Recent Water Damage Posts

How Midlothian, TX, Homeowners Can Detect and Deal With Water Damage in a Closet

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian offers tips for identifying water damage in a closet and provides strategies for dealing with the effects of the damage.

The professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian deal with water damage and other property damage disasters on a regular basis, so they see firsthand how life can suddenly be filled with stress and worry. SERVPRO is a trusted cleanup and restoration company in the region, and the team can quickly restore all types of property damage situations, including water damage in a homeowner’s closet.

Water Damage in a Closet

Suffering water damage in a closet seems improbable to most homeowners since a closet does not have a direct water source such as a sink, bathtub, or toilet. Yet, water damage in a closet can occur, and it often does. Since a closet is dark, closed off from airflow, loaded with organic matter, and seldom inspected, this tiny room is susceptible to large-scale mold infestation resulting from water damage.

How to Detect Water Damage in a Closet

Detecting water damage in a closet can be difficult, especially if the closet is seldom accessed. Some signs of water damage in a closet include:

  • a damp, musty smell inside the closet or on items in the closet
  • brown or yellow stains or discoloration on the ceiling and walls
  • difficulty opening and closing the closet door
  • swollen or warped baseboards or door framing
  • bubbling paint, peeling wallpaper, warping in the drywall
  • moist or wet clothes and other contents
  • flooring in the closet that is wet or moist to the touch
  • floor substrate that is soft or buckled

Causes of Water Damage in a Closet

Homeowners may be surprised by some of the many causes of water damage in a closet. Knowledge of how a water intrusion can occur in a closet can help prevent a future water damage disaster. Some causes of water damage in a closet include:

  1. An adjacent bathroom
  • moisture from an adjacent bathroom’s shower or bathtub
  • flooding from a cracked tub or shower base
  • leaking supply lines to the shower, tub, toilet, or sink
  • a leaky drain pipe
  • an overflowing toilet
  • an overfilled sink basin or tub
  • second story bathroom leaks
  1. HVAC leak in the attic above or near the closet

Homeowners should always be aware that a water leak in the attic can travel many feet before the water is deposited on the interior ceiling.

  1. Clogged gutters near closets with an exterior wall
  2. A roof leak from storm damage
  3. Storing wet items in the closet
  • coats
  • shoes
  • umbrellas
  • swimwear

Effects of Water Damage in a Closet

Though most closets are relatively small compared to other rooms in a home, the damage can be extensive, severe, and very costly. The water intrusion can damage clothing, shoes, handbags, other leather goods, keepsakes, important documents, photographs, jewelry, electronics, tools, firearms, and other items stored in a closet.

Failing to discover and mitigate water damage in a closet can result in a mold infestation that could result in health effects for the occupants of the home. Closets are often in bedrooms where people spend nearly one-third of their lives, and mold in the closet can also be spread throughout the entire home.

The best and safest solution for dealing with water damage in a closet is to secure the services of a qualified, reputable water damage restoration specialist who is skilled in dealing with the restoration of personal belongings such as clothing, leather goods, electronics, keepsakes, documents, photographs, artwork, and other items typically stored in closets. Also, the homeowner should verify that the property damage restoration specialist is competent to identify and mitigate any mold issues since mold growth often accompanies water damage.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian has been serving the local area since 2000. The company is locally owned and is backed by a nationwide system of qualified franchises. Technicians undergo rigorous training and continuous education to stay on the cutting edge of property damage restoration technology, techniques, and safety protocols. The team of restoration experts specializes in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

For more information about Midlothian, TX, water damage restoration services, contact the office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

Where Should Homeowners Look for Water Intrusion and Water Damage?

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian highlights seven hiding places where water can seep into a home and cause water damage.

The team of professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian knows that a water damage disaster can strike without warning, and water intrusion often goes undetected, leading to advanced secondary damage. When building materials such as plywood, OSB board, sheetrock, and insulation are subjected to water and moisture on a recurring basis, they can break down, rot, or harbor mold. Knowing where to look for water damage can help bring an end to this game of water damage hide-and-seek.

Hiding place #1: Near the chimney

Moisture intrusions around the chimney, as well as around improperly sealed roof installations such as vents, exhaust fans, and skylights, can go unnoticed, damaging the roof deck and potentially causing a mold infestation in the attic. Conducting an annual roof inspection with a professional, reputable roofing company can expose leaks and hidden water damage.

Hiding place #2: In the wall below the window

Windows are a common location for water leaks. Water and moisture from rain and snow can readily trickle down between the window sash and the jamb, damaging the framing studs in the wall. The water might not be noticed until the signs of damage become too obvious to be missed. Warping, buckling, peeling paint and wallpaper, and the earthy smell of mold and rotting wood give away the hiding place. Repairs can be extensive and expensive.

Hiding place #3: Underneath the siding

The most common places where water sneaks its way behind the siding are:

  • Where two siding panels meet
  • At the corners of the house
  • Around the windows where the siding abuts the trim

These unsealed gaps permit moisture to penetrate beneath the siding. Over time, the plywood sheathing or OSB board will rot. The damage may not be discovered until the siding separates from the rotted sheathing or the siding is replaced for cosmetic reasons.

Hiding place #4: Near exterior painted window sills

Older homes with windows that have undergone multiple paint jobs through the years often experience water damage in this hiding spot. A seemingly insignificant dribble of water through cracks in the paint can allow wood rot in the window sills without the homeowner ever having a clue where the water damage is hiding. A simple test can expose this prime water damage hiding spot. Press the tip of a screwdriver firmly along a sill. If the screwdriver tip sinks into the wood, damage has occurred. The soft, rotted wood will need to be replaced before further damage can take place.

Hiding place #5: Behind an outdoor faucet

A favorite hiding place for a water leak is behind outdoor faucets, especially when the faucet connects to a water pipe beneath the siding. Connecting the faucet to the water pipe in this situation is difficult and can result in small leaks. Water leaks underneath siding are difficult to spot. Leaking water can flow down the inside of the wall and cause extensive damage to sheathing and framing members. In some cases, the leaks could continue for years before manifesting signs of water damage that are noticeable. In fact, it may be an outbreak of mold that tips off the homeowner to the leak.

Hiding place #6: Beneath an exterior door threshold

Every time it rains or snows, the wood underneath the metal threshold of an exterior door is exposed to water and moisture. Treated wood is often employed in this location which buys the homeowner some time. Over time, even treated wood will succumb to the effects of repeated saturation. The wood will soak up the water, swell, and become soft and spongy. The water damage may not be revealed until the metal threshold works loose from the rotted wood, which can no longer support it.

Hiding place #7: Below a window air conditioning unit

Window AC units are versatile, energy-efficient, and affordable. They function well as a primary cooling source or, in case the main HVAC unit fails, as a backup unit. Window units remove moisture from the air as they perform their cooling function. This moisture must be dispersed outside of the home, usually through a tube. As a window air conditioner ages, the moisture tube can become clogged with slimy mold and mildew.

