Recent Water Damage Posts
Are You Prepared For A Drought Here In Southern Maryland?
While here in Southern Maryland we do not often suffer from droughts, we do go long stretches without much rain and it is always important to be prepared as droughts can lead to an insufficient amount of water which many rely on to survive.
It is important that you always are practicing conserving water in your daily lives even without a drought. Conserving an essential resource now will keep you ahead of the game if it ever becomes a necessity.
If a drought ever comes our way, practice these tips that way you can conserve as much water as you can until the drought passes.
- Avoid flushing the toilet, taking baths and letting the water run longer than needed
- Place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water to use on your plants
- Hand wash dishes in two containers and only run the dishwasher once it is completely full
- Store drinking water in the refrigerator
For more tips go to, https://www.mass.gov/info-details/drought-safety-tips.
Cleaning Your Gutters 101
If you do you not ensure that your gutters are clear of debris and are able to properly direct that water away from your home then you increase your homes chance of water damage. The main function of the gutters around your home are to collect the water that is falling around your home and direct it to an outside area that is not near your home foundation.
Clogged gutter can cause multiple issues within your home and property. Check out Allstate for more detail descriptions on these issues. It is recommended that you have your gutters cleaned by professional at least twice a year. It is possible to clean your gutters yourself but for your safety make sure you use protective eye wear, dust mask and a spotter, along with tools to remove the debris.
Winter Weather Can Lead To Water Damage
Winter weather has the potential to lead to water damage! Wait what do you mean a type of weather can lead to water damage? Well no, not the weather itself but the factors that fall in between.
Winter weather brings low temperatures. When water is mixed with low temperatures, the water freezes. When water freezes, it expands. That water could be within your pipes and a solid structure will be filled with more pressure than it can handle leading to the bursting of your pipes if they are not properly thawed. If your pipes burst, the water needs to go somewhere and unfortunately that place will be your home.
Some simple factors to take into mind as the temperatures continue to drop are:
- Remove any excess water from water sources around your home such as hoses or sprinklers
- Add insulations to places such as your attics, basements and crawl spaces to help maintain higher temperatures within your home
If water starts to trickle out of your faucets, your pipes are most likely frozen.
What to do:
- Open the cabinets or doors where your pipes are to allow heat to reach them
- Keep faucets open. The water will need to drain out once pipes are thawed
- Place some sort of heat around or near the pipes
- Check all faucets to determine what other pipes are frozen
As always, if you are not able to unthaw your pipes before it is too late... give SERVPRO of St. Mary's County and SERVPRO of Calvert County a call!
Sump Pump Failure
Call SERVPRO today
SERVPRO of St. Mary's County and SERVPRO of Calvert County handle many calls yearly that deal with water damage from a sump pump failure. Does not seem fair right because sump pumps are supposed to be your emergency appliance you use when you need to get rid of water quick. But, like all machinery and equipment there is always a chance of a malfunction.
Some reason you see sump pumps failing according to City WIDE Plumbing are:
- power failure
- stuck switch
- overwhelmed pump
- frozen or clogged discharge pipe
- lack of maintenance
- old age
- improper installation
- product defect
While there is time where sump pumps malfunction, sump pumps are typically what saves your basement from becoming a swimming pool. Regular maintenance on your sump pump will definitely lower your odds of it failing. In the case that it does, know that SERVPRO of St. Mary's County and SERVPRO of Calvert County will be there to make it "Like it never even happened."
Is That Mildew Smell In Your Car Water Damage?
Water Damage Within Your Car
Have you ever got into your car and noticed an unwanted mildew or mold smell? Finding the water is not necessarily a hard task but locating where the water came from can be difficult at times. With laws of gravity in mind, water will always sit at the lowest point but can often travel in many unique ways to reach that point.
Some important questions to ask yourself once you notice the water are:
- Was it raining?
- Did you just go through a car wash?
- Did you just use your heat, defroster or AC?
