Recent Water Damage Posts
Water damage floors
There are several factors to consider when it comes to replacing versus repairing water-damaged floors. The extent of damage incurred and the type of water intrusion is an important factor in the decision.
- Extent of water damage- Is the flooring damage minor and cosmetic, or major and destructive? Was the water covering the floor for an extended period? Flooring that is still functional will likely require much less time, money and effort than flooring damaged to the point of being unsafe or deteriorated. If flooring was not thoroughly dry within 24 to 48 hours of the incident, there could be mold growth which can complicate flooring repairs and jeopardize your health.
- Types of water intrusions
- Clean water- Water from leaking pipes is clean water- like rainwater and this type of water is safe to clean
- Gray water- Water from dishwashers, washing machines and clean toilets is slightly dirty. This “gray” water may have contaminants and proper safety equipment is needed for cleaning
- Black water- Water from sewage or rivers and requires professional clean up, contains serious contaminants and can cause health problems
SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South and Bloomfield can help you with drying or replacing your floor, call us today at 248-344-0044, we are here to help!
Water damage continuing education virtual event
SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South and Bloomfield is hosting a water damage continuing education virtual event on May 11th, 2022. There is limited seating, sign up for the Mitigation Awareness Response Seminar today! This is a free virtual continuing education event that attendees will receive 2 insurance credit hours upon completion of class. This is a virtual classroom on May 11th from 1:30pm to 3:30pm and you must pre-register to receive a secure password. 100% attendance and a photographic ID are required to receive CE credit for this course. Virtual classroom will be open 60 minutes early to check photographic ID and confirm license number. Please RVSP and receive your secure virtual classroom password email, call SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South and Bloomfield at 248-344-0044 or email esievert@SERVPROnovi.com
Water damage to floors
Flooring is an essential element of your home. Your floors may experience water damage for many reasons- including water heater leaks, broken pipes and natural disasters like hurricanes or floods. However if an incident occurs, you are left asking if you should replace or repair your floor. Each situation is different, but details like the type of flooring, the extent of the damage, and the cost of repairs versus replacement will help you determine which decision is best for you. The first step is to inspect your floors for water damage. Look for specific abnormalities paying special attention to hardwood floors such as:
- Buckling- Buckling occurs when the flooring detaches from the subflooring beneath it. Your floor may separate at the seams or peel upward
- Crowning- When flooring loses moisture, it can shrink on the underside. This moisture loss leaves planks rounded, with a high point in the middle and low points on the edges
- Cupping- When your floor absorbs moisture, plank edges may curl upward- leaving the middle of the plank with a slight depression
- Discoloration- Any change in color may indicate mold or mildew. Inspect new stains and dark spots for growth
- Warping- Any abnormal bubbling, peeling, cracking in the flooring could indicate damage
- Odor- Unusual odors could indicate mold and mildew in the flooring or subflooring
If the flooring shows only minor indications of damage, you may be able to resolve the issues by thoroughly drying the affected area. If not, you will need to consider restoration options. SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South and Bloomfield is here to help, call us today at 248-344-0044
Potential basement water damage
A basement provides additional space that a great deal of homeowners really enjoy especially here in Michigan. Moisture can be a real problem for many basements and dehumidifiers for basements is a necessity to help over come moisture.
While there are advantages to having a basement, there are also risks that homeowners should be aware of.
By nature, a basement goes against certain building principles that are put in place to keep homes, and their occupants safe. When water, and more specifically rain water flows, it follows the path of least resistance to its final destination. Since a basement is nothing more than a fancy hole in the ground it is often the preferred location for excessive rain water to settle. Due to this fact, builders have developed elaborate drainage and sump pump systems that take the water that flows into your basement and pumps it away from the structure.
Call SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South at 248-344-0044, we can inspect your basement for any water damage and give you piece of mind.
Humidity in basement
Dehumidifiers for basements are essential to help homeowners over come basement moisture issues. The high volume of water that is transferring through your basement, especially during the spring and summer months, can create high levels of relative humidity that can lead to mold and mildew growth. These things can compromise your structure and make you sick. That is why it is important to run a dehumidifier in your basement to help control your humidity levels.
