Recent Water Damage Posts
Gamma irradiation is a process used for cleaning/disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. In gamma irradiation, high-energy photons are emitted from an isotope source producing ionization throughout a product.
In a CAT 3 situation (sewage or flood water), documents are not only deteriorating but are also infected with all types of bacteria. In most storm situations, you are dealing with CAT 3 water; therefore, most of the affected documents that you will encounter these disruptions result in damage to the DNA and other cellular structures, These photon-induced changes at the molecular level cause the death of the organism or render the organism incapable of reproduction. The gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity in processed products.
SERVPRO is always ready to help restore your documents and would be more than willing to assist you in any way that we can — give your local franchise a call for all of your restoration needs!
Vacuum Freeze Drying Wet Documents
As to be expected with flooding and water-damaged homes, important documents, like financial statements or paperwork, also get water-damaged and what is usually perceived as unsalvageable. However, SERVPRO offers services that can help you restore your important documents to reclaim their original form.
Utilizing our SERVPRO Vacuum Freeze Drying services is the most efficient and effective option for salvaging water-damaged documents. In fact, our Document Restoration Team uses the same techniques that the Library of Congress uses to dry water-damaged books!
The process, in which an item containing moisture, is frozen and dried using vacuums to achieve sublimation, from exerting a lot of pressure. Sublimation means that solids (ice) turn into gas (water vapor) without becoming liquid first. Think about the carbon dioxide derivation, dry ice; dry ice (solid) sublimates when it is exposed to normal atmospheric conditions, turning into gas directly from its solid stage.
If you have wet documents due to water damage, or have any questions regarding this process, contact your local SERVPRO Franchise today!
-Content by Rob D’Emilio Jr.
Local Flooding in Your Areas
With several inches of rain accumulating in our area, flooding is inevitable and can prove to be quite costly. In fact, in 2011, floods caused $8.41 billion in damages in the United States (LiveScience); in some degree, wherever rain falls, flooding can occur.
SERVPRO of Upper Buck's technicians are highly skilled in dealing with flooding of all sorts, assuring each homeowner that the job will be done correctly and efficiently. From start to finish, our staff and technicians will support you each step of the way — no loss is too big for us to tackle!
There are measures that you could take to help limit the severity of damages to your home or business caused by flooding; putting together an emergency kit for your family and creating escape plans if you are anticipating a high volume of flood water will definitely keep you ready.
Furthermore, keeping your internal assets, like your furnace, water heater and electrical panels, up off the ground will also limit the likelihood of flood-related damages.
-Content by Rob D'Emilio Jr., Statistics from LiveScience.com
Water Damage Over Time
Secondary destruction, due to an initial issue with water damage, is almost always inevitable if the appropriate, initial steps aren’t taken. Over time, water can cause your house to suffer from numerous issues. In fact, water damage can rapidly increase the owner’s claim costs in just a couple of minutes; moisture-sensitive furniture could start to turn white, or furniture that is resting on/in wet areas could begin to leach and stain the surrounding areas.
Within a few hours, any furniture that is resting in water will likely begin to swell and delaminate. Odors, which are typically considered normal for households, begin to become more apparent due to the humidity inside the property.
If left alone for days, warping and cupping of wood starts to become more noticeable, often leaving wooden floors unsalvageable. Wooden floors aren’t only affected, though, being that structural pieces (made from wood) begin to swell, warp and split apart. More possibilities include musty odors that could fill the property due to fungi development, or less abrasive instances where wallpaper adhesives start to peel away — just be sure to remove items that are being hung using this method to prevent further damage to those items.
Properties that go weeks without being tended to after water damage are liable to obtain a laundry list of issues. Mold starts to sink into organic material, ultimately ruining the integrity of said material. Due to microbial growth, allergen sensitivity may arise, causing any occupants to evacuate the property. But it gets worse; a complete gutting of the structure could be the only option. Not only will this drive out the occupants who are living in that residence, but will increase the claim substantially.
It is important to handle any considerable amount of water damage done to your home in a timely matter. Doing so could potentially avoid a large loss situation that could have been totally avoidable in the first place.
Are you unsure of what to do or how to handle your water damage situation? Call your local SERVPRO franchise for all of your water restoration needs!
