Recent Water Damage Posts

Ways to Prevent Mold Growth after Water Damage

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded apartments After a flood, mold can grow. Call us to help if you notice mold growth.

Water damage is difficult for home and business owners—not only because of the structural damage it can cause but also because of the unique health hazards and risks it can present.

One of the most dangerous of these risks is mold growth.

Here are the steps you can take to stop mold from taking hold if your home has been affected by water damage:

Before You Get Started

  • Do not attempt to re-enter your building until officials have deemed it safe and are positive all water has receded.
  • Take photos and videos of damage throughout—making sure to include damage done to furniture and walls—for insurance claim purposes.

Drying Should Begin Right Away

  • Set up as many fans, dehumidifiers and heaters as possible to speed up drying time.
  • Begin vacuuming with a heavy-duty, outdoor vacuum before the cleanup crew arrives.
  • Weather permitting, open windows and doors to maximize airflow for as long as possible.

Items Exposed to Water Should Be Sorted

  • Metal, plastic glass and other non-porous materials can often be cleaned, disinfected and reused.
  • Porous materials exposed to water damage, such as wood, upholstery and paper of any kind, can trap mold and should be discarded.
  • It is important to note that drying carpet will not necessarily remove mold spores if they’ve already begun to grow.

A Professional Should Always Be Consulted

In some cases, carpets can be salvaged after water damage. However, most experts will recommend replacing the carpet pad at a minimum.

Mold is incorrectly associated with discolorations and foul odors when the reality is that mold can often lurk unnoticed long before it is visible. Replacing the carpet pad is significantly less costly than a full re-carpeting of the home, but only a professional can determine if this is adequate enough to prevent mold from spreading.

Understanding Water Types

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Water dripping from pipe Different types of water require different types of cleanup. Call us to help.

SERVPRO of Hamilton & South Trenton are here to help you understand what type of water you are dealing with to ensure proper cleanup when your home or business suffers a water damage.

We classify these waters in three ways. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source (such as rain). The term gray water is slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should only be handled by trained professionals. Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water

  • We advise our customer to not enter any rooms with standing water. Electrical hazards may exist and should be avoided. Turn off your circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock.
  • Shut off water source if possible.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call your SERVPRO of Hamilton & South Trenton (609) 604-8241

Common Causes and Signs of Water Damage

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Women in a flooding house Water flooding a house.

One of the most probable, and costly, setbacks your home can suffer is water damage. Homeowners and renters across the country lose billions of dollars because of it each year. It can occur at any time. There are a handful of situations that can cause water damage in a home:

  • Problems with your HVAC system.
  • Cracks in your foundation or walls.
  • Severe storms, floods and other extreme weather.
  • Leaky or burst pipes.
  • Malfunctioning dishwashers or washing machines.
  • Roof damage, such as missing shingles or cracked flashing.
  • Drainage problems on your property.

Water damage is recognizable when it’s caused by a flood, but other causes are harder to spot. If you are unsure of what to look for, it can be easy to miss until it becomes a major problem. Here are the usual signs of water damage in a home:

  • Paint peeling from your walls
  • Mold growth (which can look like dark discoloration) on any surface
  • Warping of your floors.
  • A strong musty smell in a room.
  • Sagging in parts of your walls or ceiling.
  • Stains or discolored patches on walls or ceilings.
  • Water pooling in your yard after a storm.

Source: www.budgetdumpster.com/

Home Mold Testing - DIY Kit - Use With Caution

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

You can expect mold and mildew outside your home because of the damp natural conditions of the outdoors. Mold and mildew inside the house is a different problem because the inside of your home shouldn't remain damp.

The presence of moisture is the most significant contributor to mold growth. To fight the infestation, you should conduct a room-by-room assessment of the house to identify problem areas. The moisture can come from condensation due to poor ventilation (attic), from a water leak (around bathrooms), or outdoor intrusion (foundation walls).

Detection

Mold and mildew in a home are not always easy to detect if it exists within attics or is hidden within walls. If you suspect your indoor air quality is hindered by hidden mold, the best course of action is to contact an Industrial Hygienist (IH). 

The IH will take both surface and air samples to detect the presence of mold on the structure.  These two tests are essential to take in concert with each other as they will help detect the presence of mold in areas that cannot be seen or reached, such as in wall cavities.  They will also help determine the severity and types of mold in a specific area of the home.

