Recent Water Damage Posts

Get into the habit of prevention

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Get into the habit of prevention Drain leaking

We here at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County like prevention. We also like to solve root cause issues so that they are not a repetitive money pit problem. We were reading an article by Bob and realized they do to. This particular article spoke indirectly to preventing costly restoration repairs.  Let’s go over them and how they can help.

Changing or cleaning filters. Dryer filters if left uncleaned or allowed to go through the exhaust can cause a fire. We discussed this in an earlier blog using a real world example from right here in Winston Salem. Now a fire is the extreme end of the spectrum. But energy efficiency and keeping your electrical costs in check should also be a motivator. HVAC filters are also a way to prevent water damage and maintain energy efficiency. One use a high quality air filter and change it every 1-3 months depending on your air quality conditions. If you have pets or lots of dust every month is probably required. Spring cleaning or summer time is not the only time to change them. If you have a heat pump the same air flow return and air filter gets used to clean the air.

Only flush toilet paper and be conservative. The back flow preventer valve may catch toilet paper or other items flushed and hold the path open for a sewage backup. Be sure children are supervised and taught early on that the bathroom isn’t a play area. Now we have dealt with this problem before, but if it’s preventable which would you rather do? Have a working septic system or pay costly biohazard cleanup? Don’t use harsh chemicals or bleach tablets to keep a clean toilet. They can cause more harm than good by breaking down seals and plastic components that helps to keep your plumbing in good working order.

Letting carpet stains set in, getting the spill up quickly can help. But, sometimes certain stains will need professional help. Not only do we cleanup after disasters we can clean the carpet after a fantastic party.  We can also clean upholstery when you didn’t take your shoes off at the door.

Don’t ignore the gutters, lots of people think the end of fall is the best time to clean gutters, but spring also is a time when you should check them for debris. If the water can’t flow to the down spouts then water will take the path of least resistance, if that is over the side toward the house wall then you could be exposing your home to water damage and mold after a time.

Smoke detectors should be checked twice a year, the time change or day light savings time is a great reminder to ensure fresh batteries are installed. Not only will this habit save you costs it can save your life.

Landscaping and overgrowth can lead water back to the house. Ensure that the landscaping slopes away from the house to prevent water from damaging your home from the outside in. Are your walkways clear of debris and shrubs trimmed to allow safe passage and prevent the pooling of water? In the winter that water can become ice and cause falls. Are there any dead trees that could fall on yours or a neighbor’s house?

Not using garbage disposals properly can lead to an overflow and costly plumber bills. Again be careful of what you put down the disposals or your drains period.  Cutting food while prepping, then washing it down the disposal is not a good idea. This can cause a clog and may even cause pressure on the plumbing joints and lead to a leak that you might not find until there is mold also.

Old habits are hard to break and accidents will happen, so if you need us call us directly at 336-946-1131

Faster to any size disaster.

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

One of our slogans is “faster to any size disaster.” And we have a commitment to respond by phone in an hour or less, be on site in four hours, and within 8 business hours of onsite arrival a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the adjuster. Often times we exceed these expectations.  All of this timely assignment is designed to reduce secondary damage. When water damage just sits untreated it can grow into mold adding costly dollars to the price of cleaning it up.

Moisture control is key to preventing mold growth. When water damage occurs it is critical to move quickly to prevent this type of additional damage.  It is also important to have knowledgeable well trained experts who have dealt with water damage before. Our staff has the training, IICRC certificates and best of all the experience to handle any size disaster.

We will prioritize the cleanup process to ensure the safety of the occupants and our staff. This not only makes safety our number one priority, it will ensure that there is a timely plan to get you back into your home or business quickly.

It’s best to contact us directly our phone is manned 24/7 call us at 336-946-1131

Prepare for frozen pipes by preventing them.

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

It’s hard to believe that winter is here when the temperatures are in the 50’s and 60’s some days. But, that is how it is here in a North Carolina January. Even though we had a foot of snow in December, technically it was still fall.  You may recall that we had three “polar vortex events” a few years ago. An article in the Washington Post suggest that we will have more events of this nature this year in 2019.

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County wants you to be prepared for frozen pipes, should they happen to you or your business. If you have not already done so winterize your home.  If you turn on the water and nothing comes out you may have a frozen pipe. Please don’t attempt to thaw a pipe with a flame such as a torch or grill lighter. A plumber is what you need but if you feel like you want to try it yourself use a hair dryer. Open flames are just asking for trouble and could possibly start a fire and cost you even more many than if you had called the plumber in the first place.