Sometimes the tube can become detached from the unit. As a result, the condensation can fill up the bottom of the unit and drain into the windowsill and wall space below. It is not long before framing, sheathing, and wood studs succumb to rot damage. Homeowners are advised to periodically check the windowsills, framing, sheetrock, wallpaper, and paint beneath a window unit for signs of moisture and water damage.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian has been serving the area since 2000. The locally owned company is backed by a nationwide system of qualified franchises. Being centrally located in Ellis County means that technicians are within a thirty-minute drive or less of any location in the community. The water damage restoration experts specialize in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

For more information about water damage restoration in Midlothian, TX, contact the office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

How to Conserve Water Usage in Order to Save Water and Money

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian offers tips on how homeowners can conserve their water usage.

As the leading water damage restoration company in the region, SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian understands the importance of water. Not only do homeowners want to prevent leaks that cause water damage, but they also want to conserve the overall amount of water that they use in their home. SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian is sharing water conservation tips to help the community save water and money.

Making the Water and Energy Connection

Water and energy usage are very closely connected. Wise water conservation not only reduces water consumption but also reduces energy consumption. Reducing energy consumption increases the amount of money homeowners can keep in their pockets when they save on their energy bills.

Water conservation experts explain the link between water and energy, writing, “Water utilities use a lot of energy to pump, clean, and deliver water to your home. Why should you care? Because utilities pay for that energy, and part of your water and sewage bills are actually energy bills. That’s not all. You pay twice for much of your water—once for the cost of the water itself and once for the cost of heating it. It can add up quickly. Letting your faucet run for five minutes uses as much energy as letting a 60-watt lightbulb run for 14 hours. The good news is there are lots of no- and low-cost ways to save water throughout your home.”

Water-Saving Tips for the Conservation-Conscious Homeowner

The wettest rooms in the home are the kitchen and the bathroom. The laundry room is a close third with the washing machine and possibly a utility sink.

Kitchen Water Conservation Tips

A steady flow of water makes its way through the kitchen with all the cooking, cleaning, and dishwashing. By embracing a few simple practices, homeowners can save thousands of gallons of water per year.

  1. Utilize the dishwasher instead of manually washing dishes. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), older dishwashers use up to ten gallons per load. Newer units use six gallons. In energy-saver mode, as little as three gallons of water is needed to adequately clean and sanitize a full load. It takes the same amount of water to wash one dish as it does to wash a full load. Scrape off excess food. Pre-rinsing wastes time, water, and money. The dishwasher is designed to clean dishes, and it does it well. A typical household can save forty dollars a year by relying heavily on the dishwasher.
  2. Be frugal with the faucets. Avoid needlessly running the tap. Catch water in a bowl or pan to clean fruit and vegetables before eating or cooking.
  3. Install a low-flow aerator on all faucets. The flow rate should be no more than one gallon per minute.
  4. Immediately repair any leaky faucets. The constant dripping can waste as much as 1,600 gallons of water a year.

Bathroom Water Conservation Tips

The bathroom is a bottomless pit of water usage. Toilets account for nearly one-third of total water consumption in the average household. Factor in the shower, tub, and any sinks, and it is easy to see why the bathroom is regarded as the wettest room in the house.

  1. Repair toilets and faucets as soon as a leak is discovered. A leaky faucet is like pouring money down the drain at a rate of more than eight gallons of water a day. That leaky toilet wastes as many as two-hundred gallons of water per day.
  2. Take short showers instead of baths. A ten-minute shower with a low-flow showerhead uses about two gallons of water per minute or about twenty gallons for a ten-minute shower. An average bath requires about thirty gallons.
  3. Install low-flow showerheads in all showers. They reduce usage by thirty percent over standard showerheads.
  4. Install low-flow aerators on bathroom faucets. A one-gallon-per-minute flow rate is optimal.

Every drip means a drop of water is lost or wasted, so make every drop count. Making every drop count makes sense and literally makes cents.

However, even the best water conservation efforts can be sidelined by an unexpected water damage disaster. When a home suffers water damage, homeowners can trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian to provide prompt damage restoration services that will reduce stress and restore the house to its pre-damage condition.

For more information about water damage restoration, contact the office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

How a Walk-In Tub Has the Potential to Cause a Water Damage Disaster

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian cautions seniors about the possibilities of bathroom water damage from walk-in tubs.

A water damage disaster can strike at any time and often without warning. When it does, life is suddenly filled with stress and worry. The team at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian lives and works in the local community. When neighbors suffer fire damage, smoke damage, or water damage due to any size disaster, SERVPRO professionals are the premier cleanup and restoration company in the region.

An Aging U.S. Population

It is a well-known fact that the U.S. population is aging, with more than forty-six million adults aged sixty-five and older living in the U.S. By 2050, that number is expected to increase to around ninety million. In just ten years, one in five Americans is projected to be sixty-five years old and over. One of the many ingenious innovations developed to assist the elderly in their golden years is the walk-in tub.

Walk-In Tubs: A Popular Option for Seniors

A walk-in tub features a watertight door that swings open to enable the bather to safely enter the tub over a low threshold, reducing the likelihood of slip-and-fall incidents, which are a significant cause of injury among seniors. People have a variety of sizes and shapes of tubs from which to choose. Most models are taller and more narrow than standard tubs. Standard tubs can have about a foot of water. In contrast, some walk-in tubs allow for up to four feet of water, which enables the bather to enjoy a more satisfying immersion experience while being securely seated in a chair.

Walk-in tubs require about the same amount of water as a standard tub since many walk-in tubs are much narrower than standard tubs. A standard tub uses about forty-two gallons of water, while a walk-in tub needs around fifty gallons of water. Some walk-in tubs have re-circulation systems that heat the water, so constant filling is not required.

Potential Flooding Risks of Walk-In Tubs

Retirement Living, an online resource for seniors, highlights the risk that a walk-in tub could flood the bathroom, writing, “While most tubs have swing-in doors, that is, doors which swing into the tub for entry, some have swing-out doors for easier access. While the swing-out doors can make the tub easier to enter, it also brings the possibility of flooding should the door not be latched properly. If not secured properly, the weight of the water in a filling tub could cause the door to open and dozens of gallons of water to spill out into your home. While doors are also water sealed, there is always the chance of a seal failure that could also lead to leaks or flooding.”

An ABC News article underscores the concern about flooding in an article that reports the plight of a woman who spent over $16,000 on a walk-in tub that would not stop leaking. The leak, which was by the tub door, flooded the whole bathroom and seeped through to the downstairs level.

While walk-in tubs are generally safe, effective solutions for bathroom mobility issues, it is important to understand that tubs, like any home furnishing, are subject to failure or improper installation. The best course of action is to make sure the tub is installed by a trustworthy expert and to identify the best water damage restoration company to call should a leak occur.

Helpful Advice When Considering a Walk-In Tub

  • Consider the pros and cons of a walk-in tub.
  • Consult with friends who have a walk-in tub.
  • Read online reviews from people who own walk-in tubs.
  • Hire a reputable company with experience installing walk-in tubs. Check out their online reviews, and always obtain multiple quotes on installation costs. Make sure the estimates are quoting a similar scope of work and quality of product. Make sure the installer stands behind their work with a solid guarantee.

In case of water damage in the bathroom resulting from a walk-in tub malfunction, call in water damage restoration experts as soon as possible to prevent advanced secondary water damage, including a mold infestation. A water damage mitigation crew from SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian can be on the scene in thirty minutes or less. Attempting to clean up a large water spill can be very dangerous for a senior citizen, possibly resulting in injury from a fall on the wet and slippery floor.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian has been serving the area since 2000. They are locally owned and backed by a nationwide system of qualified franchises. Being located in Ellis County means they are within a thirty-minute drive or less of any location in the community. The team of restoration experts specializes in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

For more information about water damage restoration in Waxahachie, TX, contact the office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

How to Avoid Costly Water Damage From a Plumbing Leak This Winter

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian explains five ways that Waxahachie and Midlothian residents can avoid the disruption and expense of winter water damage from freezing pipes.

