Recent Water Damage Posts
Are Aquarium Floods Covered By My Insurance?
Aquariums cause water damage to thousands of homes every year. While aquariums are beautiful, they require constant maintenance and pose risk for your furniture, flooring, and even aquatic animals.
How To Prevent Aquarium Tank Leaks
The most common cause of leaks within fish tanks is a weathering or failing seal on the seams that holds the walls together. Due to the nature of aquarium tanks using electrical systems, fire damage also poses threat to your home and aquarium. Proper maintenance of light fixtures are crucial in fire prevention and electrical safety.
Understand What Specifically Is Covered In Your Home
When you secure a homeowners policy the description of the contents coverage in that policy. It can be tough to determine what insurances classify aquatic animals as (for example fish or livestock). Though, despite the classification, most policies will not pay to replace if they pass away in an aquarium emergency.
Some insurance policies do not cover aquariums over a certain size. Some only cover the water damage to the dwelling in the case of an aquarium accident.
Below are some tips that guide you if you choose to purchase any additional aquarium insurance.
Aquarium Insurance Tips
- Make sure there is not an aquarium size limit on your Insurance Policy or Rental Agreement.
- Determine if equipment loss is covered in your policy or if the carrier requires loss to be recovered through manufactures separately.
- Always get clarification of coverage in writing to refer to later.
- Whenever you change residences understand that the coverage could change, especially if you are moving across states.
- When taking inventory of your home contents to determine what investment value you have, also take stock of any risk or potential loss associated.
- Size of the aquarium could determine whether the damage is covered.
Let A Restoration Company Carefully Handle The Damages
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach will manage your claim directly with insurance agents to streamline the process. Allow a trusted team with expertise and a restore rather than replace mentality handle the process. Call 561-795-5410 today for assistance with your water damage, mold remediation and reconstruction needs.
Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?
When water damage affects your home, quick action is needed to mitigate the issues. Repairs can become tricky when determining whether to put in a claim with an insurance company. It is important to periodically review your insurance policies to understand what coverage you have and what maintenance is expected of the insurance company.
Typically, the determining factor in insurance paying for a water damage claim is whether the damage occurred accidentally. Damage that develops over time is seen by most insurance companies as negligence by the resident. Negligence is failure to act in a reasonable way in a circumstance that leads to damage. If the insurance company gathers evidence to show that the water damage did occur and worsen over a certain period, it can deny claim coverage.
Other factors that could deter insurance companies from covering water damage claims:
- If the water came from an external or outside source (such as ground water that travels through a building or foundation walls)
- If the water is from storm damage such as: flood water damage, runoff surface water, or spray from flooded areas. This specific water damage source would be covered under a flood insurance policy that is separate from a homeowners insurance policy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains a specific definition of flood water.
- If the water came from sewer or drain backups.
- Poor maintenance of property.
- If water damage is from a leaking roof. If the leak is new, then the insurance company may cover the cost of internal structural damage. Typically roof damage is not covered in homeowners policies so it is important to verify the specific verbiage in your policy.
Quick and sudden water damage usually indicates an accident has occurred. These types of accidents include plumbing problems, vandalism, accidental overflow from appliances (sometimes), and water damage from the extinguishing of a fire.
Mold damage is a common issue in South Florida due to the humidity and rainy seasons. Mold can sometimes be included in a homeowners policy but it is circumstantial. Homeowners will usually have to prove that accidental water damage led to mold growth in the home. Seek guidance from insurance agents on how to prevent mold in your home. Take precautions by monitoring and maintaining mold hotspots in your West Palm Beach home such as bathrooms. For more information on mold damage and mold remediation, visit the SERVPRO of West Palm Beach information webpage on mold.
Water damage can occur at any time. Asses the risks to your home and community in case you decide you would like to add on certain clauses or extra coverage to your insurance policies. In the event of a water emergency, call the SERVPRO of West Palm Beach experts at 561-795-5410 to respond with emergency services.
Piping Problems That Can Lead to Water Damage
- Piping problems are a common cause of water damage.
- Knowing the material and age of piping in your home can aid in avoiding any damage.
- Based on material of piping, some insurance companies are not covering costs related to water damage.
Did you know that water damage is the second most common type of insurance claim? There are many causes that can lead to water damage in your home or office, but the most common cause is due to piping problems.
With that being said, are you aware of how old your plumbing system is? In most situations the phrase “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” is true but it should never be applied to your pipes and plumbing. Knowing how old your pipes are and what material they are constructed of is vital information and can save you from needing to dealing with costly damage repairs down the line, because ignoring faulty or outdated plumbing pipe systems is an accident waiting to happen.
Living in South Florida the two primary materials used for plumbing systems are cast iron or PVC. While these two materials are not the ONLY plumbing options, they do tend to be the most used.
Cast Iron pipes are said to be able to last up to 100 years in some locations. Many of the Florida homes that were built before 1975 contained plumbing systems made of cast iron because it was a material known for its long-life span, durability and ability to withstand heavy loads and high pressures. However, in south Florida, many systems have been found to fail in as few as 25 years due to Florida’s humidity levels and salt-rich soil. Piping failure has become so common in cast iron systems, that many residents are finding that their insurance companies are not covering costs related to water damage due to corroded plumbing.
PVC on the other hand, tends to be a common option due to its cost efficiency, but is just as prone to damages. PVC when constructed is held together by glued joints, when installed properly can be incredibly strong, however there is a small margin for error and when not installed properly can lead to major water damages in your home or office.
Other damages that piping can experience leading to or causing issues are tree roots and clogs. Tree roots naturally grow towards water, so if you have a pipe that is experiencing even the smallest of leaks, there is risk that the roots can find the line further damaging your pipes. Clogging in piping can also lead to water damage in your building if not dealt with properly. Unlike supply lines that can withstand continuous internal water pressure, drain pipes and joints are made to move water that is flowing under much less pressure. As clogs develop, water backs up inside the pipe and result in leaks or worst case, a burst pipe.
Home and building owners should make it a habit to inspect all of their pipes and plumbing fixtures at least annually. Doing so can prevent costly water damage and a headache down the road.
The Dangers of Floodwaters
When you think of storm damage, the first thing that may come to mind is flooding. Unfortunately, sunny South Florida is no stranger to the effects of such natural disasters. Between rising water levels and increased storm activity, flooding has become more and more common. Not only do floodwaters have the ability to cause property damage, but they also possess the potential to seriously harm us. Below are just a few of the dangers following floodwaters can present and how to be better prepared to protect yourself and the ones we love.
We have all seen or maybe even experienced flooded streets where cars suddenly transform into boats, attempting to navigate such weary waters. If you are experiencing flooding in the street, you should think before you drive. Driving through flooded roads may damage a vehicle’s engine, warp the brake rotors, cause loss of power steering and short circuit electrical components. Even if the floodwater does not rise above your bumper, it is possible for water to be sucked into a vehicles engine resulting in serious damage.
Another danger floodwaters present are the presence of contaminants that can affect your health. Often, floodwaters are a result of sewage systems backing up, giving water nowhere to drain. While most view floodwaters as merely an excessive amount of rain, that rainwater may be mixing with sewage water containing feces, old food and other decomposing matter that, if ingested, can result in serious health effects.
Injuries and Infection
As was just mentioned above, flood waters may contain contaminants from sewage systems. Exposure of open wounds or rashes to floodwaters can lead to infection. According to the CDC, you should always try to avoid exposure to floodwater if you have open wounds. Should you be experiencing flooding, you can decrease your chances of infection by keeping your wound clean and covered with a waterproof bandage. Also, be sure to disinfect any objects or toys that children might encounter if they have been exposed to floodwaters.