If you have had issues with frozen pipes in the past then it may be time to look for a permanent fix. While the plumber is there ask about the installation of heat tape.  Heat tape is readily available at your local home improvement store, but we recommend that it be installed by a professional. Placing it on an already leaking pipe could result in shorting the heat tape and may also result in an electrical shock. Electricity is not a good hobby so have it installed by a professional. You also want to check insulation in and around pipes especially in attics and crawl spaces inadequate insulation can contribute to frozen pipes.  

If you’re on a cruise or on vacation you should consider turning the water off while away. Coming home to a busted water heater that is continually trying to fill would not be a nice welcome home sight. Or ask a friend to check in on the home especially if you have pets that need to be fed and watered.

You can count on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to be there should you have a water disaster. It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Water you can't see.

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water, when controlled is a life sustaining resource. So why is that we should get water up and dry structure so quickly? We mopped up or squeegeed the floor? We got all the water up right? Are you sure?  In the picture attached it doesn’t look wet but the meter tells a different story. The tools we use can show us the water you can’t see. When water is not extracted thoroughly it can be an extremely damaging element. Since water flows on the path of least resistance it can seep into cracks and crevices you don’t even know you have. The insulation inside walls can act as a sponge and wick the water up the wall causing secondary damage to your home or business.  If left unattended the water can with in as little as 72 hrs start to form mold causing the cleanup effort costs to rise even more.

When we are called in after a leak it is easier for us to prevent mold growth and save you money by extracting the water, removing saturated wet materials that are easily replaced at a low cost, such as carpet pad, sheet rock, and insulation.  We will also dry the structure and prevent mold growth and wood rot. This process is called demoing. This prepares the areas damaged to be restored once drying has reached a measured and monitored goal.

Restoration of areas that would be costly to replace saves you and the insurance company money. These areas include, floor joists, wooden studs, even engineered hardwood floors when we can get to them quickly enough. Some items depending on the type of water damage are not salvageable such as soft goods like plush toys, sofa cushions and pillows. When these items have been exposed to contaminated water such as a sewer backup it’s best to discard and replace them.

Once the area has been mitigated properly then the restoration or repairs to the sheet rock, flooring and cabinets can be completed. This process can take some time but with our experts we can make the water damage to your home or business “Like it never even happened.”  

It’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131 we are available 24/7/365 for emergency services.   

Heavy Rains Strike Again

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Normal rains don’t usually create problems for us but when we get large amounts of rain in a short amount of time it can easily exceed the capacity of our gutters and drains to remove the water fast enough. When this happens water pools or collects in areas it normally wouldn’t, then the problems begin. Water can start entering a home or building in a matter of minutes, through foundation walls or windows when puddled on the ground or through ceilings when it puddles on roofs in gutters.

The attached photo shows a recent example of this near Winston-Salem, NC. Too much rain too quickly overloaded the gutter/drain system capacity and water started entering the building through the ceiling and walls. So much water entered the building so quickly that the hardwoods began to warp and buckle within hours. The hardwood flooring had to be removed to expose the saturated subfloor below to assure the structure was properly dried per IICRC standards.

There’s little to nothing we can do to control the weather however with a little planning and prevention work upfront we can minimize the effects and damages typical of heavy rains.

  1. Make sure all catch basin type drains on your property are clear of debris before heavy rains arrive.
  2. If the grade or lay of the land around your property allows water to run toward or up to the foundation walls of your property during heavy rains talk with a local contractor about changing the grade of the land or adding catch basins to divert water away from the foundation walls.
  3. If you have underground drainage pipes connected to gutter downspouts make sure they are not clogged and free flowing. Blocked or obstructed gutter drains normally dump water from the roof at the foundation wall directly below the downspout.

Hurricanes have a degree of uncertainty but they do come with some advanced warning most of the time. Now is the time to prepare for the heavy rains that may accompany hurricane Florence. As the hurricane turns into a low pressure, heavy rains may stress your gutters and drains. Take this time before the storm to ensure your property is prepared.

If you experience water damage call us directly at 336-946-1131

#SERVPROready #NatPrep

Preparing for flood damage

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

If you have a home or business that has a mortgage or loan regulated by the government and in a special flood hazard area deemed by FEMA you are required to buy flood insurance. The building owner must maintain insurance for the life of the loan. Most importantly the thing to do is prepare.