The team at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian knows that a Waxahachie, TX, water damage disaster can strike at any time and often without warning. When it does, life is suddenly filled with stress and worry. When a homeowner or business experiences water damage, fire and smoke damage, or a mold infestation, SERVPRO is the premier cleanup and restoration company in the region and can quickly restore the damaged property to a condition “Like it never even happened.” Plumbing leaks in winter are no exception.

Five Tips to Avoid Costly Plumbing Leaks This Winter

Plumbing problems are a headache. The remedy is not simple, and the damage is difficult to repair. Shutting off the water stops the leak, but it also makes the toilet, faucet, or appliance useless until the problem is resolved and the damage is repaired. The disruption and inconvenience can make life miserable.

Plumbing problems seem to erupt at very inconvenient times, especially during seasons or events that put stress on the pipes. Changes in the seasonal activities related to festive celebrations, colder temperatures, or visits from family can stress the home’s plumbing to the edge of capacity or beyond.

These tips help plumbing make it through the cold weather without any water damage disasters.

  1. Protect plumbing pipes for those times when frigid temperatures descend on the Waxahachie/Midlothian area.

When winter temperatures plummet, which they do dozens of times from November through February, water can readily freeze in pipes, causing them to burst. If the homeowner is away from the house shopping for several hours, away for days visiting family during the holidays, or simply unaware of a ruptured pipe, the effects can be disastrous. Under normal residential water pressure, from seven to nine gallons per minute can flow out of a burst pipe or approximately 500 gallons of water per hour. The damage to furniture, flooring, ceilings, and walls can be overwhelming.

By wrapping exposed or vulnerable pipes with foam pipe insulation, the likelihood of burst pipes during frigid temperatures is greatly reduced. The hollow tubes of foam with a slit down the side for easy installation can be purchased from any hardware store or home improvement center. Measure and cut the tube to the desired length, then slip it over the pipe. Use duct tape or zip ties to secure the foam if it lacks self-adhesive edges. If the temperatures are expected to fall below twenty-eight degrees Fahrenheit for more than four hours, special precautions should be taken to prevent pipes from freezing.

  1. Repair home plumbing leaks as soon as they are discovered.

Now is the best time to remedy a plumbing leak. Inspect kitchen, bathroom, and utility room faucets for signs of a leak. Look and listen for drips and puddles. If a leaky faucet is discovered, schedule a repair as soon as possible with a trusted plumber.

  1. Practice hot water heater maintenance.

It is important to periodically drain the water heater in a region with hard water. The buildup of sediment in the bottom of the tank can cause rust to accumulate inside the tank and contaminate the household water supply. Homeowners with an older water heater should consider replacing it with a new unit. Dealing with water damage from a leaking hot water heater during cold weather is inconvenient and uncomfortable. Cold showers are bad enough, but a cold shower on a bitterly cold day is even worse.

  1. Disconnect the garden hose from the faucet to avoid frozen pipes.

Store any garden hoses until warm weather returns. Use the hose only when needed, and do not leave it connected to the faucet overnight. Leaving a hose connected to an outside spigot in winter can cause the faucet and connecting pipes to freeze as well.

  1. Close interior shut-off valves that lead to exterior faucets and drain the lines.

Water remaining in the lines can freeze and cause major water damage in a crawl space or basement.

Winter should be a time of celebration, family gatherings, and exploding fireworks, not exploding pipes and leaks that disrupt the festive cheer. Prepare plumbing for the cold days ahead. Repair any leaks before they expand and cause significant water damage.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian has been serving the area since 2000. They are locally owned and backed by a nationwide system of qualified franchises. Being centrally located in Ellis County means they are within a thirty-minute drive or less of any location in the community. The team of water damage restoration experts specializes in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

For more information about water damage restoration in Waxahachie, TX, contact the office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

What to Do When There Is Water in a Home’s Crawl Space

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian offers tips on resolving water in the crawl space before the water damages the home and harms the health of the house’s occupants.

A water damage disaster can strike at any time and often without warning. When it does, life is suddenly overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. The team at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian lives and works in this community. When neighbors suffer water damage, fire damage, or smoke damage due to any size disaster, SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian is the premier cleanup and restoration company that can quickly restore the damaged property, including water in the crawl space.

Waxahachie, the county seat of Ellis County, is regarded as one of the best places to live in Texas. The nearly 35,000 residents enjoy the dense urban feel of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Most residents own their own homes and enjoy amenities such as many parks, great schools, and the Ellis County Museum. Unfortunately, being a homeowner in East Texas also means experiencing water and excessive moisture in the crawl space of a home.

Factors Contributing to Water in the Crawl Space

  1. Weather

The recent uptick in precipitation elevates the risk of water accumulating in the crawl space of the typical East Texas home. Pooling water and excessive moisture are common in houses with a crawl space.

  1. Landscaping

The slope or grade of the soil next to the foundation of a home should be about one inch per foot for about six to ten feet away from the house. When the ground next to the foundation becomes saturated, moisture can then seep into the crawl space.

  1. Clogged gutters

Clogged gutters can overflow, dumping large amounts of water next to the foundation and making it even more important that the slope of the soil be sufficient to drain the water away from the home’s foundation.

  1. Faulty plumbing

A dripping water line or leaking sewage drain can spill an amazing amount of water into the crawl space. Two drops per second per day amounts to eleven gallons of water. In just one month, 330 gallons of water can accumulate under a home.

Solving the Moisture Problem in the Crawl Space

Taking the following easy steps can usually eliminate moisture problems in the crawl space of a Waxahachie home.

  1. Identify what is causing the moisture problem and prevent it from continuing.
  • Does the soil around the foundation slope away from the home at least one inch per foot for about ten feet? If not, some simple changes in landscaping may take care of the issue.
  • Are the gutters clean and flowing freely? Cleaning out the gutters and extending the downspouts away from the home’s foundation may resolve the problem.
  • Are they any leaky water lines or sewer pipes under the home? Listening for drips near pooled water or doing a smell test can usually identify plumbing issues. Calling in a qualified plumber may be needed to fully address any plumbing issues.
  • Is the crawl space below grade? If so, the installation of a dehumidifier and sump pump system may remedy the situation. Other more drastic and expensive measures may be required if the foundation is damaged or if major drainage improvements are needed.
  1. Call in a water damage restoration specialist to remove the water and restore any damage.

A qualified water damage restoration specialist will inspect the situation, assess the damage, and offer a free estimate of what it will take to remove the water and restore any water damage. Often, if the homeowner has been unable to identify the source of the water, the experienced and knowledgeable professional can repair the leak or offer recommendations on how to resolve the problem at its source.

