Recent Water Damage Posts

Common Sump Pump Problems

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Sometimes a single sump pump just isn’t enough to handle a wet basement "event". The pump might not be reliable enough or powerful enough to handle the volume of water pouring in, especially during heavy rains. The quality of your sump pump matters, too: a cheap, plastic model is more likely to burn out or fail to keep up when it matters most.

>  Upgrade your sump pump and add a battery backup sump pump. In rare cases, you might need more than one sump pump, installed in different corners of the basement.

If you're away from home and your sump pump loses power, your basement is vulnerable. The same storm that causes your basement to flood can also knock down power lines

>  Back up! We recommend a high-capacity, battery-operated backup sump pump.

No water in the sump pump is a classic sign of an improperly installed pump or a pump that is not linked to a drainage system.

>  Get your drainage system inspected and fixed. If there is no drainage system, have one installed.

If your sump doesn't have a lid - something we see every day in basements across the nation - it will get clogged and dirty over time and either slow down or stop entirely.

>  Make sure your next one is covered with an airtight sealed lid that prevents debris.

Lighting Storm Rolls Through Massachusetts

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

As a business owner, you must protect your property. You likely have insurance that covers you in case of theft, fire or other serious property damage, but not all policies cover flood damage. Even if you don't live in an area prone to flooding, one burst pipe is all it takes to create a big problem.  

Have Digital Backups of Any Paper Files

No matter how well you prepare, your paper files are at risk if storm damage is a possibility. If you don't already have digital copies of your important paperwork, now is the time to create these backups. Doing so can save you days' worth of headaches during the restoration process.

- Property deeds
- Insurance policies
- Inventory lists
- Employee information
- Company handbooks and policies
- Client or customer information

Create Sandbags to Protect Your Building

Placing sandbags at the doors and windows can protect your property from up to two feet of storm water. After filling each bag with sand, fold the top over and place the bag with the folded top down. Create one layer at a time, and limit their placement to three layers, unless you intend to create a pyramid or are leaning the bags against doors and windows. Remember, sandbags are a temporary solution and aren't likely to protect the building from larger floods.

Move What You Can

Consider your furniture and whether you have higher ground in your building. If you have a second story, move as much furniture and equipment to the higher floor as possible. If you have enough notice and a second property that is on higher ground, consider moving furniture and equipment to a new building entirely.

While you aren't likely to get away from flooding with no damage at all, following these steps will help you protect much of your property. Less time spent cleaning up means more time getting back into the swing of doing business.

Don't Ignore Water Stains!

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

You look up and see the dreaded water stain on the ceiling of your home in Metro West Boston and you instinctively know this is not good. When you cannot identify the possible water source above the stain, you could have a leaky pipe. It is not uncommon for water to run along piping or rafters before dripping onto your ceiling.

A leaky pipe may have existed for quiet some time before it becomes apparent to you. And sadly, there could be a good deal of water damage to your home that you cannot see yet. It is something you want to handle right away before EVEN more damage is done. A professional remediation company such as SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury can help you get everything cleaned up. Our technicians are trained and have the right equipment for the job.

In a situation like this, we find the areas of your structure that are wet and define precisely how wet they are compared to regular moisture levels. We use various devices to help us track moisture within your home. Our goal for drying is to return materials affected to their normal moisture content levels. These tools are used to find the actual moisture content of different materials and help us figure out if your structure is dry.

SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury technicians also use thermo-hygrometers which measure both relative humidity and temperature. Some even do more, like measure dew point. We allow the thermos-hygrometer to adapt to air conditions in the room before we take a reading. We then use these readings in conjunction with a psychrometric calculator or chart. We do so to determine the specific humidity.

Readings for four areas are compared including the unaffected areas, the areas affected by moisture, outside the home, and the exhaust being processed through the dehumidifier into the area affected to make sure dehumidification is contributing to a drying process that is effective.

