Recent Water Damage Posts

Oh No! A Pipe Burst, What Next?

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

It might be the sound of dripping water on the ceiling or behind a wall, or a mysterious puddle on the floor. Maybe you've noticed a decrease in water pressure when you turn on the hot water faucet, or no water flow whatsoever. These are all signs that a pipe may have burst.

It only takes a small hole to cause you big problems when the water starts to melt.

Pipe Bursts Can Be Destructive

They happen most often in the wintertime, when water freezes inside - outdoor plumbing or in pipes near exterior walls. As the water freezes, its volume can expand and it exerts pressure on the pipe's walls. The ice can block the pipe so that the water that is behind it adds even more pressure. Whether the pipe is copper, lead, or PVC, it can give way under the pressure. you may not become aware of the emergency until the weather warms up. Then your first sign might be wet ceilings or walls if the broken pipe is concealed from view.

What to do When a Pipe Bursts

  1. If you discover a leak, try to discover where the leak seems to be coming from, and then turn off the water at the main water valve. That will stop the water flow and hopefully keep the damage down.
  2. If possible, you may need to also turn off the electricity in the affected area.
  3. Call a licensed plumber to repair the leak. Many plumbers have 24/hour availability in emergencies for plumbing repair. It is a good idea to keep a plumber's contact information handy just for these kinds of situations. The plumber will be able to replace the damaged pipes or fittings and turn your water back on.
  4. Once the leak has been repaired, you may mitigation. Mitigation may include water extraction, removal of affected materials that may work as a moisture barrier and setting drying equipment.

How to Prevent Burst Pipes

Here are a couple of things you can do to prevent cold weather emergencies:

  1. If plumbing runs along an exterior wall, leave the water dripping in the faucet and open the under-sink cabinet to let the warmer indoor air in.
  2. If the outdoor temperature is supposed to drop and you will be away, make sure before you go that the inside temperature will be maintained above 55 degrees in your absence.
  3. Insulate pipes in unheated areas.

Call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 for any water emergency needs.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Frigid winter temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. While we can’t control the weather, there are things we can do to prevent pipes from freezing. We’ve pulled together tips to help prevent frozen pipes and a list of suggestions for you to follow if they do.

Frozen water pipes and the damage they can cause are a reality for thousands of people each year. That’s especially the case when you are at below freezing temperatures for an extended period of time.

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety says a burst pipe can cause more than $5,000 in water damage. That’s because the damage can be extensive.

To prevent pipes from freezing and causing major damage, follow these steps:

  • Drain water from pipes that are likely to freeze. This includes your swimming pool and sprinkler water supply lines.
  • Disconnect any hoses from the outside of your home, drain the hoses and store them in the garage. Make sure to close the indoor valves supplying these outdoor access points.
  • Insulate the area around vents and light fixtures. This helps prevent heat from escaping into the attic.
  • Seal any wall cracks. Be sure to pay careful attention to the areas around utility service lines.
  • Open kitchen cabinets. This allows the warm air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Keep the garage doors closed to protect water lines.
  • Allow your faucets to drip cold water on the coldest days. The movement will make it harder for the water to freeze.
  • Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Never let it fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you leave your home.
  • Ensure you have proper seals on all doors and windows.
  • Place a 60-watt bulb in areas where you’re concerned about pipes freezing. Make sure there are no combustible materials near the bulb.
  • Take swift action if the pipes located inside an exterior wall are freezing. Cut a hole in the wall toward the inside of the house to expose those pipes to warmer air.

Signs of frozen pipes One of the earliest signs of a frozen pipe is when no water comes out of your faucet when you turn it on. If you notice that, first head to the basement and check to see that the water is still turned on and that you don’t have a leak. Once you’ve confirmed these two things, continue your inspection to make sure one of your pipes has not burst.

If your search reveals that your pipes are frozen but none have ruptured, you have two choices:

  1. Call a plumber to help thaw your frozen pipes. This is a good idea if you don’t think you can safely thaw the pipes yourself, you don’t know where the frozen pipes are or you can’t access the frozen area.
  2. Attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself. Be aware this option can be dangerous if not done correctly.

If you attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Keep your faucet open. Water and steam will be created during the thawing process, and your pipes need an opening to discharge this. Keeping the faucet open also allows for moving water to run through the pipe, which will expedite the thawing process.
  • Apply heat to the section of the pipe that is frozen. This can be done by wrapping an electronic heating pad around the pipe, scouring the area with a hair dryer or both. If you lack either of these items, using towels soaked in hot water will help as well. Never use a blowtorch, propane or kerosene heaters, a charcoal stove or any other open flame device to thaw your frozen pipes. You should also avoid using a space heater unless you are sure the area is clear of any flammable material.
  • Continue applying heat until water flow returns to normal. Once you have successfully thawed the pipe, turn on other faucets in your home to check for any more frozen water pipes.