Not only can flood waters carry contaminants from sewage, but they can pick up chemical contaminants from areas that have experienced a leak or spill of dangerous chemicals. Exposure to these chemicals can cause serious bodily harm, so be sure to wear protective waterproof gear to decrease your chances of exposure to floodwaters contaminants.
Last but certainly not least, a serious concern floodwater can present is the risk of electrocution. After a hurricane or tropical storm, electrical hazards, such as broken power lines or flooded electrical outlets inside your home, can cause serious injuries or fatalities if exposed. If you are experiencing a flood in your home, be sure to shut off electrical power and natural gas or propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution, or explosion.
After a storm, we often see on the news people kayaking, swimming, or floating in floodwaters. While the temptation may certainly be there, it is important to always remember the dangers that flooding can present and avoid floodwater if possible.
Content Restoration & Our Full-Service Capabilities
All of our hard and soft content cleaning is done completely in-house, separating us from many other restoration companies.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is trained and experienced in providing full-service restoration services from pack out, inventorying, cleaning, and restoring. Content restoration can help salvage many of your belongings, preventing the need and cost of replacement. These services are equally important to restoration and reconstruction of the actual structure; the internal contents of a home or business are used every single day.
We customize each content restoration process to meet the needs of our clients. This may mean utilizing one of our highly specialized third-party pack out vendors or art conservators. We have the ability to use our own warehouse facilities to store extremely delicate or valuable items. We also have the cleaning equipment needed in our warehouses, allowing all content restoration to be completely in-house. The ability to complete both soft or hard content cleaning in-house can be extremely cost-effective for our customers and their insurance companies.
Hard Content Restoration
When it comes to contents, there are different categories and methods of cleaning. Hard contents can be considered equipment, electronics, dishes, figurines, light fixtures, and more. All of these items can be affected by mold, dirt, soot and other contaminants that can cause damage. To combat any damage, salvage, and restore these items we utilize the Morantz Ultrasonic Cleaning System. Ultrasonic cleaners allow hard contents to be safely restored to preloss condition in seconds. The secret behind this technology are the microscopic bubbles that penetrate all of the items crevices to lift away dirt, mold, or soot. This process leaves the item cleaned while maintaining its integrity and functions. This means that televisions, laptops, or equipment can be cleaned using this system and still fully function as they did prior to any damage.
Soft Content Restoration
Textiles and garments that have come in contact with soot or mold may need deeper cleaning than just traditional dry cleaning. Our ESPORTA machine is a powerful cleaning system that cleans soft contents twice as much as dry cleaning with a 90% restoration rate. Using hydraulic pressure and proprietary detergent, the ESPORTA safely and effectively provides a deep down clean to combat mold, soot, smoke, and other contaminants from items like leather, shoes, purses, decorative textiles, PPE gear and more.
Additional Content Restoration Services
While our crew typically provides pack out, inventory, and storage, we also partner with third-party vendors who offer specialty restoration services. Stella Art Conservation is specialized in museum quality art conservation and restoration of paintings, sculptures, artifacts and other artworks. They are located in Palm Beach but are known internationally for their expert and quality work.
Rather than dealing with multiple vendors, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can handle the entire content restoration process, providing a central point of contact, elevated customer satisfaction, and decreased claim costs.
The Dangers of DIY Water Damage Clean-up
Did you know that around 14,000 people in the US experience a water damage emergency at home or work every day? Not only is this statistic shocking, but so are the potential dangers water can pose to your home, business and health. When dealing with water damage, for the health and safety of your property as well as yourself, you should always call a professional restoration company to diagnose the situation as water damage is treated very differently based on its classification.
As you may or may not know, water has three classifications: Clean, Grey and Black. When experiencing a leak or flood, knowing water damage classification is paramount before treating the situation as there are certain safety precautions you need to take when dealing with each classification. If not dealt with properly, you could actually cause more harm than help.
When a damage restoration company comes in to assess, they are required to follow guidelines that were created by the IICRC in order to provide the safest methods of restoring your home or business while ensuring the wellbeing of everyone involved.
Not only knowing and understanding how to treat the different classifications is important but being able to treat them in a fast and efficient manner is vital. Water damage that is not fully cleaned and dried in a timely manner can allow for an environment ideal for the growth of mold and potentially other contaminants.
Of the three classifications, clean water is the safest classification of water to clean up. However, depending on the severity of the situation, clean water can very quickly turn into grey or black water which can put your home and health at risk. Grey water (the second classification) and black water (the third and worst classification) both contain a significant amount of contaminants that can potentially cause discomfort or illness to those who come into contact with it.
Our professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can not only diagnose the category of water damage you are experiencing, but they have the knowledge and equipment to deal with each category safely and efficiently, mitigating additional risks that can come from improperly dealing with contaminants. For example, different flooring materials require different clean up procedures. Drying out and cleaning up a leak or flood on carpet require different steps than tile or hard wood flooring. When dealing with carpet and cushion padding water that makes its way underneath is quickly and easily absorbed. If the water classification is clean, then steps can be taken to dry and potentially salvage the carpet. But, due to carpets ability to hide dirt, food spills and other items, a clean water leak or flood can quickly turn into a grey or black classification due to its exposure to contaminants, leaving you with a job you aren’t prepared for.
So, no matter how large or small the water damages may appear, always call a professional to accurately assess the situation and safely restore your space. At SERVPRO of West Palm Beach we’ll make it look “Like it never even happened.”
Do's and Dont's of Water Damage
Water damage can be the cause of many issues throughout your home, whether affecting floors, walls, or damaging personal items. It would make sense that once a homeowner experiences a flood or leak, the initial thought may be to immediately begin taking care of the issue. While limiting the amount of damage and items affected in the home is the ultimate goal, it truly does take a professional damage restoration company to manage such a situation. Lack of understanding of the water damage restoration process, water categories, or needed equipment may simply exacerbate any damage that has already occurred. After any emergency damage, there are a number of tips of what to do or what not to do.
Upon the first sign of water damage, DO:
- Turn off water, if possible.
- Identify source, if possible.
- Remove and secure any dry sensitive, high-value items.
- Call a damage restoration company.
- Call your insurance company.
While waiting for assistance, DON’T:
- Try drying the water up yourself. Water comes in three different categories based on its source. Wiping up a category 2 or 3 with your personal towels may not be ideal.
- Try vacuuming up any water, even with a wet vacuum.
- Use any appliances or electrical outlets until it has been deemed safe to do so. Based on the size of the leak or flood, unless a professional assesses the entire house, there is no knowing where water has touched and where it has not.
- Open any windows or turn on a fan to dry things out. With tons of moisture present, the chances of mold growing are high; fans and open windows may kick up spores.
- Use or touch any items that have been contaminated by the water. Again, based on the category of water, touching wet items may not a good idea health-wise.
- Walk around in the wet areas. Aside from a potential safety hazard, this may spread more damage than intended.
- Turn the HVAC system on or off as adjusting air temperatures may extend damage.
Professional water damage restoration companies exist for a reason. They have the training, skills, equipment, and experience to handle any damage done by water, mold, or fire. They know what to look for, how to classify the damage and determine the extent of loss.
A restoration company’s job is to mitigate as much damage as possible, while protecting the home and the customer’s safety and health.