-Content by Rob D'Emilio Jr.
Restoration Cases Involving Contaminated Water Damage
When your home is affected by water damage, taking the appropriate, safe steps to restore the property is usually the correct response. However, if your home was damaged due to contaminated water, like sewage, there are some things to consider that will help prevent exposure to a range of harmful pollutants.
First and foremost, contact your local SERVPRO franchise to help you decide what your best course of action is. Our Franchise Professionals can identify the source and type of water, before utilizing drying equipment that controls the temperate and humidity, which minimizes secondary damage.
In the meantime, do your best to avoid any and all contact with contaminated water and the items it also may have contaminated. By not walking unnecessarily through damaged areas, you can reduce the possibility of spreading contaminated water through your property.
Do not use household fans or HVAC systems to dry the structure; spreading contaminants through the air could be a likely outcome by doing so. Furthermore, do not use personal hygiene products if they have been exposed to contaminated areas — if you’ve come in contact with contaminated items, wash your hands thoroughly.
To learn more about contaminated water and how it could impact you, visit epa.gov where you will find a complete list of possible contaminants due to contaminated water.
-Content by Rob D’Emilio Jr.
Polar Vortex/Frozen Pipes
Polar Vortex 2019
The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding the Earth's North and South poles. The term vortex refers to the counter-clockwise flow of air that helps keep the colder air close to the poles (left globe). Often during winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the polar vortex will become less stable and expand, sending cold Arctic air southward over the United States with the jet stream (right globe). The polar vortex is nothing new – in fact, it's thought that the term first appeared in an 1853 issue of E. Littell's Living Age.
Provided by NOAA.ORG
Frozen Pipes form Polar Vortex have major impact on businesses in Bucks County
Resources to Prepare for Winter Storm Harper!
Winter Storm Harper is set to blow in this weekend. Listed below are some helpful links to help you and your family prepare for this weekend's winter weather! Stay safe! All the power companies serving electric customers, along with links to OUTAGE MAPS for each utility supplier and how to report an outage: http://www.puc.state.pa.us/consumer_info/electricity/electric_companies_suppliers.aspx - Road conditions and traffic jams in the Keystone State can be found here: https://www.511pa.com/ - Twitter account for the state Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), which posts updates consistently throughout storms: https://twitter.com/ReadyPA - County-by-county preparedness and shelter information links: Bucks County // Chester County // Delaware County // Montgomery County // Philadelphia - The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency's ReadyPA winter preparedness guide: https://www.ready.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx Keep us in mind if you do find yourself faced with a frozen pipe that burst or storm damage!
With the weather continually dropping, frozen pipes become a concern that all homeowners should be aware of. Aside from the lack of running water, frozen pipes are dangerous because of their potential to burst. If they do burst it will create a larger ,more dangerous problem. Here are four signs that your pipes may have frozen:
- Low Temperature: Obviously the weather must drop down low enough for water to freeze. When the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit is when you should start to take precautions to avoid freezing pipes.
- Frost on the Pipes: This one may seem obvious as well but you should always be checking your pipes when it gets colder incase frost does begin to form.
- No Water is Coming Out of the Pipes: If the water from your faucet is running low, just dripping or is completely dry then your pipes may be frozen.
- Strange Smells: When a pipe is frozen there is nowhere for the odor inside of the pipe to go, other then back where it came from. This is why you may be smelling an odd smell from your drains when you have a frozen pipe.
Content by: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/how-to-tell-if-your-pipes-are-frozen-2124985
Water Damage Emergency Tips
A picture from a job we were called out to for flooding after a summer storm.
When an emergency happens people tend to panic and sometimes do not have the proper tools to calmly deal with the situation. When water affects your house whether it be due to a heavy storm or a broken water heater it is always good to be informed on what to do next.
As in any emergency, safety should be you number one concern, and a water damage situation is no different!
- “Is it safe to stay in the house?” This should always be the first question you ask yourself. If the water damage has any potential to put you or your family at risk, then leave the house.
- Electrical and “slip and fall” hazards are some of the most common concerns. Be sure to shut off an power source it is safe to do so safely.
