Don’t let Water Damage Impact Your Home | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County
Don’t let Water Damage Impact Your Home | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog
Water damage from burst pipes, malfunctioning appliances or even storm damage is one of the most common and costliest disasters your home may experience.
But there are plenty of ways to safeguard your home from this common issue that homeowners deal with. Read on for some helpful suggestions.
<h4your-home">Protecting Your Home
Not only will you be dealing with the damage caused by water, but it can have a long-term impact on your home. Since mold begins to grow 24–48 hours after moisture exposure, mold is one of the most common side effects of water damage.
When coming up with ways to protect your home, it may be helpful to break your plan down by areas of impact, such as by basements, kitchens, bathrooms, flooring and ceilings.
You can help prevent water damage in the basement by making sure water drains away from our home’s foundation and preventing water seepage. To prevent water seepage, reseal vulnerable areas of the basement. Also look into installing a backwater valve if your home does not have one.
Your kitchen and bathrooms can experience water damage due to plumbing issues and appliance failures.
Be sure you:
- Regularly inspect all appliances, checking hoses and faucets
- Ensure that your tubs and showers are watertight by checking the seals and caulking around them
- Know the location of the main water shut-off valve is in your home
- Run your washing machine and dishwasher when you are home
It will be difficult to protect the possessions in your home from water damage, but there are things you can do to at least decrease the amount of destruction. The use of waterproof bins for storing items is always advised, as is storing items up off of the floor on shelves, especially in basements and garages.
<h4from-water-damage">Recovering From Water Damage
In the unfortunate event your home does experience a water damage situation, you can stand a good chance at salvaging items if they can be dried out within 48 hours.
Make sure that you immediately contact your insurance agent and evaluate the extent of the water damage in your home. You will need to identify the type of water that is involved.
The three types of water are:
“Clean” water. Can be from rain, condensation, leaky pipes, etc.
“Gray” water. Slightly dirty water from dishwashers, washing machines, clean toilets, etc.
“Black” water. Water from sewage or serious flooding from nearby rivers, etc. This water can cause serious health problems.
Following a water damage disaster, you will need to remove wet objects, get your home dried out, dehumidify the area and disinfect any remaining materials.
Pro tip: Place any wet books, photos and papers in a frost-free freezer, which will allow you time to get your home back in order, preventing mold and mildew from developing and causing more deterioration. Once able, you can remove them from the freezer and air-dry or fan-dry the pages.
It may seem like recovering from water damage is an overwhelming and slightly impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can call on the highly trained experts at SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County, who are here to make it "Like it never even happened."
How to Deal with Ice Dams
If you live in Wisconsin, ice dams are a reality, especially when we have had large amounts of snow and temperatures that have fluctuated as much as they have this winter season.
How do Ice Dams form?
- Winter storms build up snow on the roof
- Heat from the building escapes through insulation, chimneys and roof vents or heat from the sun which causes the snow to melt
- The melted snow runs down roof lines to valleys and eaves
- The melted snow refreezes at the base of the valley and at the eaves or gutters
- As day/night time temperatures cycle up and down and heat loss melts the snow, the ice dams and icicles continue to grow
Once these roof and gutter ice dams form, subsequent water ponding behind the ice dam can lead to roof leaks, internal building damage and possible mold issues. Icicles can also cause lower roof damage, deck damage and people safety issues.
How do you deal with an existing ice dam?
- Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small chunks. Do NOT use an ax or other sharp tool. You could cut through your shingles. Instead, tap lightly with a blunt mallet. This can be dangerous and take a while, so it’s recommended that you hire someone who is experienced in roofing.
- Clear out gutters and downspouts carefully. This work can cause damage to plastic or metal gutters and spouts
- Melt troughs through the ice dam with calcium chloride ice melter. Rock salt can damage paint, metals, and plants beneath the eave and wherever the salty water drains.
- A good trough maker is a tube of cloth (a leg from an old pair of panty hose works well). Fill it with calcium chloride, tie off the top, and lay it vertically across the ice dam. It will slowly melt its way down through the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to flow free.
How can you prevent an ice dam?
The above methods will treat the symptoms of an ice dam, but won’t fix the underlying issue, which is a warm roof caused by poor insulation and venting of the space under the roof. Here are some tips on how to prevent an ice dam from forming in the first place.
- add insulation to your attic
- remove attic heat sources
- insulate attic access doors
- check the exhausts
- check flashing around chimney
If you experience water damage in your home or business due to an ice dam, call in the experts at SERVPRO of North Kenosha County and we can make it “Like it never even happened.”
Watching for Causes of Water Damage in Your Home | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County
Even though severe weather and flooding are usually the first things that come to mind for many when thinking about water damage, weather conditions are often not the main culprits.
Instead, there are items and systems in your home that can be responsible for many situations that result in water damage.What You Need to Know About Water Damage
Water damage is something that many homeowners will face. It was the third most common reason that homeowners filed a homeowners insurance claim between 2011 and 2015, with an average payout per claim of $8,861.
There is a significant difference between water damage and gradual water damage, which has an impact on homeowner’s insurance claims. Examples of gradual damage are circumstances that have been happening over time, like plumbing issues in the walls causing damage to the walls, ceilings or floors, or water damage caused by cracks in the foundation, for example. Unfortunately, many gradual water damage issues are not covered by homeowners insurance, while storm-related water damage usually is.Plumbing Can be a Common Culprit
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), the leading causes of water damage are:
Plumbing supply system failures. This involves frozen pipes that can burst because the water pressure builds up due to freezing water in the pipes or when the supply system materials fail, causing pipes to leak or burst. Per the study conducted by IBHS, plumbing supply system failures were the leading source of residential water losses and cost an average of $5,092 per incident after the deductible. They also found that homes with ages of 16 to 40 years made up a larger portion of supply system material failure claims.
Plumbing drain system failures. This can occur when a sewer drain backs up and overflows into a home, or from material performance issues. In their study, IBHS found that 52% of drain system failures were caused by sewer backups and 37% were related to material performance issues. They also found that the average drain system failure was more expensive in southern region states than in northern region states.
Toilet failures. Toilets cause the second highest number of residential water damage losses after plumbing supply system failures and are the result of faulty fill valves or clogged drain lines. According to IBHS, toilet failures on the first floor of a home created more costly insurance claims than those that occurred in basements or upper floors.
Water heater failures. If your water heater has reached its life expectancy, the tank begins to rust and corrode, which can result in leaking or bursting issues. IBHS found that 69% of all water heater failures resulted from a slow leak or sudden burst and, on average, cost $4,444 per incident following the deductible.
Washing machine failures. These are typically caused by supply hose failures, machine overflows and drain line failures. This situation is one of the top 10 sources of residential water damage losses and, per IBHS, supply hose failures accounted for over half of all washing machine-related losses.
If your home has experienced any water damage, the team at SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County is available to help with cleanup and restoration and make it “like it never even happened.”
Burst pipe causes damage to entire first floor
Full first floor demo of water damaged home in Racine, WI.
A beautiful 1920's built home in Racine was badly damaged when a frozen pipe burst causing water to pool between the 2nd and 1st floor and eventually come through the ceiling and walls. The homeowner was out of town at the time and the damage was discovered by a neighbor who was checking on the house. Unfortunately the original solid hardwood beams on the ceiling could not be saved, along with the baseboard and trim.
We received the call directly from the customer and were there within the hour to assess the damage and place dehumidifiers. We boxed up some important documents and sent them to the corporate office for document drying, compiled the loss list and began the demo. Everything had to be removed from floor to ceiling. We were able to salvage and dry the built-in cabinets in the living room.