What to Expect From Water Damage Restoration With SERVPRO of West Palm Beach
When your home is suffering water damage, getting a restoration company out to your home quickly is imperative to preventing any additional loss to the structure or contents. However, knowing which company to call that is trusted, reliable and professional can be overwhelming. We know how important it is to have a reputable company in your home and want our customers to know what they can always expect from us.
Credible & Certified
Our production crew, production managers and even owners, are IICRC certified in Microbial Remediation, Odor Control, Water Damage, Fire and Smoke Damage and more. Being IICRC certified ensures that we have the knowledge to provide damage restoration services and adhere to the right guidelines. Our Operations Manager, is also a Certified Building Contractor; we have the guidance and experience from a licensed CBC during any reconstruction, whether residential or commercial.
SERVPRO has an extremely positive reputation nationwide and each location is expected to add to that reputability. As leaders in the restoration industry, we hold ourselves to high standards to be faster to any size disaster, well-trained, and trusted.
We have had the chance to provide damage restoration to many homes and businesses that have each required unique approaches and solutions. This means we have experienced multiple floors of a condo flooding, houses on Palm Beach Island suffering from mold, or even hotels that have caught fire affecting multiple rooms. Each job has not only built trust as a local restoration company amongst homeowners and businesses, but has also provided us with the experience needed to get the job done right, every time. We understand what each emergency disasters calls for, what is right for the customer, and what will mitigate any more loss.
National and Local Preferred Vendor
SERVPRO has the privilege of being a preferred vendor for many national and local insurances, allowing us to build strong relationships with agents, adjusters, and other contractors. We are the #1 choice for many commercial customers as well. These connections enable us to further provide personalized experiences each home or business requires.
When in need of a damage restoration company for your home’s emergency water damage, you can rely on SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. We have the reputation, training, and the experience.
How Much Damage Can a Small Leak Cause in Your Home?
Water leaks are a pretty common occurrence, stemming from pipes or appliances that are either old, broken, or improperly installed. Typically small water leaks are manageable upon first notice and not really cause for concern. Yet, on occasion, leaks do go unnoticed and can cause some heavy water damage to the area around it.
Know the Signs
Indicators that a leak is present aside from pooling or consistently wet surfaces can be:
- Damp, humid air – this is especially common when plumbing is under a cabinet or enclosed area.
- Water Stains- look for discoloration that grows or worsens over time.
- Mold or Mildew – seeing signs of fungi growth near water sources should be concerning.
- Foul Odors
- Increased Water Bill
- Strange Plumbing Noises
Understand the Potential Damage
Ignoring signs of a leak or failure to properly fix the leak can cause more costly damage than just a high water bill.
- Damaged Flooring – water damage to different types of flooring may cause weak warped or stained floors.
- Mold Damage – mold needs only as little as 24 hours, moisture, and a food source to grow. Typically many of the materials found around your home by water sources, especially drywall, are perfect for mold to colonize.
- Stained or Saggy Ceilings – if the leak is on a second floor, the ceiling of the first floor is likely to be damaged over time.
- Damaged Walls – whether walls are saturated with water or affected by mold, either type of damage can compromise the structural integrity of drywall and other materials.
Leaks can be a mere nuisance, quickly fixed, if they are detected with time. However, if allowed to go on unnoticed, even slow, small leaks can cause major problems. We often see customers who have warped floors from water damage coming from a dishwasher or refrigerator that was not addressed. We have also seen many customers dealing with serious mold issues under their kitchen or bathroom sinks because they did not realize they had a leak. Knowing the signs and being proactive can be a huge aid in mitigating damage caused by a leak in your home.
Design & Construction Changes That Help Protect Against Flooding
Hurricanes, tropical storms, and flooding from each may not be likely to slow down in the coming years. Take the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season for example; the season was expected to have 16 storms and it far surpassed that. Like the most recent storm, Tropical Storm Eta, much of the 2020 season has brought about a significant amount of property damage. This is not surprising as just in 2018, 24% of all property loss insurance claims were attributed to water damage.
Flooding, the biggest water damage risk, is only becoming an even more prominent problem. In the past two decades, there has been more than sixty-five billion dollars worth of flood damage worldwide. The challenge many cities face, especially in South Florida, is the challenge of living near beaches, rivers, and lakes. These bodies of water can quickly flood neighboring homes and buildings during a particularly heavy bout of rain. There are also many areas that are flood zones due to the lack of proper infrastructure (think the ease in which Miami streets flood during storms). With potentially many more active storm seasons ahead of us and the risk of flooding only growing, is there a solution to avoiding water damage to homes and buildings?
1. Amphibious foundations, a brain child of Professor Elizabeth English, is one potential way of combatting the damage of flooding. English and her students created foundations that respond to floods, moving the home with the rising and lowering of water levels. While this concept has not been considered a widespread solution, many countries are beginning to implement the idea.
2. Flood-proofing, an adopted but not complete solution, are measures taken to prevent the damage floods cause. When building a home or other structure, they may be designed to be elevated, built as waterproof, or even built with additional features that will allow some water in but allows only minimal damage.
3. Changes in land use and development are also critical in combatting flooding. Many developers are either building new areas or retrofitting established neighborhoods in ways that can alleviate the amount of water that is allowed during a storm. This might be through creating wetlands that will collect additional water and slow flooding into neighborhoods. Some developers are even embracing flooding and rising sea levels by including elevated landscapes or retrofitting vulnerable areas.
While there is no single sure-fire solution, adapting the design and construction of new structures with anticipation of flooding, especially in South Florida, may prevent the increasing water damage claims and the amount of damage residents face.
What to Know About Water Damage and Buying a New Home
If you are in the process of buying a new house, congratulations! New home ownership can be extremely exciting. However, water damage is a prominent issue that many homes deal with. Before finalizing any payment or paperwork, alway be sure to have an inspection scheduled. An inspection for the following can you save your home and your wallet.
If the house had previous owners:
1. Ask if any damage has occurred to the home and where.
This includes whether there has been any water, mold, storm, sewer, or fire damage.
2. Ask the extent of the damage and what was done to restore and mitigate future damage.
This question will save you a lot of money down the road.
3. Ask/Inspect for any other problem areas or structural integrity.
This should include looking for leaks, doors or windows not properly sealed, plumbing issues etc. These issues can lead to future emergency disasters.
If the house is brand new:
1. Check for any defects in the construction.
This is especially important around doors and windows to ensure they are properly sealed and will not allow any moisture in
2. Look at your roof and gutters.
Make sure these areas are able to properly shed water away off the roof and away from the home.
3. Look for potential flooding areas around the home.
Be aware of areas around your home, either part of the home’s construction or your actual land, that may flood during heavy storms.
Buying a home with damage can be off-putting and a hinderance. With water damage so prominent and often leading to mold, hiring a professional inspector is the best route. With A professional home inspection will always provide an accurate report of any past water damage and its extent or potential areas that may cause future water damage.
Insurance Coverage Tips for Storm Damage in West Palm Beach
During storm season the reality is your West Palm Beach home may endure some level of damage. Homeowners should take preventative measures to reduce damage should a major storm hit, regardless of the storm's category. Aside from physically securing the protection of your home’s interior and exterior, it is vital to secure protection via your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Understanding Insurance Coverage and Storm Damage
Your insurance policy is definitely one of the important documents that should be copied and stored in case of a major storm. It should also be thoroughly read through and understood. Examine your policy for details on what events are covered, the amount of coverage, and steps to take should you need to submit an insurance claim after storm damage. Your home’s insurance policy may exclude some types of storm and water damage.
