Recent Water Damage Posts

Flush a Water Heater in 4 Steps

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

Man's hands unscrewing a threaded nut on a water heater with a wrench on a boiler. Regular maintenance can keep a water heater working for years.

How to Flush a Water Heater in 4 Easy Steps

Regular maintenance can keep a water heater working for years. Follow these four steps to flush the tank and eliminate deposits such as minerals and sediment.

1. Turn Off the Appliance

If you have a gas heater, shut off the gas and extinguish the pilot. Switch off the line that supplies an electric heater at the circuit breaker.

2. Prepare the Hose and Tank

Connect a garden hose to the drain valve and run the opposite end to an area that will not be affected by water and sediment. Open the drain valve on the water heater and let the water flow for several minutes. Turn on the hot water faucet in the kitchen to drain the remaining water from the tank. After several minutes, turn off the water supply valve. You may turn the valve on and off again for an extra flush.

3. Close Valves and Turn On Water

Once the water and sediment has drained, close the heater valves and turn the water supply back on. Check the flow of water at the kitchen sink and make sure the stream starts flowing consistently.

4. Turn on the Heater

Turn on the heating element or restore power only after the tank is full. Turn off the faucet in the kitchen.

The frequency with which you should perform a water heater flush depends on the quantity of hot water used. If you live alone or with one other person, flush the tank once a year. In a household with three to five residents, flush the tank every eight months. For more than six occupants, flush the tank twice a year.

If you experience a leak or water damage resulting from a malfunctioning water heater, contact a plumber or repair service in Mill Spring, NC. You may also want to file an insurance claim and hire residential water damage restoration experts.

How to Dry Important Company Documents Without Sacrificing Integrity

9/26/2021 (Permalink)

It may not seem possible to salvage wet documents after a business has flooded, but the methods below may offer the best chance of recovering those vital papers.

1. Clean Before Drying

Mud and other debris usually accompany flooding; therefore, before attempting to dry and salvage your business’s essential documents, you may need to get the dirt off of them. One of the best ways to remove all that muck is to place the wet papers under a screen and, after the mud has dried some, vacuum the debris from the surface.

2. Air, Fans, and Paper Towel

Air is likely the most obvious way to dry out wet documents; however, it may not be the most efficient. If you want to attempt any document drying with this method, then you will need plenty of dry space to layout your papers. Lay all the papers separately, using a paper towel to damp off excess water. Once excess water is removed, you can turn a fan on low to help circulate the air and speed up the drying process.

3. Freezer

If some of your business documents haven’t dried after two days, then you can wrap each sheet in wax paper and freeze them, ensuring the prevention of mold. Most of the time it is necessary to leave the documents in the freezer for up to two weeks, but after that time you remove them and attempt air drying again.

4. Professional Help

While most people are familiar with the idea of using restoration specialists after a flood, many don’t consider that there are services like that for document drying. You can check the local Saluda, NC, area for professionals who specialize in the vacuum freeze-drying of documents. This process freezes your documents in a vacuum-sealed container and then, using heat and air forced through the container, dries the papers.

After a flood forces a business to close, wet documents can be one of the most devastating things for a company, but it doesn’t have to be if you are aware of the ways to save and dry those critical papers.

Help! There's Water Dripping From My Ceiling!

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Water dripping from a light fixture Water damage in a light fixture.

What Should You Do If You Find Water In The Light?

Sometimes water damage happens before you've had any evidence of a leak. You may be able to resolve some of those leaks by making necessary repairs, but there are some situations that require the services of a specialist. One of these is water in a light fixture. The risks of DIY repairs in this case include:

  • Electrocution injuries or death
  • Electrical fires due to corrosion or mold
  • Injuries due to a soggy or collapsed ceiling

Think About Safety Concerns

Your first concern should be your safety and the safety of your family. Next, turn off the water and electricity before beginning any other repair efforts. Many water shutoff valves are located in the basement, if there is flooding in your path, it's best to turn off the electricity before getting near any water or electrical outlets, light switches, and other potential sources of electrical contact.

Talk to Your Insurance Company

After shutting off electricity and the water, contact your insurance company. Your chances of filing a successful claim to cover damages are better if you've taken the course of action recommended by the insurance company. You may be advised to take further safety precautions, such as contact the power company to shut off all electricity until a professional has given the okay to turn it back on.