If you choose to take your own surface sample as a first step, mold detection kits can be purchased in most home improvement stores and are easy to use.  Swab the surface in the area you're concerned about.  Test results show in as little as 5 minutes, and much like a pregnancy test, you'll either see one line (negative results) or two lines (positive).

Use caution as these tests are not necessarily conclusive, given the absence of air samples and misinterpretation by the user.  Only a trained professional should perform mold testing using the proper methods.

Even if your home test is positive, it does not necessarily mean you have a serious problem but that you should consider consulting a professional indoor air quality inspector or contact SERVPRO of Hamilton & South Trenton. You can also have an optional laboratory analysis of your test results conducted for an additional fee.  

Click here to go to our website and learn a bit more about Mold Remediation. 

Fighting the Mold you Find

If you discover mold on the home's interior, the first step in solving the problem is to eliminate the source of moisture—whatever that may be. Otherwise, any mold or mildew you clean is likely to return.

For minor problems, you may be able to clean the surface of the materials with an antimicrobial cleaner. For major problems, remove materials that cannot be thoroughly cleaned of mold-like insulation, carpeting, or drywall. Use your antimicrobial cleaner to clean the surrounding area as well as the places where you actually see mold and mildew, so make sure you remove all traces of the substances.

Finally, replace the removed building materials with new, mold-free materials.

Mold can be a serious issue with challenging aspects in remediating it properly.  We highly recommend calling in a professional, like SERVPRO, to help you evaluate the proper steps before proceeding on your own.

Contact us at (609) 256-8890 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Hamilton & South Trenton's System Services. 

Is it Mold or is it Rust?

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

Rusty pipes Rust on water pipes.

Can you easily tell the difference between mold and rust? Many people look at a reddish colored stain and assume its rust, although that’s not always the case. Before you break out your heavy-duty cleaning solutions, it pays to understand what you’re up against: mold, rust, or even another stain. 

What’s Normal for Your Home?

If you’re seeing new stains on walls, floors, or countertops, you’ll want to make sure they’re not the result of water infiltration or excess humidity in your home. Try to pinpoint a reason for the stain, based on what room it’s in and the common daily activity. Mold tends to be found in damp, humid areas, while rust forms when metallic surfaces start to corrode. Recognizing the differences between mold and rust helps you determine the best way to take care of an issue before it becomes more pervasive.

What’s that Stain? Mold vs Rust

Areas prone to dampness, such as bathrooms and basements, can easily foster the growth of mold or mildew. If you see a stain that looks like mold or rust in your shower, sink area, or basement, you’ll want to clean them as quickly as possible to avoid permanent damage. However, different cleaning solutions are used to treat different stains. Rust, hard water marks, grease, and mold may all look similar, but if you use the wrong cleaner, you may not be able to fully remove them.

Identifying Rust

Rust is the result of iron, or a metal alloy containing iron, such as steel, corroding. Rust is most often observed as a red, yellow or reddish-brown surface stain. Rust is caused by water or damp air touching the surface or a metal prone to rusting. Some common areas where rust is spotted in the home, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), include the following:

  • Water Pipes
  • Metal Roofs and Chimneys
  • Oil tanks for home with oil heat
  • Electrical Panel Boxes
  • Nails

Preventing Rust

Rust can be prevented by keeping metals out of damp and humid areas. Protective coatings, such as varnish may also be applied to surfaces prone to rusting. Ensuring that metal fixtures in your home are kept dry can also help to prevent rust. Wipe up spills immediately and check your basement after heavy storms to spot signs of flooding as soon as possible.

Removing Rust

Removing rust can be a tough job, but with the right cleaners, you should be successful. For lighter rust stains, some household products, such as baking soda or vinegar might work. Mild abrasives like steel wool pads may also remove surface rust, but they may also leave behind scratch marks. There are also many specialized rust removal products sold that you can try for smaller stains. One product you should never use on rust is bleach, which could react negatively with the rust and actually worsen it. 

If you do attempt to clean rust, always follow the instructions on any commercial cleaning product. Be sure to don safety gear, including gloves, safety glasses and a face mask. Always work in a well-ventilated area. If you’re not comfortable with the task, find a handyman or painter that is.