- Most insurance policies may have specified provisions for protection against hurricanes. These provisions may only cover wind damage as additional flood damage policies may be needed. It is important to know your hurricane deductible as well. A hurricane deductible is typically a percentage of what a home insured for.
- Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Though it is not required, flooding can happen relatively anywhere even if your home is not in a high-risk flood zone; purchasing additional flood damage insurance coverage is encouraged.
- Wind & Rain
- Damage caused by wind itself is likely covered through your policy. Water damage from rain, including wind-driven rain, may not be covered in most cases.
Additional Insurance Tips
- Adequate Coverage
- If you are satisfied with the policies you currently have, check that coverage is adequate for your home’s structure, contents, and additional living expenses if needed.
- Mitigate & Document
- Take pictures of your home before & after a storm. These pictures will be vital when submitting an insurance claim based on storm damage.
- Beware of Scam Repair Companies
- The aftermath of a major storm is a great opportunity for many repair companies to offer their services. Not all companies are legitimate or truthful and have hurt homeowner’s who have not done their due diligence on these companies.
It is important to always report all claims and damage to your insurance company. Your agent can help you in determining coverage and next steps to mitigating storm damage, including contacting a storm damage restoration company in West Palm Beach.
Can Mold Grow On Your Furniture?
Mold can look differently when it is on furniture and not always recognized at first. These chairs were given a deep cleaning to remove the mold.
Mold is not picky on where it grows and causes damage. In the right environment, mold can thrive on many types of furniture, including leather, wood, or fabric. Mold on furniture can be unsightly and ruin the integrity of furniture. Typically, mold is seen as white spots on wood or leather; on fabric furniture mold appears as dark brown or black spots.
It is possible to prevent mold from appearing on your valuables if the underlying cause is discovered. The first step is to inspect your furniture. What do the markings look like? Is there an odor or wetness to it? Safely answering these questions will help uncover whether you’re truly being affected by mold.
Next step is to survey the area the affected piece of furniture is in. Was the item recently in storage, like your attic? Did the storage space have any ventilation or light?
If the furniture was not pulled from a damp space, perhaps the air in the current room is too humid like moving furniture from an AC controlled room in your home to the patio or garage.
Consider the walls, ceilings and floors in the area as well. Is the room retaining moisture based on the ceiling or wall it shares with the next room? A living room ceiling may share a wall with your kitchen. This same wall may have pipes in it that run to your kitchen sink. If there is a leak or pooling present the walls are likely swelling with water, affecting the wood in it and possibly growing mold. Furniture in close proximity to a wall that has already been affected by mold can also start to see growth.
Once you’ve gone over a potential source, reflect on where you got the furniture from and its history. If you have purchased the piece second-hand, its likely it’s history is not well known and will need deep cleaning. If you do know the furniture’s history, question whether it has come into contact with a copious amount of water. Was there a recent flood or leak in your house? Did the water touch the furniture for a long period of time? Think of damp clothes you allow to sit without drying for too long. These clothes end up smelling and may become damaged. That is because they begin to grow mildew and much like mildew, mold will quickly cling to any material that is left wet. If your furniture was involved in a flood and improperly cared for, with no extensive drying process, this may be an answer to your mold growth.
The last step is to contact a professional. If you have the faintest hint that mold is indeed growing on your furniture, you will need some serious help. The items will need to be thoroughly dried and cleaned with equipment and solutions only a restoration company could possess. You will also benefit from a home inspection. This will ensure whether the issue is rooted deeper in your home.
Your furniture is what makes your home. It should be clean and mold free!
Why Your Bathroom May Be Humid
After a particularly hot shower your mirrors might fog, the air may feel warm and humid. With time, mirrors should defog and the bathroom should go back to feeling cool. If this is not the case for your bathroom, it may be a good idea to look into why this might be happening.
Looking into proper ventilation is your first step. Check to make sure your exhaust fan is working and pulling moisture out of your bathroom. If so, turning the fan on every time you shower will greatly help decrease moisture and condensation.
Taking cooler showers also helps to reduce the humidity in your bathroom. If a hot shower is necessary, make sure your fan is turned on, or if possible, a window is left open. Wiping down your bathtub and floor, removing any excess water will help keep air dry.
Assess the shower pan as well as grout on your floor tiles and your shower tiles. Any signs of mold or mildew surrounding these areas may mean a leak in your shower pan or grout, possibly even both. This can cause pooling of water that may have a difficult time drying in an already humid environment.
Check any pipes by your toilet and sink for any leaks. Sink pipes are typically hidden by a cabinet, meaning leaks are not visible and less likely to catch. The cabinets make for the perfectly warm, enclosed area for mold and mildew growth.
If all efforts to mitigate the humidity of your bathroom have failed, it is best to call in the pros at this time. There may be underlying problems that only special equipment can identify. These issues can range from water damage in the walls or floors. It is important to note that if there are undetected issues, more rooms than just your bathroom can be affected. Depending on the area of your bathroom, adjacent rooms and ceilings underneath the bathroom can also experience increased humidity and water damage. Wet carpets or bubbled ceilings in relation to where your bathroom is located, are a tell-tale sign that something is amiss. Contact your local plumber as well as a professional emergency restoration company, like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, to handle all of your water damage needs.
The Different Stages of Water Damage and What To Do During Each Stage
When water is left to sit too long, it can affect and destroy materials like carpet. Often, carpet will need to be removed for proper drying.
When water enters your home, it can be a stressful experience. There are many things you can do yourself during each stage of a water disaster to reduce the damage and restoration your West Palm Beach home will need. Knowing the signs of each stage and their effects is the first step to restoring your home to a safe, healthy space.
Water enters your home, flowing freely into any openings it can find, especially through floors and walls. Depending on the source of the water and time that passes, your home can see inches of water in little time. At this stage, if possible, try to stop the source of the water and begin to dry up the areas you can.
Permeable materials like carpet, wood, drywall, and fabric furniture take on water. The longer the water sits, the more moisture that accumulates. Though damage is not visible, swift water extraction is crucial in salvaging any wet material, lessening the need of complete water removal.
At this point, water that is able to evaporate will begin to create humid air. Areas that were not previously affected are in contact with moisture present. Paint may begin to chip from walls or bubbles may form on ceilings or carpets from the trapped condensation. This leads to further destruction of building materials as there is little room for drying to begin. To combat this stage, dehumidifiers are needed to remove moisture from the area and prevent mold growth.
Mold spores, found naturally in the air, settle on wet material, quickly growing. When left untreated, mold can spread in as little as 1 day. Entire homes can be affected by mold if it is not contained. Recovering valuable items and building materials is less likely at this stage. Serious water damage restoration and potential mold remediation is needed.
Flooding or leaks can occur at any time and quickly move through each stage before there is a chance to take action. If caught in time, water damage can be mitigated, reducing the need for major restoration for your home and it’s contents.
Why Your Shower May Be Leaking
Without proper grouting on your tub or shower, your bathroom may experience water damage to your walls and floors.
By now most homeowners or renters have experienced the laborious task of cleaning home showers. Floor stains don’t seem to go away even with every pass of the cleaning brush. Clorox or other household cleaners are dumped to get rid of the grime and soap scum around the tub or shower. Most of the time we find the glass and acrylic base the easiest to clean; the grout, however, always seems to give us the biggest issues. It seems the more we scrub, the more grout lost and the grime remains the same. This can make this task much more aggravating than it should be.