  1. Mitigate any mold issues that may have resulted from moisture in the crawl space.

Mold thrives in dark, moist, warm areas such as a wet crawl space. Waiting to address moisture issues will almost certainly lead to mold issues. Mold can cause serious health problems. Exposure to mold in the air can cause health effects.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian has been serving the area since 2000. The company is locally owned and backed by a nationwide system of qualified franchises. Being centrally located in Ellis County means they are within a thirty-minute drive or less of any location in the community. The team of restoration experts specializes in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

For more information about water damage restoration in Waxahachie, contact the office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

How Roof Leak Water Damage Can Harm Homeowners in Waxahachie and Midlothian, TX

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian informs homeowners how water damage from roof leaks can endanger a family.

The emergency water damage restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian understand that a water damage disaster can strike at any time and often without warning. When disaster strikes, life is suddenly filled with stress and anxiety. The team at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian lives and works in the Ellis County community. When neighbors suffer fire damage, smoke damage, or water damage due to any size disaster, SERVPRO is the premier cleanup and restoration company in the region who can quickly restore the damaged property to a state “Like it never even happened.”

How a Leaky Roof Creates Dangers for Homeowners

Water damage can ruin a home and cause serious health issues for the occupants. That is why repairing a roof leak is crucial to preserving the integrity and safety of the home.

Faulty installation, lack of proper maintenance, and wind or storm damage are just a few of the reasons that a roof may develop a leak. Most residential roofs are engineered to last for two or three decades. Depending on the age of the roof, leaks may indicate the need for a roof replacement.

A leaky roof is more than a structural problem. Constant water intrusion into the home environment can create many more safety and health risks as the destructive agent works its way from the attic to the home’s foundation. Here are some of the ways a roof leak can damage a home.

Attic and ceiling damage

Dangerous roof leaks first damage the attic and the contents stored in the attic. Furniture, clothing, holiday decorations, family heirlooms, and boxes that never were unpacked from the last move are subject to damage from a roof leak. If a significant leak is left unchecked, the interior ceiling will suffer damage. Darkly stained ceiling paint and blistered plaster are two results of a roof leak. If the leaking continues, the damage can spread to the walls, causing the paint to peel and the walls to warp and buckle. Ceiling-mounted lights and fans can be damaged as the water seeks the path of least resistance through the holes cut in the ceiling for the fixtures. This situation can present electrical dangers to the occupants of the home.

Mold and mildew infestation inside the home

Mold and mildew, almost inevitable consequences of a roof leak, present a health effects.  The HVAC system can disperse mold spores to the carpeting, furniture, upholstery, and clothing, leading to a massive infestation that can have effects on human and pet health. Black mold can attack and ruin ceiling tiles, wood framing, and floor and wall coverings. This common household mold is very challenging and costly to eliminate.

Fire hazards from water damage

A leaky roof poses a fire hazard if exposed wiring in the attic or ceiling gets wet. Crawling around in the dark, cramped attic amid exposed electrical wiring could lead to electrocution. Enlisting the services of a qualified electrician to repair the exposed wiring is recommended.

Personal injury from a slip or fall

Severe roof leaks can soak the carpet and other floor coverings. Moisture from the soaked carpeting and puddled water on top of tile, vinyl, or laminate flooring presents a danger to both the elderly and young children who run and play in the home. By the time carpeting is soggy and water is puddling on the floor, a professional water damage restoration specialist and a roofing contractor should immediately be called in to address the leak.

Energy waste and higher utility bills

Water-logged insulation has a reduced capacity to insulate the home. Leaving insulation to dry on its own can take a long time, extending the period of reduced insulation. Energy bills increase.

Compromised integrity of the house’s structure

Roof leaks damage rafters, ceiling joists, and wall framing. Fascia boards and exterior trim can be damaged too. Rotten roof framing is very costly to repair.

Mold, collapsed ceilings, electrical shock, slip-and-fall accidents, and extensive structural damage are just a few of the dangers that can result from a roof leak. When a roof begins to leak, do not delay and allow advanced secondary damage to develop.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian has been serving the area since 2000. Locally owned, the company is centrally located in Ellis County and is within a thirty-minute drive or less of any location in the community. The team of restoration experts specializes in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

For more information about damage restoration in Waxahachie, TX, contact the office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian offers tips on how to identify and restore water damage in the garage.

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Here to Help advertisement with SERVPRO information Here to Help

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian provides advice on dealing with water damage in the garage.

Water damage, fire damage, or other property damage disaster can strike at any time, causing stress and worry. SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian is the best choice for cleanup and restoration. The team’s arrival on the scene sends worry and stress packing.

Storage spaces in the home are susceptible to water damage. The damage can be severe because the leak often goes unnoticed for weeks or months. The unaddressed damage can lead to advanced secondary water damage, including mold infestation and structural damage to the affected areas. By the time the problem is discovered, floors, walls, and the stored items themselves have suffered extensive damage. The garage is a case in point.

For most homes in the Dallas area, the garage is the largest storage area found in the home. This space is versatile and can serve as a storage area, a home gym, an office, or a DIY working area. The garage does not receive the careful attention paid to the inside living spaces and is often overlooked when it comes to water intrusion and the damage it can cause. Yet, the cost of water damage in the garage and the impact on people’s health can be serious.

How to Identify a Water Leak in the Garage

Water leaks can cause a wide range of problems in the garage. Locating the source of the water is often complicated and confusing for the homeowner. Water can travel a great distance from its origin point to its final destination. Only a thorough inspection of the garage can turn up the source of the water.  Here are some tips on spotting water leaks in the garage.

Search for cracks, crevices, and holes

Water can find its way into the garage through small holes and cracks. Crevices in the concrete function like veins that enable water to flow into the garage. Because concrete is naturally porous, cracks and holes may develop at any time. In some instances, insects can be the origin of these holes. These tiny holes in the garage become the point of entry for water. Homeowners should be aware that garages built below grade have walls that are more vulnerable to water pressure from the ground. Other potential entry points for garage water intrusion include pipes, electrical wiring, and cables that enter the garage through concrete or wood walls.

Pro Tip: Leaks can be prevented or stopped by sealing around pipes, wiring, and cables. Visible holes and cracks can be patched with hydraulic cement from the local hardware store. When water damage occurs in the garage, the professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian can restore and repair the areas damaged by water, including the reconstruction and repair needed to prevent further water damage.

Check gutters and downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are designed to capture water and direct it away from the foundation of a structure. If the ground does not adequately slope away from the garage, water can seep in and cause damage. Clogged gutters can overflow and deposit the water very close to the foundation. Even if the ground is well sloped, it can become too saturated, allowing water to seep through the foundation and into the structure, including into the garage.

Pro Tip: Keep gutters and downspouts unclogged. Extend the downspouts at least six feet away from the foundation. Some recommendations are that the slope away from the foundation should be six inches over ten feet.

Check the roof

Damaged shingles and flashing can allow water to leak into a garage. If the intrusion is hidden within a wall, the damage could result in mold infestation, wood rot, and damage to personal belongings. In some garages, the walls are hidden behind layers of stacked boxes, so a water leak and water damage may go undetected for years. The only clue to water damage may be the musty smell of a mold infestation. Finding and stopping the leak is the first step. Reconstructing portions of the damaged garage structure may be the next step after any mold issues have been resolved.

Pro Tip: Periodically inspect the roof for damage, especially after severe weather. Look for any signs of damage. Conduct a visual check of the ceiling and walls in the garage and the attic area above the garage. Wet spots, warping, and a moldy smell may indicate a water leak and some damage. Professional help may be needed to resolve any leaks and to repair the damage.

