Recent Water Damage Posts
Taking Water damage Into Consideration | SERVPRO® of Hamilton & South Trenton
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
- Weather-related water damage
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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
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
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.