Recent Water Damage Posts

Things You Must Know: Plumbing Leaks

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

You don't need to know everything about plumbing, but it's important to understand the basics, especially when it comes to leaks.

Wrap your pipes in heat.The important feature is the exterior piping. If the cold-water pipes touch the exterior portion of the building, when the water isn't being used and the temperature is very cold, most likely the pipes will freeze. The only time water won't freeze is when it's moving, so it's is a good idea to leave all the faucets open while you're away from home for any length of time. The best thing you can do, however, is insulate the whole space.

You may not know what's right, but you can usually spot what's wrong. Take a quick look at any visible pipes in your house, just to keep up on what's going on with them. Homeowners often don't routinely check; then a puddle of water appears in the basement, damaging their valuables, and they had no inkling that anything was amiss. You can look at the pipes in your basement and have no idea what you're looking at, but if you see rust, buckling or drops of water, you'll definitely know something's wrong.

A stuffed sink can easily spring a leak. Under your kitchen sink, just take a peek every once in a while and see if there are any drips. It's always a good idea to take a look.

A leaky water heater is a dead water heater. The biggest problem is that the lining wears away and you get water dripping from the base. If a lot of water is dripping, call the manufacturer and provide the model number; you may get lucky and find that the product is still under warranty. When you do change the water heater, try to install a pan under it.

Trace the trap leak back to the wall. When you have a leak, often it may be on the back side, where it actually connects to the wall, in which case you'll have to disassemble the drain work. Oftentimes you can even tighten it with your hands to see whether the leaking stops. If it doesn't, just use a wrench to tighten it up a little.

Washers and o-rings are much cheaper than a new fixture. If a washer is worn, even though you squeeze it, you may still get a drip if it's defective. You have to remove what's defective, put in a new washer, retighten it, put the handle back on and test it out.

Signs of Water Damage in Your Home

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

CHECKING FOR WATER DAMAGE SIGNS INSIDE YOUR HOME

Inside the home, look for the following for signs of water damage:

  • Water rings on the ceiling or walls pointing to a leak in the pipes. While rings may be easier to notice, keep an eye out for smaller water stains on the ceiling or walls which are also common. Regularly go through your home and make a note of areas that are close to plumbing. If you're unable to see any water rings or stains but suspect a leak, listen for water leaks within the walls at night when the ambient noise is at its lowest.
  • Soft or sagging spots on the floor, especially near the tub, shower, sinks. The spots may also be caused by leaking appliances in need of repair such as dishwashers, washing machines or a water heater.
  • Cracked or warped tile, laminate or wood flooring. Water damage happens to all types of flooring and can lead to warping, splitting, or cracking as the water seeps in. While cracked or warped flooring may be easy to notice, you may not notice wet flooring, especially if it's in the corners of the room or in areas of your home that you don't frequent. Go out of your way to regularly inspect these areas and look out for any wet patches in rooms with carpeting, since minor water damage is often difficult to notice there.
  • Look in the cabinet under the sink for watermarks, warping and discoloration that may indicate leaking pipes. Damp cabinets or mold are sure signs that there is a leaking pipe nearby. Call a professional as soon as possible to get the issue fixed. This small repair cost may save you larger costs and trouble down the line.
  • Pay attention to any apparently new repairs to ceilings, walls and windows. Are there patch jobs? Does there appear to be areas with heavier paint? These "quick fixes" may be hiding water damage spots.
  • Check for rust on the hot water heater. These can indicate a previous or current leak and any leak can mean water damage.
  • Trust your sense of smell. If there is a mildew or musty smell, it's likely there was water damage and now there may be a potential mold issue that will require mold remediation.

Steps to Take After Water Damage In Your Home

5/19/2021 (Permalink)

1. Call Your Insurance Company

Your homeowners’ insurance will vary depending on what policies you have. The insurance company will send an adjuster to look at and assess the damage and determine if it is a covered loss. Document the value of each and every item you can think of, and take as many photos as possible before, during, and after cleanup. This will help the adjuster when he or she is able to come assess the damage.

2. Stay Safe When Looking Over Your Home

The most important step in any major home disaster like flooding and water damage, is to make sure yourself and your family are safe. There are several things you can do to stay safe in your home.

Turn off the power

Water and electricity obviously do not mix. But, if turning off the power requires you to enter or stand in wet areas it is best to leave it alone and call an electrician. Do not reenter a flooded home before turning the electricity off.

Wear Protective Gear

Be sure to wear protective clothing–such as rubber boots and gloves–when you re-enter your home. This will protect you from injuries that can get bacteria filled water in them.

