Recent Water Damage Posts
Where to Go During Flooding
Flooding is ranked as one of the most expensive and regularly occurring natural disasters. This is partly due to the cause of flooding which is vast precipitation and storms, as well as waterways and dams being full or damaged, which means all climate regions can be affected.
With the commonality of flooding, it’s important to know what to do and where to go during a flood. It doesn’t take much water to knock a person down or even move smaller vehicles and fixtures, so it’s important not to walk or drive through flooded roadways.
Firstly, if you’re aware of a flood or flash flood warning, it’s important to vacate areas that are likely to flood such as canyons, flatlands, dips, etc. It’s a good idea to get to higher ground whenever possible as early as possible for flooding to keep yourself safe.
In more direct situations of an evacuation or emergency order by authorities, you should leave promptly following any recommended evacuation routes if provided by authorities as regular routes may be closed. If, however, you are trapped by moving floodwater, go to the highest point possible and contact emergency services.
Flooding happens regularly, so it’s important to try to remember these things and keep flood insurance and an emergency kit available if you live in flood-prone areas. You can check flood records for your area online and keep in mind that if a flood happens, you need to stay safe first and assess damages second.
How to Prevent Water Pipes From Bursting
When it comes to devastating situations such as floods and damages done to your home, there are great ways to be prepared, and ways to prevent these situations from happening. Here are a few staple tips for preventing water pipes from bursting that will help to protect your home from any damage in the future.
Direct Warm Air to the Colder Areas of Your Home
Pipes that usually freeze are close to a window or an outside wall. This technique will help to prevent those pipes from freezing.
Keep Your Facets Running
During the frigid cold months, keeping your faucets running slowly will prevent the line from freezing.
Staying Up to Date on Your Home’s Temperature
In places of your home where the pipes you want to protect are located, make sure that the temperature does not get extremely low. This will help to prevent the pipes from freezing.
Look for Air Leaks
Keeping an eye out for any air leaks can be detrimental to pipes and if they are not caught early will cause your pipes to burst. Using insulation or caulk will help to keep the cold air out.
If you are ever in a Water Damage Emergency, SERVPRO is here to help, 24/7.
Psychometrics - The Science of Post Flood Drying
Flooding can happen any time of year … rain OR shine. If you are faced with flooding in your home or business, there are many things that will be going through your mind, from what may have been damaged, to how to get the water out and the area dry. A few of those racing thoughts you may want to hone in on in particular, like getting the area clean and dry. And while some may say “it’s not rocket science”, and it is true that drying a wet basement is not in fact rocket science, it is still however science! This science even has a name, and it is called Psychometrics.
When Psychometrics comes into play, the air and its properties are studied and examined. This is an important aspect to know and understand. Although an area may seem dry and clear of moisture, there may still be a threat. When certified SERVPRO technicians are called in to help with a clean-up, they can get to the root of all that is going on and help to create the right atmosphere for proper drying. If you are faced with flooding and water damage, avoid hidden moisture and further damage by not following all of the proper steps (science) - give SERVPRO a call! We are faster to any disaster and would love to help you get back to normal "Like it never even happened."
Will my Bills go up After a Flood?
Have you recently experienced a flood and are worried about what the damage might be? There are many factors that go into the repair costs. Here are some of the damages that can occur and how that may affect your bills…
There are so many different things water damage may affect. It can cause issues like mold and rotting that can go undetected for some time. Breathing mold could cause significant issues with your health.
There are, however, more issues that need to be considered when thinking about water damages. These include:
- Structural/Electrical Damage: Flooding can cause foundation cracks, material loss, and structural damage. It can even break or damage wires in your home. If this occurs be sure to avoid touching outlets, wires, switches, etc. Get a professional to come and look at the damage and take care of the electrical issues.
- Appliances: All appliances within your home can be compromised when it comes to water damage, such as heating, air conditioning, water heater, refrigerators, etc. If they do become damaged or are wet after flooding/water damage, turn off the home’s electricity and get it inspected by a professional.
- Mold: It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to grow on a damp surface. This is why it is important to dry out your home and belongings as soon as possible after flooding. You can open windows, use fans, dehumidifiers, etc., to help speed up the process.
The cost of damages will depend on many different factors. The more damage, the more expensive restoration will be. If there is less damage and you have flood insurance, most- if not all- will likely be covered. If you get water damage and don’t have any insurance, it could end up being very costly.
Get the proper estimates and damage repair for your needs. SERVPRO has trained technicians to handle any water damage repairs. Check out the website today for more information on the services that are offered. Don’t let water damages wear you down!
Flood Plains to Avoid in Ohio
When it comes to buying a new home, it can be both thrilling and terrifying all at the same time! While you may be looking for the perfect neighborhood or school district, there are a few other things that you will want to keep in mind as well. You may consider how close it is to the highway, how long it would take for emergency services to arrive, or even the surrounding elements that might cause a threat to the house. One thing in particular that you should absolutely consider is flooding.
Certain areas are going to be more prone to flooding than others. No matter where you look, chances are the areas that are more prone to rain and snow will have a risk of flooding or possible water damage to your home, but floodplains, in particular, are a factor that will be something to look out for!
A floodplain is usually the lowland that borders rivers, lakes, oceans, and other bodies of water. Some floodplains are more prone to flooding than others. This is information that you can research and learn more about from the FEMA website, tax records, or even a title search. If you are unsure of how to find this information, your realtor or insurance agent should be able to help direct you.
Although this may not be at the top of your list when you are searching for your forever home, you will not want to overlook it. Areas that are prone to flooding will not only be a headache in the future, but it may also influence the structure of the homes that you are looking at.
Best Types of Flooring for Leaky Basements
Basements are the one part of your home that is meant to not only be for storage, laundry rooms, home gyms, and family time but also safety. When you rely on your basement to keep you (and your treasured belongings) safe, it is important to trust that water won’t be a threat. Although you can waterproof your basement and seal every crevice you can find, water can still get in at times.
This is important to consider when it comes time to redo your basement, sometimes the right flooring can help to circumvent this stressor. So if you are thinking about an update to your basement, you may want to consider a few new floor options.
Ceramic or Porcelain
Opting for a tougher material will help to not only clean up any water but also maintain durability. When water vapor is present in your basement it will be easy to wipe the area dry and use fans to circulate the air.
Vinyl Plank Flooring
These diable floors are fairly easy to install and surprisingly durable. Additionally, they stand their ground when it comes to moisture. These may be a good option for someone who is looking for an easier fix.
Yes, rubber flooring is an option, and you may have even seen flooring like this at your gym. Chances are, the gym uses this flooring because of how durable it is, easy to install, and water-resistant it is. The added bonus is that it's pretty comfy for your feet as well.
Although you may be tempted to get cozy carpeting for your basement, it may be worthwhile considering a few of the above-mentioned options. If you really miss your carpet, you can always find a fun area rug. Nonetheless, it is crucial to protect your basement and floors from water damage, not only will it keep your basement clean and smell-free, but it will be safer for you as well.
Managing Humidity in Your Basement
Managing humidity in your basement is very important. Humidity can cause mold to grow which is damaging to your basement and the air within your home.
What causes basement humidity?
Some factors that make the basement area of a home generally the most humid are because it’s underground, surrounded by concrete, and basements generally have very few windows. All of these things combine to cause more moisture to be trapped in the basement.
How to Detect High Moisture.
It can be difficult to tell if your basement traps moisture. Some key signs to look for include:
Mold: There may be mold growing in your basement in cracks, walls, corners, etc.
Damp walls/Condensation: The walls could feel wet from the high humidity levels and surfaces could even be collecting condensation.
Musty Odor: If the basement has a musty odor it can be an indication of high moisture. Especially if clothes that have been in the basement have this odor because it’s likely they haven’t had a chance to dry sitting in such a humid room.
How to Manage Humidity?
There are ways to avoid high amounts of moisture in your basement. Some of these ways include:
Open Windows: Opening the windows in your basement helps circulate the air within the room. It will reduce humidity and can even create a better feel when you’re in the basement.
Clean: Too many items in your basement creates a cluttered environment. This gives mold and mildew a chance to grow in these hidden, cluttered areas.
Get a Dehumidifier: Having a dehumidifier in your basement creates a way to absorb moisture. This can protect belongings in your basement from being damaged, and prevent any mold from growing.
Keep your basement protected from high humidity. Here at SERVPRO, we are here to help you protect yourself and your home from unsafe conditions. Contact us today at 1-800-SERVPRO for more information on what we can do for you!
What to Do If Your Home Floods
What to Do If Your Home Floods
You’ve been hit by severe weather and excessive rains, and your home is flooding. What do you do first?
If you experience flooding in your home, you need to act quickly. Mold can begin growing within 24 hours, depending on the environment. Remember that mold grows best in warm, damp environments.
First, take pictures of the water damage from a safe place. You don’t want to stand in water that could be electrically charged, or contains bacteria or sharp objects. The pictures will help when insurance gets involved.
Aside from documenting with pictures, your first move is dependent upon the height of the water. If the water in your home is below electrical outlets, then you can focus on salvaging appliances, decor, and furniture. Remove rugs and other absorbent materials, and place them in a well-ventilated spot where they can begin to dry.
Wooden furniture can be hoisted above the water using bricks. If the water level is low enough, you can even cover the legs of furniture with a waterproof material like aluminum foil to protect the wood from soaking up moisture and warping.
If the water has risen above electrical outlets, then first, shut off your electricity and gas. Next, call your electrician. If your home has flooded from severe weather, then chances are good that many other homeowners are experiencing the same thing. Call the electrician quickly to beat the rush.
After you’ve called an electrician, reach out to your insurance company to begin the claims process. The sooner you get this process started, the faster you will be reimbursed for the water damage repair costs.
Should You Get Flood Insurance?
These days, we have insurance for everything under the sun: car insurance, phone insurance, health insurance, pet insurance - the list could go on and on. If you own a home or business, you will have homeowners or commercial insurance. While having these securities may help you to sleep easy at night knowing that you are covered (in the case of a disaster) - it is important to consider: “Am I completely covered?”.
One common misconception or misunderstanding is when people think that their home or business is covered if a flood should happen. However, while regular insurance will help to pay for damages from water accidents, they will NOT cover flood damage. Because of this, many people opt to invest in flood insurance. However, there are still some that may look at flood insurance as “just another expense” or “surely my homeowners insurance will cover everything I need”.
If that is your train of thought, you may want to think again. While homeowners insurance will cover damage that is sudden or accidental, it absolutely will NOT cover flood damage. Even if you do not live in a high risk area or flood plain, weather still happens. With the right combination of rainy days and sunless skies, or a bad winter storm, flooding does happen. Additionally, according to NDRC (the Natural Resource Defense Council, Inc.), if your home is flooded and it is valued at less than $250,000, it is very likely that there will be more damage than your home is even worth.