Mold Stains

Mold can resemble other stains like rust or mildew in appearance, but there are actually over 300 types of mold. The colors of mold can range from black to brown, white or gray, or even pink, blue or green. Mold also presents in a range of textures from downy to fuzzy. Some mold is powdery and some has a more slimy texture. 

Mold can grow as the result of a single event, such as a broken pipe or indoor water infiltration due to floods or leaks. It’s important to catch the signs of indoor mold growth as early as possible and have them taken care of before they lead to greater damage. Mold sometimes can leave a stain, but that’s not always the case. A damp, musty odor can also be a sign of mold growth. 

If you notice mold growth in damp areas of your home, you can clean affected surfaces with a specialized mold removal product. Common, everyday household cleaning solutions may not be effective against mold. Typically, mold cannot be totally eradicated from porous surfaces, like shower curtains, drywall, or insulation; these items should be disposed of and replaced.

When cleaning mold, you should always wear protective gear, such as a face mask, and ensure that you’re working in an adequately ventilated area. You can read more about the protective gear recommended for mold removal. SERVPRO of Hamilton & South Trenton can help you determine the best way to remove the mold. Once the mold is removed, it’s a good idea to have the area tested by a professional. If mold has continued to grow in your home, you may have a more pervasive problem that requires additional professional remediation from SERVPRO of Hamilton & South Trenton.

Evaluating Mold Issues

Because so many of the stains we see around the house look similar, it may be difficult to determine what is causing the discoloration and damage. If you notice stains on your walls, countertops, or floors that look like mold or rust, contact SERVPRO of Hamilton & South Trenton and request a free home inspection to help diagnose your problem. 

Contact us at (609) 604-8241 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Hamilton & South Trenton's System Services. 

Mold and Humidity Threats in Vacation Residences

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

Beach house A vacation home can be affected by mold and humidity.

A closed-up vacation house can be a breeding ground for mold in the summer months. Moisture from a nearby lake or river, or the humidity in the air, can lead to that musty odor vacationers have come to expect upon arriving at their weekend getaway.

Mold is a particularly hidden foe. It exists nearly everywhere in an inactive state, and all it needs to grow is a food source (drywall will do nicely) and a source of moisture, such as high humidity.

To get rid of the damp odor, most homeowners will turn on the air conditioner and maybe a dehumidifier and wait for the smell to go away. While much of the odor may dissipate in a few hours, the mold is still there. And, when they leave for a week, it's back again when they return.

Left untreated, mold will continue to grow and spread and can damage walls, ceilings, carpeting, and more. Every time the house is closed up and the a/c is turned off, the moisture creeps back in, and the mold begins growing again.

MOISTURE SOLUTIONS

What can HVAC contractors do to help? First, it's important to stress that the key to preventing mold is eliminating moisture. The first step is to address any leaks in roofing, chimneys, and foundations. Perhaps you can recommend someone who can do a thorough check and perform the repairs necessary to stop the leaks. If mold remediation is needed, your customer should get bids from several companies specializing in this, as it can be costly.

Reducing humidity through air conditioning is a key to controlling mold, but, of course, leaving the a/c on all summer long will run up utility bills. Fresh outside air is also critical, but vacation homeowners won't want to leave windows open while not using the property.

Some relatively new offerings in air conditioning systems can help manage mold problems. One example is a small-duct, high-velocity air handler, which has a unique cooling coil that removes 30 percent more humidity from the air than a traditional system. Eliminating moisture is critical in avoiding mold growth, so this feature is essential.

Another helpful technology is a continuously operating outdoor inverter unit that works so efficiently that homeowners can leave it on while they're away without breaking the bank. It runs on various speeds — typically a very low speed — always striving for the most efficient operation by making small, incremental changes to keep a constant temperature. A traditional system must ramp-up to full operating power every time it cycles on, requiring a tremendous amount of energy. You won't have this issue with the inverter unit.

When cooling a summer home, the inverter technology is an excellent way for customers to keep the air conditioning going when they're gone, but at a lower cost.

Another great option is a ventilation system operated by a programmable control board. Based on the size of the home, the control board calculates how much fresh outside air to bring in at all times, opening and closing dampers as needed to maintain a healthy level of fresh air. Look for options that meet ASHRAE 62.2 standards for IAQ.

