. There is a street-side utility box for your house. You can access it by lifting the lid and putting it to the side. The side of the box facing your house will contain the house side valve. It usually had a knob or nut to turn off and on. 
  • Street Side Valve. The other side of the utility box facing the street will contain the street side valve. This valve is only supposed to be handled by water companies, so you will want to ignore it (it likely won't be able to be used without a special tool anyways).

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about water or mold damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.

Sources:
WSSC Water
The Spruce

Garage Ceiling Damage, Bend Oregon

1/14/2019 (Permalink)

A water line above the garage in this Bend, Oregon home broke, causing water to run for a few days, damaging the garage ceiling below.

SERVPRO of Bend was called out to this homeowners house when they discovered that the ceiling in their garage had fallen and the debris damaged a car that was being stored in the home.

SERVPRO of Bend's water team went out to the site and found that the cold water line that went above the garage had burst, causing large amounts of water to leak onto the ceiling below. The weight of the insulation within the structure soaked up the water. The insulation was like a sponge and created a massive amount of extra weight for the drywall below. This caused the drywall in ceiling to collapse.

SERVPRO of Bend technicians cleaned up the damage and were able to dry the affected material.

Water Damage to Bend Area Home

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

When this Bend, Oregon home had a bathroom flood, the homeowner called SERVPRO of Bend to come out and assist with the damage.

Technicians from SERVPRO of Bend went out to find that a pipe from under the bathroom sink had broke and water flooded the bathroom and an adjacent bedroom.

Due to the amount of time that the water was running, SERVPRO of Bend had to remove the carpet and pad in the bedroom while also removing the damaged drywall.

After a few days of drying the affected area, SERVPRO of Bend's structural team was able to come in and start repairing the damaged areas.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about water damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.

Bathroom Leak in Redmond, Oregon

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

This master bathroom in Redmond, Oregon flooded when the owner found that the angle stop had broken on the second floor while they were on vacation.

SERVPRO of Bend's water team were called out to assess the damage. The water technician found that the angle stop in the master bathroom had a break, causing damage to both the first and second floor bathrooms. The vinyl floor and subfloor material were saturated, so it was decided to remove both materials. The water had also damaged the drywall in the second bathroom to the point where it had to be removed so that the drying process could be efficient.

The owner was pleased that SERVPRO of Bend was able to get out to their residence the same day they discovered the damage and take care of the loss.

Water Damage Sunriver, Oregon

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bend was called to a Sunriver resort rental home over the weekend in response to some reported water damage.

The water technicians found that their had been a fairly severe dishwasher leak and it had ran long enough to saturate the parquet flooring material in both the kitchen and living room area.

Due to the extensive amount of damage that had occurred, it was necessary to first remove all of the furniture and contents so the water team could effectively dry the area. After attempting to save the parquet flooring material, it was determined that it should be removed.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about your water or mold damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.

Ceiling Damage to Residential Home Redmond, Oregon

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bend was called out to a residence in Redmond, Oregon. The homeowner found a large, rusty looking stain in the middle of their living room ceiling. Not knowing the origin of the stain, the homeowner called SERVPRO of Bend to investigate.

The water team at SERVPRO of Bend found that a pipe in the ceiling, used for a water filtration device had broken and leaked all over the living room ceiling. Due to the amount of water that had leaked on to the ceiling, SERVPRO of Bend had to remove the complete living room ceiling.

After cleaning the area, SERVPRO of Bend placed dehumidifiers and air movers in the room and got the rest of the area dry within 2 days.

SERVPRO of Bend's structural team was able to come in and replace the drywall so the homeowners living room was back to preloss condition within a few weeks.

Bathroom Water Damage, Redmond Oregon

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

This historic home in Redmond, Oregon had a line break in the utility room, causing water to spill into multiple rooms in the home.

SERVPRO of Bend's water team was called out to assess the damage. Since this is an older home and is registered in the city archives as a historical landmark, the team had to be extra sensitive to what could and could not be saved.

After testing all of the materials, SERVPRO of Bend was able to dry most of the affected areas. This allowed for only a amount of materials needing to be replaced in the home.