Hire a Remediation Professional

Finally, contact a specialist with experience in cleaning up after water damage, including ceiling damage and electrical concerns. The specialist may take steps such as cutting around the ceiling fixture to release any pooling water in the light. This professional or an electrician can tell you whether fixtures and electrical wiring should be replaced. Don't turn the water or the electricity back on until you have approval from these experts.

Water damages can be scary, but with quick thinking and professional advice, you can bring the situation under control. Remember to focus on safety, cover your bases with the insurance company, and hire knowledgeable professionals in Mill Spring, NC.

Prepare Your Business for Spring Floods in Three Steps

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Debris on a rain gutter in Lake Lure, NC. Remove debris from your rain gutters.

Prevent Water Damage In Your Business

Spring is lovely with birds and flowers. The change in weather can be a relief after a long winter. However, spring also brings rain showers and melting snow which can lead to flooding. The following are three steps to prevent water damage at your Lake Lure business.

1. Take Inventory
If your business is damaged due to spring floods, a frozen pipe or any other type of water damage, it is important to have an inventory of all business property on hand for the insurance company. Include the date and price of purchase as well as photo or video of the items in their preloss condition. Having the inventory readily available will expedite the insurance claim process, so keep it in a secure location.

2. Prepare the Building
Although a certified restoration service can clean and repair your building after flooding, it is better to avoid water damage in the first place. Make sure the gutters on your building are cleaned out and securely attached before the spring flood. Examine the foundation and repair any cracks. Before snow begins accumulating, inspect the roof and make any necessary repairs.

3. Inspect the Sump Pump
If your building has a sump pump, make sure to test it prior to spring rains. Testing the pump is a simple task. Pour water into the basin and make sure the device pumps out the water. If the pump does not activate, check that the float switch is not jammed and the power cord is in good condition.
Flooding can cause severe damage and interfere with your business’s operations. Fortunately, there are steps business owners can take to minimize damage. Make sure sump pumps, gutters and other protective devices are in good working order. Make sure you have an inventory of all the things you would need insurance to repair or replace should they be damaged during a spring flood.

Cleaning Items After Water Damage

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

small refrigerator, washing machine and furniture covered with mud, furniture damaged by water in Lake Lure, NC. Items of a home damaged by water.

Cleaning Items After Water Damage

When you have water in your home after a leak or a flood, you are faced with several complicated issues. Many people in your position wonder what items can be saved after water damage. There is no hard and fast rule, but the following factors are important:

  • The level of cleanliness of the water
  • The amount of time the water has soaked the items
  • The porosity of the items
  • The level of cleanliness of the materials

If the water leak comes from a category 1 source, which is clean water suitable for drinking, then more items can be dried and restored. On the other hand, dirty water, from either a category 2 or category 3 source, often does enough damage that replacement is necessary.

The Time Factor

The presence of water in home also plays a role. In as little as 24-48 hours, clean water leaked into your property in Lake Lure, NC turns into gray or category 2 water. That's because it picks up impurities as time passes. Also, unpleasant things begin to happen such as the growth of mold and mildew. Items like carpeting, upholstery, clothing and drywall become harder to save the more time passes after a broken pipe or some other leak. More durable items that don't allow water to penetrate such as tile, porcelain, plastic and metal can sometimes still be cleaned and dried effectively after a couple of days. Eventually, though, given enough time, water will begin to break down even the toughest materials.

The Restoration Role

A professional water damage specialist will use expert techniques that increase the number of items that can be restored. A certified technician uses powerful vacuums and air dryers to suck out water and moisture. Methods such as dry cleaning and premier cleaning are very effective for clothing and upholstery. While water in a home is always a challenging situation, professional cleaning and restoration can save money and valuable items.

3 Things To Do Before a Home Adjuster Visit

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Standing water on the floor of a Marion, NC home. Water damage in Marion, NC

Here Are A Few Things You Can Do To Prepare Yourself

If you have experienced water damage to your Marion, NC, home, one of the first things that you should do is start your insurance claim. During this process, an adjuster will visit to go over the damage and determine how much your compensation should be. Before the adjuster’s visit, there are a few things that you can do to prepare.

1. Contact a Restoration Service
Water damage can cause many problems in your home, from mold growth to ruined building materials. For this reason, you should have mitigation done as quickly as possible to prevent damage from getting worse. A cleanup and restoration service can remove the water from your home and begin cleaning the building even before the home adjuster visits. The money you receive from your insurance claim can help pay for this.