These newer technologies can go a long way toward reducing energy consumption while letting fresh air in and keeping mold problems at bay. More savings and fewer molds mean a healthier and happier vacation for everyone. 

Contact us at (609) 256-8890 if you have a service need, or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Hamilton & South Trenton System Services.

The Deception of Water Damage

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Water Damage. A house destroyed by a hurricane.

Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.

More than just removing excess water, IICRC-certified (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to preloss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur.

All IICRC-certified professionals have the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.

Every technician in SERVPRO of Hamilton and South Trenton is Certified through the IICRC, and experienced in their craft.

Why is my window AC unit leaking water inside my house?

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Window AC units. Building with multiple window AC units.

Question: I just turned my window AC unit on today and it is leaking water inside my house. What could be the problem? I had it running for 3 weeks and all of a sudden it started to leak. Water is on the plastic vent where the cold air blows out. I believe that is where it is leaking from but not sure. Can you tell me how to fix this? 

ANSWER: You need to check a few things to be sure the ac unit is installed properly and there is no water drainage block present.

– Unplug the window AC unit.

– Clean up all the water on the AC unit, on the window ledge, and on the floor of your room.

– Check and be sure the AC is tightly sealed in the window.

– Do you feel warm air coming into the room around the AC unit?

– If you feel warm air coming in you need to seal it again.

– Check to see if the drain holes on the rear of the ac unit are blocked.

– Clean the drain holes to allow water to drip out.

– Make sure the filter is clean and not clogged with massive dirt or dust.

– After cleaning up the water and having it turned off for 30 minutes or so, then turn it back on to make sure the water doesn’t appear again.

Here are the reasons water can drip from a window air conditioner unit:

AIR LEAK – AIR CONDITIONER NOT PROPERLY SEALED IN WINDOW:

If your window air conditioner is not sealed correctly, the warmer air from outside gets inside the air conditioner. When this happens, the moisture that is in the warmer air will be condensed by the colder air inside the air conditioner. When there is excess moisture, the water will leak. 

DRAIN IS BLOCKED – DIRT OR DUST HAS BLOCKED THE DRAIN HOLES:

There are drain holes (drip pan) at the rear of window AC units. They can get blocked from dusty conditions or dirt in the air. When this type of blockage happens, the water that would normally drip out will be trapped and water will leak from the front of the AC unit and at both sides of the unit. Be sure to keep the drain holes clean and free of debris. Also clean the filters or replace them to prevent any type of blockage that may cause a water leak.

OUTSIDE TEMP IS LOWER – HEAVY MOISTURE IN OUTSIDE AIR:

If it is raining or there is heavy moisture in the air outside, water evaporates much less than usual. This leads to excess water moisture in the air conditioner and this will cause water leaks. This is normal for most window AC units and using a drip pan can solve the issue if there is heavy moisture in the air outside.

CONDENSER PUMP NOT WORKING – BROKEN OR CLOGGED PUMP:

If the condenser pump in the AC is faulty or clogged, it will cause water to leak. You can check the condenser/pump if you feel confident. Check for any blockage or loose wires. If the pump seems to be okay visually, you will need to test the pump with a meter to see if it is faulty. If so, you may be better off buying a new AC unit.

If your home has experienced any water damage, the team at SERVPRO® is always available to help with cleanup and restoration, making it look “Like it never even happened.” Contact us at 908.650.8611.

Taking Water Damage Into Consideration | SERVPRO® of Hamilton, South Trenton

10/11/2021 (Permalink)

man inspecting water controls Water damage can happen at any time. SERVPRO of Hamilton, South Trenton will ensure that each water mitigation job is done correctly and completely.

Water. Let’s face it—we need it to live—everything needs it! But what we don’t need is for it to be causing damage to our property and our homes.

When it comes to damage caused by water, there are many reasons it happens. How many of those reasons are you aware of?

Common Causes

The most prevalent reasons for a filed homeowners insurance claim are:

  • Wind damage
  • Water damage from sources other than weather
  • Hail
  • Weather-related water damage
  • Burglary

Water damage is so common that it appears on this list twice, in two different categories. To make it simple, remember that it can be classified as non-weather-related and weather-related.