Stop Water Damage Before it Even Happens

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

 Think first before you plant:

   Some plants and trees, like weeping willows, have pretty invasive roots. If you’re not careful, they’ll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to keep roots away from any water lines.

  Roof Gutters, Roof Gutters, Roof Gutters:

   You know it’s on your to-do list anyway, so if you can, take a safe climb up to your roof next Sunday and check out your gutters. If you’re seeing lots of leaves, birds’ nests, sticks, and whatnot up there, your gutters may not be doing the job you hired them for. And on a rainy day, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. That could cause some serious water damage! So next time you’re doing some seasonal cleaning, make sure those gutters are clean. And if your gutters are too high, be safe and get a professional to check them.

    Keep a watchful eye on your water bill:

With so many water pipes hidden behind walls and in the floors in your house, you might not know there’s a leak until the damage is done. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your monthly water bill. If you see it starting to creep up, or get one that’s uncommonly high, it’s a pretty good sign that you may have a leak somewhere.

    Use a drain snake instead of unclogging chemicals

No matter how crazy clean you are, from your shower to your kitchen sink, clogs are going to happen. And chances are at some point in your life you’ve used one of those powerful chemical drain cleaners to get things moving again. But as convenient as they may be, most folks don’t realize those caustic chemicals are also eating away at their pipes (and they might not be too good for you either). If you rely on them a lot, you could be setting yourself up for leaks. That’s why owning a drain snake is a good solution to clear away clogs. They’re pretty inexpensive, you can get them at your local hardware store, and they can cut through most any clog you’ll have without damaging pipes or making your eyes red and teary.

    Never pour grease down your sink:

You’ve probably heard this before, but you should definitely avoid pouring grease down your kitchen sink. It doesn’t matter if you flush it with hot or cold water. It can still congeal and cling to your pipes, and could still cause some serious damage and blockage.

Gross! Walking On A Wet Carpet

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

The toilet overflows, a pipe bursts, a washer overflows or you walk intoyourbasement completely flooded by rainwater. Gross!Water can seep into almost every material and cause irreversible damage. When water saturates your carpet or walls, you will need to make decisions and make them quickly! Do not waste time contemplating how to clean up the water, each hour counts when water is involved. The longer water sits in porous material, like carpet or drywall, the sooner bacteria and microbial growth begins to grow.

One of the prime locations for microbial growth to spread is in a humid room with sopping wet carpet and walls. What do you do? Grab a shop vac and suck it up? Grab a slew of towels and cover the floor while dancing on top of them, hoping they will absorb all of the water? Grab all the fans you own and try to set them in just the right places, hoping that everything will dry out in time? Go ahead and try those techniques, but you will have a huge and more costly headache to deal with in a month.

If you choose to call a restoration company, be sure to call one who has the certifications to back up their work.

We will extract the water from the affected areas and remove any wall that is not salvageable, ultimately leaving you a clean, bacteria-free slate to work with. We even have a construction division that can help you get your home back to preloss condition. Just call SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxburyand we will walk you through the process. You will be informed and updated of the restoration/mitigation process throughout the entire job so that nothing is questionable. We are your go-to! Give us a call even if you just have a question and we will be happy to help.

Be Informed. Be Prepared.

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding happens during heavy rains, when rivers overflow, when ocean waves come onshore, when snow melts too fast, or when dams or levees break. This is the most common natural-weather event. Flooding may be only a few inches of water or it may cover a house to therooftop. Floods that happen very quickly are called flash floods.

What to do Before

  • Build an emergency kit.
  • Make a family communications plan.
  • Tell an adult if you hear a flood warning on the TV or radio.

During

  • Listen to authorities and safety officials.
  • If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground.
  • Help your family move important items to an upper floor.
  • Do not walk through moving water. Even 6” of water can make you fall.

After

  • Stay away from flood water. It could be contaminated, meaning contain dangerous substances.
  • Stay away from moving water. It can knock you off your feet.
  • Stay out of the way of emergency workers so they can do their job easily.