Basements are a nice feature, but they are extra susceptible to water damage since they are buried under ground. By making sure your basement stays properly dehumidified you lessen your chance of having to deal with mold or mildew issues that can compromise your extra space and potentially make you sick.
Call SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South to schedule an inspection today!
Silent leaks in the home can cause you to receive a surprising high water bill in the mail with no idea why. SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South is here to help and have listed some tips to help determine if you have a water leak in your home. To determine if you have a leak happening somewhere in your home, start by observing your water meter. First, locate your small inside water meter usually found near the hot water tank or furnace. Next, turn off all water-using devices. This includes your dishwasher, washing machine, humidifier, sprinkler system, and the water/ice maker in your fridge. Make sure no one uses the toilet or sinks during this time as that will mess up the test.
Most water meters will have a small red or black triangle that spins to show “micro” water usage. If everything is off then even a dripping faucet will show up as the triangle will move. If it doesn’t move at all over the next 2 minutes, then you probably don’t have a leak. If it is moving, try to locate the problem yourself and/or call a plumber.
The most common culprit is the toilet. The easiest way to find out if your toilet is leaking is by dropping a toilet leak test tablet or a few drops of food coloring into your tank. Do not flush. If the water in your toilet bowl changes color after 20 – 30 minutes, it indicates that water is leaking. Also, check underneath your sinks for moisture or leaks. Your furnace humidifier should also be checked for signs of leaking. Other areas to check are your: hot water heater, water softener, fridge water line/valve, dishwasher piping, washing machine hoses/valves and underground sprinkler system.
And don’t forget to look up! There could be signs of a leak on your ceiling or walls with small bubbling in the paint or a change in appearance. A pinhole in a pipe, a small crack in the toilet flange or worn out grout could be slowly and silently causing water damage.
Water damaged belongings
It doesn't take long for water damage to ruin your belongings. Moisture rapidly degrades materials and leaves everything vulnerable to mold and mildew. You need to quickly prioritize your cleaning goals.
Go through your most important items first. Set aside special photos, albums and books. Artwork, fabrics and clothes are a priority too. Next, take a look at furniture, appliances and electronics.
Plan on indoor air-drying as many belongings as possible. If the weather isn’t too humid, open windows throughout the house. Otherwise, set up fans and dehumidifiers to reduce indoor moisture while you follow these recovery guidelines.
Spread out papers on top of clean materials that can soak up moisture. Change out blotting papers, towels and pads as your documents and records dry
Carefully rinse photographs in clean water, and air-dry on paper towels or plastic screens. Photos can also be hung by corners until dry.
Place paper towels between book pages. Replace with fresh sheets until books begin to dry. Finish by standing books upright with pages fanned open.
TIP: If you can’t take care of paper items right away, try to delay further damage. Slip wet papers, books and photos into plastic bags, and store them in the freezer.
Flood damage protocol
SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South can help with any flood water loss, call us at 248-344-0044. We know how hard it is to see treasures and belongings affected by flooding. We help homeowners deal with water-damage cleanup and restoration every day. You don’t have to face it all by yourself.
FOLLOW FLOOD DAMAGE CLEANUP PRECAUTIONS
• Assume all flooded areas are dangerous. Always proceed with caution.
• Make everything safer and easier to handle by wearing rubber gloves as you work
• Move ruined items outside to prevent mold spores from spreading through the house.
• Don’t throw anything away before your insurance adjuster makes an assessment.
• Never risk your health trying to remove standing water after heavy storm flooding or a sewage backup
BE CAREFUL WITH APPLIANCES AND ELECTRONICS
• Trying to salvage appliances and electronics on your own can be very hazardous
• Never unplug appliances or electronics while standing in water or wearing wet clothes.
• If you suspect a stove or water heater gas leak, leave your home immediately, and call 911.
• Stay safe by scheduling a licensed technician to inspect water-damaged appliances and electronics.