Protect Your Valuables

You can lift wood furniture off the wet carpet areas and insert tin foil under the feet to prevent staining of the carpet. Likewise, remove any rugs that may be on wet flooring.

You may be forced to leave your home if the flooding is bad enough. Make sure it is also safe when you return to your home to begin dealing with the aftermath. Don’t drive through any flooded areas!

3. Start Water Damage Repair Immediately

If possible, water damage restoration should start 24-48 hours after you’ve been cleared to re-enter your home. In many situations, the damage is too extensive for one person or family. Get help from a restoration service to stay safe and ensure all damage is removed.

If you decide to begin the drying process yourself, make sure you wear protective gear. Determine what is salvageable and throw away anything that is too damaged or no longer safe to use.

Be aware that you may need to remove flooring, drywall, and insulation to prevent mold and mildew from spreading in your home. Furniture may also need to be dried out, cleaned or thrown away depending on the level of water damage.

4. Dry Out Your Home

Once all standing water is removed from your home, you will still have to tend to damp belongings, particularly if you live in a very humid area. If you are able to get your electricity back on, use central air conditioning to remove humidity. Floor fans such as Air Movers and dehumidifiers can help dry damp areas of your home as well.

Avoid mildew, molds, and other lingering issues that could result if you rush back in. You may need the assistance of a professional restoration contractor.

Time is of the essence and studies show that starting the drying a home within the first 24 hours and completely drying a home within 3-4 days will almost completely remove the risk of mold and mildew.

Drywall and Water

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

It is always an unfortunate circumstance when you are faced with water damage in your home. In many situations, you have no idea how it happened or where the water is even coming from. More often than not the water that comes pouring through your rooms, ruining the carpet or wood floors. And just as common seeping beneath the walls, getting into the interior drywall. 

When this happens you may ask yourself, “Does water damaged drywall need to be replaced?” But more often than not, the water damaged drywall is going to have to be replaced. Wet drywall will lose its structural integrity and if left alone for long enough will develop mold spores, between the insulation and the drywall.  It’s easy to think it’s not a problem because out of sight out of mind, but it does need to be handled. Cleaning the flood water in your home that caused the flood damage of the drywall, then having to replace the drywall can be an arduous task to do on your own. But with a little effort and a little know-how, yours can be a successful job. 

8 Facts About Drywall Water Damage

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

It’s no surprise that water damage to drywall is common.  Lightweight, durable, non-combustible and quickly installed, drywall, also known as gypsum board, is the most prevalent building material in American homes today. However, drywall and water don’t always get along. While the material readily withstands random splashes and drips, drywall is often one of the first casualties of serious home water damage.  

  • The first priority must be identifying the source of water and eliminating it. In addition to obvious scenarios such as flooding, damage may occur from hidden sources such as leaky plumbing pipes routed through wall cavities and above ceilings—both areas typically enclosed by drywall.  
  • To reduce the likelihood of mold growth occurring in wet drywall, effective drying techniques must be initiated within 24 to 48 hours following the water damage incident.
  • Proper ventilation, continuous indoor dehumidification and adequate air circulation with fans are essential elements in drying out wet drywall.
  • Drywall is very absorbent. If the source of water damage is toxic such as raw sewage, affected drywall must be replaced to ensure toxins are fully removed from the indoor environment.  
  • Physical damage due to water exposure is also an indicator of replacement. Drywall that has lost structural integrity and is bulging or sagging cannot be restored and must be replaced.
  • Other signs of deterioration due to drywall water damage include rust on fasteners used to secure drywall as well as delamination of the outer layers of paper    
  • Moisture meter readings must be taken to verify that the internal gypsum material is fully dried. If meter readings are not consistent, laboratory testing of samples is recommended to ensure that the drying process is complete.
  • Deciding to replace drywall may depend on some or all of the above factors.  

Interesting Facts About Water Damage

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Every homeowner’s worst nightmare is having to deal with the aftermath of a flood. Initially, homeowners are generally concerned about questions like how much their homeowner’s insurance will cover and what possessions can be salvaged. When disaster strikes, life is placed on hold until everything is dried out and returned to normal, which isn’t always an easy task. Here are facts about water restoration that will help you secure your home and return to normal life.

Knowing the Type of Water

In most cases, there are three types of water that will enter a home: rainwater, fresh water, and sewage water. The type of water you are dealing with will determine the cleanup process. If you are dealing with sewage water, you’ll need to contact a professional clean up company, who will have the necessary tools to handle the problem safely. One sure way to know that you are dealing with a sewage water mess is that it will smell as terrible as you would expect it to. Bacteria that are commonly found within sewage water can be harmful, leaving you or your family members violently ill.