Why You Should Not Scrub So Hard
While the loss of grout may seem unimportant as long as the shower is clean, grout is actually what keeps water in the tub. Grout does a great job at protecting your walls and flooring, preventing water to escape behind tile. It is a difficult material to clean without the use of heavy chemicals. Over time, these chemicals eat away at the grout’s ability to stick. Without heavy chemicals, cleaning grout calls for extra elbow grease, usually resulting in a rough scrub and strips the grout away as well. Even with a decent amount gone, it is likely homeowners notice the missing grout well into the later stages of water damage.
Improperly installed grout will also have the same effects as grout that has fallen off. Aside from water moving into exposed areas, some grout brands can be made of material that is semi porous or not made for bathrooms. This also allows water to pass through and encourages mold growth, causing even more costly damage for a homeowner. Grout should always be installed by a professional with plenty of experience.
What If The Leak Is Not Grout-Related?
There may be plenty of signs and reasons as to why your shower is leaking or bathroom is flooding. If you cannot physically determine where the leak is coming from it may be best to forgo using that particular bathroom. Call out a local plumber to assess and address your shower’s problems. Once these issues have been resolved, call out a restoration company like SERVPRO. It is important to inspect your bathroom for presence of mold or water damage and determine the costs as well as next steps.
Your Home Has Water Damage... Now What?
This homeowner's bathtub overflowed onto the tile floor, also affecting the carpet in the adjoining room.
You just woke up to pieces of wet ceiling hanging and insulation littering the floor of your home. Or maybe you started running the bathtub water, became distracted and walked away for what you thought was a split second. Either way, now you have a huge mess on your hands with more water surrounding you than any mop or towel is able to soak up. Now what?
Though it is not uncommon to experience a water disaster as a homeowner, many people often are unsure of what to do when they find themselves in these situations. The restoration process can seem daunting when searching for the right answer on next steps. Follow these steps to help ease the stress of water damage to your home.
1. Leave Your Home
If your home is unsafe due to water contamination, electrical hazards or compromised infrastructure, vacating your home is necessary until it is deemed safe to remain in by a professional.
2. Contact Your Homeowners Insurance Immediately
This is the most important step as you will need to determine whether your scenario is covered. You will get help filing a water damage claim and be directed to collect necessary details to complete your claim.
3. Contact a Repair or Restoration Company
Companies, like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, should be the next call you make if your insurance has not already suggested you do so. Calling a professional for your water cleanup avoids you encountering any potentially hazardous situations. Water that is allowed to sit for too long, regardless of it’s source or area it has affected, can quickly gather bacteria and may eventually turn into mold in your home. SERVPRO’s crew can quickly be on the scene to assess the damage that has been done and provide an accurate estimation of what restoration needs to occur.
4. Let the Professionals Handle the Mess
Once the extent of damage has been determined and next steps have been explained, our technicians will prepare your home for water removal and restoration. After restoration is complete, we will make sure to leave your home clean, “like it never even happened”.
If you’re still unsure what your next move should be, call our team today. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can help walk you through filing a claim, scheduling an assessment and provide other water damage emergency tips.
Consider Water Damage Restoration For Your Home After a Fire
A fire can cause extensive damage to a building’s internal and external structure. After a fire, all possible damage to your home should be accounted for and swift action should be taken.
When certain materials are burned in a home they release chemicals that can be dangerous to homeowners. Along with these chemicals, the strength of walls are compromised, valuables are singed, appliances and electronics are damaged from smoke. Odors after a fire are not only a nuisance but are evidence of lingering particles, in the air or on materials, that are in need of eradication. Soot is also the presence of burned material in need of removal and deep cleaning. Aside from worrisome soot and smoke damage, water damage should be heavily considered as well.
Water damage after a fire may seem a bit odd to worry about at first. Consider the fact that fires are extinguished through copious amounts of water, whether that is from a sprinkler or a hose. Sprinklers release 15-25 gallons of a water per minute, while fire hoses pump roughly 150 gallons per minute. To put out a fire, walls, flooring, and possessions are thoroughly wet, posing just as much of an issue as those affected by fire.
When considering sources for help, it is important to choose a restoration company that provides both water and fire damage restoration. Smoke, soot, and odors need to be removed professionally and safely with proper equipment. Restoration companies also have the ability to asses and restore your valuables if possible. Alternatively, immediately caring for your home and valuables after a fire for water damage means mitigating any risk of further loss as well. Water has the ability to rot structural foundation’s, making them vulnerable and weak. Mold from sitting water is also a big concern as it takes as little as 48 hours for mold to begin affecting a home.
If fire strikes your home or business and does not have an Emergency Ready Plan, call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. Our team can walk you through the next steps and process of restoration after a disaster. With a quick response time, caring and knowledgeable team, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can take care of all of your post-fire needs.
What Are the Brown Stains On Your Ceiling?
You may have noticed a brown spot on your ceiling or maybe on your walls. The spot may not be large enough for major concern yet but sizable to raise your curiosity. Questions like what the spot is and where is it coming from, are the first thoughts that may have run through your head. Before you ponder on the spot for too long, you should consider calling out a restoration company to your home. The presence of a brown spot or water stain can have serious implications on your ceiling.
Water pooling is one big reason behind ceiling stains. This is evident by the brown or yellow discoloration of your ceilings paint. These colors are caused by the surfactants in the paint. Surfactant is usually brown in color and oily. When mixed with water, the surfactant becomes reactivated. If the water is pooling and concentrated in one area, that means the surfactant will as well. This effect can be seen in bathrooms too, where water and moisture is aplenty, and there may be brown streaks running down the walls.
Water in your ceiling can mean a leak in your roof or a burst pipe. Even if water is not pouring down from your ceilings or walls, does not mean there should not be a sense of urgency behind getting down to the root problem or source. If water is allowed to sit too long, serious and costly water damage can be inflicted on your home’s structure. Prolonged moisture and water can onset mold damage. It takes only 48 hours for mold to begin to affect your home meaning you need to act fast. As you may be aware of, mold is not exactly a welcomed guest for your home and will need professional mold remediation. Both mold and water can lead to rotting of structural building material. This can be a major, costly problem, especially if your ceiling holds a lot of support for your home.
If you notice stains on your ceiling, don’t ignore them. Allowing them to grow or worsen in condition can cause more damage than you think. Call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach today to schedule an assessment of your ceiling.
3 Reasons Why Water Damage Cleanup Calls for a Professional
The flood that occurred in this garage may look like easy cleanup but it takes a pro to spot signs of future damage.
An overflowing bathtub or a leaking pipe may occur from time to time for some homeowners. Small mishaps like these are a daily occurrence and are usually handled without any second thoughts once the cleanup is done. Calls for water damage estimates usually are made when there are big leaks or major flooding and the need for restoration is undeniable. It is also rationale, however, to call during small floods and leaks for more than just reassurance.
Why You Should Call a Professional
1. Each Category of Water is Different
There are three categories of water: clean, gray, and black. Water falls into each category based on its source. Each source has different implications including safety precautions and cleanup needs. This means that just because a small flood at home may have water that is “clean”, the water can be potentially harmful, needing more than just a mop and some rags to clean.
2. More Than the Floors May Be Wet
If there is slight flooding in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room, these areas most likely are surrounded by tile; they are also surrounded by building materials like cupboards or drywall. Drywall, unbeknownst to you, may become saturated with water and extremely heavy. The more water the drywall holds the more unstable it becomes, causing structural damage that you may not be aware of.