The Importance of Draining Pipes for Winter

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

A majority of our customers who have suffered a water lost due to a broken pipe ask us how it could have been avoided. At SERVPRO of Bend, we're always glad to assist with helping our customers to take preventative measures at avoiding future property damage. Here are some maintenance tasks you can take to prevent future losses when the temperatures begin to drop.

  1. Shut off the main water valve. It may be located inside or outside of your house. If you cannot locate the main source, contact your local water supply company.
  2. Drain pipes of water. Turn on every water fixture in the house until the water stops running. Drain all water outside of the house by attaching a hose to a sill cock or basement faucet. Open all faucets and flush all toilets in the house, starting with the top floor and working your way down. Remove the toilet tank cover and continue flushing until all of the water has drained out.
  3. Force the water out. Use an air compressor to force any remaining water out of the pipes. Starting on the top floor, apply bursts of air to the main drains for several seconds each.
  4. Drain appliances. Turn on the dishwasher and allow it to run to clear water from the drain line. Run both hot and cold water through the washing machine to flush out all the lines. Open the shut-off valve beneath each toilet to allow compressed air to blow out water for a few seconds each, then close the valve.
  5. Extra Protection: Pour anti-freeze into all sink and bathtub drains. Add a small amount of anti-freeze to each toilet tank.
  6. When you are ready to use the water again, turn on the main water valve and let each fixture run until the pipes are full.

Washing Machine Hose Break, NW Bend

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

This home in Southwest Bend suffered a water loss when their washing machine line broke. The loss occurred in the utility room and ran for a few hours before the property owner came home and noticed that there was water pooling on her kitchen floor.

After attempting to wipe up the water with a shop vacuum, the property owner realized that the damage was to extensive for her to clean up on her own. She called SERVPRO of Bend to come out and take a look. When technicians arrived, they realized that the water was still running from the broken hose in the utility room.

SERVPRO of Bend's water team began extracting the standing water and metering areas where the damage occurred. After removing the affected materials, the team created a drying plan. Air Movers and Dehumidifiers were set in the affected areas. After two days of drying, SERVPRO of Bend was able to dry the structure and begin rebuilding the damaged areas.

Water Line Break, Bend Oregon

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Garage Water Loss, Bend Oregon

SERVPRO of Bend was called out to a water line break above a garage in Bend, Oregon.

The homeowner noticed their ceiling in the garage having a different color than the rest of the garage. The homeowner didn't think anything of it due to the dark color of the paint making it harder to notice immediately. At first, the homeowner thought that it might be just shadows in the garage that were showing the discoloration of the ceiling.

Once the water started pooling on the floor of the garage, the homeowner knew something larger was happening. 

SERVPRO of Bend used their infrared camera to spot the exact outline of the water damage. Once a plumber was called to fix the leak, Technicians setup a containment and began removing the affected area.

Top Tips for a Leaking Toilet

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

In some cases, you may find that your toilet has a small leak that is manageable if you understand where the leak is coming from. First, some of the washers between the bowl and tank may have failed. Shut off the supply valve, empty the tank with a flush, then remove the nuts, bolts, and washers from the underside of the tank. Lift the tank, position it on its side, and see if the washers need replacing.

Another culprit may be faulty fasteners securing the fill valve and ballcock to the bottom of the tank. Before you replace those parts, however, first try simply tightening the nuts and bolts holding them in place—that often solves the problem.

On the other hand, if the leak seems to be coming from the base of the tank, chances are the wax ring that seals the toilet to the floor has failed. Replacing the wax ring is a much bigger job, since it involves removing the entire toilet from its base. If you decide to replace the wax ring yourself—preferably with a friend to help with the lifting—take the extra step of also replacing any bolts that show signs of corrosion. And, once you have the toilet back in place, don’t forget to add a bead of caulk around the base.

If you feel that a job such as this is more than you can handle, SERVPRO of Bend is glad to help. Feel free to call us at 541-385-7044.

