Recent Water Damage Posts
FAQs: When Your Home Has Water Damage
Does your home have water damage?
How do I locate potential water damage in my home?
Water damage after a large storm or flood is often easy to spot, but small leaks from a leaky roof, appliance or a broken pipe can sometimes go unseen for some time. Common causes of water damage include roof leaks, gutter buildup, broken pipes, sewage back up and malfunctioning appliances. When trying to spot potential water damage be sure to look for warping or signs of condensation or discoloring. Mold and mildew can also be a sign of a water leak somewhere.
If you come across any water damage, or suspect you might have water damage, don’t panic. Call us for help! At SERVPRO of South Everett we have the experience, training and equipment to locate and treat any water damage in your home.
My basement is flooded, what should I do?
- Stop the Water: If water is still rushing into your home you need to stop the source of flooding. Cut off water to the area or to your house entirely.
- Call a Plumber: Bring in a plumber to fix the source of the water leak.
- Collect Water: If water is still leaking in, collect as much as you can into buckets and remove when full.
- Extract Water: If significant amounts of water have flooded your property, use buckets, mops, towels or wet vacuums to remove the water. If the standing water is too much for you to handle, call in SERVPRO of South Everett to help. We have the pumps and equipment to remove water quickly.
- Dry the damaged area: Ensure the area gets dried completely to prevent further damage and potential mold growth. Use a dehumidifier to draw moisture out of wet materials and contents and make sure the area has good air flow.
- Sanitize areas touched by contaminated water: Contaminated water should be dealt with caution and needs to be dried, cleaned and sanitized properly before the area is used. If you suspect water may be contaminated, be sure to give us a call. We know how to best identify contaminated water and we have the equipment and training to take care of it for you.
How do I know if the water is contaminated?
Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated (for about 48 hours), allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.
The water damage seems small, do I need to take care of it now?
If the visible signs of water damage don’t interfere with your everyday life, it might be tempting to put off fixing the problem until a more convenient time. But there are several reason you should fix the water damage now. First, water spreads, and if you don't take care of it now is can cause a much bigger problem. Also, water left untreated can become contaminated over time and can also lead to mold growth. Lastly, water damage can lead to wood rot and potentially cause structural and electrical damage if left unchecked.
Do I need a restoration company or can I just buy equipment and dry it myself?
We have the equipment and training to get your home dried out and restored to its preloss state. There is a science behind the process of drying. Having this knowledge is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of South Everett technicians are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damage. We have the tools to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. Our technicians also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.
What should I expect when I call SERVPRO?
When you call, you’ll work with a representative to start planning the next step. Be prepared for questions to help us make decisions about what equipment to bring and how many of our highly trained technicians we may need. Then our technicians will come out to your home to inspect and assess the scope of the water damage. Depending on the urgency of the damage, our technicians might then begin the water extraction and drying process. We'll continue to dry and monitor your home until all affected areas and materials are dry. Once things are dry we will sanitize and clean the affected areas. We can even take care of the restoration of your home after the water damage is taken care of.
If your home has water damage, give us a call today at 425-367-4484! SERVPRO of South Everett is Here to Help make it "Like it never even happened."
Taking Care of a Broken Pipe
Flooding from a broken kitchen sink pipe can cause significant damage to your floors and cabinetry.
There are many potential sources of water damage in your home, from flooding during heavy rains to faulty plumbing. One common cause of water damage is a broken pipe. A broken pipe, especially if it goes unnoticed, can cause extensive damage. Water travels fast and can get everywhere, which means you will want to take action immediately. If your home has a broken pipe, follow these steps to resolve the problem and reduce potential damage.
Step 1: Shut Off the Water
Water from a broken pipe can flood your home with gallons of water in a fairly short amount of time. Turning off the source of water as quickly as possible can help reduce the spread water. Shut off the water in your home and leave it off until repairs can be made to the broken pipe.
Step 2: Call In a Plumber
Before using water you want to make sure the cause of the leak is fixed. Call a plumber as soon as possible to come and fix the broken pipe.
Step 3: Collect Water
If you are present when the broken pipe begins to leak water, try to catch and collect as much of the water as you can to minimize potential water damage. Use sturdy buckets or containers to collect water until the water can be shut off. Keep an eye on your buckets and switch them out when they become full.
Step 4: Remove Standing Water
If significant amounts of water have flooded your property, use buckets, mops, towels or wet vacuums to remove the water. If the standing water is too much for you to handle, call in SERVPRO of South Everett to help. We have the pumps and equipment to remove water quickly.
Step 5: Dry the Damaged Area
After removing the water, you want to ensure the space is dried completely. Wet or damp areas are great environments for mold growth. Use a dehumidifier to draw moisture out of wet materials and contents and make sure the area has good air flow.