If you are still unsure of whether or not flood insurance is an investment you want to make, ask for some more information from your insurance representative. Most insurance companies will offer it, but if not, they will be able to recommend another company.
Often mistakenly used as substitute words, there is an important difference between water damage mitigation and its cousin water damage restoration.
Put simply, mitigation comes first, followed by restoration.
Mitigation stops the initial problem and prevents more damage from taking place – first aid for your home. This could include stopping the leak, pumping out water, drying carpets and removing sodden drywall to prevent mold and damp setting in.
Restoration starts when mitigation is complete and seeks to return your property to the condition it was before the water damage took place. This is the medical treatment after the first aid for your home.
At SERVPRO, we are experts in handling both parts of the water damage problem. We can advise on when to repair and when to replace. We use the latest technology to assess how far water has penetrated into walls and floors and advise on avoiding mold which can have serious health implications. We are trained to handle flooding that may be unhealthy or dangerous to handle yourself, especially if it involves sewer water.
How to Prevent Issues with Your Water Heater
WATER heaters are the quiet and overlooked workhorses of home plumbing – they sit in the basement and just get on with the job.
Because they are pretty straightforward pieces of equipment, they tend to be very reliable, which means it is very easy to overlook the need for some basic maintenance to avoid unexpected shocks.
The problem when a water heater goes wrong can often not be the repair itself, but the damage that can be caused to a property if they leak, causing a flood in your home.
There are several reasons why a water heater may start leaking, including a build up of sediment, especially in hard water areas, rusting, broken pressure release valve, corrosion or overheating.
But some simple maintenance steps can prevent these issues turning into problems. Aim to check your heater every three months and look for problems with the temperature and pressure valve and the anode rod. Try draining two pints of water from it at the same time.
As you do this, check the general area around the heater for signs of mold, water pooling, moisture and loose fittings.
It may be worth installing a water shut off valve as well which senses if there is a leak, and automatically closes off the water supply to minimize damage. If there is a leak, drain the tank as soon as possible to prevent continued flooding.
What to Do if your Basement Floods
The basement. The room most vulnerable to flooding. Finished or unfinished, water doesn’t discriminate. Every year, thousands upon thousands of homeowners experience the nightmare of a flooded basement. But what do you do when water begins pouring into your basement?
Your own safety comes first. If the water is above electrical outlets, unplug all appliances, and shut off the electricity. Once the risk of electricity is gone, you can begin removing your belongings from the flooded area to a dry, well-ventilated area, so they can dry out.
With your belongings safely removed, you can now focus on extracting the water from your basement. Most basements have a sump pump, which is a system designed to push accumulating water from your basement to the outside. But what if your basement does not have a sump pump or the sump pump is not working properly?
If your basement is only partially flooded, you can use a wet-dry vacuum to suck up the standing water, but if the flood is substantial, you may need to call a plumber or emergency service, like SERVPRO, to manually pump the water out of your basement.
SERVPRO is equipped to remove standing water and begin the cleaning and drying process as soon as possible. Cleaning and drying should be done quickly to mitigate or prevent mold growth, which can be harmful to your health.
Top 3 Ways to Address Flooding
Top 3 Ways to Address Flooding
Nobody wants their home to flood, but we know that sometimes it happens. If you have a flood in your home, you know who to call-- SERVPRO! But here are a few helpful tips when it comes to what to do before we get there:
- Stop the water at its source. Unless your flood was caused by a force of nature, like a storm, the first thing you should do is stop the water source. The easiest way to do this is to turn off the main water valve to your house, turning off all of the water.
- Turn off the electricity. The last thing you need when your house floods is to risk electrifying the water. If it’s not possible to access the breaker without getting in the water, call an electrician! If there is a flood warning in your area due to weather, it may be best to turn off your electricity ahead of time.
- Evacuate. If the flood was not a result of a force of nature and your yard is safe, evacuate your family, animals, and anyone else in the house to your backyard. If your yard isn’t safe, head over to a neighbor or family member’s house to wait for assistance. Always have a plan in place that includes meeting spots and a way to make sure everyone in the house is accounted for!
Water Damage Claims
Insurance of any kind will usually bring about a feeling of security and peace of mind; that is what “insurance” is after all, right? When purchasing a plan, whether it be homeowners, health, car, or any other kind of insurance, the buyer usually takes into consideration the monthly costs, deductibles, premiums, and other factors. This is important information to be aware of when finding a plan that best suits your needs. Oftentimes, however, we do not really think about those plans until the absolute worst has happened and we are faced with a disaster or an emergency. Much like any other insurance plan, homeowners coverage will come with stipulations and possibly those fine print lines that sometimes get overlooked. If you find yourself in a sticky situation with needing to file a claim for water damage in particular, you may understand this now more than ever.
One of the first steps in getting your mess taken care of is understanding what kind of water damage you are dealing with and what your plan covers. In order to better understand this, you can call your insurance company and they can help you not only get the claim started, but also catch you up on what is covered. It is important to note that making this initial call may be the most important step to take in the whole process, as some policies have a deadline for filing. Sometimes it may be tempting to let it go or do a quick fix because it “does not look TOO bad”, but don’t be fooled, this may cost you more in the long run.
While sewer backup, bursting pipes, and storm-related water damage may be taken care of with your plan; you will find that the gradual water damage like a leaky roof from seepage or pipes leaking, will NOT be covered. However, if that gradual damage ends up causing major damage like a broken pipe or other extreme situations, your insurance may help with a portion of the costs. Again, this is something that you should contact your agent about for more information.
While water damage can be overwhelming and even scary, it can be taken care of (even avoided)! If you find yourself in deep waters (pun intended), you should take that first step of making that call to your insurance company. If you are lucky enough to not have encountered this, remember it certainly doesn’t hurt to take a look at your plan again for a refresher. In addition, it may be worth your while to keep a record of maintenance that has been done over the years as well as take preventative measures to avoid water damage. Although we hope you are never faced with this kind of situation, we are here to help if you are. For any water damage restoration and cleanup give SERVPRO a call because not only are we faster to any disaster, but we can also work with your insurance company for a stress-free claims experience!
Freezing Water - The Science of Keeping Freeze and Water Damage at Bay
Prevent frozen water damage in your Northeast Ohio home.
Water begins to freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees celsius. Weather like this makes for the perfect snow day or ice skating day, but perhaps not the best day for your home or business. When the temperature outside begins to drop to below 32 degrees, you may end up with water or freeze damage if you are not well prepared. So, how exactly can you stay ahead of the freezing weather? Here are a few measures that you may want to consider this year:
- If this is your first time evaluating your property for freezing weather, it may be important to make sure that your structure is well insulated (especially if it is an older building). When the temperature drops below freezing, that old Vermiculite or mineral wool may not stand up to the cold. (make sure to check your attic’s insulation as well)
- Make sure that your pipes are well insulated. This is a fairly easy task and can be a DIY project. Taking this step to protect your home or business may help you in the long run by avoiding pipes bursting and breaking.
- Check your gutters before it gets too cold. The build-up in your gutters may create a blockage and prevent proper water drainage. If this happens the water will need to go somewhere, and the last place you will want it is inside.
- Examine your foundation and windows for holes and cracks. You may find small openings that do not look intimidating, but when it gets cold and wet enough they may be susceptible to expanding and further damage. If you notice these spots seal them up with spray foam insulation, caulk, or whatever other materials you may need.
Taking just a few simple steps and extra time may save you a big headache later on down the road. Some of the steps mentioned above are even projects that you can handle yourself - even if you are not the most experienced with home improvement. If you find yourself in an emergency situation with water or freeze damage this year, give SERVPRO of Canton a call any time day or night. We can come out to give you an evaluation, and help you get back to normal as soon as possible!
How to Vet a Professional Plumber Before Hiring
When hiring a plumber it isn't guaranteed that you will get a reliable one. Vetting a plumber before hiring can avoid many costly plumbing errors that can add onto the expenses you already have from the initial plumbing work. It is beneficial to vet your plumber prior to hiring.
To pick the right plumber you want to make sure they are licensed. Some plumbers are only registered rather than licensed which can be a big difference in their performance. You can check if your state requires a plumber to be licensed, which many do, but some only require them to be registered. This may also indicate how much knowledge or experience a plumber has in the trade. It is important to choose a plumber with an extensive amount of experience. This is because with more experience it is more likely for them to do the tasks well due to the past plumbing situations they’ve handled.
Another thing that you want to make sure to do before hiring a plumber is making sure they are insured and bonded. By having a bonded and insured plumber it helps to cover the possibility of accidents because even if they have experience it doesn’t eliminate the odds of mistake. When they are insured it covers contractor errors that can occur and injure people or even damage your property. Whereas, the bond is what will pay for any damage that isn’t covered by the insurance.
Be sure to hire the proper plumber to help ensure you don’t lose money on any services. We are here to provide you with any information you may need or even help repairing damages. Contact us today at 1-800-SERVPRO to help make sure you get the job done right.
How to Prepare a Flood Plain Go Bag
Prepare your household for when the flood water hits your area.
IF a flood hits your home, you have to act quickly – the time is of the essence to get you and your loved ones and pets to safety.
Water is literally a force of nature and there is little you can do to prevent damage from taking place – but you can prepare to minimize damage and put yourself in the best position to pick up and repair when the floodwaters subside.
If you live in a flood plain, it is worth having a ‘grab bag’ ready to go so you can simply load your family and pets into the car, grab the pre-packed essentials and get yourself to safety – everything else can be sorted out later.
Your grab bag or box should be put together around the 5 Ps of Evacuation – Personal Needs, Priceless Items, People, Prescriptions and Papers.
For your personal needs, gather essentials like clothing, toiletries, food, cash, phones, chargers and first aid supplies. Priceless items are quite self-explanatory – whatever you own that cannot be replaced. These may be sentimental rather than valuable but will be unique to your family.
People – whom are you taking responsibility for? It may seem obvious, and probably is, but does your family unit include others that may not live with you or even a vulnerable neighbor? And – of course – we count our pets as family.
Prescriptions – gather all your essential medications and any equipment, and the paperwork too - if you are away for a while you will need refills and the pharmacist will need vital information.
And finally, Paperwork – ensure you have access to all your key documents. Some, like passports and birth certificates, you should take with you. Others, in today‘s electronic world, could be stored on the cloud such as bank details, insurance policy information, and suchlike – all ready for you to start the essential calls to get your home put right for your return.
Make sure you plan ahead and remember that SERVPRO of Canton is faster to any disaster.
What To Do When You Have A Leak
Know how to handle a water leak in your home or business
WATER is a force of nature – it will always take the path of least resistance and it will keep coming until properly repaired.