Inspect other potential leak points

Inspect joint seams. Seams that connect walls to the doors and windows are susceptible to leaks. The sill plate connecting walls to the concrete walls, foundation, and slabs can also invite water leaks.

Assess the humidity and condensation levels of the garage or any rooms or storage areas in the garage. A high level of humidity and condensation is a prime breeding area for mold. Mold thrives in warm, dark, and moist areas. Homeowners who suspect humidity and condensation issues anywhere in the home should contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian who have the experience and technology to accurately diagnose any problems.

Pro Tip: Protect against water damage to belongings stored in the garage. Anticipate a worst-case scenario and take preventive measures.

  • Employ shelving that keeps belongings from resting directly on the floor.
  • Store items in waterproof containers.
  • Seal the garage door to prevent flooding during severe weather from entering the storage area.
  • Store items as far away from potential water sources as possible, including doors and windows.

Regular inspection and maintenance are the best strategies to prevent water damage in the garage. If water damage is discovered, look for mold damage, too.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian has been serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area since 2000. Being a local company, they are within a thirty-minute drive or less of any location in the community. Their specialties include residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration. Whether the disaster involves fire damage, smoke damage, or water damage to a garage, they have the expertise and experience needed to clean up and restore the damaged property.

For more information about water damage restoration in Waxahachie and Midlothian and other services, contact the office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

Water Damage Restoration Company Explains How to Spot Hidden Water Damage

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Here to Help - Image of dirty, wet floor Here to Help

Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian offers tips on how to spot hidden water damage in a home or business.

The team of water damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian understands how hidden water damage can lead to serious health problems and structural and cosmetic damage to a home or business. The consequences result in the need for extensive water damage restoration and, most likely, mold damage remediation. By the time the signs of a leak are noticed, the water damage has already occurred. A trained and vigilant eye, ear, and nose can detect signs of a water leak hopefully before too much damage has been done.

The Many Sources of Water Leaks

Understanding where some of the potential sources of hidden water leaks are will help the homeowner to spot signs of water damage. A typical home may contain dozens of possible leak points. Keeping a vigilant watch on these leak points can save thousands of dollars in water damage restoration and doctors’ bills.

Major Appliances Are Often a Source of Hidden Water Leaks

Five of the most common sources of water damage are:

  • Washing machine
  • Refrigerator
  • Ice maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Garbage disposal

The Cumulative Effect of a Drop of Water

When a washing machine supply line ruptures, detection is almost instantaneous unless no one is at home to witness the disaster. As much as eight gallons of water a minute can flood into the laundry room. However, when a hot water connection leaks at one drop per second, over six gallons of water a day drip between the wall where the plumbing connections are located. Imagine the cascading impact of a leaking connection to the faucet in the kitchen, to the dishwasher, or to the ice maker. Slowly but surely, the damage compounds over time, rotting out the floor and causing a mold disaster under the sink, between the walls, and in the crawl space under the house.

The Mystery of the Leaking Fridge

The ice maker connection can create a major water damage incident if it bursts. When the line leaks unseen under the flooring is when real havoc can ensue. A partial leak could allow the ice maker to continue to function at a rate that appears to be normal while discharging several gallons a minute into the crawl space. When water is discovered coming from under the refrigerator, check the ice maker connection.

Usually, when a refrigerator leaks, the cause relates to a faulty seal. The faulty seal allows cold air to escape, causing the refrigerator to work overtime and producing more condensation on the coils than the system can eliminate. Fixing or replacing the seal can remedy the overproduction of condensation, which ends the pesky puddle of water on the floor. Adjust the refrigerator so that it tilts backward slightly, and the doors stay closed.

Nightmare in the Bathroom

Like clockwork, the bathroom daily fills with moisture. Condensation covers the floors, walls, mirrors, cabinets, and countertops. After an hour or two, the condensation mostly evaporates. The bathroom is a breeding ground for mold growth, and the battle against mildew is constant.

The tub and shower are prime suspects for hidden water damage. The tub and shower drains can leak for years without discovery, causing the floor to rot and creating a mold nightmare under the tub or shower and in the insulation and crawl space under the tub. One of the only ways to detect the leak is to crawl under the house, inspect the drain connections, test the insulation for moisture, and check for mold growth.

A hidden leak around the toilet can create an unsafe, unsanitary, and moldy mess. A tank that frequently recycles may give some hint of a leak in the system. There are occasional news reports about people falling through their bathroom floor due to water damage.

Five Key Signs of Hidden Water Damage

Hidden water leaks are all but impossible to detect until the damage is evident to the eyes, the nose, or the ears. Evidence of water damage includes the following signs:

  • Musty odors
  • Stains and discoloration on the ceilings, walls, baseboards, and floors
  • Peeling paint and wallpaper
  • Warping or buckling ceilings, walls, baseboards, and floors
  • Visible mold

Vigilance Made Easy

These tips will help property owners remain vigilant without stressing over hidden water damage disasters.

  1. Look: Know where leaks are most likely to occur and keep an eye out. Review the five signs of water damage occasionally.
  2. Listen: In those moments when the house is calm and quiet, listen. Is there a dripping sound behind a wall, under a sink, or under the house?
  3. Sniff: Do a sniff test when returning home after being away for a while. The nose can become accustomed to persistent smells after extended exposure.

Turn to the Trusted Pros

If a suspicion arises that hidden water damage has occurred, reach out to the water damage specialists at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian. They have advanced technology to locate the source of the water damage. Specially trained and certified technicians using the latest equipment can tackle any size water damage incident. Hidden water damage and mold infestation often go hand in hand. The mold mitigation professionals will apply safe, proprietary cleaning solutions, and they will use the latest mold mitigation equipment. SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian can handle all demolitions, repairs, and rebuilds. They also proactively coordinate with the insurance company so that the water damage restoration project can begin immediately and finish soon.

For more information about the Waxahachie water damage restoration company, contact the SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

Waxahachie Company Restores Water-Damaged Property

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Here to Help Here to Help

Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian restores water-damaged property with advanced technology.

According to Water University, a resource of Texas A&M University, “Healthy landscapes offer a variety of advantages for the home. They not only add aesthetic value but can also provide erosion protection, temperature control and serve as usable outdoor space for relaxing and entertaining. Oftentimes however, North Texas landscapes can be overwatered, over-fertilized or over-saturated with pesticides, which can be detrimental to water resources and your landscape. The EPA estimates that in dry climates like that of North Texas, a household’s outdoor water use can exceed the amount of water used for all other residential purposes! In some households, during summer, as much as 60% of a total water budget could be spent on landscape irrigation. By incorporating irrigation best management practices and by selecting the right plant material for your specific needs, you have the potential to drastically reduce water and chemical use in your landscape.”

After Jen read this article from Water University, she determined to capture the water from the HVAC system in a barrel and use it to irrigate her culinary herb garden. The water was perfect for the herbs because it would be pure. The twenty-plus gallons per day produced by a central HVAC system would be more than enough to water the thirsty herbs.