If the water damage has extended into your walls and floors you might want to call in the professionals to make sure all areas are getting dried properly. SERVPRO of South Everett has the equipment and training to dry and restore your property properly. We use dehumidifiers and air movers to speed up the drying process, and we have monitoring equipment to see the full extent of the damage and to track drying progress.
Step 6: Sanitize Areas with Contaminated Water
Water from a broken pipe is classified as clean water. This water is safe to touch and clean and doesn't require any special sanitizing techniques. However if left untreated, clean water can become contaminated after 48 hours. If your broken pipe has gone unnoticed for a few days, you may be dealing with contaminated water.
Contaminated water should be dealt with caution and needs to be dried, cleaned and sanitized properly before the area is used. Proper treatment, cleaning, and drying of properties damaged by contaminated water requires special knowledge and equipment. If you suspect water may be contaminated, be sure to give SERVPRO of South Everett a call. We know how to best identify contaminated water and we have the equipment and training to take care of it for you.
If your business experiences extensive water damage from a broken pipe, be sure to give SERVPRO of South Everett a call. We have the experience necessary to determine the source and extent of the damage. We identify and fix the root of the problem as well as the resulting damage. We work hard to restore your property as efficiently as possible.
No matter the time of day or night, we offer you the services you need. Call us 24/7 at 425-367-4844 for professional, timely service.
An Overview of our Drying Equipment
Moisture Meters (like the one above) are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials.
Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.
The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss.
When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform properly. Our team will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by our highly-trained technicians.
Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe to monitor the drying process.
Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, we can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.
Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
Thermal Foggers dispense solvent- based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor- causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach.
The bottom line? SERVPRO of South Everett has the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 425-367-4484.
My Home Has Water Damage, What Should I Do?
Do you know what to do if your home suffers from water damage?
Sometimes we discover water damage in our home or business. Whether from a hot water tank or a washing machine supply line breaking, there are a few crucial steps you can take right away to mitigate the damage.
- Locate and stop the source of water flow. Shut off the valves to the source of leaking water. If needed, call a plumber or SERVPRO of South Everett. We work with plumbers and can get you the right help quickly.
- Do not turn on electrical items that may be wet. Avoid using electrical items that may have gotten wet until they have been checked and it is safe. Seeing water come through an light in your ceiling is not a good sign. You and your family's safety should come first.
- Call SERVPRO of South Everett to help determine how far the damage has spread. Water travels quickly and extensively through any vertical or horizontal surface. It can spread out on floors, go behind the baseboards and start wicking up the drywall. Damages and overall cost could increase with delayed response. The sooner you can extract water and get those surfaces drying the more you can help prevent secondary damage.
- Look at your homeowner's insurance policy and call your agent. Your insurance agent can guide you on what coverage you have, and sometimes in the case of pipe breakage or other sudden water issues, may be able to provide you with some immediate information to help you determine whether you should open a claim.
At SERVPRO of South Everett we work to provide timely care to your property to help get you back into your home as soon as possible. Our highly-trained technicians can help make the damage "Like it never even happened." Give us a call today at 425-367-4484.
How to Avoid Frozen Pipes This Winter
If temperatures sink below freezing level, your home may be at risk for frozen pipes, which can cause major property damage.
As winter quickly approaches, it is time to prepare your home for the colder months ahead. Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and icy sidewalks. If temperatures sink below freezing level, your home may be at risk for frozen pipes, which can cause major property damage.
When water freezes it expands, which can result in burst pipes, flooding, and major water damage. Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.
To help prevent pipes from freezing in your home this winter, follow these tips and suggestions.
Tip 1: Check Pipes for Leaks
Make sure all leaky pipes are repaired before the winter season begins. Leaky pipes can lead to expensive problems if they’re left untreated when winter comes. Watch for telltale signs of leaky pipes such as unexplained high-water use or water damage. If you suspect you might have a leak, get your home inspected.
Tip 2: Insulate Pipes
If you have any pipes in unheated or uninsulated areas of your home, make sure to wrap the pipes with heat tape or pipe insulation. This can help reduce the risk of water freezing in these pipes when temperatures drop.
Tip 3: Let Water Drip
When temperatures dip below freezing, simply turn your faucets on and let them drip. Allowing water to flow in your pipes helps reduce the risk of freezing.
Tip 4: Keep It Warm
Keep the temperature in your home consistently above 55 degrees, even when you are away. Let warm air circulate to cold areas and pipes. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm air to circulate around the pipes.
Tip 5: Shut Off Exterior Faucets
Don’t forget your exterior water systems. If you don’t properly drain water from your exterior faucets and pipes, they may freeze, expand, and cause damage. Disconnect garden hoses and sprinkler systems and drain the water out of faucets. Unless you have frost-proof faucets, you’ll need to use the shut-off valve located inside your house.