Whether you are facing a sudden and large burst pipe flooding your basement, or a small drip, drip, drip that went unnoticed for a long time, water can cause untold damage to your property.
But expert help is on hand to not only stop the leak but help with the tidy up – and ensure it does not happen again.
When you find a leak, assess what type it is, as each has its own consequences of inaction.
Consider the non-damaging leak – the toilet that keeps running or the dripping tap. These are not going to cause damage to your property as the water is still draining away where it is supposed to. But water bills will go up – and even the smallest drip, running continuously 24 hours a day, will add dollars to your bill. And fixing it takes time and money.
Next is the minimal damage – you have escaped a big problem for now, but it will only get worse if not taken care of. If buried in a wall or the basement, it is easy to overlook them until a bigger repair presents itself.
And then there is significant damage demanding immediate attention – the burst pipe causing a flood which is destroying your property as you see it. There can be no delay in getting help.
When faced with a leak try to diagnose the problem – shut off all sources of water to work out where the water is coming from. Check the water meter – is it still showing running water? If so, there is a leak somewhere – and you are paying for it.
Turn off the water supply to the building, clean up the mess and get the leak fixed – and the bigger the problem the more important it is to act fast. Document any damage by taking pictures for the insurance company and work with your trusted SERVPRO of Canton to ensure the problem is fixed properly.
What are PVC Pipes?
Learn more about these common home water pipes.
WATER arrives at your tap through pipes – miles and miles of different types of pipes.
And in recent years PVC piping has become increasingly common compared to the copper of yesterday, or other materials such as galvanized steel. Polypropylene or pex.
As always, each type has its unique advantages and drawbacks, though PVC is rapidly replacing copper for much domestic pipework.
A thermoplastic polymer, PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride and is a combination of vinyl and plastic. It is usually white though can be cream or grey as well, and is ideal for use with a high-pressure water supply.
It is manufactured in different thicknesses and configurations, and if being used for drinking water should be marked ‘NSF-PW’ or ‘NSF-61’ meaning it meets safety standards.
The major advantages with PVC for piping include its longevity, as it does not corrode or rust – unless it is compromised somehow it lasts indefinitely, even under the hi9gh pressure water it usually takes.
It is a very easy material to work with, as it is light and flexible, and can simply be glued together, requiring no soldering. Many joints are simply clip-on.
PVC is also very cheap, particularly in comparison to copper, making it highly attractive to plumbers and not very attractive to thieves.
But the one big drawback is it is not good at handling hot water – like plastic, heat can make the material warp or even melt, and as such, it should not be used with home hot water supply. Fittings can also be bulky if you are working in very tight spaces.
However, PVC has a direct relative – the Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride pipe – and this chemical twist gives CPVC heat resistant properties, meaning it can be used for hot water piping. CPVC also comes in a wider range of sizes than PVC, including matching traditional copper. It does cost more than its cousin but is still substantially cheaper than alternatives, but should not be used in direct sunlight as it can break down over time.
9 Reasons Your Water Bill May Have Increased
Water can be wasted in your home; find out how to prevent this and save your wallet.
OF all our utility bills, water usually tends to be one of the more consistent - after all, we tend to shower by routine, and wash up by habit.
Our needs do not tend to vary wildly as they do with the heat in winter, for example.
But sometimes we can get a nasty shock when we get the water bill and find a sudden jump in the cost – and a leak is usually the culprit, especially if it has gone unnoticed for a while.
Here are nine of the top reasons your water bill may have jumped – and what you can do about it.
- Running Toilet - Easy to overlook as it is not causing any damage – and especially if it is a little-used one ion the basement or a spare room bathroom – but a toilet continually running can add up to 330 liters of water a day to your bill that you literally flushed down the loo.
- Leaky Faucets or Valves - A drip a second can soon add up to 20 liters a day – as well as annoying, it is expensive. Get the tap fixed.
- Summer Fun - While many people’s water use is pretty constant, you may be a seasonal consumer – do you sprinkle the lawn and flowerbeds or do you have a pool? These will boost your bills, but at least it is a conscious choice.
- Water Softeners – these gizmos can add a hefty chunk of change to your bills depending on their settings and how often they recharge.
- Furnace Humidifier – if this is set too high it can cause problems as the drain can become blocked and cause a leak.
- Old Heaters – These do not last forever, especially in hard water areas, and it can be worth checking them for leaks at the base periodically. If it is tucked away in the basement it is easy to overlook.
- Appliances – like heaters, our dishwashers and washing machines wear out. Leaks can occur, often hidden from sight. Check them regularly and replace them when they are worn out.
- Outdoor Leaks – Is there a leaky hose dripping away, or a puddle that never seems to disappear even in the height of summer? Signs you could be pouring water away without realizing it.
- Underground Leaks – perhaps the worst of all, as you often will have no clue about it until a nasty bill arrives, and also the repair most likely to need professional attention.
The Dangers of Standing Water in Your Home
Prevent the dangers of standing water in your home.
Standing water, what's the big deal? Standing water from a clogged drain, puddles in the basement, and the old pool that hasn’t been drained are troublesome, irritating, and unpleasant, but can actually be pretty dangerous. People tend to overlook the hazards of standing water.
Mosquitoes breed exceptionally fast in the water. And stagnant water is even worse. And as mosquitoes are known for carrying many blood-borne pathogens, such as dengue, Zika virus, West Nile virus, and malaria, they are especially dangerous for your health and your family's health.
Rats, mice, and possums, oh my! Vermin such as these are constantly on the hunt for watering holes, like that puddle in your basement. Much like mosquitoes, vermin carry diseases of their own and will infect others if they leave their hiding spot. No one fancies vermin, to begin with anyway!
Bringing it back to high school science class. Bacteria and other parasites are known for their great ability to thrive in moist environments. Most are particularly hazardous to your health. And these bacteria could’ve come from an animal, or human waste, which can be found in lots of standing water.
Standing water really can be detrimental to the health of yourself, your family, and your home. It’s best to remove any standing water before any danger occurs. If you find any standing water and need help removing it, contact SERVPRO today for a consultation.
Preparing Your Water Pipes for the Winter Weather in Canton
Prevent your pipes from freezing this winter.
It happens every year; temperatures drop below freezing and the pipes running through your home get iced over, leaving you stuck with little to no water pressure. Unprepared pipes are also at a higher risk of exploding and spewing your water where it’s unwanted; in your basement, bathroom, or kitchen. Here are some ways you can winterize your pipes for when those cold temperatures set in over Canton.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
Pipes that are in tricky places such as garages, attics, or crawl spaces are more prone to those freezing temps. Getting some protective insulation to cover those pipes will prevent the cold from wreaking havoc in those areas of your home. Heat cables will work wonders for protection in combination with that insulation.
Kitchen Cabinets Should Stay Open
During those cold snaps, you’re going to want to open your kitchen cabinets open. Letting the warm air circulate behind those closed doors will prevent damage to at-risk kitchen piping. Putting a space heater next to the cabinets will also help significantly.
Store Those Garden Hoses
Leaving hoses attached outside during the winter can create ice blockage that will wreak havoc on your home’s entire piping system. It is paramount that you unscrew all of your garden hoses and put them in storage for the season, you’ll save on pipe repairs and you won’t have to replace your hoses next summer.
Keep the Faucets at a Trickle
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it works! If your pipes still end up exposed as the winter moves in, remember to keep those faucets at a slow drip or trickle to maintain water pressure within the pipes. While it may run your water bill up a little, it will be worth it by saving on pipe repairs.
Be prepared for the winter weather hitting Canton this year, stay safe. As always, SERVPRO is always on standby for you in the event of a plumbing emergency.
Autumn Water Damage in Your Canton Home
Don't let water damage ruin your autumn fun this year.
Often times, when we think of fall, we think of those cool and breezy, temperate days where the sun is shining through the colorful leaves. However, the weather can be quite nasty during those autumn months we love so much and during October, November, and December, the most amount of water damage claims are made on homeowners’ policies for the whole year.
Many times these claims are a result of freezing pipes – the quickly shifting temperatures of the fall can lead to pipes freezing and bursting and a ton of damage in your home or business. Fall storms, however, can also be a culprit for water damage. As the trees go dormant for the winter, dropping leaves and dead branches, you can run into a couple of problems in your home. The leaves and debris could clog up your gutters, preventing water from moving away from your home. The build-up of water could lead to leaky roofs or foundations allowing water inside your home. Additionally, windblown debris could do storm damage that might then leave space for water to enter your building.
Basic maintenance can help prevent some of these problems from happening at your home. Keep your gutters clean as the leaves fall and collect there and ensure that water is moving down the downspouts. Additionally, check the gradient of the land around your foundation, make sure that it is sloped away from your home to prevent water from collecting around your foundation. If your roof is in need of some TLC, spend a little time and money getting it repaired and hopefully save yourself from needing a full replacement.
To help prevent your pipes from freezing, try to make sure that any pipes that are located in unheated spaces are insulated. Keep your thermostat set above 55 degrees to prevent any freezing in the interior of your home. Additionally, it could help to open cupboards and doors to let heat into areas where vulnerable pipes might be located. Drain and winterize any outdoor faucets as well so that those particularly susceptible pipes don’t cause you any trouble.
Doing maintenance now can save you lots of trouble down the line. Of course, we trust that our homeowner’s insurance will have our back if anything goes wrong, but it would always be better to not have to deal with disaster at all. If disaster does strike at your home or business, make sure you call SERVPRO of Canton. We are faster to any disaster.
The First Steps When Flooding Happens
Keep calm and know exactly what to do when flooding happens to you.
You can never predict when flooding will happen to you. Sure, if you live in a flood plain, you know the risks are higher during certain seasons and storms, but flooding could happen to anyone in the event of a leak or damaged water main or even during a bad enough storm if your foundation has issues you weren’t aware of. If flooding happens to you, it’s important to know exactly how to handle the situation so that everyone stays safe and your home can return to normal quickly.
- Do NOT enter the flooded area. It might be your instinct to try to save or salvage something you left in the area, but it is important that you do not make contact with the water. The water could be conducting electricity and you could potentially get shocked. Additionally, the floodwaters could contain sewage or Category 3 Black Water that could make you ill.
- Stop the flow of water, if possible. If the water is coming in from the outside in the event of a storm or such a meteorological phenomenon, then you will have no control over the water. If the water is coming from inside your home, however, make sure that you shut off the water to prevent the flooding from getting any worse.
- Turn off the electricity. Make sure, once again, that you are not entering the water to do this. If you have to enter the flooded area in order to cut the power, you will need to call an electrician.
- Document as much as you can. You will want to take as many photographs as possible to document the extent of the damage for your insurance company.