Electrical wires or appliances may have also taken on water, causing a high risk to homeowners as this may pose damage later on for these items.
3. You’re Too Slow
If a flood appears to be small and contained, there may not be a question as to the length of time the water has been apparent. Without properly vetting all surrounding areas and building materials, it is impossible to tell if a “small” flood was truly small and non-damaging. Homeowners lack the ability to make these assessments. Homeowners also lack the proper equipment to dry out areas that have experienced water damage. Even the smallest amount of moisture left, given the right environment, can pose the threat of mold damage.
When it comes to floods and accompanying water damage, leave the cleanup to the pros. Regardless of the size or area affected, water has the ability to permeate through many materials, locking moisture in where it should not exist. Call a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach to handle all of your water cleanup needs.
The Cost of Water Damage Restoration
How much will water damage restoration cost?
If you’re looking for the cost a restoration company will charge for water damage, chances are your need for services is immediate. We understand homeowners are naturally inclined to be curious and slightly stressed as to what an emergency disaster to their home will cost them. Many homeowners typically submit a claim via their insurance to deal with these types of occurrences. However, there are some homeowner’s who elect to self-pay. Since every homeowner’s needs are different, the costs will most definitely be as well. The cost of water damage restoration is dependent on a few factors including, the source, the size of the affected area, and any other issues stemming from the water damage.
The source of any flooding, leaks, or moisture affect a bill's bottom line. The class of water from these sources are also considered as they require very different precautions and clean-up. Water categorized as clean is much safer and quicker to take care of as there are less health risks. Grey or black water can contain dangerous contaminants from sewer backups or toilet overflows; companies heed these situations with much more caution.
Despite the classification, water should be drained from the home prior to a full 24-hour period and the drying process should begin. If water is left sitting for too long, the extent of the damage is furthered. Heavily wet wood can begin to rot, fabrics tend to develop odors and drywall starts to hold more moisture. As the moisture accumulates in the material and air, it creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew. This could increase the cost of water damage restoration as mold remediation may now be needed.
The size of the area in which your home has been affected, along with damage occurred to your home’s structural materials impact cost as well. For example, it is less time consuming to dry carpet than it would be with flooring underneath the carpet heavily saturated with water. Another factor in price, is the number of rooms or levels, as well as the need to repair or ultimately replace building material.
Regardless of the price tag associated with water damage repair and cleanup, it is important to remember that going through a professional restoration is the best route to take. A DIY water repair can be risky for a homeowner’s health and wallet. Professional companies have the ability to properly price a water damage job with a more accurate estimate. Experienced crews can execute the restoration process with ease and safety equipment that a DIY clean-up cannot. Upon notice of damage, help to save on costs by acting swiftly and calling your insurance or a professional like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. Our team does our best to have someone quickly onsite to provide a thorough, trustworthy assessment and estimate.
Call today, 561-795-5410.
Water Damage Restoration Process in Palm Beach, FL
During the restoration process air moves and dehumidifiers are placed in rooms to ensure proper water removal and dry outs.
Your upstairs bathroom has just flooded or maybe a particularly nasty storm has brought inches of rainwater into your home through a leak in your roof. Your ceiling is wet, you’re standing in a small pool of water while your favorite couch is being soaked. Sounds like the start of any homeowner’s nightmare, doesn’t it?
Countless Palm Beach homeowners have been in situations such as the aforementioned with no clue as to what their steps are or what is in store for them. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has handled numerous water leaks and flood damage, acting quickly and professionally. Our restoration crew are pros at keeping calm while mitigating the situation, however, not all homeowners are. Having a step-by-step guide to the water damage restoration process will help to quell any panic and ensure that any home or building owner is equipped to walk through any water emergency.
Step 1: Call for Help
For any non-threatening emergencies, the first calls to make depend greatly on the situation at hand. If the main source is appliance or plumbing, turn off the water source as long as it is safe for you to do so. If you cannot access the main valve, call a local plumber or your utility company. Aside from the water utility company, also calling out a gas and an electric company helps to ensure additional safety. Calling a restoration emergency company like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach would be the best next call to make.
Step 2: Visit and Assessment
Our crew is available 24/7 to respond to any size water damage disaster. Once our crew arrives to your property, we will assess the damage. Our crew is equipped with necessary equipment, including technology that reads moisture. Access to multiple rooms is usually needed as inspecting more than just the suspected damaged area is done to properly assess. Once the assessment is done, an estimate will be given, and paperwork will begin.
Step 3: Item Removal
Our crew as well as possibly your insurance’s adjuster will itemize any belongings and valuables that may have been affected by water. Sorting will follow to determine whether items are salvageable or in need of cleaning.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying
Water removal process will begin as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Pumps are used to extract the water and dehumidifiers as well as air movers are placed in the needed areas. Equipment may remain for a few days as our crew needs to ensure that all areas are thoroughly dry before moving to the next stage. During this process, our crew will periodically check the moisture and progress of drying of any flooring or drywall.
Step 5: Restoration
Restoration begins after the affected areas have been dried and cleaned. Building materials including drywall or flooring may be repaired or rebuilt. Our production crew will work to reconstruct any areas that were damaged.
Step 6: Moving On
Once all areas are dried, cleaned, and rebuilt you are free to return to your life as normal.
Our crew has the knowledge and expertise to assist in any water damage restoration process from start to finish.
Water Damage in Palm Beach County
This home's foundation suffered major water damage that eventually lead to mold growth.
What is Water Damage?
Aside from fire, water damage is quite possibly the fastest acting and ubiquitous damage to your Palm Beach County home. Flooding, rain, leaking pipes, or broken appliances are all possible sources. Just as some sources are blatant, often the cause is not as recognizable, increasing the chances of destruction. A whole in your home's foundation that allows humid, moisture-filled air can also cause water damage. Prevalent moisture in large amounts leads to condensation, causing water pooling and the onset of damage.
Once water is present it is likely to quickly take action against any porous materials, depending on the kind of water and length it is sitting. Even material that are not quite as porous but still allow for sitting water, will feel the affects. Mold, rotting, or destroyed material are all potential consequences of water intruding into your home.
Water damage is categorized by a class system. Classification is based on the effects of the water, the rate of evaporation, and how much moisture is absorbed by the materials in the area. There are also different types of water. This includes clean, gray, or black water and are differentiated depending on the source as well as the water's contamination levels.
Dealing with water damage in Palm Beach County is a very real, plausible situation and homeowners should take caution to prepare themselves for this situation. As we've come to learn water damage is not as simple as cleaning up an overflown tub with a mop. Water damage comes in many forms with many possible sources and varying outcomes. Homeowners should always look to a professional water damage cleanup like SERVPRO, with the knowledge and tools to identify the source, conduct proper assessment as well as proper cleanup.
Types of Water Damage
When considering types of water damage the source of the damage or what is affected are usually top of mind. However, contrary to what many may assume, these are not the only components considered in an assessment.
There are three different categories of water including clean, gray, and black. Each category is determined due to the source, length of time standing, and the potential hazards exposed.
1. Clean Water
Flooding and damage caused by overflown tubs, burst pipes, or leaky roofs can be classified as "clean". While this water is not suitable to drink or bathe in, it is considered clean due to the lack of bacteria or microbes found. This category of water is easier and safest to mitigate.
2. Gray Water
Gray water occurs due to the slight exposure to some form of contaminant. This can be sourced from a toilet overflow or a washing machine. While one is a potential biohazard source, the other has come into contact with chemicals. Clean water can develop into gray water when left standing for long periods of time. Gray water is not necessarily highly toxic but should still be approached with caution.