Tip 6: Turn Off the Water
If you plan on going out of town for an extended period of time, you may want to consider shutting off the water completely and hiring a service to drain your pipes. With the water turned off you remove the risk of a pipe freezing, bursting and flooding your home while you are gone for a prolonged period of time.
If your home does experience water damage this winter, SERVPRO of South Everett is here to help.
We offer 24/7 emergency service, and we can help prepare your home or restore water damage “Like it never even happened.” Call us at 425-367-4484.
How to Prevent Water Leaks In Your Home
Learn how to prevent water leaks in your home. Be sure to keep your gutters cleared.
Some water damage is easy to spot and receives attention immediately. But unnoticed leaks that are left unattended can lead to extensive damage in your home. So how can you reduce the risk of these leaks in your home? Follow these tips to help prevent water leaks in these common areas.
Tip 1: Inspect and Repair Your Roof and Chimney
Let's start at the top with your roof. Your roof is there to protect your home from the elements. But over time debris build up and natural wear and tear may lead to weak areas in your roof and potentially to leaks. These leaks can start causing unseen damage in your attic and elsewhere in your home.
Be sure to inspect your roof regularly. Check for broken shingles and clear your roof of debris. Also be sure to check your chimney for damage as well as the flashing. For more detailed information on what to keep an eye out with your roof, check out our other blog post.
Tip 2: Clear Your Gutters
Similar to your roof, your gutters often get filled with debris such as leaves and twigs. The debris can clog and dam up your gutters. This may cause excess water to flow onto your roof or walls of your home, weathering them quicker.
Over time, the water can start to leak through and cause mold to grow on the roof. Make sure to clear out your rain gutters regularly to prevent these dams from happening.
Tip 3: Seal Your Doors and Windows
Over time your home may shift and windows and doors may not fit as snuggly as they did when installed. If your exterior doors and windows aren’t fitting properly, small gaps may allow water leaks into your home.
Be sure to install weather stripping around doors and windows and apply caulk along edges to both sides of windows. This will help prevent water leaks around your windows and doors.
Tip 4: Check Your Plumbing
Broken and leaky pipes are one of the more obvious causes of water damage in a home. If a leaky pipe is hidden away or the leak is small, it may go unnoticed for quite some time.
Be sure to inspect your pipes regularly and fix any small leaks before they become bigger. Making sure your plumbing is functioning properly can help prevent future damage. Also make sure you know how to prepare your pipes for the colder winter months. Frozen pipes can lead to extensive damage.
Tip 5: Protect Your Foundation
Protecting the foundation of your home from water damage is important. Cracks in your foundation can lead to water leaks in your basement and can go unnoticed for great lengths of time, causing significant damage.
Be sure to inspect your foundation regularly for cracks and get them repaired. Make sure the ground surrounding your foundation is sloped away from your home to help avoid water building up around your foundation. Also, be sure to remove any trees that are too close to your home to avoid roots growing into and damaging your foundation.
Even small leaks can spread water throughout your home, causing both apparent and hidden damage. However, leaks don’t just cause water damage, they can also lead to mold growth.
At, SERVPRO of South Everett, we have the training and experience to make your home “Like it never even happened.” Our technicians can help locate and fix the leak as well as handle the mold remediation process.
If you think you have a water leak in your home, or if you’ve seen signs of mold in your home, give us a call at 425-367-4484.
Protect Your Home While You Are Out
Are you headed out of time any time soon? Be sure you know how to prepare your home before you leave.
Do you have exciting plans to head out of town this summer? Do you know how to prepare your home before you head out of town? Follow these tips to help prevent possible damage while you are gone.
The last thing you want to find on your return from a relaxing vacation is flooding and water damage in your home. There are a variety of potential causes of water damage. Plumbing and appliances in your home can malfunction and leak while you are away. When you leave consider turning off your water, or have someone come check your home regularly and have them flush your toilets and run several faucets to ensure they are working.
Make sure windows are closed and sealed, and check to make sure there are no small leaks before you leave the home. A small leak can lead to significant water damage and potential mold growth.
To help reduce the risk of mold growth while you are gone, make sure to clean your kitchen and bathrooms before leaving. Clean out your refrigerator before you leave and get rid of any food that might spoil while you are gone, such as milk, meats and produce. Spoiled food can cause bad smells and even lead to mold growth in your refrigerator and freezer. Also, clear out any perishable foods in your pantries, and don’t leave any food open. Be sure to take out your trash, especially if it contains spoiled food or other smelly items. Clean your sink drain and disposer to get rid of food buildup.
Along with cleaning before you leave, check for any water leaks or wet spots. Wet, damp areas create a perfect environment for mold growth.