Storms Causes Flooding

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

A powerful front crossing west to east across New England with torrential rain and melting snow resulted in flooding and wind gust past 50 mph with a thunderstorm.

This combination of heavy rain and warm temperatures melted large piles plenty of snow in New England on Friday. And with many storm drains still blocked by snow and ice, localized flooding occurred in streets, low river banks and in particular, many homeowners’ basements.

When your home or commercial property has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury's experience and scientific approach to water removal and water cleanup enable us to properly dry and restore your property.

What To Do After A Flood

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Floods can be caused by a variety of things and you will want to implement these practices to ensure the safety of you and your home, as well as having the best outcome with your insurance.

Avoid Risks

If you had to evacuate, make sure it is safe before you return. Check for any warping, cracked foundations, or other structural damage before entering the home. You may also want to speak to your utility companies to be sure it is safe from things such as electric or gas.

Health

The water that is now in your home could be contaminated by sewage. It is recommended that you wear waist high waders or waterproof boots that come waist high. Also, dispose of any food that comes in contact with the water.

Take Pictures

Before doing anything to your home after a flood be sure to take photos or videos of your home to prove the damage to your insurance company.

Contact your insurance provider

Make sure you have your insurance company's phone number in case you experience a flood. Let your insurance representative know the extent of the damage to your home and of any repairs you wish to make. 

Clean Up

This is where SERVPRO steps in. We will help remove water from your house and afterwards mitigate mold so that there are no long lasting negative effect on you or your house.

Should I Get Flood Insurance

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

Following a disaster most homeowners ask themselves if they should have purchased flood insurance. Well, according to FEMA, Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood. A flood is most often called an excluded peril, meaning it’s not covered. You should consider flood insurance even if you’re not required to purchase it or if you live outside a high-risk flood zone, called a Special Flood Hazard Area.

Flood zones are areas where there is a higher statistical probability of a flood occurring, but that doesn’t mean floods don’t occur elsewhere. In fact, in Texas over the last five years, a number of floods exceeded the statistical probability, putting more homes and properties in harm’s way than were expected.

Flood insurance can protect you from the catastrophic financial impact of flooding. Just a few inches of water can mean thousands of dollars of loss to your home or business. As long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as a homeowner or business owner you can get building and contents coverage included in your NFIP policy. Renters can get coverage for contents only. Policies issued by the NFIP pay even if a federal disaster is not declared.

Where can I buy flood insurance?

When should I buy a policy?

As soon as possible. FEMA urges you to buy flood insurance before a flood event occurs. NFIP cannot pay a claim if you don’t have a policy in effect when damage occurs. An insurance policy from NFIP becomes effective 30 days after you buy it, unless the purchase is associated with the origination, renewal or extension of a federally backed loan on property in a high-risk area.

I am not in a flood hazard area, but I’d like to purchase flood insurance. Is this possible?

Yes, as long as your community participates in NFIP. You are eligible to purchase a flood policy with the same coverage you would receive if you lived in a high-risk area. A Preferred Risk Policy (a lower-cost flood insurance policy) provides both building and contents coverage for properties in moderate-to-low risk areas for one price.

Can I get flood insurance if I'm renting a property?

Yes. If you live in a community that participates in NFIP and you are a renter, you can get flood insurance to cover the contents of your home, apartment or business at a rented location.

After A Flood

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

After the waters have receded, the rainstorm has passed mold will start to set in and your sense of smell will be the first to detect it. You will then need to contact SERVPRO immediately to prevent further damage.  A guide on the U.S. EPA website outlines the hazards of mold:

Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air …There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture. 

Something smells

Mold cannot be seen floating in the air, but you won’t have any trouble sniffing out its presence. It’s an odor that will initially tickle your sinuses and cause your eyes to water, but you shouldn’t keep inhaling.

