Recent Water Damage Posts

Prevent Water Damage While on Vacation

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

woman walking along beach at sunset with text box "Avoid a Vacation Disaster" Follow these steps to prevent water damage while you're away on vacation!
 

7 Steps to Preventing Water Damage While Away

According to a study done by the Insurance Institute, homeowners' highest insurance claims are water damage. Leaky or busted pipes and appliances cause millions of dollars in damage during freezing weather and storms. Leaky pipes don't take a vacation when you do and can burst, generating hundreds of dollars of repairs. Prevent water damage while your on vacation by using this checklist:

Step 1. Check for Leaks Before Going on Vacation

Check pipes under your sinks and the water heater for any rust, cracks, or damage. You should check the seals by your windows to make sure there are no cracks. Additionally, check the exterior of your house and see the condition of your roof shingles. If any show damage, getting them replaced before leaving for vacation is a good idea.

Step 2. Inspect Your Major Appliances

You must inspect the hoses connected to essential appliances in your home, such as dishwashers, washers/dryers, and refrigerators.

Step 3. Clear Out Your Gutters

Make sure to get any debris out of your rain gutters before leaving for vacation. This way, you won't have any blockages that can cause overflows which can lead to foundation problems and water damages while you're away.

Step 4. Inspect Your Sump Pump

Make sure it is in good condition and clear any debris from clogging the pit. Run a few tests, listen to the sounds it makes, and ensure that the pump's water is going outside. Install a battery-powered backup in case there is a power outage while you're away.

Step 5. Insulate Exposed Pipes

If you plan on being away from your home during the winter, it can be a good idea to insulate any exposed pipes. This will prevent them from freezing while you are away.

Step 6. Get Someone to Check on Your Home

Call a friend or hire a professional house sitter to check on your home every week while you are gone. Instruct them to ensure that the heat is always on if your vacation is during the winter. Also, show them where the water main is in case of an emergency.

Step 7. Ease Your Mind By Turning Off the Water

Lastly, if you cannot find someone to check on your home, you should turn off the water main. Drain the pipes so that they do not freeze or burst during the colder months. To do this, run the water and flush your toilet after you turn off the water. Open the cabinets under your sink to let the warm air surround the pipes.

If you experience water damage while you are away from your home, contact SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast as soon as possible at (813) 710-6316.

3 Step Plan for a Flooded Furnace

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

furnace and water heater in a basement Know what to do and act quickly if your furnace floods then call SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast (813) 710-6316 to take care of the water damage.

A small amount of water from a broken pipe can flood a fully functional basement and result in a water damage nightmare, especially if the water permeates your furnace. SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast identified three steps to help keep you stress-free and organized when dealing with a flooded furnace. Following these steps will make the claims process run smoothly and help your business or home get up and running again.

Document the Damage

The furnace can be the most costly loss in a flood, other damaged property also needs to be considered when documenting damage for insurance. Use the following process to record losses and assign values in a notebook or spreadsheet.

  • Photograph the damage.
  • Write down the serial number or another unique identifier if available.
  • Assign a value.

Don’t forget to include items that may have little to no monetary value but are still of high value to your business, like important documents. Search professional recovery services within the area to save irreplaceable items such as documents or photographs.

Investigate Coverage and Decide to Repair or Replace

A burst pipe resulting in a flooded furnace is an insurable event, so be sure to check with your provider that you are covered. If a natural disaster occurred, contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency to inquire if government aid is available. FEMA offers financing options to those who qualify for HVAC and furnace replacement costs.

According to the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, flooded furnaces should be replaced rather than repaired. For a professional opinion, contact a qualified heating and cooling contractor to inspect the damage. They may advise that the furnace will be operational after a total dry-out and minor electrical repair. However, the life of the unit reduces. You likely don’t want to choose repair over replacement and have a related problem surface a couple of years later, long after the claim closes.

Take Care of the Air Ducts

The air quality from a furnace is often only as good as the ducts it travels through. Call SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast at (813) 710-6316 to schedule a professional air duct cleaning to ensure ducts are clean, dry, and free of mold and debris.

Tasks associated with a furnace flood are something nobody wants on their to-do list. Take this systematic approach to efficiently ensure the return of a safe and comfortable environment in your commercial or residential property in Tampa, FL, for years to come.