Make sure your smoke detectors are in working order before you leave. Also unplug appliances like computers and TVs to reduce power usage, the risk of power surges damaging your devices and of cords shorting out and starting a fire. Finally, make sure your oven and grill are off before you leave.
This is one of the big concerns when leaving town. One of the biggest keys is to make your home look like it’s still occupied. Set lights on a timer in your home and have your mail and newspapers put on hold while you are out. Don’t say you are out of town on your answering machine or on social media. This tells the world that you are gone and that your home is unoccupied. Have a friend come check in on your home regularly. Make sure your doors are locked and windows closed and locked before you leave.
We all want our homes to be safe while out of town. These tips can help prevent potential damage to your home. If things do happen while you are out, give us a call and we can get your home back to normal in no time. SERVPRO of South Everett can clean and restore most damage, from broken windows and other vandalism to water and smoke damage. Give us a call at 425-367-4484 to start the restoration process. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”
Cleaning Contaminated Water Vs. Clean Water
When your home has flooded, it is important to know the difference between clean and contaminated water.
When your home or business suffers from water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.
There are three types of water.
Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated, allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.
Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.
Damage from Clean Water:
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
- Start drying the affected area and keep in mind that clean water becomes contaminated after about 48 hours.
Damage from Contaminated Water:
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
- Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
- Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Do not use household fans to dry the structure; airflow could spread contaminants.
- Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
When you have water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of South Everett at 425-367-4484. We will properly clean and dry your property and ensure it is safe.
What to Do and Not Do After Your Basement Floods
Here's an example of a flooded basement we took care of in Monroe a while back.
A flooded basement can be an overwhelming experience. It’s hard to know where to even start! But you don’t need to worry. SERVPRO of South Everett is Here To Help. While you wait for help to arrive, here are some Dos and Don’ts to follow.
What to Do After Flooding:
- Stop the source of flooding.
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions to dry.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
What Not to Do After Flooding:
- Don’t enter your basement if water is high enough to cover outlets or other appliances.
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don't use television or other household appliances in the flooded area.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
When your home’s basement has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. The water removal and water cleanup process is completed by our highly-trained technicians who will document the drying process. This validates that your property has been dried properly and thoroughly.
Trust SERVPRO of South Everett to return your property to its preloss condition and make it “Like it never even happened”. Give us a call at 425-367-4484.
The Science of Drying After Water Damage
Our training in the science of drying helps us restore your home or business after water damage.
Did you know there is a science behind the process of drying? Having this knowledge is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of South Everett Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damage. If your home or business suffers from water damage, our team will:
- Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
- Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
- Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.
What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material–but only if the air is, indeed, drier.
The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.
SERVPRO of South Everett has the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. Our technicians also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.
SERVPRO of South Everett has the training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.” If your home or business has water damage, give us a call today at 425-367-4484.
How to Prepare Your Home for Winter
It’s time to prepare your home for colder winter months. Preparing for the change in season can help save energy and prevent costly damage.
As winter fast approaches, it’s time to start preparing your home for the colder months of the year. Problems you may not have noticed during the rest of the year can become a bigger issue as the weather starts to shift. Properly preparing for the change in season can help you save energy and prevent costly damage.
Prepare Your Pipes
The last thing you want during the winter months is a frozen pipe. Water expands when it freezes, which can result in burst pipes, flooding, and major water damage.
Leaky pipes can lead to expensive problems if they’re left untreated when winter comes. Watch for telltale signs of leaky pipes such as unexplained high water use or water damage. If you suspect you might have a leak, get your home inspected.
If you have any pipes in unheated or uninsulated areas of your home, make sure to wrap the pipes with heat tape or pipe insulation.
If you plan to head south for the winter or go out of town for an extended period of time, you may want to consider shutting off the water completely and hiring a service to drain your pipes.
Shut Off Exterior Faucets
Don’t forget your exterior water systems. If you don’t properly drain water from your exterior faucets/pipes, they may freeze, expand, and cause damage. Disconnect garden hoses, and drain the water out of the faucets. Unless you have frost-proof faucets, you’ll need to use the shut-off valve located inside your house.
Inspect Your Heating Systems
Before the first frost, have your HVAC system inspected. This will allow you to identify potential problems early and enjoy energy savings throughout the winter months. Make sure to vacuum out the vents, replace furnace filters if needed, and check for issues like leaks, cracks, or an underperforming system.
Inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney as well. You’ll want both in top shape for those cozy nights next to the fire.
Reverse Your Fan
During the summer months, most fans turn counter clockwise, which allows the slightly angled blades to push air down. This creates a wind-chill effect, which cools down the occupants of the room.
Warm air rises, which unfortunately means the warmest part of a room is well above you. If you can force the cooler air upward, you can push the warmer air down to your level and not have to turn the heat on quite as high. If you reverse the fan to rotate clockwise, it will pull up the cooler air from the bottom of the room toward the ceiling, which will force the warmer air in the upper part of the room down.