- Call for help. Your first call should be to your insurance company to find out what the next steps are. It is incredibly important to handle flooding as quickly as possible, but you need to know if your insurance company will require an adjuster to view the damage before cleanup is begun.
The next steps – removing the water, drying the space, disinfecting, and eliminating mold – are a long and arduous process that should be begun immediately. Call on an experienced company like SERVPRO of Canton to come to your rescue. Our highly-trained technicians can deal with flooding and water damage quickly and efficiently and we are on duty 24/7/365, whenever and wherever disaster strikes. You can trust the SERVPRO team to return your home to perfect condition. We make it "Like it never even happened."
How to Prevent Winter Water Damage in Your Canton Home
Remember, a quick response time can reduce the overall costs and loss of use. We are ready when you need us at SERVPRO of Canton.
Water damage requires a quick response; stopping the source of water intrusion as soon as possible is critical. It is important to know where your water shut off value is located. It is also important to review the location with your immediate family and service professionals.
There are some quick and easy ways to help prevent water damage in the winter months in Canton Ohio. Pipes in the crawl space, outside walls, and in the attic are vulnerable to freezing in cold temperatures. Take action on the following items:
- Close cracks, holes, and openings in outside walls and foundation near water pipes with caulk.
- Wrap exposed pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves.
- Faucets connected to pipes in unheated spaces are prone to freezing. Let these faucets drip to help prevent water in the pipes from freezing.
- Keep cabinet doors open is temperates are below 32 °F. This will provide heat to pipes.
- If a pipe bursts, shut off the water supply to your home immediately.
Ice dams take form when warm air in the attic heats the roof and melts the snow on the roof. The melted snow collects unheated eaves and starts freezing. If you don’t prevent ice dams, they can cause significant water damage to your roof and home. To prevent ice dams:
- Have your gutters and downspouts cleaned, inspected, and repaired before the winter months.
- Insulate your attic properly; the heat in the home should not reach the attic. Make sure the attic floor is airtight and has no hole openings.
- Provide ventilation to the attic to keep the roof cool. The temperature in the attic should be 5 to 10 °F warmer than the outside temperature.
If you have a sump pump in your basement, ensure it is working properly to prepare for sudden flooding.
Remember, a quick response time can reduce the overall costs and loss of use. We are ready when you need us at SERVPRO of Canton. Call anytime: (330) 305-2650 anytime of the day, someone is waiting to discuss your unique situation and help you determine the best course of action.
Four Things To Do If You Spot a Leak in Canton Ohio.
It is important to make sure that any water damage is taken care of efficiently and in a timely manner. Hidden water can cause damage to wood.
The kitchen is the central location of a home. This is where we gather to cook and rinse our dishes. Discovering a leak, may feel as if all central functions of your home have come to a stop. Here are a few tips to follow if you spot a leak in your Canton Ohio home:
- Shut Off the Water Valves: This will stop the leaks immediately. You can shut it off by finding the valve underneath the sink.
- Call a Plumber: Hiring a plumber will help identify the leak. They will also repair or replace leaking lines or fittings if needed.
- Contact Your Insurance Company: It is important to know what your insurance policy says before paying for something out of pocket. The repair may not be covered, but the water from the leak resulting in damage may be; always talk with your insurance company.
- Call a professional restoration company:Water damage is risky and can cause much more damage if it isn't taken care of efficiently and properly. SERVPRO of Canton specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential property after water damage.
It is important to make sure that any water damage is taken care of efficiently and in a timely manner. Hidden water can cause damage to wood, cabinets, flooring, and even more.
Remember, a quick response time can reduce the overall costs and loss of use. We are ready when you need us at SERVPRO of Canton. Call anytime: (330) 305-2650 anytime of the day, someone is waiting to discuss your unique situation and help you determine the best course of action.
Restoring Your Portage County Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event
We know how devastating a business disaster can be, but we are here to help
Flooding and water damage events in Portage County commercial properties are complex that require a knowledge. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup, or something larger, we work quickly to assess each unique situation. We also isolate the damaged area.
Our professionals at SERVPRO of Portage County are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns. We also strive to fully restore the damaged area of your business while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. We work efficiently and carefully to ensure that your business is restored in no time. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
We know how devastating a business disaster can be, but we are here to help! Call SERVPRO of Portage County (330) 677-4483 to help get your home restored efficiently.
The Top Causes of Winter Water Damage in Canton Ohio
If you or someone you know is faced with water damage and needs restoration, the experts at SERVPRO can help.
Winter brings cold chilling temperatures in Canton Ohio and a host of water damage possibilities. Residential homes are vulnerable to water damage in the winter months. There are several factors that can cause even more water damage from the winter months.
Burst Pipes: Pipes are known for bursting in subfreezing temperatures. Pipes break due to the buildup of water pressure this is typically between a sink’s faucet and an ice blockage. The pipe might be sturdy, but sometimes it is just ready to rupture.
Pipes that are more prone to breakage are uninsulated ones, located along the exterior walls in areas of a home, such as the attic, basement, garage, crawl space or underneath a kitchen sink.
Insulation is the number one protection against a burst pipe.
Prevent Gutter Blocks to Protect Your Roof: Gutters are important for directing running water away from your home. When gutters freeze, or are blocked by ice, it can cause deconstruction. That snow that is along the roof melts from heat that escapes from inside the home and trickles into the gutter; it freezes into what is known as an ice dam. Water can infiltrate underneath the roof shingles, lifting them up and causing roof damage. Roof leaks are the result. Once a leak happens, you may find unsightly water marks along your home’s ceilings or drips
If you or someone you know is faced with water damage and needs restoration, the experts at SERVPRO can help to mitigate the damage and restore your home! Call (330) 305-2650
What To Do If a Pipe Bursts In Canton Ohio
Taking preventative measures and noticing frozen pipes in time to thaw blockages are key to avoiding pipe bursts.
Taking preventative measures and noticing frozen pipes in time to thaw blockages are key to avoiding pipe bursts. Unfortunately, sometimes disasters occur despite our best efforts at prevention. In the unfortunate event that a frozen pipe does burst, you can mitigate the damage by following these important tips:
- Turn off the main water supply immediately.
- If the water is flowing near any electrical outlets or conductors of electricity, shut off the electricity.
- Contact a plumber to repair the burst pipe.
- Remove the water by using buckets, towels, and a wet/dry vacuum to remove water from the affected area.
- Act quickly! The longer there are wet materials in your home, the greater chance there is for mold or warping.
- If you feel that the water damage is too much for you to handle on your own or you would like assistance in the cleanup, contact the qualified water mitigation specialists at SERVPRO to assist you.
If you or someone you know is faced with a pipe burst and needs restoration, the experts at SERVPRO can help to mitigate the damage and restore your home! Call (330) 305-2650
Water Damage Can Hurt Local Homes in Canton Ohio
Frozen pipes can cause expensive, unnecessary damage. It is easier than you might think to protect your home.
Winter weather is on its way. As temperatures drop your water pipes and meter are susceptible to freezing. Frozen pipes can cause expensive, unnecessary damage. It is easier than you might think to protect your home.
Follow these simple steps now to help you prevent your water pipes and meters from freezing this winter:
- Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses: This allows water to drain from the pipe, which will cause it to NOT freeze. It only takes a single, hard, overnight freeze to burst.
- Insulate water pipes or faucets in unheated areas: If you have pipes in an unheated garage or a cold crawl space, wrap the water pipes before temperatures decline.
- Seal off access doors, air vents and cracks: Winter winds whistling through small openings can quickly freeze water pipes.
- Find your main shut-off valve and label it: Knowing how to access and turn off your water quickly can help you limit damage.
- Turn off the water if you are away for a long period of time: When you are away from home for several days, turn the water off. You then should drain the outside faucets or leave the thermostat set above 55 degrees. This helps to ensure your home stay warm and the pipes do not freeze.
If you are in need of restoration after this disaster give SERVPRO of Canton a call (330) 966-2377. We are open 24 hours 7 days a week.
SERVPRO of Canton uses structure materials with thermal imaging
Thermal imaging is just one piece of technology services at SERVPRO of Canton used to utilizes water damage in your home.
Structure materials are used with thermal imaging and standard camera. Red, yellow orange indicated dry and blues and purples indicate elevated moisture.
Using thermal imagers to detect moisture intrusion is a relatively new practice in water damage mitigation. Thermal imaging has be used to detect water intrusion in interior walls following roof leaks, foundation failure, chimney leaks, etc. It can find things that the naked eye doesn’t see. SERVPRO of Canton has this powerful equipment.
There are a number of areas where moisture can accumulate that are overlooked in typical inspections. Using thermal imaging technology can help reduce the cost to repairs by minimizing damage to the property to find the core source of water intrusion.
Thermal imaging is just one piece of technology services at SERVPRO of Canton used to utilizes water damage in your home. Contact us today to schedule a site inspection (330) 305-2650.
Ways You Can Prevent Water Damage in Canton Ohio
If you need help with any water damage don’t hesitate to call our extremely well-trained professionals at SERVPRO of Canton.
Maintaining a home can seem tedious and tiresome. Maintenance is one of the best ways to prevent water damage. It is a way to avoid a more costly outcome as water damage.
Here’s a list to add for maintenance for a start:
- Proper Drainage: This step is vital. Poor drainage can lead to many issues such as cracks in your foundation, uneven settling, and allowing ways for water to seep into your home. Gutters and downspouts are included in this preventative measure. Clean them regularly to keep out leaves and other debris. Gutter guards can help if your gutters tend to clog easily and often.
- Inspections: The following areas should be inspected well and often; refrigerator, water heater, air conditioning unit, attic, hoses, faucets, sinks, showers, tubs, and toilets. All of these pieces may develop leaks or damage that needs to be taken care of before disaster strikes. Stay ahead of those by checking them to catch any danger before it starts or spreads.
- Installations: Some tools to install that may be beneficial are an emergency pressure release valve in plumbing system, water leak detection devices or alarms, a water flow monitoring system, and floor or drain pans. The latter helps with slow leaks while the others work as an extra set of eyes on your home in case of excess pressure, water flowing where it shouldn’t, and any leaks you may not have detected yet.
- Test, Check, and Fix: By testing your sump pump and checking your pipes, you will be on top of any leaks, cracks, or repairs that are necessary. If you get caught in a storm with your sump pump out of commission, you will be in a world of trouble. Fixing any issues right away avoids mold, mildew, dry rot, or any detrimental water damage problems.
You can take these actions to prevent water damage from occurring. If you need help with any water damage don’t hesitate to call our extremely well-trained professionals at SERVPRO of Canton. We are available for assistance 24 hours per day, 7 days a week including holidays and weekends.
What To Do When A Flood Hits Canton, Ohio
The aftermath of a flood can cost a pretty penny, it is a pretty common disaster that no one likes.