Safety is key, how are you going to keep your family and employees safe during a flood? Develop a plan, waterproof areas that are critical to your operation. Be sure to consider power to maintain critical areas, especially if they include pumps to keep rising water at bay.   Preventative maintenance and checks on this equipment such as sump pumps and generators will ensure that you can count on them in time of need.  Not all plans are mechanical check levees and berms for excessive vegetative growth and cracks also with walls that may hold out water. Ensure storm drains are kept clear of leaves and debris.

Develop a plan for a flood emergency. If you must leave the building for safety, do you have an evacuation plan? Who is assigned to do what?  Who is accountable to ensure everyone is accounted for?  Have the plan practiced periodically and assign alternative personnel incase key personnel are not on site at the time of an emergency. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County offers a plan that is easy to develop and customizable to your business.

Something to think about before you purchase a home or business site. Am I getting ready to buy in a flood prone area? Where are the sources of water nearby to be aware of if they do flood? Luckily there is an easy to use website by FEMA that can show you a map of the area. Homeowners' and renters' policies rarely cover flooding. Contact your insurance agency about getting flood insurance. Flood insurance is administered by FEMA and a helpful FAQ can be found here.

Should you need any of our water damage restoration services call us directly at 336-946-1131

Your mop is not qualified

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Your mop is not qualified You can't see the water, but we can.

We know how disruptive unseen water damage can be for your business or home. For this reason, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County offers 24-hour emergency response. We will find the source of the water intrusion and make suggestions on how to resolve the source of the damage to provide a root cause solution.  We understand how to manage the drying process and use the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices. (like the one pictured)  Once the root cause of the problem has been dealt with, we ensure your building is quickly and thoroughly dried. This helps prevent secondary water damages and allows you to regain control quickly ensuring your structure and its contents are properly dried, deodorized and protected.

The thing is most of us in Winston Salem think “I will just get it up with a shop vac, or your mop”. The problem is water follows the path of least resistance, and you only got the water you can see up. What about the water you don’t see? In the picture associated with this blog the meter shows the plywood subfloor to be saturated with water yet looking around the meter the wood doesn’t appear wet. If left unchecked mold and wood rot would start to occur. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has the tools to see where water is hiding, and by the time you smell the effects of water left in hidden sources it’s costing you more money in mold mitigation. By having a professional dry your home or business you can avoid mold growth and further damage by unseen water.  

Weather it is your commercial place of business or the home you love, let us help prevent risking further damage to the value of your building. Call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County and let us make it, “Like it never even happened.“

It's always best to call us directly!

Replace V/s Restore how does it save costs?

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water is a vital part of life, when controlled properly it can be helpful and sustain us in our everyday lives. When out of control it can make our lives miserable, and can even do us harm.

If you have dealt with water damage before you know that water restoration services are not cheap. You also know how traumatic they can be, disrupting our lives and causing havoc in our home or business. However, if we look closely, the amount of money that you’ll be spending on water repair damage is significantly lower as compared to the cost of repairing structural damage and replacing personal belongings. Having SERVPRO of West Forsyth County guide you through the trauma efficiently by restoration rather than replacement, can give you piece of mind and save costs.

When water enters our home, it can come with germs and bacteria, it can even promote fungal growth if given enough time and conditions. Oftentimes, mold spores inhabit our home long after the water has disappeared from view.  If you act quickly you can impact the amount of damage to your property and your personal belongings.

While there is no standard cost for water repair damage, the cost is based on several factors. This includes the type of water, the extent of damage and the size of the affected area.

Category 1 (Clean water): Water comes from a faucet, malfunctioning appliance connected to a water line or a supply pipe. This is the least expensive. However if left unmitigated fungal growth can occur in 48 -72 hours from the initial incident.  When fungal growth begins this can change the category and add to costs as procedures to protect workers are also increased.

Category 2 (Grey water): Grey water contains biological and chemical pollutants that can cause illness. Common sources are water that is discharged from washing machine, dishwasher or toilet.

Category 3 (Black water): This is the most detrimental of the group and is also the most expensive. Water contains harmful bacteria that may cause severe discomfort or sickness. Common sources are overflowing rivers and streams, sewage and standing water. Category two water that is left stagnant for more than 48 hours falls under this category.