Clear Your Gutters
It’s always a good idea to clean out the gutters, but it’s especially important right before winter. The fall months, while beautiful, come with a lot of natural debris. Unfortunately, fallen leaves, twigs, and pine needles can clog up gutters and cause ice dams and icicles in the winter. Regularly clear out the debris to prepare for winter.
Examine Your Roof
Even small leaks in your roof can cost you in both utilities and greater damage to your roof. Clear the debris off your roof, and take a look at its current condition. Watch for damaged or missing shingles, any pooled water, or other signs of potential roof damage.
Seal Your Doors and Windows
Check your weather stripping and re-caulk around doorways or windows as necessary. If gaps between siding and a window or doorframe are bigger than the width of a nickel, it’s time to re-caulk. Make sure you use caulk that’s recommended for home exterior use.
Whether you find problems while preparing your home or it sustains winter-related water damage, SERVPRO® of South Everett is here to help.
We offer 24/7 emergency service, and we can help prepare your home or restore water damage “Like it never even happened.” Call us at 425-367-4484.
Common Causes of Home Water Damage
Most causes of water damage are not as obvious as a leaking toilet. Finding the cause of the problem may take some detective work.
It might seem easy to find the source of the water damage if your basement floods, but most causes are not so obvious. Determining the origin of the problem may require a bit of detective work, and simply cleaning up the signs of damage often won’t fix the root cause.
Small leaks in your roof can lead to large amounts of damage. Flat roofs are particularly susceptible to water damage. Even though most flat roofs do have a slight incline, natural debris, like leaves and branches, can create areas where water can easily build up. Standing water can create cracks and leaks in your roof, which can result in water damage throughout your home.
Even if your roof has a steep incline, debris and freezing temperatures in the winter can create natural dams on your roof. Moss can also cause similar issues as it absorbs water and holds it in place on your roof. Regularly clear moss and debris off your roof to prevent damage.
Ideally, gutters direct water off your roof and away from your home. However, it’s easy for leaves, branches, and other debris to clog your gutters. Over time, water will build up and start to overflow onto your walls. Small holes can form as well. Instead of guiding water away from your home, water will constantly leak down its walls. This creates an ideal situation for water damage to occur.
Multi-level homes should regularly inspect the gutters on all roof levels. If gutters start to overflow from a higher level, water can impact lower roofs with greater volume and velocity than rain and cause damage.
Frequently clear out your gutters, especially in the fall or after a windy day.
Depending on the location and severity of a broken or leaking pipe, this can be one of the most obvious causes of damage or one of the most subtle.
Winter is a common season for burst pipes. Insufficient insulation can cause pipes to freeze, expand and burst. People might leave on vacation and forget to keep the heat on while they’re gone, and the pipes freeze. Rust and age can also damage your pipes.
Unfortunately, it can take a while to notice a leaking pipe, which can give water plenty of time to damage your property. Watch for telltale signs such as lower water pressure, discolored water, or staining on your walls.
While you might prefer to avoid sewage in your day-to-day life, tree roots enjoy easy access to sources of water and fertilizer. Tree roots will often grow into and clog drain lines, which causes the sewage to back up and results in water damage in and around your home.
These clogs will often affect multiple drains. If you flush your toilet and hear gurgling coming from the shower drain, you may have a sewer clog. To prevent tree roots from finding their way into your sewage lines, you can install metal or wood barriers running vertically by the lines. Make sure they are buried 6-12” deeper than the pipe.
Toilets and sewer lines can also clog after someone flushes inappropriate items down the toilet. Make sure everyone in your home knows to avoid flushing feminine hygiene products, rags, cotton balls, paper towels, baby wipes, diapers, etc. If it’s not toilet paper, don’t send it down the toilet.
Broken or Malfunctioning Appliances
As water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers age, they can develop rust, leaks, and cracks. Even a small trickle of water can cause damage over time. Keep an eye on your machines as they get older. Watch for any decreases in performance, and inspect the appliances regularly.
These are a few of the more common causes of water damage. The truth is, wherever there is water in your home, there is a potential for damage if something goes wrong. At SERVPRO® of South Everett, we know how to fix water damage at the source of the problem. Using our experience and training, we offer long-term solutions to make your home “Like it never even happened.”
We know that water problems can occur at any time, which is why we offer 24-hour emergency service. If you find signs of water damage in your home, don’t hesitate to call us at 425-367-4484.
5 Reasons to Fix Water Damage Now
When it comes to water damage, putting off the problem can lead to costly, dangerous consequences. Learn why you should fix water damage now.
If the visible signs of water damage don’t interfere with your everyday life, it might be tempting to put off fixing the problem until a more convenient time. If the damage starts to bother you, you might simply fix the symptoms and feel like you’ve solved the problem.