Some Key Signs of Water Damage Around Your Home

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

You may think a water leak or a busted pipe would be easy to detect and definitely something you'd notice right away. The truth is, sometimes the signs of water damage are hidden - behind your walls, under your floor boards, or even on the exterior of your house. Whether the situation happened an hour ago or a month ago, there are a number of ways to remedy the problem with water damage repair and restoration. First and foremost is finding the source.

What to Look For

Water damage can take on different colors, textures, and even smells, depending on the type of location of the damage. For instance, ceiling water damage is usually easier to spot than water damage in a basement because you will see stains and discoloration on a ceiling, but may not know that a musty odor can be a sign that there is a problem on the lower level of your home.

Water Accumulation

The most obvious sign that you've got water damage on your hands (or that it will become a bigger problem) is areas of standing or pooling water. These can result from old or malfunctioning appliances including washers, water heaters and toilets. A puddle could also occur from a leaking roof, or from drainage pipes if the water is on the outside of your home.

Discoloration

With ceiling water damage, look for water spots and stains. The area may appear wet or dry and can be a yellow, brown or copper color. Walls may also have bubbling, cracking or peeling paint or wallpaper in addition to staining.

Another type of discoloration to look for is rust, which can occur on water heaters, pipes under sinks and bathroom fixtures. While rust isn't necessarily an indicator of water damage, it can alert you to future problem areas.

If you have any questions about whether you may or may not have water damage in your home, call SERVPRO of Bend

Snow Accumulation Can Cause Damage if Not Managed

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Each Winter Central Oregonians get to experience snowfall that blankets the area, creating a beautiful landscape.

In some cases, the accumulation of too much snow can be costly in the form of water damage to homes. Problems can occur when snow accumulates on the outside of a structure while warmth from the interior dissipates into cavities within the structure. When cold and warmth meet, especially in poor ventilated areas, moisture can accumulate.

If these areas don't have adequate ventilation, the accumulation of moisture can cause water damage.

Areas that may experience poor ventilation are attics, basements, and crawlspaces. If you think you may have a problem due to the accumulation of snow or ice on your property, feel free to call SERVPRO of Bend and we can help. We are available 24/7 at 541-385-7044.

Electricity and Water: A Dangerous Combination

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

You can become electricity's path to the ground if you are touching water that touches electricity. Electricity would travel through the water and through you to the ground.

This is why it's so important to keep all electrical appliances away from water, and to make sure your hands are dry and you are not standing in water when you touch anything electrical. It's also the reason no one should ever use water on an electrical fire, but should use a multipurpose fire extinguisher instead.

Category and Class of Water

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

On practically every job that our technicians are sent out to requires them to identify the "Category" and "Class" of the water. Many customers have asked about what our technicians mean with they discuss the category and class of the water that has damaged the property.

Assessing the severity of the damage is important for determining what is needed to start water damage repair and water removal. There are several different categories assigned to water damage.

Category 1 refers to clean water, or water that does not pose a threat to humans. Possible causes of this type of damage include broken appliances or sink overflows.

Category 2 water is also called gray water. This means that the water is contaminated and may cause sickness of ingested. This type of water contains microorganisms. Broken toilets, broken sump pumps, and seepage may cause category 2 water damage.

Category 3 water is known as black water. This type of water is unsanitary, as it contains bacteria and other organisms that cause sickness. The possible sources of black water damage include sewage problems and contamination of standing water.

There are also several classes of water damage. The class of damage is important when assessing water damage repair options.

Class 1 is the least harmful form of damage. Materials absorb very little of the water from this type of damage. Water damage repair is the easiest in this type of situation.

Class 2 has a fast rate of evaporation, which means that carpets and cushions may be damaged. Water damage repair is more difficult when it involves class 2 damage.

Class 3 has the fastest rate of evaporation. In this case, the water may come from broken sprinklers or other overhead sources, soaking the walls and furniture.

Class 4 requires special water restoration and water removal procedures. This type of damage may affect hardwood floors, plaster, and concrete.

If you have questions about the category and class of water, or any other water damage related questions, feel free to call us at SERVPRO of Bend 541-3385-7044.