Restoring your home after water damage could be a frustrating experience. Water or excess moisture could harm your home and its content. The faster you take action, the less damage you’ll have in your home. Here are some tips you can use until we get to your home:

From leaky roofs, basement leaks or frozen pipe bursts, the people at SERVPRO of West Forsyth are here to help make it “like it never even happened.”  In these situations, time is critical. You don’t want your home to be destroyed by water, call us 24/7 directly at 336-946-1131. We commit to pick up your call or call back in an hour or less, be onsite in four hours or less. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County services Winston Salem, Clemmons, Lewisville, Rural Hall, Bethania, Pfafftown, Tobbacoville, and surrounding areas. 

What to do for a frozen pipe.

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

When the temperatures are consistently below freezing what can you do to prevent freezing pipes? Turn the hot and cold water on a trickle. Open the cabinets so warm air can circulate around the pipes especially if the sink is on an exterior facing wall. Ensure that crawl space vents are closed and that pipes are well insulated within the crawl.  Preparation is key in our blog winterizing your home, we suggested inspecting for air leaks. Caulking around windows, doors, dryer vents and where electrical wiring comes into your home is a good idea to protecting pipes.

If the temperature is below freezing and your water doesn’t come on, you may have a frozen pipe, and you may already have a leak. The short answer is call a plumber. But some DIY people go too far. Never try to thaw a pipe with a blow torch or open flame.  A hair dryer could help but never use an electrical appliance while standing in water. If the pipe has burst be sure to cut the water main off. It’s a good idea to teach everyone in your household where the shut off valve is.

Heat tape is readily available at your local home improvement store, but we recommend that it be installed by a professional. Placing it on an already leaking pipe could result in shorting the heat tape and may also result in an electrical shock. If you have had an issue with frozen pipes in the past then this may be an item to put on your to do list when winterizing your home.

If you’re leaving on vacation in the winter here are some tips. Never turn the heat below 55 degrees.  Remember that water main cut it off if you’re gone for more than a couple days. Even if pipes don’t freeze they can fail. A 1/8th inch split in a water supply line can dump 250 gallons of water a day into your home or business.  Not to mention you might have mold by the time you got back from your trip.  Asking a friend or family member to check on the house to ensure it’s not too cold is also a good idea.

You can count on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to be there should you have a water disaster. It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Frozen Pipe and Spigots are you prepared?

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

The next couple of weeks are supposed to be bitterly cold here in Winston Salem.  And SERVPRO of West Forsyth County wants to warn you against the hazards of frozen outside spigots and pipes.

When water freezes, it expands. That's why a can of soda explodes if it's put into a freezer to chill quickly and forgotten. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way. If it expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes and serious damage results.

Why Pipes Burst

Surprisingly, ice forming in a pipe does not typically cause a break where the ice blockage occurs. It's not the radial expansion of ice against the wall of the pipe that causes the break. Rather, following a complete ice blockage in a pipe, continued freezing and expansion inside the pipe causes water pressure to increase downstream; between the ice blockage and a closed faucet at the end.  It's this increase in water pressure that leads to pipe failure. Usually the pipe bursts where little or no ice has formed. Upstream from the ice blockage the water can always retreat back towards its source, so there is no pressure build-up to cause a break. Water has to freeze for ice blockages to occur. Pipes that are adequately protected along their entire length by placement within the building's insulation, insulation on the pipe itself, or heating, are safe.

Water pipes in houses here the southern climate often are more vulnerable to winter cold spells. The pipes are more likely to be located in unprotected areas outside of the building insulation, and homeowners tend to be less aware of freezing problems, which may occur only once or twice a season.

Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are all vulnerable to freezing, especially if there are cracks or openings that allow cold, outside air to flow across the pipes. Research at the University of Illinois has shown that wind chill, which is the cooling effect of air and wind that causes the human body to lose heat, can play a major role in accelerating ice blockage, and thus bursting, in water pipes. 

Holes in an outside wall where television, cable or telephone lines enter can provide access for cold air to reach pipes.

If you have a loss SERVPRO of West Forsyth can make it "Like it never even happened." Call us directly at 336-946-1131

Protecting your home against winter water damage

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

Winter is coming and cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Although we had a mild winter last year here in Winston Salem, it is best to be prepared. The time to prepare is now before the chance of freezing temperatures. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious property damage. While you can't control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather. 

