Recent Water Damage Posts
Water Damage Emergency Tips
After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first. Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are prevalent concerns. You may also get hurt lifting objects, as wet materials can be very heavy. Do only activities that are safe to perform, and evacuate if necessary.
What to Do After Water Damage
- Call SERVPRO of Rockingham and Augusta Counties at (540) 433-6100.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas when access to the panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in the 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 Water Damage
- Don’t enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water.
- Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- 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 turn on your television or other household appliances.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
Water Damage Repair and Restoration
When your home has water damage from flooding or leaks, you need a company that can respond immediately and has the expertise and equipment to restore your property correctly. SERVPRO of Rockingham and Augusta Counties uses advanced water damage inspection and extraction equipment to help find the moisture and remove it as quickly as possible. Our highly trained technicians will monitor and document the drying process so that you know your property is back to normal.
Why Choose SERVPRO of Rockingham and Augusta Counties?
SERVPRO of Rockingham and Augusta Counties is locally owned and operated.
Our certified cleaning and restoration specialists are faster to any size disaster. Providing emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day, or night.
Available 24 Hour a day for Water Emergencies
SERVPRO is always ready to help, call 540-433-6100.
SERVPRO of Harrisonburg/Rockingham County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help.
Call Today 540-433-6100
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Harrisonburg/Rockingham County has specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration - in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- Your name and contact information.
- Your insurance information (if applicable).
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business.
- When did the flood or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site)?
What You Can Do To Help Prevent Water Damage This Season
Bathtubs can easily overflow, especially if left unattended with the water running.
We should always be conscious of the water we use and how it can actually end up causing damage. If we’re not careful we can be responsible for flooding or additional water damage in our homes. It is good to know things you can do to try and prevent water damage and what to look out for.
Lookout for Water Pipes
It’s getting close to that time of year where pipes can easily freeze. Make sure you don’t have any cracks in your piping or any slow drips. Cracks in your pipes often can result in not only leaks but when pipes freeze can increase the chance of your pipes bursting.
Many of us love long hot showers on these cold brisk weather days. Especially in the mornings to help warm us up. However, excess use of water can lead to flooding and pooling, which if you’re not careful, can cause water damage. The stagnant water and excessive moisture in your shower is something you should closely monitor so that it does not lead to mold growth and damage. Making certain also that your shower curtain is closed completely and that no water is spraying out is also important as if you spray too much water out of the shower and onto your floor it will seep through below your flooring. If you have shower doors instead of a curtain, make certain that they too close properly and that they are not leaking water out during your shower. If a hot bath is your preference, then watch how high you fill it up! You do not want to walk away and allow for your tub to overflow. You also do not want to fill it so high that when you get into the tub and sink down you cause water to overflow onto the floor.
It is good to make sure that your drains are working properly. Be it in your bathtub, shower, kitchen or bathroom sink, if a drain is not draining properly it can lead to water pooling and sometimes flowing over out of the sink, tub, etc. You should clean out your drains often as hair, debris, food pieces etc can easily clog them.
Be careful to not clog your toilets. While sometimes it is unavoidable, always make sure to have a plunger available in case it should be needed. If you know something has clogged your toilet, be it paper or something a child placed it in and flushed, than do not keep flushing it. Until you are sure the clog has been dealt with properly, flushing can cause your toilet to overflow. Should that happen, do your best to clean up any water immediately.
Plants and Christmas Trees
It’s almost Christmas! Lots of us just love freshly cut Christmas Trees. However, those trees, of course, require us to water them or to keep them in water. Make sure you’re keeping your houseplants, any flowers watered and/or fed with what they need in order to keep them growing. Make sure to keep that Christmas Tree from drying out as it can otherwise go from a potential water problem to a fire hazard. However, be sure to monitor how much water isn’t being absorbed by the soil, plants, or the Christmas Tree. Excess water can and often will seep through crevices and cause damage to your home’s foundation, create sinkholes and more.
Should you encounter any sort of water damage at your home than SERVPRO of Harrisonburg/Rockingham County, is here for you! We are open 24/7 and can be reached at 540-433-6100. To receive assistance with water, fire or storm damage, give us a call.
Clogged Gutters - A Leading Cause of Water Damage!
Gutters play a key role in preventing water damage to your home. That is why it is essential that you keep your gutters clean and free of debris. Their purpose is to channel rainwater to the downspouts and away from the home, protecting roofs, walls, and foundations of homes. To keep gutters working properly, it is important to make sure that gutters are cleaned regularly so that water can flow freely to the downspouts and away from your home.
So how often should you clean your gutters? It is recommended that you clean your gutters AT LEAST twice a year!