Undoing the damage

It takes a professional company, like SERVPRO of Framingham to perform mold damage restoration properly following specific procedures . They will begin by reducing the vicinity’s moisture levels because that’s what mold thrives on. They will also need to check your home’s HVAC system to see if it was compromised. Visible mold on walls and ceilings will need to be scrubbed off with cleaning solution.

The Aftermath

While water damage restoration and mold remediation will rid the house of contaminants, some areas affected by mold cannot be restored to their original appearance. Some items may need to be discarded because they are beyond repair and could serve as a hiding place for mold 

Absorbent or porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, may have to be thrown away if they become moldy. Mold can grow on or fill in the empty spaces and crevices of porous materials.

Regardless of the weather, try to keep the humidity in your house low using dehumidifier devices or products. It is also beneficial to maintain your HVAC system to ensure the temperature doesn’t produce excessive condensation. Between these tips and professionals from 
SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury mold will be hard-pressed to find a way into your home. 

Large Water Loss

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

April showers bring May flowers. They also bring flooded basements.  When basements flood the water must be removed immediately before damaging the structure of the property. The MegaX Flood Removal Extractor is the perfect tool for excessive water removal. The unit’s two inch intake valve allows for maximum water extraction. The MegaX has dual motors that offer unparalleled vacuuming performance and an auto discharge of 46 gallons per minute! Not only is the MegaX powerfully fast it is also unbelievably quiet too which allows for water removal in areas where noise is not an option.  Call our disaster recovery team today to learn more about the MegaX Flood Removal Extractor and how we can properly remediate water damage in your residential or commercial property.  

Structural Drying In Tight Spaces

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

Drying a structure requires more than simply removing the visible water. Elevated levels of moisture in the air can lead to mold infestation. Circulating air reduces escalated moisture levels. The Air Max is unlike traditional, “whistle”, air movers. This rugged unit has 3 airflow positions – horizontal, vertical, and side allowing for maximum air flow and the most complete structural drying possible. Combined with its vented bottom housing, the trying capacity of the Air Max is unparalleled! In addition, its small footprint allows us to install the Air Max virtually anywhere and the non-marking, anti-skid rubber feet help us to leave no trace left behind. Call our disaster recovery team today to learn more about the Air Max and how we can properly remediate water damage in your residential or commercial property.  

Water Damage From Rain

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

April showers bring May Flowers. Unfortunately, those same showers also may bring flooded basements. Immediate action is crucial when dealing with water damage. Luckily, SERVPRO franchises are strategically located to allow our technicians to arrive faster to any size disaster. As a leader in the water remediation industry our technicians receive advanced structural drying training and IICRC certification. Furthermore, we document our entire drying process in order to validate that all moisture, visible and hidden, has been removed and that the structure is completely dry. Generally basements are areas of high moisture, as such any amount of additional standing water exponentially increases the risk of mold infestation.  Do not let water wreak havoc to your home or place of business.  Call our Disaster Recovery Team today!

Norwood: 781-769-9125

West Roxbury:617-323-3667

Warm Weather Alert

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

WARM WEATHER ADVISORY

The deep freeze is over and the temperature outside is on the rise. On Friday we will see temperatures in the mid 50's here in the Greater Boston Area! Great news, right? Wrong! With temperatures rising so fast that means that all of the snow and ice that has accumulated over the past two weeks will melt equally as fast. As water tables rise the excess water will have no place to go causing basements to flood. If ice dams have formed on your roof, as the snow melts, water will back up behind the dam and may find cracks and openings in the exterior roof covering. Before you know it, water is wreaking havoc in your home.

If disaster strikes your home or commercial property call our Disaster Recovery Team. We will make it Like it never even happened.

Norwood - 781-769-9125
West Roxbury - 617-323-367

Step One - Water In Your Basement

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

Basement flooding is a nightmare for any homeowner. Aside from making your basement unusable, a basement flood can ruin your personal belongings and create a serious health and safety hazard.