Meanwhile, Jen’s husband David had been wondering how to manage the water from the new HVAC system that was going to be installed next week. Most new systems tap into the existing drain system, but this additional water would increase the water and sewer bill. Besides, during the winter, when the condensate drainpipe was empty, noxious gases could enter the home from the sewer or septic tank. The float switch or the condensate pump could malfunction, causing severe water damage and mold if not caught very quickly. David had read of homeowners being on vacation for weeks only to return to ceilings, walls, floors, and carpets damaged by the HVAC drip pan leaking or overflowing.

When David heard about Jen’s idea, he was thrilled. He would install a float switch on the drain pan to turn off the unit in case of a clogged pipe, and the couple could enjoy the water from the HVAC system every time herbs and spices were harvested from the garden.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian?

By the time that water damage from an overflowing HVAC drip pan is discovered, hundreds of gallons of water may have leaked all through the home, causing thousands of dollars in damage to the ceilings, walls, and flooring. Mold and mildew are likely involved.

When a Waxahachie home has water damage from flooding or leaks, homeowners need a water damage restoration company that can respond immediately and has the expertise and equipment to properly restore the property. SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian uses advanced water damage inspection and extraction equipment to help locate the moisture and remove it as quickly as possible. Cutting-edge drying equipment and proven techniques help restore a home more quickly and minimize cost. SERVPRO uses equipment that helps detect hidden moisture and extract standing water quickly and efficiently. Utilizing professional-strength cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing products brings comfort and safety to homeowners. The highly-trained technicians monitor and document the drying process so that homeowners can be certain the property is back to normal. Following the Water Damage Tips provided by SERVPRO protects both property and the property owner and family.

The Water Damage Restoration Process

Since every flood and water damage scenario is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored to the specific situation. However, the overall water restoration process remains the same. The steps below detail the restoration process for the typical water-damaged property.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Damage Assessment

Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction

Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification

Step 5: Cleaning and Repair

Step 6: Restoration

Conclusion

With emergency 24-hour service, highly trained staff, and advanced inspection, extraction, removal, and drying technology and equipment, SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian is the best choice. The company is proud to serve local communities, including Waxahachie, Midlothian, Venus, Maypearl, Mountain Peak, Ward, and Ellis County.

To learn more about water damage restoration resulting from an HVAC leak or any other source, visit the SERVPRO Waxahachie/Midlothian website at https://www.SERVPROwaxahachiemidlothian.com. To speak with a SERVPRO representative, call (972) 935-0827.

Faster to your Ellis County Water Damage Event

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of House Flood SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Ellis County.

Flooding and water emergencies can happen at any time -- they don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian is ready to respond to your water emergency 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

When you have a flood or water leak, water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. It is imperative to have a water mitigation specialist, such as SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian, arrive quickly and start the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize damage and cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian 972-935-0827

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • 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 Waxahachie/Midlothian

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. We are located in the heart of Ellis County, where we can reach your emergency in Waxahachie, Midlothian, Red Oak, Glenn Heights, Ennis, Corsicana, or any other Ellis County city within an hour. 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.

Certifications

ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician

ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program

IICRC Certified Firm

RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation

WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician

Can I Dry My Home Flood Myself?

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Poster - Our Response Time Our fast response time can save our customers from unneeded worry and potential secondary damage.

My bathroom has flooded! Can I clean it up myself?

Flood waters in the home often originate from plumbing in bathrooms (a broken pipe, clogged toilet, leaky shower enclosure) or kitchen areas (leak under sinks, dishwasher overflows, drain backup). When this happens, It might be tempting to mop the water up and put a fan or two on the wet area until it appears to be dry. No big deal, right? No - this approach can lead to more problems down the road. 

You should always contact a professional, such as those at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian and SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak  to assist in the cleanup of a residential flood - to protect your family's health and to prevent further damage to your home. The professional will assess the quality of the water that flooded your home and the class of the water loss.

There are several questions to ask when a flood has occurred. First, what is the source of the water and what contaminants have been introduced into the flood waters? This will determine the quality of the water and affect many decisions in the drying process. Next, how long has water stood in the area and to what extent have structures and contents become saturated? This will determine the class of the water loss and influence decisions about what can be dried and what will be disposed of. And finally, how will you know when the area is truly dry, not just visibly, but inside walls, under carpets and pads, and throughout materials in the area? This is imperative in preventing further damage through subsequent deterioration and possible mold growth.

This article is limited to the first question above. It explains the importance of understanding the three quality of flood waters and how that determination affects decisions about the drying and cleanup process.

Understanding Quality of Water 

There are three categories of water that can result in a residential flood - for example, from a toilet.

Category 1 (clean water) originates from a sanitary source. It poses no health risk when it comes into contact with skin, is ingested, or is inhaled. In the toilet leak example, if the water comes from the pipe behind the toilet, before the water has entered the toilet tank, it is originally Category 1 water. It is important to note the cleanliness of Category 1 water can deteriorate to Category 2 or 3 when coming into contact with other materials in the environment.

Category 2 (grey water) contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans.

Category 3 ( black water) is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents. Such water may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances. In the toilet example, toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap, regardless of the visible content or color, is considered category three water.

The category determination will greatly impact the way in which you or a professional team will approach the drying and cleanup process. 

Class of Water Loss 

There are 4 classes of water loss,  depending on the magnitude of damage. 

Class 1 is when only low-porosity and low-permeability materials in the area are affected. This means materials like linoleum, wood floors and fixtures, and tile. 

Class 2 is when the water has affected an entire room or area, or multiple rooms in the house. This includes structures and up to two feet of water seepage up any walls. 

Class 3 is when virtually all of the area has been saturated with the overflowing water. Ceilings, insulation, structures, furniture, cushions, carpeting, and more are affected.

Class 4 is when low-porosity, low-permeability materials like concrete, stone, and hardwood are saturated. Since the water can get caught in hard-to-reach pockets, they evaporate more slowly and require special techniques to dry. 

Category 1 Cleanup Process

If the water is Category 1, then the focus becomes on extracting the water from the flooded area and placing equipment (fans and dehumidifiers) in the area, and monitoring the moisture in the area, until it can be deemed completely dry. Little emphasis needs to be placed on placing barriers between the wet areas/objects and the persons doing the work of drying things out. However, it should be noted that even the cleanest flood waters should be approached with minimal protective wear, such as rubber gloves. Materials that were affected in the flood, such as wooden trim, drywall, cabinets, carpet or other flooring, and furniture, can be dried out and left in the home for continued use. As long as the items were not structurally damaged to a point which would deem them unsalvageable, there is no need to remove them from the home. That is, they do not pose a health risk. 

Category 2 Cleanup Process 

When a home flood involves Category 2 water, the persons entering the flooded area must first take precautions to protect themselves from contaminants while working in the area and handling affected materials. Protective equipment such as rubber boots that can be disinfected and rubber gloves will be worn at all times. They might also choose to wear a face mask and googles if the cleanup process is to the extent that moving contents and other actions might cause splashing of flood waters. In this case decisions will be made about materials and items in the affected area based on how porous they are, whether they were saturated with the flooded water, and whether they can be effectively disinfected and left in place after the drying process. For example, where a carpeted area is affected with category 2 water, the carpet can be cleaned, dried, and disinfected; however, the carpet pad beneath must be removed and disposed of. Other hard surfaces can be cleaned, dried, and disinfected, as well. 