Trouble Doesn’t End When the Water is Gone

Don’t be deceived thinking that as soon as the water is removed from your home you can breathe a deep sigh of relief. Just because the obvious signs of water are gone, doesn’t mean there isn’t moisture, mold, or other issues lying just beneath the surface. Moisture can be hiding in walls, crawlspaces, under floorboards, etc., leading to mold growth. Not only is mold harmful to your health, but it can cause serious damage to the structural elements of your home. As part of your water cleanup process, be sure to have a mold prevention expert fully inspect your home, to ensure you don’t have any potential issues hiding where you can’t see them.

At SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville & Vinton, we have water restoration specialists who can not only remove the water from your home but fully inspect to ensure that you don’t have any hidden problems you may not know about. Don’t attempt to clean up the water mess by yourself, call the professionals at SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville & Vinton and let us do the work for you.

What Happens If You Don't Clean Water Damage Right Away.

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

Water is essential to human lives, but when water damage occurs, it is a serious concern. Water damage can originate from groundwater, falling water, or home water system malfunction. It is wrong to think that water just dries up and goes away.  If the damage is not treated promptly, it can cause serious damage. Let’s look at what will happen if water damage is not cleaned right away.

It can be toxic to your health
Flood water brings with it some hazardous contaminants like bacteria or fungi, toxic waste, chemical pollutants, and sewage. Unlike faulty plumbing leakages, flood water is nasty and dirty. Even after the water has evaporated, all these waste are left behind and can cause health risks.

Depreciates the value of your home
A real estate appraisal can be able to smell and see a sign of untreated water damage since the home already has the telltale signs. This means your home will be placed on a lower price value and fewer people will be willing to buy it.

The electrical system will be affected
Fuse boxes, electrical wiring or any outlets exposed to water can health risks and can even be fatal.  Always contact a professional to inspect them and repair them properly.

Weak floors and walls
Any wooden structure within your floor or wall will absorb water slowly and become damp therefore creating room for mold to grow. It is not only a health risk to you, but a damp wall can be a structural risk.

A home for insects, bugs, and fungus
Insects love to hatch their eggs on stagnant water; they hatch and spread diseases and bacteria. As the water evaporates, it creates a conducive environment for mold and mildew to spread. The odor attracts more insects which will then spread to other areas in your home.

5 Ways to Find a Water Leak in Your House

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage is a lot more serious than many people think and, if not remedied immediately can cause home owners much damage. Here are five ways to find out if you have a water leak.

The water supply line - This type of leak can go undetected because the supply pipe is under the ground. If the meter contains water and the water is not caused by rain than there may definitely be a leak. In most cases the homeowner is liable for this kind of leak and should contact a professional plumber to repair the line.

Faucet leaks - This is the most common kind of leak but the easiest to repair. Facet leaks are so moderate the amount of money lost from water wastage is minimal. Make routine checks of all valves to see if there is leakage or not with faucets. If you are handy with tools you should easily be able to make the repairs yourself.

Toilet leaks - These are barely detectable because they make no sound. Research proves that one fifth to one third of all residential toilets are prone to leaks. Start by removing the lid off the tank and making sure the water level is not above the overflow tube. This is the most common form of leak.

Humidifier leaks - Humidifiers are connected to the furnace and level with the water supply line. All the components are equipped with refill valves. When the valve won’t close the water goes to the sewer which creates a leak that can go undetected for months or years. Be sure to turn humidifiers off when the season for it is over.

Evaporator cooler leaks - Evaporator coolers cool the air sent in homes. Leaks are caused in these the same as with humidifiers and is remedied the same by shutting it off when not in use.

When it comes to saving money, every little detail counts. If your property is experiencing some leaks and you are looking for a trusted property restoration company, trust SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville & Vinton.

How to Spot Water Damage

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

In general, a house is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. In order to protect that investment, you should vigilantly look out for household problems and address them before they worsen. 

1. Check the Floors
No matter what kind of flooring you have, it will manifest signs of water damage. For tile and wood, look for cracked, buckling or warped flooring. When it comes to carpet, be wary of damp spots, gradual rises, soft spots or the smell of mold and dampness.

2. Look for Stains
Water stains on the floor around the bathtub, toilet or sink, as well as stains on ceilings and walls, are some of the most obvious signs of water damage. Unusual stains could indicate there is a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall. Cracks in the drywall or areas that appear swollen and are soft to touch also may signify trouble. Peeling paint is another sign of loose water within wall spaces. As the drywall gets saturated, paint can lose adhesion.