3. Black Water
Black water is the most hazardous water category of the three. There is substantial evidence of contamination including chemicals, bacteria, or microbes. This water can come from a backed up sewer or even natural disasters. Just as with clean water, gray water left stagnant can be classified as black water.
The categorization of water damage does not necessarily denote the color or visible contents. Black water can look clear or clean water can come from a destructive storm. Regardless of color or content speculation, relying on a professional is the safest option when dealing with water damage. Water restoration companies have the professionals, licensure, and equipment to properly assess and extract any water, despite it's categorization.
If you are experiencing, water damage or flooding, call the professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, 561-795-5410.
AC Unit Common Breakdowns and the Water Damage They Cause
In the sweltering heat of South Florida and Palm Beach County, a homeowner's best friend is their Air Conditioning. AC units help to cool down the house after a long day of relentless heat and keep the air inside from becoming stale or too humid.
Just like with any major appliance, AC units also require maintenance and repairs. Some reasons that an AC may be experiencing issues are:
- Faulty Wiring
- Low Refrigerant
- Broken Fan
- Clogged Air Filter
- Clogged AC Drain Line
The last two common occurrences are really one of the bigger sources of water damage to your ceiling, carpet, or walls.
Homeowners often neglect to change the filter on their AC, leaving it to become clogged, preventing proper ventilation. AC units can frost over eventually, creating a mass of moisture and ice. If ever the unit is shut off, this ice will have nothing to keep it frozen. As is common knowledge, ice at anything below a frozen temperature begins to melt. Water pooling from the melting ice will eventually chip away at the ceiling structure or dry wall, contingent on where your AC unit is located.
Clogged drain lines can be added to the list of arising issues. Air conditioning systems contain air handlers including coils that distributes freon. As these air handlers function, they sweat or rather produce condensation that travels into a drip pan. Mold and bacteria multiply in any sitting water. Along with any bacteria buildup, dust also finds itself into the drip pan, clogging the drain line eventually.
The severity of the root cause and the damage accompanying it, will determine what tactics you are required to take. Air conditioning water damage may consist of a small leak, which would warrant a bit of drying out the area after repair. Other issues may go unnoticed for extended periods of time, calling for more work entailing water removal and cleanup, or drywall repair.
Upon first notice of your Air Condition system breaking down or needing repairs, calling a plumber or repairman is essential. Any homeowner's next steps should be to call a professional like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. Our technicians will assess the surrounding areas of the AC unit to assure there are no lurking issues including water damage or potential mold growth.
Does Water Damage Affect All Floor Types?
The amount of water damage that occurs on tile depends on whether the tile is vinyl, ceramic, or porcelain.
The multitude of flooring options in any interior design or hardware store can be overwhelming for a homeowner. Questions of the safety, scratch, resistance, feel, and color all come to mind when choosing. But does water resistance or the effects of water damage on each floor type ever play a role in a decision?
Different Kinds of Flooring
Lets examine the different types of flooring first. Flooring can fall under two categories, organic and inorganic. Organic flooring are made of natural materials like wood or bamboo. Inorganic flooring is made with synthetic materials. While the two categories exist, it can be difficult to deem one type of flooring fully organic or inorganic. Different types of flooring:
- Vinyl Tile
- Luxury Vinyl
- Porcelain Tile
- Ceramic Tile
- Concrete and many others
Flooring and Water Resistance
Looking at the list above it is evident that the options are endless and choosing can be difficult. Now as a West Palm Beach homeowner, there are a few more things to consider aside from color or make. And while carpet is usually not the best for those hot summer days, the two biggest factors to consider should be: durability and water resistant.
Vinyl is without a doubt one of the most durable flooring types, aside from concrete, when it comes to stains, dents, wear, and clean up. But does vinyl pass the water resistance test? It does! Luxury Vinyl, Porcelain tile, Ceramic tile, Sheet Vinyl and Vinyl tile incur the least amount of water damage in comparison to other types. These materials are suitable in bathrooms, kitchens, or mudrooms, where most other types are not.
Are All Floors Safe From Water Damage?
All floors, even tile, are subject to water damage. The problem with a leak or flood damage occurring over tiles or vinyl is not the material itself. In fact it is the grout or seams, that may be exposed to water, allowing it to penetrate into the subfloor. Even if your grout is intact, standing water from a flood to your home can damage the grout and loosen the adhesive, also allowing water damage to occur to your floors. Homeowners should take heed to cleaning up the water and get the drying process going quickly as most often the subfloor under tile is plywood.
Plywood is thin wood that is also susceptible to water damage and rotting. Mold and mildew can incubate on wet wood causing more to be concerned about than a few loose tiles. Other issues to address would be a homeowners water damaged drywall. Drywall is much more permeable than tile or vinyl, and incurs damage at a much quicker rate.
Before you choose the hardwood floor or carpet that matches the curtain, think about your Palm Beach Countyhome during storm season and potentially every day as emergency disasters can happen at any time. Leaking or flooding on material that is not equipped to withstand water damage can end up impacting your floors and wallet.
If you experience flood or water damage to your home, call the professionals at SERVPRO, 561-795-5410.
Ceiling Water Damage Causes and How To Prevent Them
Palm Beach County homeowners are familiar with the many areas of upkeep in their homes. A common issue that many homeowners run into, are ceiling stains. The brown, unattractive spots are a tell-tale sign of an occurrence with water pooling within your attic or ceiling. The location of your ceiling stain is typically indicative of the source causing the ceiling water damage to your home.
Identifying and Preventing the Source of Ceiling Water Damage
Improper installation of HVACs, appliance water lines, or plumbing fixtures on a second story floor, whether a home or condo building, are sources to ceiling water damage. Broken seals or valves can also be problematic, adding to water leaking from the exposed areas. Routine inspection is essential to the upkeep of these sources. Knowing the location of the main water source to your home, if possible, is beneficial in mitigating any further damage until repair is conducted.
Bathrooms aside from leaky roofs are a secondary common cause for wet ceilings and brown stains. Water damage can potentially stem from an overflown tub or sink, or a slow leak allowed by old caulking. Preventative measures in these cases are as simple as paying attention and replacing any old caulking.
Leaky roofs in Florida are ubiquitous as constant storms and wear on roofs are inevitable. To avoid any unnecessary costs and potential damage, replacing shingles, new caulking as well as adequate insulation and ventilation should be included in maintenance for Palm Beach property owners. Routine inspection before and after major storm seasons is highly suggested.
Identifying and addressing the issue upon first notice of a wet ceiling or unsightly brown stain, prevents exacerbation of the damage. Most property owners are often not equipped or experienced to resolve any issues accompanying water leaks. Confidence to repair the wet ceiling is often lacking as well. Calling a professional with a background in water remediation can be time and cost-saving without multiple attempts at resolution.
Water extraction and repair is best left to a restoration company. Call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach to alleviate the stress and hassle accompanying your property's water damage. Call today, 561-795-5410!
How Fast Does Water Damage Effect A Home?
Water damage can happen quickly and create other issues like mold damage and loss of valuables.
When dealing with water damage, time is not on your side unfortunately. The firs part of the destruction is not as bad as the second part which eventually takes place as time goes by and it causes severe damage to your beloved home. Below are the side effects of water damage when left untreated in a home.
Water damage in minutes time
• Contaminated water spreads quickly and increases the costs of claims.