Water damage that is not caused by weather occurs most often in the home and is the result of plumbing and appliance malfunction issues. Water damage caused by weather can cause just as big of headache but does not occur as often. Weather-related water damage is caused by events such as rain, snow or melting ice.

The top five reasons for water damage in the home are plumbing, appliance leaks, water pipe issues, older water heaters and weather.

Water Damage Prevention

While water damage can be pricey, it could be even more pricey if a homeowner is not covered by homeowners insurance. Check your homeowner policy for your coverages. In most cases, damages that are covered in a standard policy are:

  • Damages caused by winter weather
  • The expulsion of water, even if it is accidental
  • Damaged or broken down hot water heating system
  • Plumbing that freezes

Fortunately, there are ways to keep water damage from occurring, thereby saving yourself some headaches in the future.

Here are some ideas for preventive maintenance to help you protect your home as much as possible from the damage caused by water:

  • Hire a plumber to install back flow valves and standpipes in basement drains.
  • Raise your appliances and personal items up off the basement floor.
  • Clean all gutters and downspouts.
  • Never place grease down the kitchen drain.

When you follow these suggested tips, you just might reduce the probability for any water damage incidents in your home.

Water damage can be a nightmare to deal with but fortunately, you will always have SERVPRO® of Hamilton, South Trenton on your side to help with the cleanup and restoration process.

Taking Water damage Into Consideration | SERVPRO® of Hamilton & South Trenton

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

man inspecting water controls Water damage can be a nightmare to deal with but fortunately, you will always have us.

Water. Let’s face it—we need it to live—everything needs it! But what we don’t need is for it to be causing damage to our property and our homes.

When it comes to damage caused by water, there are many reasons it happens. How many of those reasons are you aware of?

For the period covering 2009 to 2015, The Travelers Companies Inc. discovered the most prevalent reasons for a filed homeowners insurance claim were:

  • Wind damage
  • Water damage from sources other than weather
  • Hail
  • Weather-related water damage
  • Burglary

Water damage is so common that it appears on this list twice, in two different categories. To make it simple, remember that it can be classified as non-weather-related and weather-related.

Water damage that is not caused by weather occurs most often in the home and is the result of plumbing and appliance malfunction issues. Water damage caused by weather can cause just as big of headache but does not occur as often. Weather-related water damage is caused by events such as rain, snow or melting ice.

The top five reasons for water damage in the home are plumbing, appliance leaks, water pipe issues, older water heaters and weather.

Water Damage Prevention

While water damage can be pricey, it could be even more pricey if a homeowner is not covered by homeowners insurance. Check your homeowner policy for your coverages. In most cases, damages that are covered in a standard policy are:

  • Damages caused by winter weather
  • The expulsion of water, even if it is accidental
  • Damaged or broken down hot water heating system
  • Plumbing that freezes

Fortunately, there are ways to keep water damage from occurring, thereby saving yourself some headaches in the future.

Here are some ideas for preventive maintenance to help you protect your home as much as possible from the damage caused by water:

  • Hire a plumber to install back flow valves and standpipes in basement drains.
  • Raise your appliances and personal items up off the basement floor.
  • Clean all gutters and downspouts.
  • Never place grease down the kitchen drain.

When you follow these suggested tips, you just might reduce the probability for any water damage incidents in your home.

Water damage can be a nightmare to deal with but fortunately, you will always have SERVPRO® of Hamilton & South Trenton on your side to help with the cleanup and restoration process.

A Look at Common Causes of Water Damage in Your Home

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

rusty metal with a glass of water Water damage can happen at any time. We will ensure that each water mitigation job is done correctly and completely.

Severe weather is usually one of the first things that comes to mind for many when thinking of water damage. It’s true that storms and flooding can cause catastrophic water damage, but they are often not the main culprits. Various items in your home can be the culprits responsible for many water damage situations.

Understanding Water Damage

Many homeowners will face water damage. Water damage was the third most common reason for homeowners insurance claims between 2011 and 2015, with an average payout per claim of $8,861.

Insurance claims are impacted by the type of water damage. Gradual damage, for example, is often not covered by insurance. Gradual damage is something that has been happening over time, such as plumbing issues in the walls causing damage to the walls, ceilings or floors, or water damage caused by cracks in the foundation. Unfortunately, many aspects of gradual water damage are not covered by homeowners insurance, while storm-related water damage usually is.