Clogged gutters can cause many issues for a homeowner. If water finds its way into the walls and ceilings of the home, it will cause interior damage. In winter months, pooling water around the foundation of the home can cause foundation cracks if it freezes and expands. The paint and siding of a home can also be damaged as water overflows from the gutters.
Failing to clean gutters regularly can be a very costly mistake! It is one of the most important tasks of a homeowner and, if done on a regular basis, can prevent many homeowner headaches!
If water damage impacts your home or commercial facility, please call our crew at SERVPRO of Harrisonburg/Rockingham County at (540) 433-6100. We proudly offer 24-hour emergency service, and we are equipped to deal with any size disaster.
Prevention Tips for Basement Flooding
As hurricane season starts many of us will be vulnerable to basement flooding. Basement flooding can be a major disturbance to a family. Loss of use of a part of your home, damage to flooring and walls, damage to personal property, potential of mold growth, and just overall an experience we would avoid if we could.
To begin trying to prevent basement flooding first we must understand why basements flood. Think about when your home was being built. A large hole is dug and the masonry foundation is built inside that hole. The area outside of that foundation wall becomes a trench. This trench is later back filled with dirt. However this dirt is different in composition from what was removed. The trench soil is loose, not as compacted, and drains more rapidly. So when water fills this trench in a heavy rainstorm it has only 3 possible directions to go, away from home through hard clay soil, down below the trench through hard clay soil, or into your home though porous masonry walls. The most important step to preventing water damages from rain/flooding is to keep water away from this trench. There are other causes for basements to flood like hydrostatic pressure and sump pump failures but this is the most common cause from our experience.
Below are some tips from the pros that may help you avoid a water damage:
- · Check your gutters and clean them if needed. Clogged gutters cause overflows that lead to water pooling outside the foundation walls. If enough water pools by your foundation, some will most likely enter your basement.
- · Check on your gutter downspouts. If your gutters are clean and operating properly but the water is being discharged too close to your foundation some water will most likely enter your basement. Local home stores sell inexpensive downspout extenders. Use downspout extenders to make sure the water is being discharged away from your foundation and not pooling.
- · Check on your sump pump and pit. Many of us don’t know that our sump pumps aren’t working until it’s too late. Get a 5-gallon bucket of water and fill the pit till the pump kicks on. Make sure it’s working and just like the downspouts, discharging away from your foundation. Also any dirt and debris in the sump pump pit can get sucked into the pump and create a block or shorten the life span and power of your pump. Detach the pump (if possible) and vacuum the pit out with a shop vac to remove any dirt/stones/debris.
Sometimes no matter what we do and what steps we take to prevent it, water will find its way into your home. If that’s the case, we are here to help make it like it never happened.
8 Tips for Avoiding Plumbing Emergencies
8 Tips for Avoiding Plumbing Emergencies
Plumbing maintenance may not be the most exciting topic, but it is well worth your attention! By regularly examining your plumbing system, and performing preventative maintenance, you can save yourself from both costly repair bills and the slow, steady expense caused by drips and leaks. Here is a maintenance checklist to help you stay ahead of common plumbing problems.
- Water heater: Many plumbers recommend draining and cleaning your water heater annually. Most people hire a professional to handle these tasks, due to their technical nature, and often they are even included in your plumbing fixture’s service contract.
- Valves: Locate all your shut-off valves and turn them off, then back to their original position, to make sure they would not be stuck open in the event that you need to shut the water off. While you are at it, look them over for any sign of corrosion, which could lead to an undetected leak. Replace any valves that are not working properly. Finally, make sure that your entire family knows where your shutoff valves are located, especially the main one, since this is very valuable information in case a leak occurs.
- Leaks: Leaks can develop in many different places in your plumbing system and should be addressed immediately to curtail waste and water damage. Periodically check for any of the following signs of trouble: soft flooring near toilets, bathtubs, dishwashers, water heaters or washing machines; dampness inside sink cabinets; soft walls or loose tiles that could signal a leak inside a wall; pipes with rust or mineral deposits; constant dampness around faucets or toilets; and finally toilets that keep running after being flushed. Use water shut off valve or water leak detection systems to alert you when water leaks occur.
- Old or malfunctioning fixtures: Generally, toilets, dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters, and boilers that are more than 12 years old are good candidates for replacement. New appliances will be more energy and water efficient. Check the item’s serial number, since this often indicates the year it was manufactured. Companies use a variety of coding methods, so perform a quick internet search to find out what to look for. Additionally, replace old faucets with new, washer-less models to save on maintenance costs, and replace any hardened or cracked hoses on washers and dishwashers to reduce the risk of a rupture. The old adage “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” does not always make sense when it comes to plumbing! Keep in mind that by swapping the old plumbing fixtures for new, more efficient models you could save money every month on your energy and water bills in addition to avoiding costly water damage repair bills.