However, without fixing both the water damage and the source of the issue, you may be putting off bigger problems that may lead to more costly damage in the future.
Reason #1: Water Spreads
Unfortunately, the signs of water damage don’t always tell the whole story. You might see a small water stain on your bathroom wall; you might not see water leaking down from the roof, through the attic, and into your bathroom.
Water flows into any open space available, fills that space, and continues to spread wherever it can. If you ignore the problem or even just treat the symptoms, water will continue to leak and damage your home until the original source of the problem is treated.
Reason #2: Mold Growth
Once there is moisture, it doesn’t take long for mold to grow. If leaks are not quickly fixed, or if water damage is simply painted over, mold may start to grow on any wet surface with enough organic material to feed it.
Leaks can lead to mold almost anywhere both inside and outside your home. Once you notice mold, or any sign of water damage, call us immediately so we can treat the damage and start the mold remediation process.
Reason #3: Water Contamination Worsens Over Time
Clean water damage can be frustrating enough on its own. Unfortunately, contamination levels rise over time. A small leak from a clean water pipe can escalate into a large, bacteria-filled problem if it’s not taken care of quickly. Not only will water pick up contamination from sources like dirt or dust, standing water breeds bacteria.
The sooner you start the water damage treatment process, the better. It’s a lot easier to clean and restore property and items exposed to clean water than contaminated water.
Reason #4: Rotten Wood
A wet floor or water spot on your ceiling might first seem like a simple eye sore or minor nuisance, but if left untreated, it can result in serious wood damage.
The combination of moisture and organic material, like dust or dirt, found on wood creates a perfect situation for fungi to grow and create wood rot in your home.
Prolonged exposure to water can cause wood to weaken over time. Water-damaged wood may even be more susceptible to dry rot once it dries out.
Damp wood can also attract termites along with other pests. If they go unnoticed, the damage from these pests can lead to costly repairs down the road.
If wood is continuously kept wet by a leak, it may begin to rot, which can cause significant problems in your home’s structural integrity.
Reason #5: Electrical and Structural Damage
A small leak might initially feel harmless, but over time, it can threaten the structure and electrical systems of your home.
Drywall may initially absorb a little moisture, but over time, it will begin to lose its cohesion and deteriorate. It may even crumble, or if it is used for ceilings, collapse if it is exposed to too much water.
Water, over an extended period of time, can even cause damage to your home’s foundation. A simple clogged gutter can cause water to run down the exterior walls and pool around your foundation. This creates pressure against your foundation, which can lead to cracks in the future.
As the water flows away from the foundation, it can cause soil erosion. Your house’s foundation can, in turn, start to settle. Over time, this can lead to cracked walls, uneven floors, and more.
When it comes to water damage, putting it off or painting over the problem can lead to costly, dangerous consequences.
At SERVPRO® of South Everett, we won’t simply cover over the symptoms, we’ll help locate the source of the problem to prevent long-term consequences as well as short-term aesthetic problems.
Using our training, experience, and equipment, we can make your home “Like it never even happened.” If you notice any signs of water damage in your home, call us at 425-367-4484.
Our Water Damage Restoration Process
Step 2 of our water damage restoration process is the inspection and assessment that allows us to create a comprehensive plan of action.
Treating water damage is more than simply cleaning up the water, drying out your home, and hoping for the best. You need comprehensive services from assessment to restoration to bring your home back to pre-water damage condition.
We don’t just clean up a mess or paint over a problem, we help to identify the source to prevent damage along the road. We don’t just mop up the water, we sanitize, deodorize, and restore your damaged belongings.
If you have water damage, trust the training, experience, and knowledge of our water damage restoration process.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
When it comes to water damage, delays can be costly. At SERVPRO® of South Everett, we offer 24/7 service to ensure you get the help you need any time day or night. Start the restoration process by calling 425-367-4484.
When you call, you’ll work with a representative to start planning the next step. Be prepared for questions concerning:
- Your name and address as well as contact and insurance information
- The cause (if known) of the water damage and when the damage occurred
- Availability of electricity onsite.
These questions will help us make decisions about what equipment to bring and how many of our highly trained technicians we may need.
Step 2: Inspection and Water Damage Assessment
Our first priority will be to help find the source and stop further damage from occurring.
Next we will work to determine the type of water (clean, gray, or black) because different levels of water contamination require different restoration processes.
We’ll establish the extent of the damage so we can make sure to put together a comprehensive plan of action. At this point, we’ll also move and block furniture to prevent further damage.
Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction
Once we’ve determined the level of damage and fixed the source of the problem, we remove the water using powerful equipment such as industrial strength, truck-mounted wet/dry vacuums and submersible pumps. Our equipment allows us to quickly remove the water in efforts to prevent secondary water damage as well as mold growth.