If you have water in your basement the very first thing that you need to do (after stopping the flow of water of course) is you need to find out what caused the flood and how can you stop it from happening again?

Common causes of basement flooding

All basements are prone to flooding and there can be several causes behind the water in your basement. Below are some of the most common causes of a flooded basement:

Any basement can flood. Waterproofing your basement now can protect from future flooding.

Plumbing leaks

This could be a burst or leaking pipe, a leaking waste line, a broken supply hose for your washing machine, or a leaking water tank or water heater.

Leaky basement windows

If your window wells fill with water (from a flooded yard or clogged gutters), don’t be surprised if water leaks into the basement through and around the windows.

Leaky basement foundation

This is by far the most common cause of basement flooding. Excessive amounts of rain, poor yard drainage and sewer backups are common culprits behind a leaky foundation. Fortunately, it’s a problem that Basement Systems can solve by installing a warrantied, industry-leading waterproofing system. 

4-Step Response To Basement Flooding

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

We recommend following these steps to return your home to its pre-flood condition and protect the space against future flooding.

Step 1: Safety First

Don't risk serious injury if your basement floods. A flooded basement can be a serious health and safety risk.

  • If possible avoid entering the basement. It is  best to stay out of the basement until the water is pumped out. Standing water in your basement can contain harmful bacteria. Exposure to these bacterias can cause health issues. Additionally, electrical fixtures or wiring may have been compromised. A person entering such an area runs the risk of electrical shock or possibly electrocution!
  • Remove water quickly. Simply shutting off the water source is not enough. Standing water and elevated levels of humidity will continue to cause damage to a structure and its contents.

Step 2: Find The Root Cause

If the issue that caused the water damage is not identified and properly remediated the damage will reoccur. No amount of remediation will prevent a recurrence if the root cause remains.

Step 3: Remove Water Damaged Items/Building Materials

Is your basement empty? Is it a finished basement? Building materials, furniture and flooring will all absorb moisture and may be damaged beyond repair. In such instances those items/materials should be removed. 

Step 4: Install A Waterproofing System

Every basement is unique. This step must be performed by a professional. Contact our Disaster Recovery Team to schedule a consultation.

The Science Of Drying

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

IICRC

Quite frequently we are asked how do we know how long it will take to dry a structure after it has sustained water damage. Our clients want to know that there is scientific research to back this up our estimates and that we are not simply pulling numbers out of thin air. The reality is that, yes, there is extensive and well-documented scientific research ranging over many years related to drying technology of various products. That research, and the subsequent industry guidelines which we follow, is conducted and produced by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

The IICRC was formed in 1972 as an independent, certification body that sets and promotes high standards and ethics within the inspection, cleaning, restoration and installation industry. The IICRC is regarded as the international industry standard to be used by restoration companies. All of our technicians are IICRC certified. When you hire us to do a job you can rest assured that our work will be completed in accordance with the industry’s “standard of care”.

So how do we determine what equipment to use and how long the drying process will take? Structural drying is a process that utilizes evaporation, the process by which water changes from its liquid phase to its gaseous phase. Evaporation is influenced by several factors:

  • The level of moisture (i.e. relative humidity) in the air
  • Water vapor pressure differential between the surface of the wet material and the surrounding environment
  • Temperature of the wet material
  • Air movement across the surface of the wet material
  • Access to surfaces of wet materials

The application of air movement at the surface of wet materials is a critical component to the drying process. Evaporation is a surface phenomenon, and surfaces are measured in area (e.g. square feet). Therefore using linear feet of wall as the primary criterion for establishing air movement requirements is illogical.