Water damage signs
Water damage can cause thousands of dollars and can sometimes go undetected for a period of time. It is important to be on the lookout for signs of water damage in your home to protect your investment. If your home has any of the below signs of water damage, contact SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South today to schedule an inspection:
- Rancid smell- Excess moisture and humidity can cause a smell reminiscent of rotten eggs
- Visible staining- Water damage can cause spot stains around walls and ceiling
- Sagging walls- Presence of water damage can weaken structure
- Sudden increase in utility bill- Sign of leaking water
- Mold growth- Presence indicated wet materials
Do not ignore the signs, call SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South at 248-344-0044
Water prevention tips
Prevention by proper maintenance can be the key to preventing water damage occurring to your home. SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South would like to give you a few key tips for maintaining home to prevent future water damage from occurring therefore potentially saving you thousands of dollars. Since we all live in Michigan and are familiar with the ever changing weather, the first tip is to keep gutters and downspouts clear and clean at least once every six months. This is to help prevent ice dams from occurring on roof which can cause water damage both inside and outside of home and should be completed before the first snow fall of the year. It is also important to keep the vegetation and trees away from the roof and to keep trees trimmed back to prevent leaves from collecting on roof which can ultimately hold moisture against roof. Another important tip is to know where your main shut off valve for your home which can be crucial if a pipe bursts in your home and can prevent further damage to your home. We also suggest checking appliances regularly (dishwasher, refrigerator, clothes washer, etc.) for any malfunction or leaks , a small undetected leak can cause thousands of dollars in damages if not addressed and repaired in a timely matter. It is also extremely important to get yearly roof inspections and monitoring your water bill for any changes that can indicate an issue such as a leak. Lastly, making sure all materials are dry before doing the reconstruction/repairs as not doing so can cause other problems or mold growth if not properly dried first. Please call SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South today at 248-344-0044 to assess any water damages in your home, we are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for your convenience!
Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing
- Disconnect all gardening hoses and install covers on all outside faucets.
- Keep your house temperature at 68 degrees or higher, even if you're leaving the house for an extended period of time.
- Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from the home to circulate.
- Identify the location of the main water valve and the valve on your water heater. (Learning the location of these valves may come in handy during an emergency.)
- Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or with heating tape. This can prevent freezing, especially for interior pipes that run along outside walls.
- Close all windows near water pipes; cover or close open-air vents. Freezing temperatures combined with wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze more frequently.
- Heat your basement and consider weather sealing your windows.
- Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of your home.
- If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off water supply valves to your washing machine.
Monitor Freezing Pipe Conditions
- Allow a faucet to drip slightly (lukewarm water) in order to minimize freezing.
- The first sign of freezing is reduced water flow from a faucet.
- Check your faucets for water flow and pressure before you go to sleep and again when you wake up.
- Check pipes around your water meter, in unheated areas, near exterior walls and in crawl spaces.
- These tend to be vulnerable to freezing conditions.
- Identify cold air drafts coming in from a flue or chimney chase and caulk gaps that are near pipes.
If a Pipe Freezes
- If a faucet or pipe inside your house freezes, you can thaw it using a good hair dryer. (For safety purposes, avoid operating a hair dryer around standing water.)
- To thaw a frozen pipe, heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around cold sections of the pipes.
- When thawing a pipe, start thawing it nearest to the faucet. Make sure the faucet is turned on so that melted water can drip out.
If a Pipe Bursts
- Shut off the water at the main valve.
- If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed.
- Call a plumber. Keep an emergency number nearby for quick access.