Common Water Damage Culprits

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), lists the leading causes of water damage as outlined below:

  • Plumbing drain system failures. These can occur when a sewer drain backs up and overflows into a home or from material performance issues. In their study, IBHS determined that 52% of drain system failures were caused by sewer backups and 37% were related to material performance issues. It was also discovered that the average costs incurred due to drain system failure were higher in southern states than in other areas of the country.

  • Plumbing supply system failures. Frozen pipes can burst due to water pressure buildup caused by freezing water or when the supply system material fails and results in a leaking or burst pipe. Per IBHS, plumbing supply system failures are the leading source of residential water losses, costing an average of $5,092 per claim after the deductible. Homes with ages of 16 to 40 years made up a larger group of supply system material failure claims.

  • Toilet failures. Toilets are the second highest cause of residential water damage loss after plumbing supply system failures and result from faulty fill valves to clogged drain lines. Surprisingly, according to IBHS, toilet failures on the first floor of a home resulted in more extensive claims than those in basements or upper floors.

  • Water heater failures. If your water heater has reached its life expectancy, expect that the tank will begin to rust and corrode, resulting in leaking or bursting issues. IBHS found that 69% of all water heater failures were a result of a slow leak or sudden burst and, on average, cost $4,444 per incident after the deductible has been paid.

  • Washing machine failures. Typically washing machine failures are caused by supply hose failures, machine overflows and drain line failures. Washing machines are one of the top 10 sources of residential water damage losses. Per IBHS, supply hose failures accounted for over half of all washing machine-related losses.

If your home has experienced any water damage, the team at SERVPRO® of Hamilton & South Trenton is always available to help with cleanup and restoration, making it look “Like it never even happened.”

Getting to Know the 3 Types of Water Classifications | SERVPRO® of Hamilton & South Trenton

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

mopping up after water damage We are available for cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you think all water that causes water damage is the same, think again! There are three classifications for it: clean, gray and black.

By gaining a better understanding of the differences in these types of water, it will help you understand how to better handle a water damage situation.

Whenever there is a water damage situation, it doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage because a cleanup and restoration process will always follow. First, and most important, is removing all moisture and damp items as quickly as possible to hinder the growth of mold, which begins to flourish in this ideal environment.

Clean Water

The name says it all; clean water is considered “clean” and not likely to be the type that would pose an immediate threat to your health. This water contains no contaminants and is the result of:

  • Broken water lines
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Toilet holding tanks
  • Snow melt and rainwater

Clean water is the easiest type of water damage to work with because there are fewer microbes living in the water. But remember, it only takes 48 hours and contact with the surfaces of a building for clean water to become a category two, becoming gray water.

Gray Water

Damage from gray water makes water damage cleanup and restoration a bit more serious. This is water that may pose a health risk because it will most likely contain chemical or biological contamination. This slight contamination means that gray water would need to be thoroughly treated before it is safe for consumption.

Water that comes from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. is considered gray water, and the 48-hour exposure time applies here as well, as it will become black water if it is not quickly and property treated.

Black Water

A black water damage situation is considered the most serious of the three classifications as this water is highly contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter. This would include floodwaters containing soil and all sewage waters.

Sewage is contaminated with microbes, which include bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more—many of these can cause health effects to humans.

Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis
  • Gastroenteritis-type illnesses

Any water involved in a flooding situation should be considered dangerous and assumed to be black water since it will pick up contaminants along its path.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification (IICRC), an organization that certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industry, recognizes these three classifications of floodwater. Our highly trained technicians have all studied IICRC’s standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.

It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, we are here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!

Window Air Conditioner Leaking Water Into House – What To Check – How To Fix

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

air conditioner units in an apartment building If your home has experienced any water damage, the team at SERVPRO® is always available to help with cleanup and restoration.

Question: I just turned my window AC unit on today and it is leaking water inside my house. What could be the problem? I had it running for 3 weeks and all of a sudden it started to leak. Water is on the plastic vent where the cold air blows out. I believe that is where it is leaking from but not sure. Can you tell me how to fix this? 