- Wet materials can be very heavy, so be careful when moving them.
- Be sure to only do things to your house that are safe for you to do and leave the rest to the remediation crew.
Content by: SERVPRO Corporate
The SERVPRO Steps to Water Remedation
When you are faced with a water damage problem, whether it be from a broken water heater or from a heavy storm, it can be a pretty scary thing. Luckily at SERVPRO we have our own detailed way of handling these situations, from the moment you call to the time we leave the property.
Step 1: Emergency Contact:
When you call, our representative will guide you through several questions that will help the SERVPRO Franchise Professional respond to your water emergency more quickly and efficiently. This initial contact is an important part of a fast, effective restoration.
Step 2: Inspection and Water Damage Assessment:
They carefully inspect your property’s water damage, determining the type of water damage and the areas affected. This is a crucial step to creating an effective plan of action that will result in a successful restoration.
Step 3: Water Extraction/ Water Removal:
Typically, hundreds or thousands of gallons of water are removed using our powerful pumps and vacuums during the water removal process. The SERVPRO Franchise Professionals start this process as soon as possible to minimize further damage and to help prevent mold growth.
Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification:
After the bulk of the water has been removed, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals use specialized equipment to target the water that’s harder to access. They use less intrusive, scientific drying methods to draw the remaining water and moisture from your property with air movers and dehumidifiers.
Step 5: Cleaning and Sanitizing:
Water damage also affects your belongings, like furniture, clothing, and personal items. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can clean restorable items using a number of specialized cleaning techniques. They also sanitize with antimicrobial treatments and remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 6: Restoration:
The last step is restoring your home or business back to its pre-water damage condition. The restoration step can be relatively minor, such as replacing a few drywall panels, or could include major reconstruction, such as rebuilding entire rooms of a home or business.
Content by: SERVPRO Corporate
Moisture Meters and Restoration Jobs
This is an example of a penetrating moisture meter.
Many times when a customer experiences water damage it can be hard to tell how bad the damage is just by looking around at the property. There can be underlying damage that is not visible to the eyes and this is where moisture meters come in to play. A restoration moisture meter or sensor measures the amount of moisture in an environment and in certain materials. Drywall, flooring and other structural components can be measured to assess the damage they may have incurred as well. These meters are very useful to put a number on the level of damage a property may have incurred.
There are a few different types of meters that all have a different pros and cons. Some jobs will only require the use of one but others will require more.
- Non-Penetrating Meters: These are one of the easiest meters to use and are a popular choice because they pose no risk of causing any damage to the flooring or structure. These have two flat sensors usually located at the bottom of the device and compare the amount of moisture located between them. They are best for quickly comparing levels between affected and unaffected areas.
- Penetrating Meters: These meters have a series of prongs that will penetrate the surface of a structure to take the moisture reading. These readings are much more accurate and are great for finding any trapped moisture on a site.
- Hydrosensors: These meters are a type of penetrating meters that are great for seeing how far moisture has traveled from the surface of the structure. These work best for carpet or carpet padding but do not work with drywall.
- Thermo-Hygrometers: Thermo-hygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity, which both will affect how drying equipment will function. These essentially test whether or not an environment can be efficiently dried with the tools that are at the teams disposal. The measurements these put out are helpful in determining if your dehumidifier is working properly.
These tools are very essential in water damage restoration projects as they give you a good understanding of how big or small the job will be. Also it gives you readings to bring back to the customer and discuss the work that will need to be done in more detail.
Content By: https://aerindustries.com/blog/2018/03/01/water-restoration-moisture-meters/
Picture By: https://www.sperdirect.com/pocket-moisture-meter-1842-prd1.htm
The Leading 5 Causes of Commercial Water Damage
Water damage affecting a business causes a lot more problems than just the physical damage. People will lose days, maybe even weeks of work depending on how big the problem is. Through research collected over the past years, the top 5 causes of commercial water damage were determined in order to help businesses try to prevent it from happening in their own building.
Appliances such as air conditioning units, heaters, or anything utilizes tubes, pipes, and filters that water runs through, are at risk of leaking. If your business uses water then there will be some risks for leaks. The best thing to do to keep these pieces of equipment from leaking is simply to perform routine maintenance on them and always be checking for leaks. Anything that seems to be a concern, such as rust, cracks, bulges or moisture, should be taken care of immediately.