To ensure we remove all hidden water from the property, we use technology such as (though not limited to):
- Infrared cameras
- Moisture detectors
We’ll also inspect your carpet pad and carpet to find out whether they need to be removed to protect the subfloor from greater water damage.
If needed, we can move out your belongings to protect them from further damage.
Step 4: Drying and Dehumidifying
After we’ve removed excess water, the job is not quite done. We’ll dry the property to prevent porous materials like wood, drywall, and flooring from warping, breaking down, or developing mold.
Our industrial-grade drying and dehumidifying equipment paired with our knowledge and experience ensures the job is done well and quickly.
Our specialists use the following considerations to determine the optimal amount and types of equipment to use for your property:
- Relative humidity
- Room measurements
We’ll monitor the moisture levels throughout the process to make sure the process is done correctly.
Step 5: Cleaning and Sanitizing
Once the room is dry, our specialists will begin the cleaning and sanitation process. We offer comprehensive, professional cleaning services for your home and belongings.
After your home is soaked in water, especially if the water was contaminated, there is a good chance that your property will need to be cleaned and sanitized to eliminate odors.
At SERVPRO® of South Everett, we take on a restore versus replace mentality. Our goal is to restore your home and belongings to pre-damage condition if at all possible.
Step 6: Restoration
Depending on your preferences and insurance, we can also handle the restoration of your home after water damage. No matter whether your home needs minor repairs, like paint touchups or carpet installation, or significant reconstruction of rooms or areas in your home, we have the training and experience necessary to make your home “Like it never even happened.”
We also take care of your home during the restoration process. If you need temporary protective measures, like a roof tarp, board up, or temporary fencing, we offer various building services.
When it comes to water damage in your home, trust the company that makes it faster to any size disaster. SERVPRO® of South Everett offers comprehensive services, which makes the process simpler for you.
While others might just mop up the mess, our wide-ranging services allow us to help you through the entire process from inspection to restoration. If your home sustains water damage, call us at 425-367-4484.
Clean, Gray, and Black: Understanding Water Classifications
Do you know the differences between clean, gray and black water?
When it comes to damage, all water is not created equal. From a burst pipe or a flood, it’s important to understand how each type of water must be treated differently.
Classifications of Water
Water is typically classified into three groups—clean, gray, and black.
- Clean Water: Clean water includes rainwater and water from broken pipes. You may also hear clean water referred to as white water. This water is safe to touch. Clean water can become gray water after around 48 hours.
- Gray Water: Gray water refers to slightly contaminated water that needs to be thoroughly treated before it is safe to consume. Sources of gray water include dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. It does not contain bacteria that are as harmful as those found in black water. Gray water usually progresses into black water after about 48 hours if it is not treated.
- Black Water: Black water is highly contaminated and contains harmful chemicals and biological matter. Sewage waters are considered black water. When it comes to floods, it should be assumed that all water is black water since a flood picks up contaminants along its path. Contact with black water can lead to serious illness.
Differences in Cleaning
Each classification of water requires different steps, tools, and knowledge to properly clean and dry. At SERVPRO® of South Everett, we can help locate the source of the water, determine what type of water you’re dealing with, fix the cause of the problem, and properly treat the damage.
If your house sustains damage from clean water, cleanup and damage control mostly consists of:
- Turning off circuit breakers to minimize shock risks. (Never touch water that may be connected to an electrical outlet or other electronics.)
- Clearing out as much water from the premises as possible and drying out the affected area.
- Removing items that could be further damaged by exposure to water such as electronics, art, important papers, etc.
Watch for signs of significant water damage, such as sagging ceilings, bubbling paint, and warping floors. If you see such signs, avoid those areas to avoid personal injury, and give us a call—we can help!
Remember, even with clean water, you face a time crunch, as clean water can progress into gray water within 48 hours. Mold can also become an issue if your home isn’t promptly and properly dried.
While gray water doesn’t contain the same level of harmful material as black water, it is still considered contaminated, and it may require certain tools and knowledge to correctly remove the water, dry the property, and, if needed, treat the area.
As a rule, don’t walk through or allow your skin to touch water you suspect is contaminated. Because of both the contamination and the timeliness of the problem (remember—gray water becomes black water in about 48 hours), you’ll likely need help from professionals to restore your home.
Black water usually contains, or has encountered, fecal matter, urine, and/or other bodily fluids and wastes, all of which are considered biohazards. Because of these contaminants, black water is rife with bacteria and fungi—even the air around the water can be affected.
Contact with black water, or even extended exposure to the air around it, can lead to infections and serious diseases. Proper treatment, cleaning, and drying of homes damaged by black water requires special knowledge and equipment.
When dealing with such heavily contaminated water, it’s important to exercise caution.