Preparation Tips for Winterizing Your Home in Central Oregon

10/17/2017 (Permalink)

Preparation Tips for Winterizing Your Home

In Central Oregon, late November is usually when temperatures start lowering to freezing conditions. It is always good to start preparing for winter early so when the weather begins to dip down into the freezing range, you're prepared.

Winterize Plumbing Pipes

Winterizing plumbing pipes is a process that prepares household plumbing for freezing temperatures that can cause leaks and breaks in the home. When water freezes, it expands as it becomes ice. This expansion produces pressure within pipes which causes damage. Winterizing plumbing is recommended when a house will be vacant for a long period of time and no water will be running through the pipes.

The winterizing process sometimes involves emptying the water heater, draining all water from the pipes and filling all fixtures with antifreeze solution.

Preparing for Winterizations

Begin with a plan for winterizing your plumbing. It is easy to miss a step, so you make yourself a checklist of all parts of the house with the steps detailed below, including all taps and valves. Mark them off as you complete them so you'll know you did everything—and won't have any nasty surprises come cold weather.

If you have further questions about winterizing your home, feel free to call SERVPRO of Bend at 541-385-7044. We're always here to help.

Nearly Half of Puerto Rico Doesn’t Have Clean Drinking Water

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Last week, Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico as a powerful Category 4 storm, bringing with it 20 inches of rain and 155 mile per hour winds. Much of the island was devastated: Nearly all of the 3.4 million people on the island lost power, 80 percent of the agriculture was decimated, and the storm is responsible for 16 deaths, so far.

Home Water Testing Part 1

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Bend, we receive a lot of questions about the quality of customer's water after they have a water loss. In this two part series, we present Home Water Testing based on the Environmental Protection Agencies suggestions.

Should I Have My Water Tested?

The answer to this question depends on several factors. It concerns your health and the health of your family, so you need to know some basic facts. In addition to illness, a variety of less serious problems such as taste, color, odor and staining of clothes or fixtures are signs of possible water quality problems. Other things to think about include the nearness of your water well to septic systems and the composition of your home’s plumbing materials. This fact sheet provides information to help you decide whether or not to have your water tested, and if so, suggested tests for your situation.

Public Water Systems

When you turn on the tap, where does the water come from? If you pay a water bill, you are purchasing water from a public water system, where your water is monitored, tested and the results reported to the federal, state or tribal drinking water agencies responsible for making sure it meets the National Primary Drinking Water Standards. Your water company must notify you when contaminants are in the water they provide that may cause illness or other problems. Most people in the United States receive water from a community water system that provides its customers with an annual water quality report, also known as a Consumer Confidence Report. Normally, you will receive it with your water bill once a year in July. The report contains information on contaminants found, possible health effects, and the water’s source. If you do not receive a report, contact your water company for this information.

Private Water Supplies

If your drinking water does not come from a public water system, or you get your drinking water from a household well, you alone are responsible for assuring that it is safe. For this reason, routine testing for a few of the most common contaminants is highly recommended. Even if you currently have a safe, pure water supply, regular testing can be valuable because it establishes a record of water quality. This record is helpful in solving any future problems and in obtaining compensation if someone damages your water supply.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/safewater/lead, or call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

Frozen Pipe Prevention and Handling

12/20/2016 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipes

It can happen to anyone — just that one time you forget to protect your home’s plumbing system from freezing, and wake up to flooding in your home.

Make sure you avoid the hassle and expense that frozen pipes can bring by using these tips:

Keep water moving: Water that’s moving will freeze at a lower temperature than water that’s still. Even minimal movement of water through your pipes can prevent them from freezing, so leave one faucet dripping a bit during a hard freeze. Plumbers recommend turning on the faucet that’s farthest from the main water feed into your home.

Don’t turn off the heat: If you plan to be away from home for a few days while there’s a chance of sub-freezing temperatures, set your thermostat to no lower than 65 degrees.

Turn off outdoor faucets: Disconnect garden hoses and make sure that no water is left inside the faucets or in any exposed part of the pipes running to it. You can also place covers on outdoor faucets.