The aftermath of a flood can cost a pretty penny, it is a pretty common disaster that no one likes. Whether floods hit suddenly or more slowly, they can be dangerous and leave a mess in their wake. Don’t underestimate the power of flood waters.
Keep yourself and others safe by following some guidelines of what to do when a flood hits:
- Due Diligence: Check to see if you’re in a flood-prone area. Your local floodplain administrator should be able to help you determine this. Here is a list from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, Division of Soil and Water Resources of the floodplain administrators in Ohio. Installing check valves or having sump pumps installed when necessary will help prevent backing up into sewer traps and homes. Also, ensuring you have comprehensive insurance that covers flood damage is a good idea.
- Proper Preparation: Plan and practice an evacuation route. Having this, disaster supplies, and a communication idea in place will help tremendously in the event of a flood. Be ready to use a radio or TV to stay up to date on the latest information on the storm (status, emergency level, and evacuation readiness). If you have an upstairs and the time to do so, move items of value and possessions you can to higher-ground. Filling the tub, sinks, and vessels with clean water will be beneficial if contamination occurs. Turn off utilities if requested to do so by authorities. Most importantly, never attempt to go through flood waters on foot or vehicle. A split second and two feet is all it takes to be swept away; the waters may be deceiving, as well. Listen closely to the updates and follow any instructions given.
- Aftermath Measures: Depending on the severity of the flood, the county emergency management agency and local government handle everything to meet the immediate needs of the public. The main information you need to remember are merely to be aware of any gas leaks, check the foundation and inspect homes with flood-damage before entering, and any appliances and motors that may have gotten wet should NOT be used until they are appropriately cleaned and dried.
Your state or local emergency management agency can help answer any of your other flood or flood safety questions: the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Resources; the National Weather Service; or your local American Red Cross chapter.
Stay safe, and keep SERVPRO, Canton Ohio, (330) 305-2650, in mind for any water damage issues, clean-up, or restoration insurance needs you may have! SERVPRO, “Like it never even happened.”
Backup or Overflow?
What is the difference between a water backup and an overflow? Overflow is caused by a blockage in the plumbing system. Water causing damage never enters the sewer system and in some cases, water damage can be considered an overflow if blockage is in the lateral pipe. It all depends on insurance policy language. A backup is a situation where water or sewage enters through drains or sewers or overflows from a sump pump, sump pump well or any other system designed to remove subsurface water which is drained from a foundation area. A water backup is excluded in most Homeowners policies but coverage can be added with an endorsement. Coverage is usually limited to a specified amount but a few insurance companies offer more extensive options. Water backup coverage is critical for not only homeowners but condo owners, renters and commercial insureds as well.
Keep in mind that any property can experience a backup and the damage can be expensive especially if the area is finished. There are four main areas to consider when deciding how much coverage you need including mitigation or drying out the area, structure reconstruction, contents damage and mechanicals such as furnace and water heater. Be sure to discuss the right coverage option with your insurance agent so you are well protected in the event of a backup event.
Looking at the weather predictions for the week, today is a great day to check your sump pump to verify it is working properly.
When to check your sump pump? How To Test Your Sump Pump?
When to replace it?
When to check it? Sump pumps remove water pressure from homes during times of excessive snowmelt or rainfall. To ensure that your sump pump will work properly when it’s needed, you should check it periodically. It is a habit in my house to check it before, and sometimes during, an extreme weather event.
When to replace it? Did you know that generally sump pump manufacturer warranty their sump pumps for 1 year, 3 year or 5 years. When is the last time you replaced your sump pump? Depending on how much your sump pump runs – you should consider these warranties a good indicator of replacement time. Just because it is still running, doesn’t mean it is functioning at full capacity.
How to test your sump pump? The following tips will help prevent sump pump malfunction:
- Debris in the Basin: Sometimes debris such as children’s toys and other household objects may fall into the basin and interrupt the float mechanism which can cause it to malfunction. The float mechanism can also fail naturally over time. To test this mechanism, fill up the basin with water to make sure the sump pump starts like it should.
- Check Valve: The check valve prevents water from going back into the sump pump in the event of a failure. Make sure to check this valve because it is not always installed properly; the arrow should be pointing away from the sump pump.
- Weep Hole: Sometimes sump pumps may have a weep hole between the pump and the check valve. You can clean the weep hole with a tiny object such as a toothpick, just be careful not to break anything off in the hole.
- Clean the Impeller: The impeller is a small filter that may become clogged and when this happens it can cause the sump pump to suddenly stop running or make a whining noise. Cleaning or replacing the impeller can get the sump pump to function properly again.
- Back Up Power Source: Sump pumps are only useful when plugged into a power source and if the power goes out during a thunderstorm, the sump pump will stop working. Installing a backup power source for the sump pump is the best way to prevent this from happening in the middle of a thunderstorm when the sump pump is needed the most.
Timing is Everything
Water damage requires a quick response by stopping the source of water intrusion as soon as possible. Knowing where your water shut off value is located in your residence, and reviewing the location with your immediate family and service professionals (housekeeper, babysitter, dog walker, house sitter, ect) is critical. Prompt response to stopping the water intrusion and clean up and dry out can greatly reduce overall restoration costs. Before water mitigation can begin, the source of the water intrusion will need to be addressed.
Initial steps to assess the damage and evaluate the level of contamination will help to formulate an action plan and determine if professional assistance is needed to help restore your home.
Professional water mitigation should be highly considered when:
- Water originated from a contaminated source: dishwasher, water bed, drain line, toilet, washing machine, flood water, etc. When addressing contaminated materials protecting the home from cross contamination, mold and securing the environment for the occupants becomes a primary focus for the emergency services.
- Porous materials affected by water: hardwood flooring, cabinetry, carpet and padding, drywall, etc. An immediate response to with water extraction and application of a biocide can help reduce the amount of structural material damage and reduce the amount of time the home or affected area is out of use.
- Water traveled from one floor to the floor or floors(s) below. It’s not the obvious water that causes damage, you can easily mop up that. When water and bacteria is trapped between layers of structural materials, this “hidden moisture” can cause long term damage and possible mold growth.
SERVPRO’s professional mitigation team is IICRC Certified, trained, and expertise knowledge to help you evaluate the extent of damage, and create an action plan for cost effective dry out of the affected area(s).
Remember, quick response time can reduce the overall mitigation costs and loss of use. Contact our office to schedule a site inspection and scope of damages for your home today.
How to keep clients’ properties dry in all seasons
With water around every corner, clients’ properties are more vulnerable to water damage than many would imagine. In fact, water is the number one property-related homeowners claim, according to Chubb’s claims data, and the Insurance Information Institute found that one in 50 homeowners will experience a related claim each year. When they do, it will cost close to $10,000 per leak.
Despite being both a common and costly risk, a recent Chubb survey of homeowners examining their approach to water damage prevention shows that it’s a threat clients largely overlook. Luckily, agents and brokers can help clients prevent water from damaging their homes, no matter where it comes from. It starts by helping clients understand the seasonal exposures they face.
Ensuring a fun, carefree vacation
Most clients take advantage of the summer to travel with family and friends. Yet too many vacations are ruined as a result of clients failing to take the appropriate water protection steps before departing. Consider that even though many clients ask a caretaker to watch their homes while away, Chubb’s study found that just 30% leave water leak information and only 17% provide information about what to do in the event of a weather-related flood with caretakers.
Why the concern? Time is of the essence when it comes to water damage, with even the smallest leaks or drips building up over time. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety reports that plumbing supply system failures and toilet failures are the two most common sources of residential water loss. If either of these systems drip for days, the results can be devastating, both in terms of property and financial damage.
Before your clients head out, advise them to:
- Turn off the water supply. This is the only way to prevent a leak from occurring while away; or
- Install a water shut-off device. This is the surest way to prevent wide-spread damage in the event of a leak.
Beyond travel, the warm summer months also provide clients with the opportunity to jumpstart home renovations. But in their desire to drive value, the number one home-related concern identified in Chubb’s study, many clients are inadvertently inviting new water risk into their homes.
Start with encouraging clients to pay close attention to a contractor’s qualifications, prioritizing certifications and licensing above word-of-mouth recommendations. Although both play an important role in the hiring process, Chubb’s study found that 42% of homeowners prioritize the latter, versus 32% who emphasize the former. If contractors don’t have the right experience or professional background, they should not be involved in the client’s renovation project.
Making the most of your time outdoors
Homeowners eager to enjoy the last warm days of the year often spend time working on their gardens, yards and outdoor areas. Many use this time to install sprinkler systems, construct outdoor kitchens and build decks, all designed to enhance their homes’ landscapes. According to Chubb’s survey, close to a third of homeowners (30%) think these types of exterior upgrades most positively impact their homes’ values.
Yet, these projects can quickly let water into all the wrong places. Agents and brokersshould encourage clients to consult with a landscape architect about how enhancements may alter the slope of their garden or clog drains and gutters. Failure to take this into account means new upgrades could redirect water toward clients’ homes, seeping into the foundation or basement over time and potentially resulting in significant damage. By speaking with your clients about their garden renovation projects, this is an expensive loss that agents and brokers can help clients avoid.
Forecasting frozen pipes
Most homeowners know that the pipes in their homes are at risk of bursting during the cold winter months. Homeowners are 40% more likely to have water damage in the winter than any other time of the year, according to Chubb claims data.
Still, only 21% of homeowners report installing pipe insulation, even though it is one of the surest, simplest and cheapest ways to protect exposed pipes in the basement or garage in cold weather. Homeowners might also want to consider hiring a contractor to install pipe insulation for interior pipes that are located adjacent to an outside wall.
Not only does installing pipe insulation help keep the water in a home’s plumbing system from turning to ice and expanding (and thus bursting the pipes), it often helps homeowners save money on their energy bill. In essence, a reminder to install insulation could help clients avoid a major winter headache while also lowering utility bills.
Insurance coverage for drain, sewer and sump pump problems
Analysis brought to you by the experts at FC&S Online, the recognized authority on insurance coverage interpretation and analysis for the P&C industry. To find out more — or to have YOUR coverage question answered — visit the National Underwriter website, or contact the editors via Twitter: @FCSbulletins.
Question: This is a Commercial Property risk. I have a toilet that continued to run as the toilet stopper did not seal properly. All would be fine except the heavy rains saturated the drain field not allowing the water to drain from the toilet. This resulted in an overflow causing damage.
The insured has a $10,000 limit on discharge from sewer, drain, or sump from a CP 73 51 endorsement.
Does this limit apply or would it be considered a loss under the normal limits? But for the saturated drain field, there would be no loss. The drain field caused the water to not be able to drain properly; is that a back-up by definition?