Roofs are known to leak, so they should be checked regularly. You want to make sure that the roof is draining all the water efficiently. Over time, if not a roof is not maintained, leaks and cracks are very likely to happen through wear and tear. To avoid water damage due to your roof just be sure to be checking it a few times a year.
Plumbing is the most obvious possible source of water damage as it is very susceptible to clogs, blockages and damage. As with the appliances you should be checking regularly for any signs of potential damage to the system before the water has a chance to leak, such as blue stains and moisture.
Always check your sprinkler systems for signs of rust and replace if necessary. Although these may be one of the last things on your mind, they can and will malfunction if they are not taken care of.
While you can’t stop mother nature and all the weather she brings, you can regularly be checking your building to make sure everything is in tip top shape to avoid more damage when she strikes. Cleaning drains, gutters, having flood insurance are all good preventative measure to have in place.
Content by: https://www.grainger.com/content/supplylink-top-five-causes-of-commercial-water-damage
The C’s of Water Damage
Water coming from the washing machine would be considered category 2.
Many people see water in their home and immediately think the worst of the situation when in fact there are several components that go into assessing the level of damage the water has caused.
Classes of Water Damage
- Class 1: This is the least level of damage as it only involves a section of a room that has only absorbed little moisture.
- Class 2: This level involves water damage to an entire room and has absorbed in to the walls and carpet.
- Class 3: The damage has now absorbed up in to most of the walls and may have come in through the ceiling. This is the worst level of damage.
- Class 4: The water damage in class 4 requires special drying methods as it involves hardwood floors, concrete and stone materials.
Categories of Water Damage
- Category 1: The source of this water is clean and coming from a clean water source such as a toilet tank or a broken pipe. This category can become a category 2 or 3 if it is left sitting too long
- Category 2: This category includes water containing detergents or “grey water”. The water usually comes from washing machines or dishwashers. Water containing urine from an overflowing toilet can also be included in this category.
- Category 3: The water in category 3 is completely unsanitary water coming from sewage, river floodings and even standing water that started to grow bacteria. This water is dangerous and can cause illness and even death if not handled properly.
Content By: https://www.waterdamageadvisor.com/water-damage/water-restoration/
Picture By: http://247responseteam.com/what-is-involved-in-the-water-damage-restoration-process/
Frozen Pipes: What are they and what do I do if they break?!
Winter months are slowly approaching, and although we had a mild fall thus far, we must begin to prepare for the winter weather ahead. A reoccurring issue, which surfaces every winter, is the fact that our pipes can freeze; once those pipes freeze, they can burst which can cause water damage. Water damage can cause stress on the home or business owner, but there are strategies that can minimize frustration as much as possible.
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, “Frozen pipes are one of the biggest risks of property damage when the temperature drops.” Frozen pipes become a serious issue during the winter months, especially in regions where the temperature can significantly drop. This decrease in temperature will cause the water to expand, therefore putting pressure on the container it is in. With this much pressure, the pipes can break. Once the pipes break, there can be a water damage emergency situation. What the owner does next will determine the severity of the damage until help arrives.
The primary focus in a water damage situation is safety. There are questions the home/business owners must ask themselves such as, “Is it safe to stay in the house?” There is the concern of electrical and “slip and fall” hazards, which must be watched out for.
If a pipe does break, there are strategies that can be implemented to lesson the water damage. Here is a list of helpful tips that can be done until help arrives:
-Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
-Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
-Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
-Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
-Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
-Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
-Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
-Gather loose items from floors.
215-536-7989: Attention Quakertown Residents!
Don't let your sump pump fail!
Sump Pump Failure?
Many homeowners in and around the Quakertown area (yes, that means those of you in Perkasie, Sellersville, and Coopersburg too!) rely on a sump pump to keep their basement from flooding. But have you ever stopped to think what may happen if your sump pump fails?
Will you realize it's not working?
Will you wake up to several inches of water in your basement?
These are questions that many people typically do not consider until it is too late. Be sure to do your routine maintenance and make sure all of the working parts which comprise your sump pump are working properly.