To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following actions before the harsh winter weather hits. 

Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause damage to the property as well as potential personal injuries. 

Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential. Areas that hold standing water can freeze and cause a slip and fall hazard.

Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present. 

Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can cause roof damage and interior water problems. 

Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave cabinet doors open, allowing warm air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe. 

Ask your SERVPRO of West Forsyth County professional about completing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment to your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster. 

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County

It's always best to call us directly.

Preparing for water damage

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

Winston Salem Water Damage Tips from SERVPRO of West Forsyth County

Each passing year, water damage costs property owners in Winston Salem millions and millions of dollars. Water damage may be the result of plumbing issues related to pipe breaks, leaky toilets, showers, or tubs. Unfortunately, there are also many factors leading to water damage that you have little control over. Flooding, natural disasters, and the water left behind after a firefighting effort. Despite the fact that water damage can cause substantial problems to your business or residential property, there are several precautionary and follow-up procedures that you can implement to decrease the severity of the damage. To learn more about the appropriate course of action to take in the event that water damage affects your home or business, please read on.

Preparation Tips

There are several strategies you can implement to prevent your home from being heavily damaged in the face of the unwanted water.

• When you go on vacation, be sure to shut your main water line off. Doing so will decrease the likelihood of flooding that results from a break in a frozen pipe or washing machine hose.
• Allow your faucets to drip regularly when the weather is extremely cold. This will allow any water that freezes to have room for expansion without rupturing a pipe.
• Clean your gutters and downspouts regularly to safeguard against roof damage that results from the overflowing of water that may enter your home through the fascia or soffits.
• Have your hose connections and fittings inspected annually? Keep a good eye on your appliances.

Safety Tips After a Water Damaging Event

• Stay away from rooms in which the ceiling has started to sag as a result of water retention.
• Do not use electrical appliances that could have been damaged by fire or water.
• Refrain from using electrical appliances and equipment when you are standing on wet floors or carpet.
• Do not enter a room with standing water if the electricity is turned on. Be careful. More firefighters die from electrocution than from fire or smoke.

Recovery Tips

• Call for professional assistance immediately. Start with your insurance company. Obtaining prompt clean up services can help preclude extensive water damage. It can also prevent the emergence of unwanted mold and bacteria growth. SERVPRO's professionals are highly skilled in offering detail-oriented, expedient services that prevent your home from becoming susceptible to structural damage after initial exposure to excess water. 

 Although dealing with water damage can be a problematic task, knowing what to do and who to call can prevent the issue from inducing too much anxiety. When you're ready to hire excellent water remediation services at affordable prices, it's time to call the professionals of SERVPRO. We offer round the clock assistance and unprecedented customer service, so call now to obtain the results-driven, client-centered remediation assistance you deserve!

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

We live and work in Winston Salem too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is close by and ready to respond to your water and flood damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the community.

We use scientific drying principles and provide validation and documentation that your property is dry and the job is complete. We are here for you. (336) 946-1131

Limit water damage by acting quickly

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

Summer time in Winston Salem NC humidity and summer storms. When water stands and causes damage it can continue to cause damage and cost even more money to repair the secondary damage. So, the old adage is never truer than when dealing with a water-damaged home or business. Every minute matters, because every minute the property is wet could turn primary damage into secondary- or even permanent damage.  That's why emergency response, and time matter.  

Secondary water damage occurs when the moisture from the primary event (flood, leak, etc.) begins to evaporate on its own into the air.  Over time the air will no longer be able to hold the moisture from the evaporation.  The moisture will have to go somewhere and a very basic principle behind psychometrics is that wet goes to dry.  The moisture may go into your drywall, cabinetry, sheetrock, hardwood floors, vinyl floors, etc.  Once the moisture is allowed to sit, mold can then begin to grow.  This is why emergency action is so incredibly important.

Storms, floods, burst pipes, and leaks simply don't abide by the 9-to-5 workday.  So why should your restoration provider?  SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Professionals are on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the state-of-the-art equipment and proven methods and training to get the job done right as quickly as possible. This includes every holiday, even 4th of July. You can call us and we will be there.

If the unthinkable happens, call your local SERVPRO of West Forsyth County Professionals at (336) 946-1131 seven days a week 24/7 to help you avoid the cost and hassle of secondary damages.  We will help make it "Like it never even happened."