6 Steps to Prevent Water Damage

12/9/2021 (Permalink)

a man preventing water damage and cleaning guttters In case of water damage, immediately call SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast at (813) 710-6203.

The highest insurance claims by homeowners are from water damage, according to a study by the Insurance Information Institute. Hurricanes and floods are not the only sources of water damage. Blocked gutters, leaky pipes, and broken sump pumps can also be harmful to your home. Thankfully, these issues are preventable; and by minimizing the risk of water damage, homeowners can save more money in the long run. SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast recommends the following six steps to homeowners who want to proactively protect their homes before disaster strikes. 

Step 1. Check for Leaks Before Going on Vacation

Check the pipes under your sinks, the water heater for any sign of damage, and the seals by your windows for cracks that might cause water damage. Additionally, examine the exterior of your house, especially the roof shingles where water can leak into the interior. Getting these repairs taken care of before leaving for vacation is key to reducing the risk of disaster. 

Step 2. Inspect Your Major Appliances

You must inspect the hoses connected to essential appliances in your home, such as dishwashers, washers, dryers, and refrigerators. If there's any damage, the hose should be replaced to prevent extensive water damage.

Step 3. Clean Out Your Gutters

Remove any debris out of your rain gutters and downspouts. Gutter blockages can damage your fascia boards, cause foundation leaks, and result in mold. 

Step 4. Inspect Your Sump Pump

Clear out any debris that could clog the pit. Run a few tests, and make sure that the pump's water is going outside. Install a battery-powered backup in case of a power outage. 

Step 5. Get Someone to Check on Your Home When You’re Away

Call a friend or hire a professional house sitter to check on your home every week while you're gone. Also, show them where the water main is in case of an emergency.

Step 6. Turn Off the Water

If you cannot find someone to check on your home, you should turn off the water main and entirely drain your pipes. To do this, run the water and flush your toilet after you turn off the water. 

For 24/7 emergency water damage response contact SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast at (813) 710-6203. A team of highly trained water damage specialists will quickly dry and restore your home to make it “Like it never even happened.”  

3 Types of Water Damage

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

water damage in a tampa home near me SERVPRO uses air movers to dry out your Tampa Southeast home after water damage

Understanding 3 Types of Water Damage

Water damage comes in many forms. It can occur quickly or slowly; it can be a quick fix or a significant, time-consuming property issue. When your property has water damage, SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast wants to help you!

Being educated about water damage types can help give you peace of mind and help you attack the issues quickly and efficiently. There are three general categories of water damage.

1. Clean Water

This water is clean and comes from an uncontaminated source. If this occurs, know that it is not dangerous if consumed by pets or people. This type of water damage may occur if an incoming water line bursts, you have a bathroom flood due to an overflowing sink or tub, or have a small leak from an internal water pipe. SERVPRO can help extract the water and dry surfaces out for you. It's essential to have this done by an expert, as any remaining wet areas can bring on further issues such as mold, fungus, or rotting materials.

2. Grey Water

Grey Water comes from a source with some contaminants in it. If a leak or puddle of "Clean Water" is left for too long, this can turn into Grey Water. Other sources include sump pump failures, overflowing washing machines, and even some sewage pipes. This water type may cause people and animals to become sick if their exposure is high or consumed. SERVPRO recommends calling them to handle the water professionally.

3. Black Water

Black Water is the most hazardous type of water damage that can occur. This water is too contaminated and likely comes from a natural disaster or sewage plumbing. This water may sometimes look clean but can contain microbes that can cause health effects. When it comes to home flooding emergencies, Black Water floods can be the most destructive. This is due to the water's unsanitary conditions, causing bacteria, chemicals, and toxins to absorb into the porous items in your home. Carpets, upholstery, and drywall are often destroyed in this unsalvageable disaster.

Clean and Grey Water has the potential to even turn to Black Water if left standing or unattended. Please call SERVPRO to help remove water and disinfect your home immediately if this affects your home, and avoid exposing you and your household as it can cause illness. Our team of professionals can help in any circumstances needed!

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast is close by and ready to respond to your flood or water damage emergency. We proudly serve Tampa, FL, and surrounding areas.