Some causes amongst your car that could be causing the leaks are:
- Door Membrane
- Door Seal
- Window Seal
- Cabin Air filter
It is important to get the water out of there as quickly as possible. Sitting water can damage the interior of your car as well as cause mold. Mold can grow as quickly as within 24 hours. Once you have identified what is causing the water damage you need to fix that problem in order to avoid more water. Drying your car completely is very important and calling the professional may be wise!
Did you know we treat cars as well? Give us a call!
How Do I Identify Water Damage Within My Home?
Idenitfy Water Damage Quickly!
Water damage can sometimes be easily spotted but other times it can be hiding behind structures and you can months without recognizing it. It is important to identify water damage quickly as mold can begin to grow in as little time as 24 hours. How do you identify water damage? Here are some signs:
Some early signs of water damage on the walls or ceilings are bubbling or peeling paints. More serious water leaks can cause the ceiling to bloat or bulge and eventually burst. In areas where the water damage is present the surface may feel damp. Another way to identify water damage is by a stain or possible mold growth. Identifying water damage on carpet may be tricky as the carpet can easily hide the water. If your carpet feels wet or spongy, there is water present.
Identifying water damage quickly is the best way to reduce the amount of damage done to your home. That is why if you notice any of the signs above, give SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties a call!
How To Conserve Water In Your Calvert County Home
Conserve Your Water
Conserving water can extremely useful for many things. Not only is water the second most important element we humans need, next to air but it is also very easily conserved.
Need some cost effective, simple tips on lowering your water bill?
- Check your toilet for leaks
- Check your faucets and pipes for leaks
- Put a plastic bottle filled with rocks or sand safely in your water tanks
- Take shorter showers
- Turn off water when you are brushing your teeth
- Turn off water while you are shaving
- Only do laundry with a full load
- Only use your dishwasher when you have a full load
- Turn off the water while you are hand-washing your dishes
- Put a layer of mulch around your trees and plants
- Use a broom, instead of a hose, to wash your driveway/steps
- Capture rainwater
These simple steps will not only help YOU save money but will be beneficial to our environment. Consider these steps and take action today!
How To Properly Water Your Dunkirk, MD Garden
DON'T water too little but DON'T water too much
Do you ever feel like you either are watering your garden too much or not enough?
According to HGTV, "Water for too long, and you engrave an open invitation for fungus. Water too little, and roots become shallow. Water in the evening, and insects come out to feast. Water from too high, and half the moisture is lost to evaporation."
Not so simple, huh? Well you are not the only one but the good thing is it only takes a little education and a small amount of practice before your become good! Check out a few of my favorite tips from HGTV and follow the link to check out all of their Do's and Don'ts on "The Proper Way To Water Your Garden."
- Water early in the morning when sunlight is weakest, the ground is coolest and foliage will have hours to dry before nightfall.
- Water deeply and at fewer intervals so that you reach roots, the part of the plant that needs the nutrients, sugars and hormones contained in water.
- Direct water at the base of a plant and avoid wetting foliage, which invites fungus.
- Give trees and shrubs—especially newly-planted ones—direct watering every 7 to 10 days.
Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing!
You won't think it will happen to you, until you go to wash your hands and the water does not come out. With temperatures dropping in the next couple of days it is important to take the necessary precautions to prevent your pipes from freezing and potentially bursting.
So what do you do?!
- Open cabinets in your kitchen and bathrooms where the pipes are to allow heat to reach your pipes.
- Let water drip from your faucets. The constant flow of water, even if it is at a drip, will keep the water from becoming stagnate and freezing
- Keep your thermostat at a steady temperature. You want there to be a constant flow of warm heat circulating throughout your home.
- Look into adding insulation in your attic, basement or crawl spaces and seal off any draft areas such as windows or doors.
While some of these task may cost you a couple extra dollars at the end of the month, you will feel much better about paying that bill than paying the bill when your pipes burst and flood your home.
What if you come home and you notice that your pipes have frozen? There is still time to save them!
- Make sure all cabinet doors in kitchen and bathroom.
- Turn on the faucets to allow the flow of water once the water begins to melt.