3. Inspect Outside
Observe the exterior of your house. What you want to look for are pools of standing water that can indicate poor drainage in the yard, gutter spouts that aren’t transporting water far enough from the house or leaky rain gutters. Any of those issues could threaten the foundation of your house. Additionally, common signs of water damage on the roof may include pools of water; cracked, curled or missing shingles; or broken flashing.

4. Watch for Rust and Mold
Inspect your water heater and check for rust on the tank or damp spots on the floor. A rusted tank could indicate a slow leak. Additionally, corrosion around pipe connections could be caused by water seepage. Visual signs of active mold growth mean moisture is contacting microscopic mold spores, often in the nooks and crannies of your home. Finally, don’t rely solely on sight. When water stagnates, mold and bacteria can grow, producing a musty, unpleasant smell.

If you are looking for water damage restoration call SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville & Vinton.

Water Damage: Common Misconceptions

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

When water damage happens, don't fall for these myths!

If you experience water damage due to leaking or flooding, SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville & Vinton is available to help. Experts in the industry, we want you to feel informed should you experience this type of situation. One way we can make that happen is by identifying common misinformation:

  1. "Bleach kills mold." - A common misunderstanding is that bleach will kill mold. Although bleach will get rid of stains, it won't get rid of the mold's origin.

  2. "I can do it myself." - Some property owners might think that they can save money by fixing water damage themselves. In reality, they may actually end up spending more money than they've budgeted for. SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville & Vinton uses specialized equipment and highly trained professionals to identify the best remediation method.

  3. "Water will dry on its own." Just because you don't see water doesn't mean it isn't there. Water has a way of hiding in your walls and flooring and may appear to look dry. Waiting too long to contact a specialist may result in mold growth, costing you more down the road.

  4. "It's a long process." - Our crew is trained to act promptly in case of an emergency. We'll do an initial inspection, remove/extract water, start the drying process, and monitor your home until drying goals are met. The faster our crew is contacted, the faster you can get back to normal.

  5. "Mold takes a long time to appear." If your home has experienced leaking or flooding, mold can show up as fast as 24-48 hours. Mold doesn't have to be visible on the surface to be present. The best way to know for sure is contact our team of specialists. 

If you have experienced water damage or believe you may have mold in your home, call us at 337-462-6500 to see how we can help.

Alternative Sources of Water Damage/Mold Growth

6/22/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage in the home can come from multiple places - maintenance is key.

When the phrase “water damage" is used, flooding caused by massive storms, burst pipes, or a leaky roof are usually what first come to mind. Water damage isn’t always caused by drastic, dramatic events, though.

Some other sources of water damage in a residential property are:

  1. Bathrooms - Toilet, sink, and tub overflow - can flood the bathroom and seep into the flooring. To prevent this from causing future damage, be sure to fix any noticeable plumbing problems in the bathroom, especially since this area is highly susceptible to mold growth.
  2. HVAC Systems - Condensation line leaks can welcome mold growth into these dark spaces. Perform a condensation line inspection and cleaning every 3 to 6 months, along with the air filter replacements.

  3. Dishwasher - A dishwasher that isn’t properly sealed will cause a leak on your kitchen floor. While using too much water for one load can also cause a leak, consistent leaking should be inspected and repaired to prevent additional damage or mold.

  4. Garbage disposal - Proper garbage disposal usage not only prevents leaks and potential water damage, it also improves its life span and functionality. One tip is to avoid pouring grease or oil down the garbage disposal, as this can cause drain clogging. 

It's a good habit to frequently inspect water sources to ensure that there are no issues that would cause future water damage or mold growth.

Should you notice water damage in your home, or if you discover mold on your property, give SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville & Vinton a call and let us assess the damage and help make it "Like it never even happened."

Preventing Garbage Disposal Leaks

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

Repairing a garbage disposal leak can sometimes be an easy DIY fix. Other times, it can result in replacing the garbage disposal completely. The longer the leak isn't fixed, the more likely it is to cause water damage in your kitchen cabinets and floor. The best way to make sure you don't have to pay for all these expenses is to follow these DO's and DON'Ts of proper garbage disposal usage:

1. DON'T pour bleach down the drain. There are cleaning solutions specifically made for cleaning your garbage disposal. 

2. DON'T overload your garbage disposal. Just like people, they can be overworked too.

3. DON'T put "hard foods" down the drain. Foods like apple cores and bones risk clogging and can lead to motor damage.

4. DO run cold water so fats don't turn into gunk that can lead to clogging. 

5. DO perform routine checks at least 2 times a year or more.

6. DO take it a step further and consider using homemade cleaning solutions with natural ingredients.

Following these tips will not only prevent leaks but also improve your garbage disposal's longevity. If you are already experiencing a leak, there are plenty of articles that can let you know how to fix a leak depending on where the leak is coming from. However, contacting a plumbing pro is always the best solution so they can troubleshoot the issue properly. 