— North Carolina Subscriber
Answer: Endorsement CP 73 51 is a proprietary endorsement that includes additional coverage for Discharge From Sewer, Drain Or Sump (Not Flood-Related), up to a $10,000 limit in the endorsement. This response is in regards to the water damage claim submitted for our review. Here are the facts as presented:
- A toilet ran continuously due to a stopper that did not seal properly. The toilet overflowed.
- The drain field overflowed due to heavy rains.
- The drain field is tied to the septic system serving the insured property.
Based on these facts, there are two causes of loss, and we cannot determine the extent of damage from each cause of loss:
- What caused the toilet stopper to not seal properly? Was it wear and tear or faulty workmanship? What interior water damage resulted from the toilet overflow?
- What caused the drain field to overflow? Despite heavy rains, it should still have absorbed the water. So what factors may have contributed to the drain field overflow? Was sludge or other obstruction a contributing factor? What interior water damage resulted from the drain overflow?
This is not an expert opinion, just personal experience with a broken toilet flapper. Regardless of how much the toilet ran, it never ran outside the toilet bowl because the drain carried out the water. If the drain was stopped up, not allowing the water to flow through the drain, then the water could back up and out from the toilet bowl, causing interior water damage.
If the water damage was caused by the broken toilet seal, there would be no coverage.
If the water damage was caused by the drain field overflow, then there would be limited coverage of $10,000 for Discharge From Sewer, Drain Or Sump (Not Flood-Related) provided in the proprietary endorsement CP 73 51.
However, this is an issue of fact, not coverage. We can only speak to the coverages that would be provided in the forms based on the two causes of loss as presented.
Washing machine overflow
Question: Our property coverage contains an exclusion for flood. Included under the flood definition is the exclusion of water or sewage that backs up through sewers, drains or sumps. It also excludes overflow of any body of water.
We have a claim where the fire department put a load of clothes in the washing machine and was called out on a run. During the washing cycle, water overflowed into the building due to the drain being frozen from an ice storm. This was while the firefighters were gone performing their duties. When they returned, the building was flooded, damaging carpet and sheet-rock. Is this covered?
— Oklahoma Subscriber
Answer: We do not see an exclusion that would apply in this situation. It doesn’t sound as if the water actually went down a drain and then backed up. The washing machine overflowed because water could not go down the frozen drain, which would not constitute a backup. So, in our opinion, the loss is covered.
Sump pump and water backup
Question: One of the more common claims we handle deals with sump pumps and applicable exclusions. In this case, the business owner’s policy contains the following provision, “We will pay for loss or damage to covered property caused by water that backs up from a sewer or drain, subject to the following limitations: We will not pay for loss or damage under this Additional Coverage caused by the emanation of water from a sewer or drain that itself is caused by, or is the result of “flood,” surface water, waves, tides, tidal waves, overflow of any body of water or their spray, all whether driven by wind or not;”.
Carrier issued a denial, as follows:
In view of the cited exclusions, the water damage to the basement is the result of flood and groundwater; therefore, we would not make a payment for this loss.
The loss was not caused by flood or surface water, but a high water table that overwhelmed the pump’s capability to function due to two major rain events one year ago. When the water table receded, the pump functioned so it was not failure in the sense one thinks of failure, i.e., mechanical or electrical. Water entered through the sump, through some cracks in the floor.
My belief is that this is a covered loss. I could not find any information on the definition of “sump pump,” the purpose of a sump pump, or the definition of “groundwater.”
The carrier used the term “groundwater” in the denial. That is not addressed in the endorsement.
— Connecticut Subscriber
Answer: It does not sound like the water backed up through the sump pump but in fact came through the cracks in the floor.
This type of loss would be subject to the part of the water exclusion that states, “Water under the ground surface pressing on, or flowing through… floors… basements.” (This can be seen in the ISO BP 00 03 01 10, B.1.g.) If the insured has purchased sewer and drain backup coverage, it would not apply to this type of loss. However, if it can be shown that the water really did overflow or was discharged from the sump (as opposed to seeping in through floor cracks), that would be covered.
The ‘whys’ behind lack of flood insurance coverage
One of the ongoing issues with hurricanes and other flood disasters is the fact that many, many people lack flood insurance. But why is that? Why are people not buying the coverage they need?
The Private Risk Management Association (PRMA) conducted a survey of agents about why their insureds do or do not carry flood insurance. We had the chance to talk to Lisa Lindsay of PRMA about the study and its results.
Their study showed that across the board, whether high net worth or not, people’s mindset is that “It won’t happen to me.” Flood insurance is seen as something homeowners are required to have, not something they need to protect their assets. The study showed that many people only buy flood insurance because the bank says they have to. They later celebrate when they’re no longer required to hold flood insurance because their mortgage has been paid off.
Likewise, consumers have been conditioned to believe that unless they are in a high-hazard flood zone, coverage is not needed. The fact that flooding occurs in many non-high hazard areas is overlooked. It’s not just coastal areas that flood, but areas near rivers, streams and even low-lying areas in towns where runoff can accumulate often flood, causing unsuspecting homeowners damage that’s not covered by their normal homeowners’ policy.
Better understanding of mitigation efforts
Not only do people need a better understanding of flood insurance, but they also need a better understanding of mitigation efforts, that is, steps they can take to prevent or minimize flooding and reduce the potential damage. Sandbags, inflatable barriers and landscaping are just some ways people can prepare for a flood. Both the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy and the new ISO Personal Flood Policy provide up to $1,000 for steps taken to protect the insured building from flood or imminent danger of flood. The $1,000 is provided for the cost of:
- Sandbags and sand to fill them,
- Fill for temporary levees,
- Plastic sheeting, and
- Lumber used in connection with these items.
As most insureds don’t read their policies, it’s likely that most are unaware of these coverage benefits for mitigation of damages.
Private flood policies to the rescue?
With the concern surrounding the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), carriers are beginning to issue private flood policies. For example, one carrier has a private flood policy with limits up to $15 million on property, much higher than the NFIP limits of $250,000.
ISO has developed both a Commercial Flood program and a Personal Flood program, both available this year. The expansion of available coverage should be a tremendous help in getting homeowners insured. However, education of agents and the public is key.
Better analytics is helping to make private coverage possible; instead of just referring to the standard flood maps, which may be out of date, there are companies providing better analysis of property that includes rainfall, local topography, elevation and susceptibility to hurricanes, not just for rains but for winds and storm surge as well.
Although flood insurance can be expensive in some places, in many areas that’s not the case. As a result, property owners don’t investigate their options for coverage.
Another issue is construction itself. Builders resist changes to codes to make properties safer while continuing to want to rebuild in areas that have been flooded. If building is going to occur in such areas, the buildings need to be built in a way to protect the property as much as possible from flooding. People also get a false sense of security from the fact that the town has allowed buildings to be constructed in low-lying areas, figuring that if zoning approved of the area it must be safe to construct a home in that area.
Understanding the 100-year flood
Yet another large issue is the misperception of the 100-year flood. Many people believe that this means that the chance of their property being flooded is one in 100 years. What it really means is that every year there is a 1% chance of flood. This puts the property at significant risk, as not only do 100-year storms need to be accounted for, but other storms as well.
Time Period10 Yr.25 Yr.50 Yr.100 YrTotal Odds1 yr.10%4%2%1%17%10 yr.65%34%18%10%127%20 yr.88%56%33%18%195%30 yr.96%71%45%26%238%50 yr.99%87%64%39%289%
Source: FC&S Online
The overarching issue is how to educate both the public and the industry on flood mitigation techniques and the availability of insurance coverage. The industry needs to inform people of not only what their risk is but also about the available risk evaluation tools, mitigation techniques and available coverage. Agents and brokers need to be well informed in order to proactively change the narrative of flooding and coverage.
Water Damage Requires a Quick Response
Floods, rainstorms and tornadoes can become massive water damage threats to businesses during the often-stormy spring and summer months. Facilities plagued with such water woes this season must take quick action
Floods, rainstorms and tornadoes can become massive water damage threats to businesses during the often-stormy spring and summer months. Facilities plagued with such water woes this season must take quick action to control many possible problems, experts say.
You won’t see it emphasized on the nightly news when a disaster hits, but water damage can represent potentially huge disasters for businesses and building owners and operators.
Water damage can mean much more to a business than just wet and soggy carpets. There are other common, more significant problems businesses face when water wreaks havoc on property, such as indoor air quality problems. Mold and mildew grow rapidly in damp, humid environments, leaving behind an unpleasant smell that permeates floors, walls and ceilings, even after the water has been removed. It also can create health problems for employees.
Damage to the building’s structure and foundation also can be an issue. When water sits inside a building for a period of time, the walls, ceilings and floors absorb the water, which threatens the overall structural integrity of the building and creates an unsafe environment. Total reconstruction of the building often becomes the only option.
Another major threat to business is the loss of expensive equipment, which often can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace.
To minimize water damage, there are two critical steps that need to be taken:
- Act fast to assess the situation; and
- Control the environment within the building.
Act Fast and Call an Expert
The absolute first step to take is fast action. Damage resulting from water and flooding is very progressive. The longer the water flows or wet conditions are allowed to exist, the greater the recovery problem becomes. A water damage consultant must come in immediately to survey the situation.
In a typical scenario, a team of water damage recovery professionals is dispatched to the site to perform a thorough inspection and fully determine the extent of the damage. A disaster reclamation partner also will develop an intense restoration plan and determine which items are worth restoring and which are better replaced.
You can’t always save everything by drying, but you can save a tremendous amount. It’s not unusual to save between 30 and 70 percent of the cost needed to reconstruct a facility.
Controlling the Interior Environment
Another key in limiting water damage is to quickly control three conditions of a building’s atmosphere: relative humidity, temperature and air circulation. Fast, effective action at this point will generally confine the damage to the area that was directly affected by the water damage event.
The most effective way to control these conditions in a high-moisture environment, especially a large facility, is to employ professional disaster drying that combines air movers with desiccant dehumidifiers.
Disaster drying often eliminates the need to rip out and replace walls, carpet, floor covering, hardwood floors and the building structure, which can be a huge expense. On top of that, you preclude the odors and staining caused by mold and mildew. These problems can come back to haunt you weeks later in a superficially dried building.
The Desiccant Way
When a facility has been severely water damaged, you need high volume desiccant dehumidifiers. Some larger desiccant dehumidifiers can pull 800 gallons of water out of a building in one day, compared to the typical small refrigeration units that remove about five gallons a day.
Many people are surprised that “solid” materials such as concrete and hard woods absorb moisture. But they do and rather quickly.
Getting the water back involves a phenomenon called migration. Migration is the tendency for water molecules to move toward a low vapor pressure. When a room is filled with very dry air, which has low vapor pressure, trapped water migrates outward and is evaporated from the surface by the dry air. As the air in the room fills with water vapor, we expel it. We then replace it with more dry air and the process continues.