Category 3 Cleanup Process 

Category 3 flood waters pose a high risk of causing illness in persons, so this type of flood requires extreme measures during the cleanup process. This type of flood can be caused by something as common as a clogged toilet over-flowing or a clogged shower drain allowing sewer water to backup into a home. In this case, professional will wear full personal protective equipment. Not only rubber boots that can be disinfected and rubber gloves, but a full disposable body suit that protects skin and clothing from contaminated waters and materials must be worn, as well as a respirator and protective eye googles. They will set up a decontamination area to be used when moving from the contaminated area into the uncontaminated areas of the home. I addition, any porous materials in the area must be removed and disposed of as they will have absorbed pollutants from the contaminated water. That means baseboards and drywall that were saturated with flood waters must be cut out and removed. Carpet and carpet pad must be removed and disposed of. Upholstered furniture that was affected must be disposed of. In other words, an item by item determination will be made as to whether household items can be effectively cleaned and disinfected or if they will be disposed of. Leaving Category 3 contaminated materials or items in the home can pose dangerous health risks to residents. 

Leave the Cleanup to the Professionals 

You can see why it is best practice to leave the cleanup process after a flood to the professionals, such as those at SERVPRO of Waxahachie, Midlothian, Ennis, Red Oak - serving all of Ellis County. Call us at 972-935-0827. We have the training and experience to determine the level of risk involved with flood waters. We have the trained personnel and professional equipment to quickly extract waters and get the drying process complete in the shortest amount of time, saving you money and reducing the risk of complications from an improperly dried home. We strive to truly make it "Like it never even happened."   

Advice During your Water Damage

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

There are some small steps you can take to ensure that your water damage dries as quickly and hassle-free as possible. We will be coming every day to monitor the equipment and check on the drying, but in between those visits are 24 hours where the actual drying occurs.

First, our technicians place our equipment in strategic locations for your benefit. We will try to create a cylinder of airflow that leads back to the dehumidifier to maximize the effectiveness of our drying equipment. Therefore, we ask that you do not move or reorient the machines if at all possible. We understand that at times the optimal placement is in a location that is inconvenient. If machines do need to be moved, please place them as close to their original position as possible to maintain the airflow we were hoping to accomplish.

Next, it is important that if the water damage is in a single room and our technicians close the door to that room it is because it will help the drying process immensely if the room is contained and the air in that room is constantly cycling through the dehumidifier. For this reason, we ask that any rooms with equipment remain shut if possible. These rooms will probably be slightly warmer than the rest of the house, which is a good thing. Warmer temperatures allow for more condensation to transfer into the air, and makes it easier to remove via our dehumidifiers. While we don’t expect you to live in persistent heat, it would be beneficial if the temperature in your home were raised a few degrees to promote quick drying.

However, the number one thing that you can do to ensure a quicker drying time is to let the machines continue running. While there are a couple of things that you could do to help the drying of your floors and walls, there is one thing that many customers do that will harm our drying attempts. That is, of course, turning our machines off. Some customers, depending on the amount and location of our equipment, find them to be too loud and a nuisance during their daily lives. While we strive to be as minimally invasive as possible during our water mitigation, sometimes with equipment placed in living rooms and kitchens, there is no way around it. The worst thing someone can do it to turn off our equipment.

Keeping in mind that these air movers and dehumidifiers are being rented by you, the customer, it is simply a waste of time and money to turn off the machines. These were designed for and work best when they are allowed to run continuously until the affected material is dry.

Our biggest advice to you is to let the machines do their intended work, and hopefully, we can dry your home and have everything picked up and back to new before you know it!

Written by: Brendan Gillette

Different Types of Water Damages

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Not all water damages are created equal. In fact, beyond the various sizes and severity of water damage you have, there are 3 distinct categories that we use to differentiate water damage based on the source of the water. It is important to understand the different categories because this has a direct effect on the work we perform in your home or property.

Category 1

Category 1 water damages, shortened to Cat 1, are water damages that involve completely clean water. A rule of thumb for this water damage is water that is perfectly fine to drink. This could come from a busted pipe underneath the sink, a failed supply line, or any other source of water that is free of contaminants. This water is the easiest and fastest to clean, however, expediency is still necessary for this category can turn to category 2 as quickly as 24 hours after the damage occurs if not properly handled.

Category 2

Category 2 water damages have what we consider a small number of contaminants. These are the result of washing machine leaks, dishwasher leaks or overflows, sump pump failure, and many more. This water is generally grey in color, can contain chemicals as well as bio-contaminants, and while it should not be consumed by any means (no water that is on your floors should be!), it poses a small health risk to those exposed to the water for a short time. These contaminants will require that we properly sanitize the affected areas to prevent the situation from getting worse. Similar to category 1 turning to category 2, if left untreated this category can escalate rapidly into a much more hazardous situation.

Category 3

Category 3 water damages are classified as the worst type of water. These are completely unsafe to be near and contain many contaminants that you will want to be cleaned properly and quickly. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, toilet backups that include waste and flood waters bringing contaminants from outside your home. These are serious health risks, and often they require what we call a ‘flood cut’. This includes removing floors and drywall up to 2 feet up to ensure no contaminated materials remain. The nature of the source requires the use of Proper Protective Equipment to clean, and multiple applications of sanitization.

Knowing about these categories is important should you have water damage so you understand the different steps we are taking, and why they must be taken. We do not expect you to become an expert at recognizing the intricacies of each category, but basic understanding can go a long way when you are explaining your water damage to our dispatcher. 

SERVPRO of Ellis County is here to help no matter the category, no matter the time, and no matter how large.

We are ready to make your property like it never happened!

Written by: Brendan Gillette

Insurances and Water Damages

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

If SERVPRO of Ellis County isn’t your first call when you come home to discover the water heater has burst, then it is probably to your home insurance.

We work with various insurance companies, and in doing so have experience working with all types of adjusters and requirements to complete your job in a satisfactory manner.

It is important to be aware of a few things regarding insurance companies so you can efficiently navigate the often confusing world of water damages.

Forms and Paperwork

There are a few forms that need to be signed prior to beginning your water damage. These outline the expectations and protect all parties involved during the process.

Our forms include Authorization to Perform Services and Direction of Payment which is an agreement to perform water mitigation and also an agreeing upon who will be the paying party.

There is the Equipment Rental Agreement simply outlining that you will take care of (you can simply not touch it and be fine) the equipment that is rented and left on your property.

Finally, we have a Customer Information form that is simply gathering the best contact information and information regarding your house so we here in the office can contact you.

Your insurance, however, depending on who you are insured with, may have their own version of these forms and may have further forms that are required before we can start the job.

We understand you are anxious to begin mitigation services, and understanding these necessary forms is a huge step in expediting the process so we may begin.

Estimates and Pricing

When we are doing your water damage, you or your insurance may want an update on what the total costs are going to be. This is especially true if demolition is required and there will be a rebuild in the future.

A lot of factors go into the estimate and approval process when your job is going through an insurance agent/adjuster. At the end of the day, almost all demo and rebuilds have to first be approved by your insurance adjuster before we can begin this work. We do our best to get this all done in a timely manner by the ever-helpful administrators here in the office, but at times this may cause a slight delay in your job until we manage to get approved.

Sometimes the adjuster requires they be onsite to do measurements and observe the damages themselves before work can be approved. Sometimes adjusters need time to look over our estimates before they approve them. All of these are facts of life that we work with in order to complete your water job as soon as we can.