Open cabinet doors: Allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes under your sinks by leaving cabinet doors open. This is especially important if pipes are located near an exterior wall.

Add insulation: Insulation is a simple and relatively inexpensive way to protect your pipes. Foam tubes for this purpose are readily available in hardware and home-improvement stores. Use insulation on pipes that are near exterior walls or windows or in unheated garages and basements, which are the most vulnerable to freezing.

Locate the shut-off valve: You don’t want to be frantically searching for your shut-off valve if you do have an emergency. Make sure you know where it is and that it’s fully operational before potential problems arise.

Keep your plumbing system in good condition: A leak may be your first clue that a pipe is susceptible to bursting. Have a professional plumber inspect your plumbing and repair any problems right away.

What if a pipe has already frozen?

If a freeze does catch you by surprise or you believe you have a frozen pipe, shut off the water to your house first. If you can easily access the pipe, a blow dryer (not a blow torch) aimed at the frozen spot is one way to thaw it safely, but only if you don’t have to stand in water to do so. If a pipe has burst and you have flooding, move any items in your home to a higher level, but don’t risk harming yourself by wading too long in freezing water.

Call on a qualified professional.

The best way to ensure that your plumbing system is properly protected from freezing is to contact a professional Contractor, such as SERVPRO of Bend at 541-385-7044.

Water Damage Restoration: 10 Things You Have to Do to Repair a Flooded Basement

9/27/2016 (Permalink)

If you’ve found yourself in this situation, first of all, you have our sympathy. But this is no time to mope. We’ve got work to do, and time is of the essence. Here are 10 things you’ll need to check off your list to get your basement back in order.

Call in the Professionals

Sometimes, it pays to enlist the help of a professional. If you feel out of your depth (no pun intended) with any flood-related repairs or preventative measures, don’t hesitate to call an expert. Just make sure to research any potential hire’s reputation, bond and insurance status, and references before signing on the dotted line. A good measure for a professional is to make sure they are certified through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) in Water Restoration. You can check if the company you call is certified by clicking here: IICRC.org

Shut Off the Electricity

First things first, we’ll need to make sure we don’t risk getting electrocuted. If the water depth is anywhere near the height of the outlets, then don’t risk making your way downstairs until you’re certain that the electricity is off. And don’t rely on a power outage for safety – the electric company could bring it back online at any moment.

Depending on the severity of the flooding, you may just need to shut off the basement breaker, or you may need to have an electrician fully disconnect your home from the grid. When in doubt, consult a professional.

Get Rid of Standing Water

Once you’ve eliminated the risk of electric shock, it’s time to get rid of any standing water in your basement. If the flooding is relatively minor, you might be able to get the job done with buckets or a wet-dry vacuum. For larger floods, it may be necessary to rent a gas-powered pump.

Dehumidify the Environment

Even after you’ve gotten rid of all the standing water, there’s still going to be plenty of added humidity in your basement, and that can cause mold, mildew, and a host of other problems. Purchase or rent a dehumidifier or two to get rid of all the excess moisture.

Remove Damaged Household Goods

If you’re like many homeowners, then you probably use your basement to store all sorts of things – sleeping bags, tents, extra sheets and blankets, and seasonal decorations. Some of this stuff may be salvageable if you can dry it out quickly enough. Other items may be a lost cause.

Either way, you’ll want to sort through any belongings that got wet during the flood and either dry them out or get rid of them. The last thing you need is to have a bunch of moldy old blankets lying around.

Check for Structural Water Damage

At this point, your basement should be relatively empty, so you’ll be able to get a good look at any structural damage. You should take particular note of wet structural supports, drywall, insulation, and framing wood. Once these materials get wet, they become a haven for mold spores. Assess the damage. Salvage what you can and make arrangements to have the rest replaced or repaired.

Replace Electrical Components

Trying to use waterlogged electrical items is a recipe for danger. It’s probably a good idea to get rid of any electrical appliances that were exposed to flood waters, along with switch boxes, light fixtures, and outlets.