It’s also essential to be sure the equipment being used is sized right. Inappropriately sized drying equipment can lead to insufficient drying and long-term problems with the building. Only large-volume dehumidifiers could provide the massive drying power needed to dry the space quickly and thoroughly.
Best Defense: A Disaster Recovery Plan
To minimize damage and costs, companies need to think ahead about what to do in a water damage event and contact a water damage expert to create a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP).
A DRP can limit the extent of water damage occurrences by defining and prioritizing the recovery of areas within a facility and stating immediate next steps. Proper planning and fast action are most certainly the best defense to preventing a catastrophic water damage event.
Flooding Rains and Toxic Spills, Beware, Ohio
With floods becoming more frequent, the risk of toxic spills has increased too, experts warn.
"A report by The New York Times found that of the more than 21,600 facilities across the country that handle large quantities of toxic materials, over 1,400 are in areas the Federal Emergency Management Agency considers to have a high risk of flooding.
The proximity of these chemical sites to areas prone to flooding is a relic from a time when industrial operations benefited from being close to rivers and oceans – the bodies of water allowed for transportation, trade, or even a ready supply of cooling water.
Experts believe that this outdated business practice could lead to a major environmental and health disaster." Excerpt from: Insurance Business Magazine
Reported by the Cleveland Patch in their Feb. 8, 2018 article, Toxic Waste Being Reduced In Cuyahoga, Across Ohio, while Cleveland is one of the top five states with the most toxic releases, reports from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show less toxic waste is being released. Also reported, Ohio is seeing a new low in toxic waste being disposed.
"There was 102 million pounds of toxic waste disposed of in the Buckeye State in 2016, the lowest total since at least 2003," the author, Chris Mosby, writes.
"Cuyahoga County had about 7 million pounds of waste to dispose of in 2016. More than 47 million pounds of waste was either disposed of, recycled, treated, used for energy recovery or source reduction."
The EPA said the majority of compounds released in our country falls into the "other" category. The largest identified compound being zinc, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reports very little is known about the long-term effects of exposure to zinc.
As Cleveland and surrounding counties are prone to Lake Erie's floods and lake-effect weather, we must continue the movements Ohio is making to improve our toxic waste disposals.
Rain Gutters and Water Problems
The financial costs of poor drainage can be substantial, and the human health costs significant too.
Most homes have gutter downspouts that lead straight to the ground, which means all the water from the roof is pouring to just one point where it can collect against a home's foundation. This most often causes the water drainage problems and, thus, the damage.
Prevention is important. Here are some clues that you may have a problem with your gutters:
- Areas where the ground is wet for long periods of time after it rains or the sprinklers are running signal an area where the water is collecting
- Discoloration and mold growth on a home's foundation and siding or paint is easily falling off your house are indications that water is pooling.
- Musty smells in your basement or crawlspace signal water may be getting into your home.
Financial costs of poor water drainage can add up, but the good news is that gutter problems are an easy fix.
Do you have water damage in your home or business ? Call SERVPRO of Canton's 24/7 Emergency Service line at 330-966-2366 or request help online at our franchise website.
Frozen and Burst Pipes- Understand and Take Precaution
"Even a small crack in a burst pipe can spew hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water in a day."
If your pipes are exposed to temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time, the water can freeze and cause extensive damage to your home. This can be avoided!
Frozen pipes can occur for two basic reasons:
- Installation of pipes in an unheated space without adequate protection
- Insufficient heat in the area of the freeze
What types of pipes are susceptible this situation? Domestic water piping, HVAC heating and cooling piping and sprinkler piping are all vulnerable if left in cold and unprotected conditions as stated above. Plastic and metal pipes can burst when they freeze, and depending on the size of the pipe, even a small crack in a burst pipe can spew hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water in a day.
Why does a pipe burst, anyway? Well, when water freezes, it expands. The ice expansion will exert pressure against the pipe wall but also pressurizes the water trapped between the ice and a closed valve or fixture. As the water continues to freeze and expand inside the pipe, it causes the trapped water to continue to increase in pressure, thus, just as a can of soda will burst in your freezer, so does your water pipe.
Some common locations where pipes will freeze are outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, fire sprinkler lines and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas. These areas include basements, crawlspaces, attics, garages, bathroom sink cabinets and kitchen cabinets. Pipes along exterior walls that have little or no insulation, voids in the insulation or improperly installed building wrap are subject to freezing. You might want to check in on that sooner rather than later. Review the International Plumbing Code by clicking here.
On what you, the homeowner, can do to prevent a pipe burst from happening, refer back to our blog piece, "How to Thaw a Frozen Pipe."
Remember, this stressful situation can be avoided if you think ahead!
With any questions or if your home has been water-damaged, call SERVPRO of Canton on our 24/7 Emergency Service line, 330-966-2377 or Request Help Online.
How to Thaw a Frozen Pipe
A frozen pipe exerts pressure at over 2,000 Lbs/ square inch, enough pressure to rupture almost any pipe filled with water.
Frozen water pipes are a serious risk during very cold winter weather. When water freezes in a pipe it expands and can exert pressure at over 2,000 pounds per square inch. This pressure is enough to rupture almost any pipe filled with water, which provides no place for the ice to expand. A burst pipe can spill several hundred gallons of water per hour, and that equates to thousands of dollars of damage to your home. Pipes are most susceptible to freezing when they are located:
- in an outside wall
- in a cabinet under a sink (especially near an outside wall)
- in an unheated crawl space or basement
If your pipe is frozen but not yet ruptured, you must thaw it right away. There are a few thawing techniques to try, depending on where the frozen pipe is located.
Warning: Never use a blow torch or other open flame to thaw a pipe. This presents a serious fire hazard and can damage the pipe.
A frozen pipe that hasn't burst yet often reveals itself at a faucet: when you turn on the faucet and no water comes out or it has slowed to a trickle, there's probably a blockage of ice somewhere in the line. It's time take immediate action:
- Shut off the water to the faucet locally or at the home's main water shutoff valve.
- Open the faucet that is supplied by the frozen pipe; do this even if you don't know where the blockage is.
- Identify the frozen pipe and locate the blockage: Follow the pipe back from the faucet to where it runs through cold areas, such as an exterior wall or unheated crawl space. Look for areas on the pipe that have frost or ice; it may also be slightly bulged or fissured.
When you find that the frozen—but not yet burst—pipe is behind a wall or ceiling, you've got a challenge on your hands. You have three options for thawing the pipe:
- Turn up the heat in the house and wait.
- Cut out a section of the wall or ceiling to access the frozen section of pipe, then thaw the pipe as an exposed pipe (see next slide).
- Use an infrared lamp to help heat the wall section in front of where you believe the pipe is frozen. Infrared lamps are better than regular heat lamps because they pass through the air without heating it and will direct more energy to warming the wall and frozen pipe.
If the frozen pipe is exposed, you have several options for thawing it. Whichever remedy use use, heat the pipe from the faucet toward the frozen area. This allows water to flow out as the ice melts.
- Hair dryer: Usually the easiest and safest way to thaw a pipe. If the pipe is close to the wall, place a cookie sheet behind the pipe to help radiate heat onto the backside of the pipe.
- Heat lamp: You can use an infrared or incandescent heat lamp. As with a hair dryer, if the pipe is close to the wall, use a cookie sheet behind the pipe to help reflect heat onto the pipe.
- Portable heater: A small, powerful heater works great for warming pipes under a kitchen or vanity base cabinet. Direct the heater onto the frozen section of pipe. It will work like a hair dryer on steroids!
- Electric pipe heat tape: Heat tape is a ribbon-like wrap that contains electrical heating elements. You wrap it around the pipe you want to heat and plug it into the wall. The temperature of the tape is controlled with a thermostat. Heat tape can also be used to prevent pipes from freezing in critical areas; you can leave the heat tape on the pipe and plug it in only when needed.
There are a few things you can do to prevent the problem of freezing pipes from occurring again:
- Leave the faucet dripping slightly during the coldest time of the day or night.
- Open the cabinet doors to allow the heated air from the room to reach pipes inside the cabinet.
- Wrap the problem pipe with electrical heat tape.
- Insulate problem pipes with foam insulation wrap, especially those that run through unheated spaces. Note: Insulation merely slows the transfer of heat and will not prevent a pipe from freezing if the surrounding air is cold enough.
- Heat unheated areas with a permanent heater, just to keep the temperature above freezing, or about 40 degrees F. Warning: Do not use portable heaters, which should never be left running unattended.
- Remove garden hoses attached to outdoor faucets (hose bibs or sill cocks). If the faucet is not a frost-proof type, turn off the water to the faucet inside the house and drain the exterior section of the pipe and faucet.
Preparing Your Home for Winter Weather- Avoiding Water Damage
Inspect your roof and gutters on a regular basis — at least twice a year.
With winter on the way, we’re heading into a busy time of year that includes several major holidays coming back-to-back. The last thing we want to worry about is the risk of water damage due to the changing weather.
Here are some wintertime considerations to keep your home safe and reduce, or even prevent, possible insurance risks:
- Keep your drains and gutters clean. Exactly how frequently depends on where you live, but you want to plan for twice a year. Clogged gutters can cause a few issues including roof leaks. If your gutters can't drain properly, the excess water can soak through the shingles and eventually start leaking into your home. Don't forget melting snow can also fill up the gutters, causing similar issues!
- Inspect your roof for damage and leaks. While you're cleaning those gutters, take the time to inspect your roof. Keep an eye our for cracks, leaks where different parts of the roof meet, and general wear and tear. You should do this also twice a year at least.
- Water expands, its mass increasing by about 9% when it freezes. Blocked pipes result in a buildup of pressure, which can cause a burst pipe, equipment malfunction, or contaminated water back-up inside the building. To avoid this, consider insulating your water lines and using heat tape as well.
- For extreme weather, it is wise to always leave a tap running at a trickle because running water is less likely to freeze.
Watch for our next blog post on how to defrost a frozen water pipe.
The Truth About 100-Year Floods
The above image includes a diagram demonstrating the magnitude and frequency of water levels during a flood.
Whenever a strong hurricane or storm causes significant flooding, there is often talk of a 100-year flood. People will think a flood of that magnitude occurs once every hundred years, so they should be safe from harm for the next hundred years. Some base their decision to buy flood insurance on this false belief, putting them at risk of a catastrophic loss.
In order to determine the true frequency of floods, scientists will create a history of the area, tracking the frequency of different sized floods and the average number of years between them to develop the probability of a given sized flood in a particular year.
But rain volume alone does not always create the flood. The condition of the ground before the rain is critically important. If the area has received a lot of rain recently and the ground is already saturated, less rain is needed to flood the area. If the area has been experiencing a drought and the rain is falling fast, it is possible for the water to run off instead of soaking into the ground.