In regards to pricing and payment, insurance companies handle these in different ways. Some will send the agreed upon amount minus your deductible to you, the homeowner, and we will collect the payment from you directly. Others will mail us the check and require us to collect just your deductible. Even others will mail us the entirety of the payment and collect the deductible from you themselves.

Whatever the situation is, we will remain in contact with you and the adjuster to make sure we are all in agreement about the final bill.

Should you have a question regarding payment status after your job, the best person to contact is your insurance adjuster and ask them for that status. 

Written by: Brendan Gillette

What you need to know about water damage

2/10/2019 (Permalink)

Let’s discuss the basics of a water damage. This information is useful for anyone who rents or owns property, seeing as a water damage could happen at any time. We’ve written other more specific blogs about different types of damage and different scenarios that you may face.  For now, we are going to go over just the basics.

What is Water Damage?

Water damage is a term used to describe damages to your floors, walls, ceiling, and contents caused by an unintended intrusion of water. There can be many causes of water damages, which we will go over, but first, we must establish exactly what is and is not considered water damage.

You do NOT have damage if:

  • Your daughter gets the floor in the bathroom wet after a shower.
  • You spill a glass of water on the carpet in your living room.
  • You accidentally splash water on the kitchen cabinets and floor while doing the dishes.

In these instances, you can simply clean the affected area and wipe up all moisture that is spilled. This doesn’t require a professional. Simply get a towel and you are good to go!

You DO have damage if:

  • Your bathtub was left running, leaving an inch of water standing in your bathroom.
  • A pipe underneath your sink broke, and you didn’t notice for hours.
  • Your hot water heater leaked or burst, emptying its water inside your home.
  • Water is accumulating somewhere in your house but you are not sure of the cause.

There are many more potential causes, but the point here is that you cannot simply use a towel to soak up these problems. If you do find yourself in a situation where your hot water heater burst, you might be presented with more water than you thought was inside your house now spilling across your living room, kitchen, or any room in your house.

This is, understandably, a frantic and alarming thing to happen, but our team at SERVPRO of Ellis County sees these cases and much worse on a daily basis and we are ready to help!

A good rule of thumb: if you are not sure whether your water emergency requires the assistance of professionals is it is better to be safe than sorry.

Give us a call at (972) 935-0827 and we can come to do a moisture check for you and find out if the extent of moisture is enough to require professional assistance.

Read our next topic:

Why do you need to have your water damage addressed?

Why You Need Water Mitigation Services

2/10/2019 (Permalink)

After getting a clear understanding of what constitutes water damage, your next thought may be, “Okay, but why do I need to hire someone to do water mitigation?”

This is an understandable line of thought, and we’ll shed some light onto the necessity of the services we provide here at SERVPRO of Ellis County.

We Perform Water Mitigation Services

When we dissect what it is we do, the purpose and need for water mitigation become clear. We mitigate further damages, further problems, and as a result, mitigate further costs.

Being a liquid, water has a tendency to spread and seep into more items, walls, and floors the longer it is left unattended in your home. What might have started out as a small water heater closet getting soaked can, unheeded, travel through walls, into other areas of your home damaging floorboards, drywall, and insulation in the process.

It goes without saying, there is a need to stop the spread of water and mitigate the potential damages when you are faced with water damage. Left unchecked, water damages can buckle floorboards, soak carpet, and require complete removal and replacement of flooring and walls.

Luckily, SERVPRO of Ellis County is available 24/7  with crews ready to respond to your emergency in a timely fashion and begin mitigation work before a small water damage becomes a large one.

Growth: An Unwanted Visitor

Another key reason we strongly recommend water mitigation is because of the potential of growth.

Cold, wet, damp locations, such as those found beneath your floorboards, and inside of your drywall when you leave areas wet, are the perfect scenario for the growth of mold and other potentially harmful substances.

We see unmitigated water damages turn into a completely avoidable amount of growth very quickly. Unfortunately, the protocol for safe removal of growth can be much more costly than the initial water mitigation, and the price of not doing so is a potential health hazard to you and your family.

Our goal for your water damage is to mitigate the spread of water and dry all affected material to a suitable level without doing any demolition, but if the problem is allowed to turn into a growth remediation, there is little hope to fully remediate the growth without having to cut into drywall and dispose of affected material.

These are two of the largest reasons you need to have your water damage properly mitigated through the services of professionals like SERVPRO of Ellis County.

For your own safety, cutting corners is not an option when dealing with water damages inside your home or business.

Next, we will be discussing the specific work we perform when we are called out to handle your water damage.

What SERVPRO does during your water damage

2/10/2019 (Permalink)

Now that we have established what water damage is, and why it is necessary to have SERVPRO of Ellis County come to do the water mitigation, it is important to take a look into what work we will be performing to better familiarize yourself with the world of water mitigation.

First thing is first

The first thing we do is get an accurate picture of the affected areas. After extracting any standing water, we use moisture readers to measure the moisture content in your floors, walls, ceiling, and whatever else might be affected by water damage.

Our trained technicians have seen a myriad of different damages ranging in size and source and can get a basic understanding of your damages after a short time reading the moisture inside your affected and non-affected areas.

Keep in mind, you may not be able to see or feel that any surface is wet, but inside your floorboards or behind your drywall, there may be moisture trapped there that can cause more problems down the line.

Once we have a clear picture of the water damage at hand, we plug our readings and measurements into proprietary software to accurately gauge the drying requirements. This allows us to easily and automatically know how much equipment we will need to place.

Drying equipment

Now that we understand how much equipment needs to be placed for proper and expedient drying, the next step is to unload all required equipment from our trucks and place them in your house.

Water damages require the use of dehumidifiers and air movers. A dehumidifier is self-explanatory; we use industrial grade dehumidifiers to suck the moisture content out of the air, the very same air that comes into contact with the affected surface and attempts to reach an equilibrium between the wet material and dry air, removing some of the moisture that then gets fed back into the dehumidifier.

Our air movers are placed strategically around the room to create a circular vortex of air flow. The natural air flow combined with intentionally feeding air into dehumidifiers works in tandem to greatly assist the drying process.

Once our equipment has been placed, we must leave it running around the clock for the best results.

Then, the next step to do is monitor our equipment and the drying process. Our technician will ask when you will be available for an equipment check the following day, and we will arrive within a 30-minute window in order to take new moisture readings and assess how the floors, walls, and any affected area is drying.

Our typical jobs require 3-5 days of drying to reach acceptable levels of moisture.

When equipment doesn’t quite do the job

I wish it were as simple as place equipment and wait a few days, however certain circumstances may not allow us that luxury. If, for example, the affected drywall remains wet and doesn’t show an indication that it will dry, we might have to pull the baseboards off and drill holes in the wall to allow proper ventilation.

If wooden floors are buckling from water damage when we arrive on site, or if they are so saturated with water that our best efforts will not sufficiently dry them, they will have to be removed.

Certain material, such as sewage, is categorized as a Cat 3 water damage, and any affected areas must be replaced.

All of this falls under the term ‘demo’ and is sometimes a necessity. Do not worry, however. Whatever wall or flooring we have to remove, we will be able to rebuild for you and make it, “Like it never even happened!”

With the general water damage proceedings understood, the next thing to do is take a look at the different types of water damages and explain what they mean for you.

Keep a lookout for our next blog about the different water damage categories!