Make sure your home is protected. Contact our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 to make sure you have the coverage you, your family and home need.

What is a Water Mitigation Technician?

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

A water mitigation technician works, usually in connection with a water-damage restoration team, to mitigate water damage to your home. If your home is subject to serious water damage, due to burst pipes, flooding, fire-extinguishing water hoses or some other unforeseen catastrophe, it can be a real problem. Your house will be a mess, carpets and furniture can be soaked, and valuables can be damaged, sometimes beyond repair.

A technician from your water-damage restoration company works to dry and remove as much of this water as possible from your home and salvage your possessions to the best of his ability. They are able to do this due to a combination of sophisticated drying equipment provided by the water-damage restoration contractor, combined with expertly trained technicians.

These technicians understand the different types of water damage, such as damage from sanitary water, gray water or black water. They can determine how severe your water damage is, such as damage that only affects part of a room, damage that affects an entire room, damage where ceilings, walls, carpet and insulation are fully saturated, and specialty drying situations.

Do I need a Water Mitigation Technician?

You can certainly try to clean up the water without the help of a water-damage restoration company, but your best chance of getting your life back to normal as quickly as possible is through hiring water mitigation professionals. In addition to saving you a lot of labor and heartache, an experienced, quality water mitigation company like SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South knows the fastest way to effectively dry your home. They can also determine the best way to save salvageable property and how to deal with problems like mold and bacteria. They also know how to work with your insurance and can make that part a smooth process as well.

Where Do I Find a Water Mitigation Technician?

If you need water damage restoration, you can contact our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South right now. We offer 24/7 emergency water mitigation restoration services. You can contact us at 770-448-5782 for all your emergency needs.

What To Do When Your Water Heater Leaks

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Waking up is hard to do. You need to get out of your cozy bed, go wash up, get dressed and get some coffee in you before you start your day. Now think of getting out of bed, as hard as that is, walking slowly to the shower, opening the hot water, and waiting for it to run so you can hop in, and nothing happens.

Water stays cold as ice, you realize you can't hit the shower this morning, and you try to figure out what just happened. Could you have forgotten to turn on the water heater? Could it be broken? Time to check it out.

As you walk downstairs you hear a low trickling noise as if a faucet is open somewhere. You keep going, and as you approach the basement, you hear it louder - there is water running somewhere over there. Question is - where? As you reach the last step, you put your foot down and immediately realize you haven't even opened your eyes properly. You're standing in a big pond, which was once your basement. No hot shower today. What now then?

First thing - close the water source. Whether it's the water heater, a pipe or a water leaking in from a window, make sure no more water can get in. Close the water mains, shut down any valve leading to the affected area, and close the window if that was the source of the water.

Second thing you do is take care of all that water. Water spreads fast and has the power to cause lots and lots of trouble over time. If you don't have a water drain in the basement, it's time to call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782.

Water leaks and floods should be taken care of as fast as possible. The reason is that most homes aren't waterproof on the inside. Standing water will ruin your carpets, floors, furniture, and even get into drywall if given the opportunity. Moreover, the standing water becomes a health hazard after a while, even if they came from a clean source (also called Category 1 water damage). Another reason for you to hurry is mold and how fast mold can start to grow after your basement suffered from a water damage.

our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South offers a 24/7 response to all your water damage requirements and needs, providing you a quick and thorough solution to your problem. We'll get your life back to normal in no time.

What To Do When Your Sump Pump Fails?

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

In most cases sump pumps fail during rain events. When that happens, the water usually seeps in through the foundation or basement walls and begins pooling in the lowest area of the basement, gradually rising as more water comes in. So what do you do at that point? Here’s a couple of suggestions to assist you in navigating a difficult situation.

First, you’re going to need to get the sump pump fixed. A plumber is going to be necessary to get the sump pump back up and running. Immediately call a licensed plumber in your area and get on their schedule as quickly as possible. During rain events, it’s not unusual for many homes in the area to suffer the same fate as you, so plumbers will get booked up quickly. Act fast and call for their help!

Second, do the same with a certified water mitigation company.  Many times, it doesn’t make sense for a water mitigation company to come out immediately, because you’re paying them to pump out water as more water is coming in. It’s just an endless cycle that can cost you a lot of money without doing much in the way of saving your home. You may decide that’s worth the money to you, but in many cases, it makes more sense to try and manage things temporarily while you wait for a plumber to fix your sump pump. That said, even if the plumber fixes your sump pump you’re still going to need a restoration company to come in and remove any excess moisture and dry out the affected areas.