Factors such as a river basin and the addition of dams and levees will be considered. Once a flood recedes, high-water marks will be surveyed by scientists to estimate the maximum flows and streamgages will record the height and quantity of flow.
Explained by Property Casualty 360 in their article "The truth about 100-year floods," "The accumulation of data allows for a determination of the annual probability that a given stream or river will exceed its banks. This is known as annual exceedance probability, or AEP. A 1% AEP flood has a 1 in 100 chance of occurring every year, with an average recurrence every 100 years. This is the 100-year flood." They also predict during a span of a 30-year mortgage, "there is a 26% chance of a home in a 1% AEP, or 100-year flood area, of being flooded."
Questions about flood damage? Call SERVPRO of Canton today at- 330-966-2377.
The Basics of Sewer Backup Insurance
Our Professionals are trained to regular IICRC industry certifications, Employee Certification Training, Initial Franchise Training & Continuing Edu.
While shopping for home insurance, it's important to anticipate all the headaches that can go along with home-ownership, including sewer backup.
When sewage flows into your home, it can cause thousands of dollars in damage, and typical home insurance and flood insurance policies won't cover those expenses.
If your sewer's system's pipeline combines storm water and sewage, it's more likely to become overloaded during harsh weather. Tree roots can enter your pipes and cause blockages, or improperly disposing of cooking grease or flushing inappropriate objects down the toilet (diapers, feminine hygiene products or paper towels).
Many homeowners may not realize they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the pipeline between the city sewer main, usually located in the street, and their house.
Sewage backup coverage is available from most insurers as a rider to a home insurance policy. Coverage for $5,000 to $10,000 in damages can run about $75 to $150 a year, according to FEMA, and there's usually a deductible.
If sewage seeps into your home, not only does the spill itself need to be addressed, but your plumbing may need to be flushed or replaced. Duct-work carpets, drapes and walls may be soiled, possibly beyond repair. Ewser backup insurance helps pay for incidental damage, such as cleaning contents, walls and furniture and some policies may cover work on plumbing.
To get the maximum claims payment to which you're entitled, make sure you have photos on hand of what your home looked like before the damage took place. That way, you can provide your claims adjuster with "before" and "after" pictures. Be sure to itemize property losses and save all receipts for repairs and cleaning.
Do you have water damage in your home?
For help restoring your home after a water loss, call our 24/7 Emergency Service team at 330-966-2377
6 Ways to Protect Your Home From Flooding
The erosive force of moving water can drag dirt from under a building's foundation, causing it to crack and tumble.
Flooding can strike anywhere and at any time, and floods are the most common and most expensive natural disaster in the U.S. Ignoring the risk means a destroyed home and belongings, and mold soon follows that.
Your first step in avoiding this risk is knowing the flood level of the home you're buying- an official measure of how high floodwaters could rise. You can find this information at FEMA's online flood maps.
Your next steps in protecting your home from flooding should include these 6 measures:
- Safeguard in-home electrical and climate systems. Raise switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring at least a foot above the expected flood level in your area. Modify your furnace, water heater, and any other anchored indoor equipment.
- Anchor and raise outdoor equipment. Fuel tanks, air-conditioning units and generators should be anchored above your flood level. Unanchored fuel tanks can break free, and severed supply lines will contaminate surrounding ground.
- Modify water valves. A flooded sewer system can cause sewage to back up in your home. Install an interior or exterior backflow valve.
- Determine how water flows around your house. The grading or slope of the house, the angle of the ground, can direct water to or away from your house. This is easy to determine by watching how water flows or accumulates during an average rainstorm.
- Opt for a major retrofit. If your home floods frequently and moving isn't an option, you may need to take drastic and costly measures. Either raise your home on piers or columns so the lowest floor is above flood level, wet-proof your home by installing foundation vents that would allow water to flow through the building instead of rising inside, or do some dry-proofing by applying coatings and other sealing materials to your walls to keep our floods.
- Take last-minute measures as waters rise. Clear gutters, drains and downspouts. Move furniture, rugs, electronics and other belongings to upper floors. Shut off electricity at the breaker panel. Elevate major appliances onto concrete blocks if they're in harm's way.
If you have any flood damage in your home or building, call SERVPRO of Canton today at our 24/7 Emergency Service Line - (330) 977-4483 or at our Online Help Line.
Water Back-Up, Overflow or Discharge? Homeowners' Claims
Last month we talked about how to protect your home from flood damage. Hopefully the tips served you well, but here are some tips on what causes a water back-up or overflow and whether or not there is coverage for such a loss.
Is it a water back-up, an overflow or discharge?
A back-up is a build-up caused by a stoppage in the flow. Something prevents the water from continuing down its path, so it is forced to reverse direction and go back the other way.
- Causes: A collapsed drain pipe can cause a back-up because water can no longer proceed down its normal course. A blockage can also cause a back-up. The blockage prevents the water from going forward. Both of these factors force the water to reverse direction.
An overflow is when excess or surplus is not able to be accommodated by an available space.
- Causes: The space is filled to capacity and water then spreads beyond its limits. A bath tub left running creates an overflow, as well.
Discharge is what happens when water is released from plumbing or appliances and then floods your home.
- A leaking pipe discharges water from the hole in the pipe.
The ISO HO 00 03 provides coverage for water damage that is the result of a discharge or overflow of a plumbing, heating, air conditioning, or household appliance if it is on the resident’s premises. This covers:
- Pipes that leak behind walls
- Floors, or ceilings
- Washing machines and dishwashers that overflow
- Toilets that overflow
- Storm drains off premises that overflow due to high rains or floods
It is important to note that a sump, sump pump or related equipment, or a roof drain, gutter or downspout or similar equipment is not considered a plumbing system or household appliance.
A discharge or overflow caused by a storm drain, water, steam, or sewer pipe is covered as well if it is off the premises.
Faster to your Canton, Ohio Water Damage Event
SERVPRO of Canton, Ohio provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in the Canton area.
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Canton, Ohio 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. SERVPRO of Canton, Ohio 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 – 330-966-2377
Water Damage Timeline
- 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.
About SERVPRO of Northern Summit County
SERVPRO of Canton, Ohio 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. 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.
Frozen Pipe Bursts Part 3: What to do if a Frozen Pipe Bursts
Damage resulting from a pipe burst due to a frozen pipe
Taking preventative measures and noticing frozen pipes in time to thaw blockages are key to avoiding pipe bursts. Unfortunately, sometimes disasters occur despite our best efforts at prevention. In the unfortunate event that a frozen pipe does burst, you can mitigate the damage by following these important tips:
- Turn off the main water supply immediately.
- If the water is flowing near any electrical outlets or conductors of electricity, you should also shut off the electricity.
- Contact a plumber to repair the burst pipe.
- Remove the water. Use buckets, towels, and a wet/dry vacuum to remove water from the affected area.
- Act quickly! The longer there are wet materials in your home, the greater chance there is for mold, warping, and more serious damage.
- If you feel that the water damage is too much for you to handle on your own or you would like assistance in the cleanup, contact the qualified water mitigation specialists at SERVPRO to assist you.
If you or someone you know is faced with a pipe burst, the experts at SERVPRO can help to mitigate the damage and restore your home!
Frozen Pipe Bursts Part 2: Thawing Frozen Pipes
Act quickly if you discover frozen pipes in your home to avoid pipe bursts.
Frozen Pipe Bursts Part 2: Thawing Frozen Pipes
In the previous blog post, we discussed how to prevent frozen pipes in order to avoid a pipe burst. If a frozen pipe occurs despite your best efforts at prevention, there are still steps that you can take to thaw the affected pipe before a burst occurs and the situation becomes a much bigger issue. You will notice a pipe may have frozen when after turning on a tap no water or a very small trickle comes out.
- The first thing you should do is turn off the main water supply. If you don’t already know where your main water supply is, locate it now in order to be able to act quickly if you ever find yourself in a situation where your pipes have frozen.
- Locate the frozen pipe by turning on taps one at a time to see if water flows out. If water flows in all areas of the house except for one, trace the line from the blocked faucet to areas that may be more exposed to cold. If water does not flow out of any of the taps, the frozen pipe may be located near the water meter.
- Once you have located the affected area, use a blow dryer, heat lamp, or other heat source to apply heat to the affected area. Do NOT use a blowtorch or any other device with an open flame.
- Keep the faucet open and apply heat from the open tap toward the blockage. Continue to apply heat until the water flows from the faucet at normal pressure.
- If you are struggling to find the blockage or are unsure if the pipe is clearing properly, contact a plumber.
Even during a close call with a frozen pipe, if you follow these steps and put the preventative tips from the previous blog post into action, you can boost your chances of avoiding water damage to your home due to a pipe burst.
Frozen Pipe Bursts Part 1: Preventing Frozen Pipes during Winter Months
Damage that occurred as a result of a pipe burst due to a frozen pipe.
Frozen pipes can mean big problems for your home. As water freezes, it expands and can exert up to 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch! That pressure can cause pipes to burst and water to flow into your home, potentially causing extensive damage.
Taking preventative measures during the cold winter months is the best course of action to avoid frozen pipe bursts. The pipes that are most susceptible to freezing are those that are outdoors, are exposed to exterior walls, or are in unheated areas like under cabinets or in attics or crawl spaces. In order to prevent frozen pipes in those areas, follow these tips:
- Drain water from hoses, water sprinklers, and other outdoor lines when the weather starts to cool down and they will no longer be in use.
- On particularly cold days, open cabinet doors to allow warm air to flow around pipes and turn on the taps slightly to allow a slow drip to run through the faucets.
- Make sure that there is insulation present in areas around pipes that are more susceptible to cold weather.
- Consider installing heating cable, heating tape, newspaper, or another form of insulation around exposed pipes.
- If you are leaving for vacation, don’t set the temperature any lower than 55°F.
Putting these tips into practice will significantly reduce your chances of having a pipe freeze in your home, and thereby, avoid the larger and much more costly and inconvenient problem of a pipe burst.
Do's and Don'ts to follow after a Flood or other Water Loss
By following these steps before water mitigation begins, you can take great steps to avoid further property damage in your wet basement or other area
The period after a large storm or flood is often a hectic and confusing time. While waiting for SERVPRO to arrive to perform water damage or flood cleanup, here are some simple do’s and don’ts to follow until help arrives. By following these steps before water mitigation begins, you can take great steps to avoid further property damage in your wet basement or other areas of your home:
For CLEAN Water Losses
- Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- ipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove ad prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
- Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- Enter rooms with standing water where electrical hazards may exist.
- Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
- Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
- Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Use TV’s or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Additional Information for CONTAMINATED Water Losses
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.
- Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
- Turn on the HVAC system is there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
- Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated area.