If you do happen to wake up to that unwelcome surprise in your basement, no worries! Just call your local SERVPRO office located in Perkasie and we'll make it, "Like it never even happened." 215-536-7989
Burst Pipes During Winter
Frozen, burst pipe.
What exactly causes a burst pipe?
The cold weather season may be great for those who love to ski or snowboard but those who own/rent a house, may feel less enticed by the decreasing temperatures.
Polar vortexes, frosts and reoccurring cold fronts can cause severe damages to the pipes in and outside your home. While several factors can result in a burst pipe, the main reason is freezing temperatures. When the water inside a pipe freezes, the freezing process causes the water to expand thus creating pressure on the pipe from within. Additionally, trickles of water may still be flowing through and in between the frozen walls of the pipes.
All combined, the pressure becomes too great and the pipe ruptures at a weaker joint or even in the middle at times. As pipes can run from underground, outside and up through your home, the amount of water damage can be extensive and costly.
- Instill a regular seasonal maintenance plan-i.e. disconnect and drain any outdoor hoses before the cold weather; as one of these bursting can cause extensive damage to your entire plumbing system
- For plumbing pipes located in an unheated area of your home or business, consider foam pipe insulation ($50-$200 depending on length)
- If you migrate to a warmer climate throughout any extended time during the winter months; make sure your furnace is set no lower than 55 degrees and the main water supply is shut-off during the time you are away
Check out our water damage section to see how we can make it, "like it never even happened", if you find yourself dealing with a burst pipe!
Water Mitigation-Why It's Important
Don't Wait, Call SERVPRO!
Let’s start by defining mitigation, according to FEMA it is, “the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters.” Specifically, water mitigation is a process that reduces or prevents the amount of damage that can be caused by water after a leak, storm, burst pipe, or flood.
These efforts are most effective when mitigation is performed as soon as possible! Why? When water sits in a damaged area for extended lengths of time, the risk for more damage increases drastically. Sitting water can lead to microbial growth, cracks in foundation, irreversible content damage, carpet/flooring damage, etc.
Unfortunately, water-related disasters can occur at any time. The costs and effects of water damage are unpredictable, which is why it is important to begin the mitigation process in a timely manner.
There are several steps you can take while you wait for our highly-trained crews to arrive;
- Try to close the main water source or shut off any water sources that may be causing the flooding
- Please stay away from any electrical devices. Shut down your electric breaker to prevent any injuries
- If you can safely gain access, take any curtains or draperies away from water or any wet carpet
- If you can safely gain access, remove items that may cause stain to your wet carpet such as, fabrics, books, papers, plants and shoes
- DO NOT place newspaper on wet carpet to walk on as ink transfers very easily to wet carpet fibers
- Avoid walking on carpet as much as possible to avoid spreading the effected area
Once we arrive, our crews will begin SERVPRO's unique water mitigation process. SERVPRO’s process contains a specialized set of steps to ensure property value is restored to normal;
Step 1: Emergency Contact- Our representatives will guide you through several, important questions that will allow our crews to respond more quickly and efficiently
Step 2: Inspection and Damage Assessment-Once on scene, our crews scrupulously inspect your property’s water damage, which will help them determine the type of water damage and the areas that are affected
Step 3: Water Extraction-Hundreds to thousands of gallons of water are removed using our powerful pumps and vacuums.
Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification-After the bulk of the water has been removed, our crews use specialized equipment to target any water that is harder to access. Our crews implement a scientific drying method to extract any remaining water and moisture using air movers and dehumidifiers.
Step 5: Cleaning and Sanitizing-Since water damage also affects belongings, furniture, clothes and many other personal items, our crews will clean restorable items through a process of specialized techniques. Our crews will also sanitize with antimicrobial treatments and remove any odors using air scrubbers and fogging equipment
Step 6: Restoration- This is our last step to ensuring your home or business returns to its pre-water damage condition. This step can be as minor as replacing some drywall panels or as major as reconstruction. Either way, SERVPRO will guarantee it is completely restored and just like new!
SERVPRO’s primary job is to keep the damage caused by the water at a minimum and restore the value of the property to make it, “like it never even happened!”