- Caulking: Check and re-do any aging caulking around bathtubs, showers, toilets, and sinks that might be allowing water to penetrate the surrounding structure.
- Septic: If you have a septic system, any persistently marshy areas in your drainage field may signal a leak in your septic line. Although pumping a septic tank is an essential element of plumbing maintenance, there is no hard and fast rule governing how frequently you should pump the tank. It depends on several factors, like the number of people in your household, whether there is a garbage disposal, the size of your tank, its system design, and even the temperature in your region. Consult a septic expert to find out how often you should pump your septic tank.
- Low water pressure: Test for low water pressure by running water from your tub faucet and then opening the kitchen faucet. If the pressure decreases when you open the second faucet, you should get a plumber to analyze the problem. Low water pressure is often caused by a leaks or sediment build-up in pipes.
- Drains: Clogged drainpipes can often be avoided by regularly cleaning your drains with an eco-friendly drain cleaner. One easy way to clean your kitchen garbage disposal is to send some ice through it to clean out any grease that may have accumulated inside. Also, look for bubbles escaping up from a drain while water is trying to go down, as this could indicate a drain vent problem.
Whether you perform these maintenance checks yourself or hire a professional to handle them, it is a worthwhile investment of your time or money. By taking preventative measures, you greatly reduce the risk that you encounter costly surprises down the road.
If you do have water damage, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Harrisonburg/Rockingham County at 540-433-6100.
Water Shut Off
Water shut off valve examples
In an emergency you may have to shut off the water to your home. For example, freezing or thawing may cause a water pipe to break. Water pipe breaks are also common with most types of natural disasters (winter storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and more). Broken water pipes can lead to electrical hazards, long-term wood rot, long-term mold, or even drowning.
Where’s The Water Shut-Off Valve?
1. Look for the water shut-off valve where the water line enters your house. In warmer climates the shut-off valve may be outside your home where the water line meets your home’s exterior. But in most climates the water shut-off valve is just inside the house where the water line enters through your home’s foundation or exterior wall. Scott Finazzo, author of The Neighborhood Emergency Response Handbook, says that if your water comes in through a ground well the valves on either side of the pressure tank should both be shut off.
- Often the water shut-off valve is a quarter-turn ball valve. If that’s what you have, turn the valve a quarter of a turn until it’s perpendicular to the water pipe. Or your home may have a round handle that you turn clockwise until you can’t turn it anymore. Don’t have a master shut-off value in your home? Have one installed.
If You Have Water Damage Call SERVPRO Of Harrisonburg/Rockingham County At (540) 433-6100.
- Another water shut-off option is closing the municipal water meter shut-off valve. This valve, if you have municipal water, typically is in your front or side yard. Look for a round metal lid or box close to your property line. It’s often 24 to 48 inches from the curb or fence line.
If your water meter has a round metal lid use a wrench or pliers to rotate the lone nut on the lid counterclockwise. This willelease the latch and you can open the lid. Another type of metal lid requires a screwdriver. Turn the lid until the tabs line up with the gaps and you can lift the lid off. A third type of water meter lid is square or rectangular. You can pry it open with a screwdriver or pry bar.
Don’t reach into the meter box until you inspect the area for debris and rodents. If the box is old and covered with a lot of growth you may want to wear gloves. Once inside the municipal water meter box you’ll need pliers or a specialty tool to turn the valve. Turn it until it’s perpendicular to the water pipe.
If You Have Water Damage Call SERVPRO Of Harrisonburg/Rockingham County At (540) 433-6100.
Shut-Off Valves For Single Rooms
Sometimes you only need to shut off the water to one room. Most newer houses have shut-off valves at every sink and toilet. Your water heater may have several shut-off valves. If your issue is one leaking sink just shut off water to that sink. If you know the water heater is leaking just shut the valves to it off.
Water Damage Timeline
Flooded Basement in Harrisonburg
Timeline for the Water Damage Restoration Process
Flooding and water damage can occur for a number of reasons. It can happen very quickly and with very little notice. SERVPRO of Harrisonburg arrives swiftly and starts the water extraction process for your property almost immediately. This prompt response time helps to minimize the damage, cleaning, and restoration costs needed after such an event.
- Water quickly spreads throughout the property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and other belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods begin to swell and warp.
Hours 1 to 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
After 48 Hours:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost may increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
About SERVPRO of Harrisonburg/Rockingham
SERVPRO of Harrisonburg/Rockingham 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. Give us a call if you have any questions or concerns at (540) 433-6100.