- If you don’t know how long water has been in the area, you must assume it is now black water.
- Remember—all flood water is considered black water. As a flood progresses, it picks up all the contaminants that come across its path—including contaminants from sewers, chemicals, animal waste, etc. Do not touch or enter flood waters without proper protection.
- Your HVAC system can spread contaminated air throughout the house. Do not turn on your HVAC system if your house contains contaminated water. Avoid turning on household fans as well, since they can also spread the contamination.
- If you touch black water, thoroughly wash the exposed area of skin as soon as possible. Be careful to not touch and contaminate any objects before washing yourself.
Simply clearing out water and drying the affected rooms will not be enough to make your home safe again after black water. Call SERVPRO® of South Everett—we have the knowledge, skills, and tools to make your home “Like it never even happened.”
We have the experience necessary to determine the source and extent of the damage. We identify and fix the root of the problem as well as the resulting damage. We work hard to restore your home as efficiently as possible.
No matter the time of day or night, we offer you the services you need. Call us 24/7 at 425-367-4484 for professional, timely service.
A Homeowner’s Guide to Spotting Water Damage
Do you know how to spot water damage in your home?
Water damage can potentially cause significant damage to your home, but sometimes the early warning signs seem like regular wear and tear. While you might think to look for water damage after a large storm or flood, leaky roofs, broken pipes, and the like can cause issues at any time. Use this guide to locate water damage in your home.
Examine the Flooring
Depending on the type of flooring you have in each room of your home, you’ll want to look for different warning signs of water damage.
In rooms with tile, laminate, or wood, look for warning signs such as:
- Warped, soft, or squishy areas along the surface
- Bulges in the material (particularly with wood and laminate)
Look for white or dark stains on wood floors as well.
Carpet can mask problems that lie beneath the surface. Watch for more obvious signs like wet spots in your carpeting, but also pay attention to any gradual rises underneath the floor. Damp, moldy smells can also be a sign of water damage.
Check the Walls and Ceilings
Walls can easily hide small leaks, but the water buildup will usually reveal itself in time. Regularly examine your walls and ceilings for the following signs of water damage:
- Soft spots, potentially with a swollen appearance
- Cracks in the drywall
- Staining or any off-color areas
- Wet spots
If you’re not the original owner of the home, you may want to look for areas on the ceilings and walls with a lot of localized paint buildup. Make sure the previous owner did not simply paint over water damage.
Inspect the Bathroom and Kitchen
It’s easy to neglect the cabinets beneath your sinks—especially if you don’t keep anything you regularly use down there. Check the area for the following signs of a problem:
- Standing water
- Leaking pipes
- Water stains
In addition to looking under the sink, you should inspect all fixtures for signs of wear including missing grout, leaks, rust, or mold. Examine your laundry room and water heater for similar potential signs of water damage.
Survey the Attic and Roof
You can often find signs of roof damage in your attic; however, these signs may go unnoticed since attics tend to be a low-traffic area. Examine your attic regularly to look for key indicators of potential problems.
The insulation should be dry and in good condition. Pay attention to points where two roof planes come together and the flashing where the roof meets the walls. Watch for signs of damage such as:
- Warped/cracked wood or drywall
Your roof is one of the largest surfaces of your home that is exposed to the outside elements. As such, even small problems, if unnoticed or ignored, can lead to potential home damage.
After clearing debris that could hide potential problems, search your roof for signs of damage including:
- Broken or damaged flashing
- Missing shingles
- Curled or cracked shingles
While you are outside, pay attention to the foundation of your home as well. Make note of any standing water along the foundation, as this can also indicate otherwise unseen issues.
If you come across any water damage, don’t panic. Call us for help! At SERVPRO® of South Everett we have the experience and training to treat any water damage in your home. We don’t simply dry your home and slap on a fresh coat of paint—we identify the source, discover the extent of the problem, and then take the appropriate action to restore your home “Like it never even happened.”
We offer 24-hour emergency service. Call us today at 425-367-4484 to fix any water damage in your home.
Mother Nature Making Messes - SERVPRO® of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe & SERVPRO® of South Everett Making It Better!
Mother Nature Making Messes - SERVPRO® of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe & SERVPRO® of South Everett Making It Better!
We recently had some rainy days & high winds here in the Northwest. This home is situated quite near the beach on Camano Island; their view is spectacular. Rough seas made the waters come up, run through and swirl debris around the house. Check out the logs and driftwood strewn about. The floors are full of mud and muck, and you can see the water damage line on the walls and doors. 6" high!
SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe was there to help clear out the water and start the drying process. Now we are getting ready to clean the house of the mud & debris the water brought in.
If you have any water damage issues, give us a call. We'd be happy to help you get back to the comfort of your home, without all the water. We are here 24/7, 365 days a year. Give us a call at 360-243-8313!