Protect Your Tampa Home From Freezing Pipes This Winter

11/9/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen pipe that burst open near me SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast helps you if a frozen pipe in your home bursts and causes flooding damage

Freezing Temps Mean Your Pipes Can Freeze and Burst

Now that winter weather is on its way, bursting pipes are a concern—even in locations with a mild winter season, like Tampa, Florida.

If you live in an apartment or townhome, you may receive a newsletter or see signs that tell you to keep the heat on and let your faucets drip, but does that actually protect the pipes from the cold weather effects?

As temperatures drop below freezing, water pipes both at your home and your workplace run the risk of freezing and bursting. When this happens, flooding and damage can occur to the property and possessions. Although bursting pipes can lead to a myriad of issues, the good thing is that this can be avoided. Here are a few tips to help safeguard against freezing pipes:

Add insulation

Pipes located in the basement or attic need protection from freezing temperatures, as they are often uninsulated. Adding insulation, such as fiberglass or foam rubber, can be a solution for exposed pipes in these areas.

Caulk holes and cracks

All holes and cracks near pipes should be securely sealed to keep cold air out and warm air inside. This can be checked on the inside and the outside of the building.

Drip your faucets

Opening the faucet can relieve pressure in the pipe and keep water flowing. This keeps the pressure from building up and keeps water in a moving state, which reduces the chance of frozen water and bursting pipes, potentially causing a flooding situation.

Open cabinet doors

You likely have warmer air circulating throughout the house than what you’d find inside closed cabinets. Open your cabinet doors to let the air warm these uninsulated spaces. This decreases the chance of water freezing inside the hidden pipes.

Turn up the heat

Keep your household or business temperature above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, even when there’s no one occupying the building.

If disaster strikes and damage is done by frozen pipes flooding your property, our team here at SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast is ready to spring into action and make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us anytime–we're ready to respond to your emergency 24/7.

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast is close by and ready to respond to your flood or water damage emergency. We proudly serve Tampa, FL, and surrounding areas.

Water Damage Emergency Tips

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded home in Tampa, Florida - water damage tips Have water damage? Call SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast today!

When you're dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast responds immediately and uses advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water. They monitor and document the process to verify your property dries.

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house? Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Do activities that are safe for you to perform. Wet materials can be heavy. Be careful!
  • Have A Water Damage Emergency? Call (813) 694-9092.

What To Do After Flooding 

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors. 

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

However, if disaster strikes, trust your local SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast to be by your side when you need us. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week- including holidays! 

Drying Out Water Damage

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

Machines drying out a floor affected by water damage Dry out water on your floors as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the worse the damage will be.

After a plumbing disaster, Tampa Southeast homeowners need a water-vac to pull water off the floor, open the doors and windows, and rent a rug shampooer from the local big box store. To restore a home takes a professional restoration service. Drying a home with water damage in Tampa requires attention to four key factors that affect humidity.

SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast restoration specialists train to analyze each one, knowing which drying methods and equipment they need to use in each home. It all comes down to HEAT. Humidity levels determine the level of water vapor in the air in a home compared to its capacity. A level of 60 percent or higher indicates the air is saturated. That greatly slows evaporation and increases drying time. Specialists use dehumidifiers to reduce the humidity level in each affected room. Working dehumidifiers can lower the level up to 20 percent every 24 hours.

Evaporation is the natural process of water converting to vapor. With large amounts of water, it is slow. Our SERVPRO specialists use pumps and smaller extraction devices to remove the bulk of the standing water. They get the amount below two inches in depth; the rate of evaporation increases. An augment rate of evaporation with dehumidifiers is to exhaust fans to increase movement, forcing saturated air outside the home.

Air movement increases by causing dry air to spread across damp surfaces like walls, tables, and countertops to increase the evaporation rate. Air movers and fans' combination to increase air movement is useful to dry clothing in a gentle manner that doesn't damage the fabric. Temperature is an essential factor. Since the preferred range to dry home and property is 70 to 90 degrees, we try to engage the HVAC system if it is operational. If not, specialists use space heaters to raise the internal temperature. They monitor the temperature to keep it under 80 degrees on the first day; however, a higher temperature can increase the humidity.

At SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast, we use every tool and method available to return every residence to a dry, safe condition for families to live in once again. If you have had a recent water issue in your home, call us at (813) 694-9092 to schedule a visit. We are here for you.