2. Make a List of Damaged Areas and Items
The amount you receive for your claim will depend on how much damage your home has suffered. It is a good idea to list and take pictures of damaged sections of your house before any work is done. Your home adjuster will also need documentation of belongings that need to be repaired or replaced. If you have receipts, you should include these as well.

3. Go Over Your Policy
Not every insurance policy is the same, so it’s a good idea to go over yours so that you are familiar with the details, particularly if you have not previously filed a claim. Make sure you know what is required of you and what you can expect as you move forward. Doing so will help move the process along smoothly, making things easier for both you and your home adjuster.
Although dealing with water damage and the resulting insurance claim can be stressful, there are steps you can take to help things go more easily. Preparing before the visit from your adjuster can make a big difference.

6 Helpful Hints About Filing a Water Damage Insurance Claim

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO equipment in the warehouse of our Forest City office. We're prepared to handle any water damage restoration job.

Insurance claims for water damage are on the rise. In fact, water damage claims are purportedly the second most reported petitions in Marion, NC. However, questions often arise when homeowners try to decipher the legal jargon of insurance policy, and many frequently become frustrated over exemptions and exclusions. Here are six hints to help you decode the steps you to take when making a water damage insurance claim.

1. Take pictures of the damaged area immediately after finding the water. Also, continue taking pictures during all stages of cleanup and restoration. If the damage is due to a pipe burst, take pictures of the pipe as well. Offer a copy of all photos to the insurance adjuster.

2. Contact your insurance agent regarding the loss. Ask the agent questions about your coverage, the time limit to file a claim, and deductibles. Request information on repairs, restoration, and how long a claim takes to process.

3. Establish your claim by filling out the claim forms as soon as you receive the papers. Return the completed documents to the insurance company right after you finish the paperwork.

4. Keep a list of damaged and lost items. Include all steps taken to clean or discard major items, if possible. Also, take pictures and keep the photos with the records to substantiate the loss. If receipts are available for destroyed or damaged items, provide copies with your insurance claim.

5. Request receipts and a detailed list of all work done by your water repair and restoration company. Also, ask the team to include a list of all supplies used to clean and sanitize the area.

6. If your family needs to relocate during cleanup and restoration, keep receipts. Extensive records required may include living expenses, replacement clothing, and meal expenditures.

Once your insurance claim has been settled, and the insurance company accepts your submission, a payment is typically sent to cover the terms of the settlement. If the claim is refused, you have the right to contest the refusal and the right to hire an attorney.

4 Steps to Preventing Water Damage in Your Home While on Vacation

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

Hand shutting off the main water valve in Forest City, NC Shutting off the water supply line.

One of the worst ways to end your vacation is returning to your home in Forest City, and finding that it’s flooded due to a broken pipe. There are some precautions you can take to prevent unexpected water damage. If you are planning on being away from home more than a couple of days, it’s recommended you keep a checklist to follow, so you can avoid costly water pipe repair.

1. Clear Away Exterior Debris

It’s good practice to routinely check points around your home where leaves and other debris collect, such as gutters. Inspecting your home’s exterior before leaving will provide you with an added sense of security.

2. Keep Pipes and Spigots Insulated

If you live in a northern climate and plan to vacation during the winter months, one practical way to protect pipes is to cover them with an insulation sleeve. Covers are also available for spigots. Disconnect any hoses that aren’t in use, such as garden hoses.

3. Inspect Your Home for Leaks

Simply taking the time to inspect your home for leaks, or the potential thereof, could prevent water pipe repair down the road. The most obvious places to check are all sinks, toilets, and tubs. Look them over thoroughly for any signs of seepage, dripping, dampness, or rust. Don’t forget some of the less obvious places, such as the water heater.

Water can also leak in through broken window seals and the roof. While you’re surveying your home in Forest City, you might as well check for missing or broken shingles and weak areas. Your goal is to keep from returning to a flooded mess.

4. Shut the Water Off

Even if you’re planning on asking someone you trust to stop by and check on your home periodically, it’s recommended to turn off the main water line. Remembering to let all of the water drain from the faucets and toilet tanks will alleviate pressure buildup and help prevent the possibility of a broken pipe.

Taking a few simple precautions before you leave on vacation allows you to better relax and enjoy your time away. It also goes a long way toward preventing water pipe repair.