- Use a space heater warm up the pipes or wrap a heating pad around the pipe to get the water thawed out.
- Apply heat until the full pressure of the water is restored.
Winter Is Coming!!
Is Your Home Prepared?
Two days ago Southern Maryland saw its first glimpse of snow! December 21st is coming faster than we know it. You already are worried about how we can possibly see it through another cold winter, you don't want the extra task of getting your home fixed if a tragedy were to arise. Protecting your home this winter is a must!
- When water freezes, it expands. Therefore, if you have water in your pipes that freeze, your pipes could crack and burst. A burst pipe can cause massive destruction within your home.
- To Avoid:
- Drain water from outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems.
- Protect water pipes that run through unheated areas of your home with insulation.
- Know where your water shut off valve is
- If you notice your water stops running, open cabinet doors where pipes are located to allow the flow of heat to reach the pipes to hopefully unfreeze the water before the pipes burst or crack.
- Ice dams form when melted snow flows to your roof's edge and refreezes. Which then creates a later problem when other snow melts and does not have an area to properly drain.
- To Avoid:
- Make sure gutters are clear of any dirt or debris that could potentially cause a clog
- Make sure all possible leaks or cracks are sealed
- Fireplaces are not only decorative for your home but are also a large part in keeping your home warm and cozy.
- Before Use:
- Clean out soot and other debris
- Close flue when fireplace is not in use to keep cold air from coming in
5 Factors That Can Affect The Cost Of Water Damage Repairs
Here at SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties, one of our goals is salvage as much as we can to minimize your losses. Although, there are a number of factors that your cost will depend on.
How Quickly You Contact Us:
Time is of the essence when it comes to water damage. The longer the water sits in your home, the higher your cost can get.
Untreated moisture can lead to mold growth. In the event of mold present our water removal experts are trained to make repairs that will save you the most money.
If the cause of water came from your roof, the repair of the roof will be an extra cost. The repair can be as simple as fixing a few shingles, finishing around the chimney or skylight.
Depending on the amount of water needed to be pumped out of the basement would vary the prices. As well as the damages found after water was removed.
How serve the damage is to the busted pipe or the reason to why the pipe is leaking. Having regular plumbing expectations can go a long way for your home.
Need Help Conserving Water In Your Southern Maryland Home?
Converse water and reuse rain-water to garden your plants!
The privilege of having a steady supply of clean water is one that not everyone around the world has. It is often times that we abuse and take for granted that privilege but with minimal care and a little common sense you can work to minimize your water waste.
Follow our tips to help conserve water at your St. Mary's or Calvert County home:
- Turn off all faucets while not in use: never leave the water running while you are washing dishes, brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving.
- Check all faucets for leaks or drips and get them fix immediately
- While waiting for your water to warm up, save the cold water and repurpose it. Such as watering your plants or garden, or rinsing food off.
- Fill your sink with soapy water to rinse your dishes and reuse the water
- Scrape your dishes off instead of rinsing them before putting them in the dish washer. Only run the dish washer if there is a full load.
- Switch your toilet out to a Water-Sense toilet or a Dual-Flush toilet
- Take shorter showers
- If you have a small garden, avoid using the hose. Hand watering your plants can save gallons of water
- Capture rain water from gutters and downspout that can be used reused. Lay a cover over the bucket to keep bugs out.
How To Identify Water Damage
Water damage can detrimentally to your structures or create other problems if left untreated. Sometimes, water damage can be easily spotted but other times you may not even noticed. Here are a couple things to look for when detecting water damage within your home.
- Check Floors: For tile and wood, look for cracked, buckling or warped flooring. For carpet, be aware of wet spots, gradual rises, softs spots or the smell of mildew.
- Stains: Check for water stains around the bathtub, toilet and sink. As well as, stains on the ceilings and walls. Be aware of peeling paint and cracks in the drywall or areas that seem swollen and soft to touch.