Call our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast or SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southwest at 770-448-5782 for any of your mitigation needs.  

Water Damage Mitigation in Gwinnett County

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South provides 24-hour fire, water and mold restoration services in Gwinnett County and the surrounding areas.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage can be very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 770-448-5782

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION PROCESS

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has a restoration process that all clients are brought through. This process assures that the home or office is always restored to a clean, sanitary state as quickly and as efficiently as possible. SERVPRO clients have had this process applied to their water damage disasters.

The six-step process includes:

1) Initial contact

SERVPRO is proud to offer 24-hour emergency response. Here at SERVPRO, we understand that, when dealing with water damage emergencies, every minute counts. When you call, the representative will ask specific questions regarding your particular water damage emergency.

2) Inspection and assessment

The restoration process will officially begin with a detailed assessment of the damage by a certified professional. There are different classification levels of contamination that will determine what steps are required to complete the restoration.

3) Water extraction/removal

The water extraction process will remove the majority of the water from the home or office. If extensive restoration is needed, we can conduct a “move out” to safely and efficiently move out belongings. Our professionals will inspect and determine if carpet or carpet padding will need to be replaced.

4) Drying/dehumidification

After the water removal process, floors and walls will need to be dried and dehumidified fully to prevent warping or potential mold damage. Using specialized equipment, our professionals will remove the last trace amounts of moisture in the home or office.

5) Cleaning/sanitizing

After extracting the water and fully drying the surfaces, SERVPRO professionals will clean the surfaces as well as belongings like furniture and personal items that may have been damaged by the water.

6) Restoration

The final step in the process is restoration, which may include things like minor repair to drywall, installing new carpet, or other reconstruction.

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South’s professional water damage restoration experts have been trained to strict industry standards, and use state of the art industrial equipment. It’s SERVPRO’s goal to make it seem, “Like it never even happened.” Call us at 770-448-5782 for all your water damage needs.

Basement Flooding

3/2/2018 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including:

  • A sewer pipe that is blocked or cracked
  • Surface water from heavy rains that can pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get. The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. 

Please contact the SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We are here to help!

When Winter Weather Strikes

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Winter weather can lead to water damage, roof damage, broken pipes & ice damming. SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South wants to make sure you are prepared for storms and know what to do in case you do have a damage! 

Tips for Preparing your Home for Winter Weather:

  • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes. 
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of the home. 
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shutoff valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to "off".
  • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shutoff. 
  • Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage. 
  • Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puffbacks.  
  • Tips for Preparing your Business for Winter Weather:
  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and/or snow, can cause branches to fall which would cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.  
  • Ask SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South about creating an Emergency Ready Profile for your business for any future or potential emergencies.  

If your Gwinnett County home or business experiences water damage, broken pipes or ice damming, don't hesitate to contact SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We'll make it "Like it never even happened." 

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South is an IICRC Certified Firm

10/5/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Faster to Your Stone Mountain, GA Water Loss

10/4/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  Our SERVPRO franchises arrive quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 770-448-5782

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

Discovering Water Damage in Your Home

8/1/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Discovering Water Damage in Your Home Location for water supply valve under a toilet.

If you discover a water leak in your home, the first few minutes are critical.  The top priority is to avoid panic and focus on getting the source of the water stopped.  The most common water leaks in a home can be traced to the kitchen or a bathroom. 

Most all common water supplies in a residence have a cut-off valve nearby and all valves can be turned off with a clockwise turn.  If the source of the leak is your washing machine, the valves to turn off the flow are located behind the machine.  Do not disconnect the hoses.  Instead, turn off the water flow where the hoses are connected in the wall. 

In the kitchen, you will find shut-off values for the faucet under the sink.  This is also where you will most likely find the shut-off valve for an ice maker, if your freezer is equipped with one.  The valve that controls your sink is usually the same valve that provides flow to your dishwasher.  In a bathroom, cutoff valves are below the sink and may be within a sink cabinet if you have one.  The supply line for the toilet is commonly located under and behind the seat. 

A water heater can also be the source of your leak.  If it is a gas tank, turn off the gas supply first then turn off the water.  The water supply valve is usually located near or above the top of the tank.

Stopping the leak at its source as quickly as possible will minimize damage to cabinets, floors, walls and contents.  Within a single minute, several gallons of water can flow into your home and saturate anything in its path, including adjacent rooms. 

Some leaks cannot be stopped with an inside valve so the water supply to your house has to be interrupted.  Lines carrying water into your home come from a main line outside that can usually be found close to the street where your water meter is located. 

At SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South, we are experts at mitigating water damages.  Our emergency services include extraction, removal of damaged debris, getting your home dry and providing you with the information and services you need to make water damage “Like it never even happened.”  Call us at (770) 448-5782