- Call SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South at 248-344-0044
Travel plan checklist
It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of traveling during the summer and winter months, and the idea of checking your sump pump before taking off on vacation is probably one of the last things on your mind. Make sure you check that your sump pump is operational before leaving the house for an extended period of time. Even if your sump pit is dry, you may considering using a hose or bucket to fill it with water to test the pump making sure that the pumps starts when the pit is full of water and also making sure that the discharge line is clear. Rains may occur during your absence and you will want to ensure that this system is fully functional before your departure to avoid a potential flood in your basement or crawlspace. If your home is more susceptible to water problems, it might even make sense to have a backup sump pump or a battery powered back up just in case the first one overflows or fails. A sump pump is crucial to preventing water damage - and it is always important to make sure it is properly functioning. No one wants to come home from a fun filled vacation to a wet basement! If you discover any wet materials in your basement, call SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South at 248-344-0044
Signs of hidden water damage
Long term water issues can cause thousands of dollars in damages but sometimes they can be hidden in the wall and go undetected for years. SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South wants to give you the signs to look out for hidden water leaks so you can react before it causes serious damage to your home. The following are common signs of water leakage behind your walls.
- Musty odors- Excess water or moisture can create a musty smell when it is absorbed into building materials such as wood or drywall. A strong musty smell can indicate mold growth
- Visible mold growth
- Water staining on materials such as drywall
- Peeling or bubbling paint or wallpaper
- Warping of walls
- Buckled ceilings or floors
Call SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South today at 248-344-0044 if you see any of the signs above indicating your home may have a hidden water leak
Home Insurance Water Damage
Water damage is one of the most common causes of home insurance claims. SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South has extensive knowledge and experience with water damage home insurance claims and want to help you understand what kinds of water damage are covered by your home insurance. Each insurance company offers different policies and only your insurance company can confirm or deny coverage, but we can help you stay informed and know what to expect. There are many types of water damage that may be covered or excluded on a home policy such as sewer or water back up, sudden or accidental discharge, overflow, flood and pipe breaks to give a few examples. The answer to what water damage is covered by home insurance is dependent on the source of the damage, the type of policy you have, and if the water damage is accidental and sudden or gradual. Gradual water damage to home is not usually covered, and although your policy may have water damage coverage, your claim may be denied if the damage is not sudden and accidental even if the issue was undetected (Broken pipe in wall as example). Gradual damage is when something happens slowly over time and causes damage to your property and is usually caused by lack of proper maintenance. Some common examples are long standing damage caused by plumbing such as leaky faucets or pipes, foundation issues, roof flashing or deteriorating shingles or tiles, presence of mold growth, and poor repairs or lack of repairs to home. It is important to keep records of any repairs or maintenance completed over the years to your home and can be important in the event of a water loss. Also, please review and make sure you understand all the coverages on your policy, and have a good understanding of the exclusions, as well as your responsibilities as a homeowner. For example, it is usually the homeowner’s financial responsibility to correct the source of the water loss such as fixing a pipe or snaking a drain. SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South is always here to help with any size emergency and can be reached at 248-344-0044
Restoring your home or business after a water damage
SERVPRO of Novi is an IICRC firm. The institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies.
IICRC Certified Firms must
- Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
- Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
- Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
- Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
- Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops the Standards for the Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
About SERVPRO of Novi
SERVPRO of Novi specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.
After the Storm
SERVPRO of Novi specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Novi, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 248-344-0044 or 248- 855- 8167
Importance of Checking your Sump Pump
It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of traveling during the summer and winter months, and the idea of checking your sump pump before taking off on vacation is probably one of the last things on your mind. Make sure you check that your sump pump is operational before leaving the house for an extended period of time. Even if your sump pit is dry, you may considering using a hose or bucket to fill it with water to test the pump making sure that the pumps starts when the pit is full of water and also making sure that the discharge line is clear. Rains may occur during your absence and you will want to ensure that this system is fully functional before your departure to avoid a potential flood in your basement or crawlspace. If your home is more susceptible to water problems, it might even make sense to have a backup sump pump or a battery powered back up just in case the first one overflows or fails. A sump pump is crucial to preventing water damage - and it is always important to make sure it is properly functioning. No one wants to come home from a fun filled vacation to a wet basement!
Winter is Coming!
Below are a few winter tips provided by The American Red Cross to stay safe in the upcoming cold weather season Layer up! Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.
- Don’t forget your furry friends. Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
- Remember the three feet rule. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.