  1. Drying is the process of removing excess moisture both at the surface and from within the materials and assemblies.
  2. The conditions conducive to effectively and efficiently drying at the surface of some materials and assemblies differ from the conditions conducive to effectively and efficiently moving excess moisture within the materials or assemblies.
  3. Rapid air movement across wet surfaces of materials or assemblies is a critical component of effectively and efficiently drying the surface of those materials and assemblies.
  4. Rapid air movement across the surface of materials becomes less important relative to vapor pressure as the focus of removing surface moisture gives way to reducing moisture content in low evaporation materials.
  5. Using the same criteria to establish air movement during the constant and the falling rate drying of materials and assemblies does not consider changing conditions.
  6. The linear foot formula for air movement of a room fails to consistently account for the actual surface area of wet materials and assemblies in different classes of water intrusion.

Humidity, airflow and temperature influence the movement of moisture within a material as well as the evaporation rate from the surface of material. These properties greatly impact the overall drying time for a project.

It is important to quickly control the moisture in the air and use sufficient airflow to dry the surfaces of materials to reduce water activity thus lowering the potential for microbial growth (mold). To ensure rapid, cost effective drying without secondary damage specific types and quantities of airmovers are recommended, depending on the type, porosity, location and square footage of the surface being dried. … The minimum quantity of airmovers recommended for various flooring surfaces are as follows:

  1. Non-porous and semi-porous flooring – at least one airmover per 400- 500 square feet is recommended. Give consideration to closets or small storage areas where airflow may be restricted.
  2. Direct-glue carpet installations – in installations where disengagement normally would damage or destroy carpet or cushion, at least one airmover is recommended per 300 square feet of carpet area, or one per room if smaller than 300 square feet. Give consideration to closets or small storage areas where airflow may be restricted.
  3. Stretch-in carpet – a minimum of one airmover is recommended per 300 square feet of carpet surface area, or one per room if smaller than 300 square feet. Give consideration to closets or small storage areas where airflow may be restricted.

As you can see there is a significant knowledge base which we pull from to ensure that we completely remove all excess moisture, both the visible standing water and the subsequent elevated levels of humidity, during our structural drying projects. If you would like to learn more about the science of structural drying and why we do what we do visit www.IICRC.org

April Showers

4/5/2017 (Permalink)

April showers bring May Flowers. Unfortunately, those same showers also may bring flooded basements. Immediate action is crucial when dealing with water damage. Luckily, SERVPRO franchises are strategically located to allow our technicians to arrive faster to any size disaster. As a leader in the water remediation industry our technicians receive advanced structural drying training and IICRC certification. Furthermore, we document our entire drying process in order to validate that all moisture, visible and hidden, has been removed and that the structure is completely dry. Generally basements are areas of high moisture, as such any amount of additional standing water exponentially increases the risk of mold infestation.  Do not let water wreak havoc to your home or place of business.  Call our Disaster Recovery Team today!

The Air Max

3/29/2017 (Permalink)

Drying a structure requires more than simply removing the visible water. Elevated levels of moisture in the air can lead to mold infestation. Circulating air reduces escalated moisture levels. The Air Max is unlike traditional, “whistle”, air movers. This rugged unit has 3 airflow positions – horizontal, vertical, and side allowing for maximum air flow and the most complete structural drying possible. Combined with its vented bottom housing, the trying capacity of the Air Max is unparalleled! In addition, its small footprint allows us to install the Air Max virtually anywhere and the non-marking, anti-skid rubber feet help us to leave no trace left behind. Call our disaster recovery team today to learn more about the Air Max and how we can properly remediate water damage in your residential or commercial property.  

The Mega X

3/29/2017 (Permalink)

April showers bring May flowers. They also bring flooded basements.  When basements flood the water must be removed immediately before damaging the structure of the property. The MegaX Flood Removal Extractor is the perfect tool for excessive water removal. The unit’s two inch intake valve allows for maximum water extraction. The MegaX has dual motors that offer unparalleled vacuuming performance and an auto discharge of 46 gallons per minute! Not only is the MegaX powerfully fast it is also unbelievably quiet too which allows for water removal in areas where noise is not an option.  Call our disaster recovery team today to learn more about the MegaX Flood Removal Extractor and how we can properly remediate water damage in your residential or commercial property.