If you have recently experienced a flood or leak, give us a call at 337-462-6500 to see how we can help.

5 Myths About Water Damage Restoration

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville & Vinton is ready to help you 24/7 when you experience water damage due to leaking or flooding. As water damage experts, we aim to inform our customers about what to expect if they find themselves in this situation. Here are some water damage restoration myths that we want to debunk:

  1. "Bleach kills mold." - A common DIY misconception is that bleach will kill mold. Although bleach will get rid of stains, it won't get rid of the mold's roots.
  2. "It's a DIY job." - Many homeowners may believe that they'll save money by fixing water damage on their own. In reality, many homeowners may actually end up spending more money than they've budgeted for. SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville & Vinton uses specialized equipment for the water removal and drying process. We also have highly trained professionals to identify the best remediation method.
  3. "Water will dry on its own." Just because you don't see water doesn't mean it's not there. Water has a way of hiding in your walls and flooring and may appear to look dry. Waiting too long to contact a specialist may result in mold growth, costing you more down the road.
  4. "It's a long process." - The SERVPRO crew is trained to act promptly in case of an emergency. We'll do an initial inspection, remove/extract water, start the drying process, and monitor your home until drying goals are met. The faster our crew is contacted, the faster we can get your home to pre-water damage condition.
  5. "Mold takes a long time to appear." If your home has experienced leaking or flooding, mold can show up as fast as 24-48 hours. Just like water, mold doesn't have to be visible on the surface to be present. The best way to know for sure is contact a specialist. 

If you have experienced water damage or believe you may have mold in your home, call us at 337-462-6500 to see how we can help.

4 Signs of Water Damage in Your Home

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

When your home experiences a flood, broken pipes, leaking or excess moisture, this can lead to water damage.  Just like mold, water damage isn’t always easily noticeable. A few things that you can take into consideration when looking for water damage are: change in odor, discoloration, peeling, and change in texture.

  1. Change in odor - Hidden water that goes untreated will give off a strong, musty smell. Possible areas you can check are the basement, ceiling, walls, floors, etc.
  2. Discoloration - Water that has seeped into walls and ceilings will create water spots and stains. These can be yellowish in color, sometimes brown or copper.
  3. Peeling - Water that's been absorbed into drywall can cause paint to lose adhesion.  This then causes bubbling, cracking and/or peeling.
  4. Change in texture - There are four different types of changes in texture - buckling, warping, sagging, and expansion. In buckling, the moisture causes deformation in the drywall which eventually leads to it cracking. Warping occurs when there are gaps present in between the boards, and the changes in temperature or humidity might cause “curling”.  When drywall and ceilings absorb extra water weight, sagging may occur as it becomes too heavy to support. Expansion occurs when boards swell up from absorbing too much water.

Regularly inspecting your home not only gives you peace of mind, it can also save you a lot of money in the long run. Treat your home right, and it will be good to you for years to come.

If you notice signs of mold in your home, please give us a call today to see how we can help.

Other Sources of Water Damage

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

When we think of “water damage”, flooding or pipe bursts are usually what first come to mind. Water damage isn’t always caused by drastic events. Other several factors that happen in our homes can lead to water damage, such as:

  1. Toilet, Sink and Tub Overflow - Overflowing water will flood the bathroom floor and seep into the flooring. Make sure to fix any noticeable plumbing problems in the bathroom, especially since this area is highly susceptible to mold growth.
  2. HVAC Systems - Condensation line leaks can welcome mold growth into these dark spaces. Perform a condensation line inspection and cleaning every 3 to 6 months, along with the air filter replacements.
  3. Dishwasher - A dishwasher that isn’t properly sealed will cause a leak on your kitchen floor. While using too much water for one load can also cause a leak, consistent leaking should be inspected and repaired.
  4. Garbage disposal - Proper garbage disposal usage not only prevents leaks and potential water damage, it also improves its life span. One tip is to avoid pouring grease or oil down the garbage disposal as this can cause drain clogging. 
  5. Basement - When warm air hits a cool surface such as your basement, condensation is created. By reducing the humidity, you are reducing basement condensation. One way to do so is by using a dehumidifier to absorb excess moisture.

One good rule of thumb is to immediately fix issues with plumbing and kitchen appliances.  HVAC systems, basements and crawl spaces should also be monitored regularly as these areas can invite mold growth.