ANSWER: You need to check a few things to be sure the ac unit is installed properly and there is no water drainage block present.

– Unplug the window AC unit.

– Clean up all the water on the AC unit, on the window ledge, and on the floor of your room.

– Check and be sure the AC is tightly sealed in the window.

– Do you feel warm air coming into the room around the AC unit?

– If you feel warm air coming in you need to seal it again.

– Check to see if the drain holes on the rear of the ac unit are blocked.

– Clean the drain holes to allow water to drip out.

– Make sure the filter is clean and not clogged with massive dirt or dust.

– After cleaning up the water and having it turned off for 30 minutes or so, then turn it back on to make sure the water doesn’t appear again.

Here are the reasons water can drip from a window air conditioner unit:

AIR LEAK – AIR CONDITIONER NOT PROPERLY SEALED IN WINDOW:

If your window air conditioner is not sealed correctly, the warmer air from outside gets inside the air conditioner. When this happens, the moisture that is in the warmer air will be condensed by the colder air inside the air conditioner. When there is excess moisture, the water will leak. 

DRAIN IS BLOCKED – DIRT OR DUST HAS BLOCKED THE DRAIN HOLES:

There are drain holes (drip pan) at the rear of window AC units. They can get blocked from dusty conditions or dirt in the air. When this type of blockage happens, the water that would normally drip out will be trapped and water will leak from the front of the AC unit and at both sides of the unit. Be sure to keep the drain holes clean and free of debris. Also clean the filters or replace them to prevent any type of blockage that may cause a water leak.

OUTSIDE TEMP IS LOWER – HEAVY MOISTURE IN OUTSIDE AIR:

If it is raining or there is heavy moisture in the air outside, water evaporates much less than usual. This leads to excess water moisture in the air conditioner and this will cause water leaks. This is normal for most window AC units and using a drip pan can solve the issue if there is heavy moisture in the air outside.

CONDENSER PUMP NOT WORKING – BROKEN OR CLOGGED PUMP:

If the condenser pump in the AC is faulty or clogged, it will cause water to leak. You can check the condenser/pump if you feel confident. Check for any blockage or loose wires. If the pump seems to be okay visually, you will need to test the pump with a meter to see if it is faulty. If so, you may be better off buying a new AC unit.

If your home has experienced any water damage, the team at SERVPRO® is always available to help with cleanup and restoration, making it look “Like it never even happened.” Contact us at 908.650.8611.

Ways You Can Prevent Mold Growth After Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Hamilton/South Trenton

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

white fan on a desk If you’re worried about cleanup associated with water damage and mold growth, we can help you restore your home and remediate any mold issues.

Water damage is difficult for home and business owners—not only because of the structural damage it can cause but also because of the unique health hazards and risks it can present.

One of the most dangerous of these risks is mold growth. The CDC has many health effects associated with mold exposure that are well-documented, and the problem is exacerbated because of how quickly mold can begin growing.

Here are the steps you can take to stop mold from taking hold if your home has been affected by water damage:

Before You Get Started

  • Do not attempt to re-enter your building until officials have deemed it safe and are positive all water has receded.
  • Take photos and videos of damage throughout—making sure to include damage done to furniture and walls—for insurance claim purposes.

Drying Should Begin Right Away

  • Set up as many fans, dehumidifiers and heaters as possible to speed up drying time.
  • Begin vacuuming with a heavy-duty, outdoor vacuum before the cleanup crew arrives.
  • Weather permitting, open windows and doors to maximize airflow for as long as possible.

Items Exposed to Water Should Be Sorted

  • Metal, plastic glass and other non-porous materials can often be cleaned, disinfected and reused.
  • Porous materials exposed to water damage, such as wood, upholstery and paper of any kind, can trap mold and should be discarded.
  • It is important to note that drying carpet will not necessarily remove mold spores if they’ve already begun to grow.

A Professional Should Always Be Consulted

In some cases, carpets can be salvaged after water damage. However, most experts will recommend replacing the carpet pad at a minimum.

Mold is incorrectly associated with discolorations and foul odors when the reality is that mold can often lurk unnoticed long before it is visible. Replacing the carpet pad is significantly less costly than a full re-carpeting of the home, but only a professional can determine if this is adequate enough to prevent mold from spreading.