- Outside: Looks for pools or standing water on the exterior of your house or gutter spouts that are not transporting water far enough away from the house. Those could affect the foundation of your house. It is important to also check your roof for pools of water.
- Rust or Mold: Check your water heater and look for rust on the tank, which could indicate a slow leak, or damp spots on the floor. Look for any visual spots of mold that could be forming in the nooks and crannies of your home. A musky, unpleasant smell could also be an indicator of mold.
What May Happen If Your Water Damage Is Not Treated?
When we see unexpected water in our home, we hope that it is just going to dry up and disappear. Unfortunately, that is not how it works. Water damage needs to be treated right away to avoid any further damage that will be created. You may be wondering what exactly might happen, so below we have provided you with some of the potentials.
- House Value Depreciates: Water damage can show far after the event if it is not taken care of properly. When you late try to sale your home, the value of your house will immediatley become lower with these shown damages.
- Electrical System: Water and electrics do not go hand in hand. If you have water damage it is important that a professional comes out to take a look to verify that your electrical system has not be damaged.
- Mold: Standing water that is not properly removed and dried can turn into mold. Mold will hide in areas that you cannot even see, which causes further damage to your home and can create health problems
- Toxic to your health: Water that has formed within your home could be caused by a busted pipe, toilet, dishwasher overflow, washing machine or other home system malfunctions that can contain bacteria, toxics, pollutants and sewage which can all be extremely hazardous to your health.
- Insects: Standing water creates a great environment for bugs. Many bugs need water to hatch their eggs, which can lead to an infestation of various bugs, bacteria and fungus.
If you have water damage within your home, it is important that the situation is taken care of immediately. SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties takes pride in their water damage restoration and clean up and we can be sure to take care of it for you!
Not A Sewage Overflow...
Coming home to a flooded basement is already a nightmare in itself but could you imagine if it were a sewage system backup or an overflown toilet? Not only would the smell be horrific, but they can also be very dangerous. Sewage can contain many viruses and bacteria that could ultimately lead to serious health issues. Luckily, at SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties we have the necessary training and equipment to safely get rid of contamination.
All types of sewage flooding should be considered an emergency but to educate you on the severity of the contamination we have provided you with the three different types of contaminated water:
- Clean Water: This is water from a clean source, such as a clean water line or faucet. Although this may start at a category 1 water, it can quickly turn into a category 2 or 3 if remained untreated.
- Gray Water: This water has containments in it and if ingested could lead to illness. Example for this source are, dishwasher, washer machine and toilet with some urine but no feces.
- Black Water: This water is terribly unsanitary and could cause severe illness would could lead to death if ingested. You should avoid any contact with the type of water and call professionals immediately. Sources for this water could include, flooding in streams or rivers, water beyond the toilet trap, toilet water with feces or standing water with microbial growth.
Rain Tips for Your Southern Maryland Home
Spring is here! The weather is getting warmer, birds are chirping in the morning and trees are starting to get their color back. Does it not make you want to jump into a cool pool!? Well of course that being outside and not in your home or business.
We all know, here in Southern Maryland our Spring weather typically brings a decent amount of rain. Often times rain can show problems within our homes or business that we did not know were there. Such as, holes in your roof which can lead to water damage and flooding in your basement.
SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties knows the excitement Spring brings and want to make sure you are fully prepared for what the weather could bring.
- Check Roofing: carefully inspect your roof to locate any damaged area or areas that look susceptible to leaks.
- Check Door and Windows: make sure no water can slip through the cracks of your window sills or under your doors. An easy fix could be purchasing waterproof sealer.
- Clear Gutters: gutters tend to get clogged with leaves and debris stopping the water being able to flow proper off the roof which can cause flooding or even in caving your roof. Check your gutters every couple of weeks, especially after a storm bringing a lot of rain and/or wind.
- Garden: heavy mulch or hay along your property helps reduce the effect rain has on soil.
Here at SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties we want to quickly Cleanup and Restore any small disaster before they become a big disaster. SERVPRO is always here to help. In result of an emergency or a simple question give us a call!