Don’t Let Mold Invade Your Home

Mold: the scourge of basements everywhere. If you’ve gotten rid of all the water, properly dehumidified your basement, and disposed of objects that can’t be cleaned or dried, then you’ve lessened your odds of having to deal with a mold invasion. Still, when you consider the possible costs and health issues associated with a full-scale mold problem, calling in mold prevention professionals may be a smart idea, just as a precaution.

Call Your Insurance Company

Depending on your insurance policy, a portion of your flood damages may be covered. If you’re not sure, review the provisions of your policy or call your insurance rep to learn more. If you happen to have good flood coverage, it could save you thousands.

Eliminate the Source of the Flood

What’s worse than dealing with a flooded basement? Dealing with it more than once. After getting everything back in order, try to prevent the flooding from recurring. There are a variety of flood-prevention measures that range from simple to elaborate. Your issue might be solved by something as simple as patching cracks in the foundation or cleaning your gutters.

If you Experience a Water Loss

8/15/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage can be costly and is never convenient. If you experience a water loss, we recommend that you call a certified water restoration company to handle any size loss. This is especially true if you feel that the damage is more than you can handle. Often times, people feel that a small puddle in the middle of their floor isn’t much, until a few days later when they start smelling a musty odor…which usually results in mold. Here are a few things you can do to help reduce the amount of water damage to your property:

  1. Stop the flow of water. If the flooding has been caused by a burst pipe or a water heater failure, shut off the main water line for your home.
  2. Turn off the power. If your home is flooded, cut off the electricity and gas from the main source. This isn’t as essential for small leaks or puddles, but for large floods turn them off to be safe.
  3. Assess the damage. Before you begin your cleanup effort, first determine if rebuilding is even a worthwhile option. Take ample photos and other documentation to show the insurance company.
  4. Rescue your most valuable possessions. If you are able to, find and remove your most important items from the flooded area, such as heirlooms, money, jewelry, etc. Don’t spend too much time extracting and cleaning individual items, as the water is still doing damage to your home.

The more information you can provide to the restoration company and your insurance is extremely valuable to expediting the process of cleaning and repairing the damage

Plumbing Leaks

8/10/2016 (Permalink)

Plumbing leaks can be frustrating for customers to deal with, but they may not pick up the phone for services every time. However, informing them of how degenerative even a small leak can be is important.

Plumbing leaks are responsible for 3 trillion gallons of wasted water and $6 billion of property damage each year in the U.S.

The consequences of failing to detect or repair a leak in your plumbing are very serious. Wood and drywall can rot, a mold problem may develop, and your home's foundation could be compromised.

On the other hand, the cost to take care of a single leak is relatively low, averaging about $225-325 to find and fix it, a sum which may be covered (based on one’s policy), at least in part, by homeowner's insurance.

Leaks are easily fixable and easily preventable. It is important that any sign of water be looked at by a licensed professional.

What are Some Causes of Water Loss?

7/22/2016 (Permalink)

What are some causes of water damage?

Several modern-day conveniences can develop problems that lead to water damage. Some of the most common trouble spots are:

  • APPLIANCES The most common source for water damage is the water heater, followed by the clothes washer and the air conditioning unit. The age of an appliance is a major factor. For example, over time, water heaters rust on the bottom. Damage can be particularly heavy when the leaky water heater is located upstairs or in an attic.
  • HOSES Appliance hoses deteriorate from the inside out. Rubber hoses consist of two layers of rubber with a cloth fiber inside that deteriorates with time. Hoses with external stainless steel braided wire may cost as little as $5 more than rubber-fiber hoses, but can be as much as 10 times less likely to fail.
  • PIPES & DRAINS Common problems include stoppages of toilets and drains (especially kitchen drains, where grease can build up), stoppages of garbage disposals, clogging of air conditioner lines, stoppages of drains from clothes washers due to lint accumulation, and deterioration and bursting of water lines to clothes washers. Roots in sewer lines cause problems as well. In addition, in older homes, cast iron and copper pipes are often installed next to each other. Over time, the copper pipes can corrode the cast iron pipes and then cause extensive damage by leaking or bursting.

If you have questions or conderns regarding any of the aforementioned trouble spots, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Bend at 541-385-7044.