- Requires supervision –Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Don’t catch fire! If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
- Protect your pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
- Better safe than sorry. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
- The kitchen is for cooking. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
- Use generators outside. Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
- Knowledge is power. Don't hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
The Importance of a Dehumidifier
Reminder to all homeowners that have a basement to run a dehumidifier continuously in your basement, especially during the summer months. Running the dehumidifier works to prevent an accumulation of humidity in that space caused by lower temperatures on basement walls that are below grade. If you have a high level of humidity in your basement, it will come in contact with the cooler basement walls and cause condensation to form on the walls and sometimes, the floor. This condition holds true even if your basement walls are finished. By reducing humidity levels, your home will become less hospitable to allergens such as mold, mildew and dust mites. The allergens mentioned above thrive in humid environments, so adding a dehumidifier to your space can prevent their growth, and, if you or anyone in your family suffers from common allergies - a dehumidifier would be a great investment. In addition to lowering high humidity, dehumidifiers can help reduce the distinctive musty odors that come along with mold and mildew. There are various models of dehumidifiers depending on the size of your space, and even ones with unique features that are dependent on where you live or the type of allergies you have.
Helpful Hint for Homes with an Irrigation System
Here is a helpful hint for anyone with an irrigation system. It is important to have your sprinklers professionally checked at both spring turn on and fall shut down to make sure that they are properly winterized in the fall and that there are no leaks present in the spring.
Some insurance companies, depending on whether the water comes in your basement through the foundation as a result of an outside leak in the system or if the leak occurs within your basement walls from a pipe or supply line, will base their determination on coverage on what the water touched before it entered your house versus the source of the water. So, even if the water is from your system, if it touches the earth on the outside of the house and comes in, no coverage. Generally speaking though, if the break or loss occurs within the four walls of the basement, it is typically a covered loss.
In general, it is crucial to check your sprinkler system in order to prevent any type of water break or loss. A simple professional check can end up saving you the time and money spent on the unexpected and unforeseen event of water damage.
Living in Michigan, it is a known fact that the summer season brings around a fair share of stormy weather. Here at SERVPRO, we understand how unpredictable the weather can be and stress the importance of always being prepared for any weather emergency.
One way to be prepared for a weather emergency, such as a damaging storm or tornado, is to have an emergency supply kit on hand should the weather prevent you from leaving your home or keeping you confined to one area. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends a few items to include in a basic emergency supply kit:
- Water (at least one gallon per day, per person, for at least three days)
- Food (at least a three day supply of non-perishable items)
- Battery-powered radio/NOAA Weather Radio and extra batteries.
- Flashlights with extra batteries.
- First aid kit.
- Whistle that can be used to signal for help.
- Moist towelettes and garbage bags (for personal sanitation).
- Local maps.
- Wrench/Pliers to turn off utilities if necessary.
Aside from these basic necessities, some additional items you might want to consider adding to an emergency supply kit could include:
- Prescription medicine and glasses.
- Infant formula and diapers.
- Pet food and extra water for your pets.
- Important family documents, such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a portable, waterproof container.
- Cash/Change, or traveler's checks.
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
- Full change of clothing for each person.
- Fire extinguisher.
- Matches in a waterproof container.
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, plastic utensils, paper towels.
- Paper and pencil.
- Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for kids.
As always, SERVPRO is prepared for any emergency you may have.
Flash Flooding Myths and Truths
What is a flash flood?
A flash flood is the rapid flooding of a low-lying geographic area, typically caused by extremely heavy rainfall from thunderstorms. They are the most dangerous type of flood, as they combine the destructive power of a flood with both unpredictability and speed.
MYTH: Large cars and sports utility vehicles should be able to navigate in deeper flood waters.
TRUTH: Just two feet of swiftly moving flash flood water is enough to float most vehicles - even larger cars and trucks.
MYTH: Flash floods occur only along rivers and streams.
TRUTH: Flash floods can occur nearly anywhere - even in urban areas.
MYTH: Homeowners insurance policies always cover flood damage.
TRUTH: The vast majority of these policies do not cover flood damage.