• Furniture not intended to withstand moisture because of the finish, starts to turn a white color.
• Furniture that is on carpet will begin to stain the carpet and saturate it by leaking through the fabrics in carpet.
Water damage in hours time
• Furniture that is in direct contact with the water will start to swell and delaminate (peeling of laminate finish, and more)
• Regular household smells will be heightened by the humidity in the air and become overwhelming.
• Fabrics that have non-colorfast dyes will start to bleed.
Water damage in days time
• Musty odors and fungi will begin to appear.
• Wood floorings can become unsalvageable and warping of wood becomes extremely noticeable.
• Wallpaper begins to peel away and "paint blisters" appear.
• Structural wood pieces begin to split apart and warp.
Water damage in weeks time
• Mold starts to root into organic matters and ruins it's complete integrity.
• Occupants in the home have to be evacuated because of health hazards.
• Allergies may become.
• A complete gutting of the structure may be necessary, which will costs to go up in numbers.
Don't let your home or office become a victim of costly water damage repairs, call SERPVRO of West Palm Beach to help remove the water and mold before it becomes worst and make it "Like it never even happened." Call us at (561)795-5410
Avoiding A Fire Disaster In West Palm Beach
It's summertime and that means there is more outdoor activities like BBQ grilling! While you're whipping up a new recipe, don't forget to keep our safety tips for grilling in mind as well! Make sure your summer stays safe, while delicious!
Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs either, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.
Clean your grill regularly. If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups.
Check for gas leaks. You can make sure no gas is leaking from your gas grill by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. Then, turn the gas on (with the grill lid open.) If the soap forms large bubbles, that's a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough.
Keep decorations away from your grill. Decorations like hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas look pretty AND provide fuel for a fire. To make matters worse, today's decor is mostly made of artificial fibers that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.
Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won't harm your food, so dinner won't be ruined!
Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill. And KNOW HOW TO USE IT. If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don't waste time fiddling with it before calling 911. Firefighters say many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of calling for expert help and letting the fire department do its job.
Don't turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. NEVER do this. It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face. Click here to see our demonstration.
Don't leave a grill unattended. Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.
Don't overload your grill with food. This applies especially fatty meats. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.
Don't use a grill indoors. People often think it will be safe to use a grill, especially a small one, indoors. NOT TRUE. In addition to the fire hazard, grills release carbon monoxide, the deadly colorless, odorless gas. That gas needs to vent in fresh air or it can kill you, your family and pets.
7 Important Tips To Help You Avoid A Water Emergency From Heavy South Florida Rains
Preparing your home's roof for heavy rain season is a must in West Palm Beach.
A big problem you can face living in Florida is heavy rain during the summer. Many people in West Palm Beach deal with it every summer. Many floods happen because poor or blocked drainage give the water no place to go and it builds up. Take a look at these following tips to help you be prepared for the next heavy down pour!
Walk around your house and check the foundation. It should be sloped at least 10ft. Builders do this so that water runs away from the home.
Elongate downspouts at least 10 feet from your home to keep it a good and safe distance away. Send the water away from your house, but also make sure it's not just going over to a neighbors house and flooding their home.
Using creative landscaping is a great idea to keep water from getting into your home and from building up.
Clean downspouts and gutters at least twice a year. Gunk builds up in your gutters and downspouts, blocking water. Water needs somewhere to go, so you need to make sure that your gutters and downspouts give it a clear path. Cleaning gutters also helps avoid flooding.
Annually inspect your roof. Catching a roof problem beforehand can save you money and frustration.
Turning off utilities is sometimes necessary during a water emergency. Knowing how turn off utilities is good to reduce stress or panic as well.
Repair any cracks in the foundation so that heavy rain won't sneak in water into your home. A water emergency can start slowly with water seeping through cracks and turn into a huge headache as time goes by.
If you have any questions or are experiencing a water or flood emergency, please give us a call 24/7 at (561)795-5410
Find the Cause of a Leaky Roof and Your Next Steps
Heavy rainfall can cause your roof to leak and lead to ceilings weakening, eventually falling apart.
It’s annoying, frustrating, and can be quite costly to find a rain leak when heavy rainfall hits West Palm Beach, Florida. Being one of the leading causes for water damage, rain leaks are a headache for any homeowner to deal with. But no need to worry, the professionals at SERVPRO have gathered a few helpful tips to get you through this pesky water situation.
There could be a number of different reasons as to why your home is experiencing a rain leak and this could be due to what your home is made of. If it’s brick, concrete, or wood framed, there is a main rooted source to the rain leak. Did you know that water damage is the second highest filed insurance claim in North America? Yeah, water can lead to some unexpected costs if not handled properly especially since rain related water intrusions are not covered by insurance. Getting the leak fixed soon is extremely important to saving money in repairs.
One main reason why rain leaks occur is due to brick cracking. If your home is made primarily of brick, or has brick in it’s composition, rain leaks are still possible. Weather conditions, time and erosion all cause brick and all stonework to eventually develop cracks. These cracks need to be repaired by a skilled tradesperson. As soon as you find a leak in your home, calling the professionals at SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is the first step to cleaning up the damage already done.
Another reason for rain leaks is a problem with your roof. This one may seem obvious, but if you can’t clearly see it you may easily dismiss it. A hole or imperfection or even a piece of debris on your roof can cause rain leaks. We recommend calling a professional roofer to climb up on your roof and check it out, but there could be a hole in your roof that is being covered by a piece of debris. On the other hand, there may be a piece of debris, which could make a hole or vulnerable spot on your roof as it rubs against the surface.
Now that you have a better understanding of how a rain leak can occur in your home and what to do, you can rest assured that SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can be there as soon as the same day for any water damage disaster.
If you’re experiencing a rain leak in your home give us a call at (561) 795-5410
Or visit us at http://www.SERVPROwestpalmbeachfl.com
Professional Water Removal Services in Palm Beach
Our SERVPRO crew is ready with trucks loaded and equipment ready to help with all of your water damage restoration needs.
For Palm Beach, SERVPRO Offers Industry-Leading Water Extraction and Restoration Services
We all have ideas as far as water removal is concerned and usually attempt to do something when we face related disasters. However, to what levels should we dry our contents and how do you know what to discard and what to repair? Never take chances if you are a resident of Palm Beach when professionals can efficiently guide you through the restoration process.
For any water removal process in your Palm Beach property to be a success, the equipment that technicians use makes the difference. As a company, SERVPRO understands precisely that, and our team takes the shortest time possible to arrive at the site since an immediate response is crucial to an efficient restoration process. We work hard to mitigate water damages.
There are two ways through which water can damage your content. The first one takes place when materials absorb the water via direct contact. The second way is when they absorb the excess moisture from the air. Either way, our SERVPRO technicians must create appropriate conditions that promote drying. While we can use pumps to extract a substantial amount of water, there are situations where we use detection equipment to measure the moisture level in carpets, walls, and other areas. Moisture meters, moisture sensors, and thermo-hygrometers are some of the equipment that our IICRC certified water damage restoration crew members can use.
The application of dehumidifiers and air movers is part of the procedures that our SERVPRO technicians employ to enhance evaporation. While air movers promote evaporation of moisture from surfaces to the air, dehumidifiers remove the additional moisture from the air thereby lowering the humidity.
Direct contact with water might cause some contents to rot and lead to the release of odors. It is the job of our technicians to identify and remove the sources of the odors. Usually, the odors might have penetrated into tiny spaces and removing the source might not be enough for complete elimination. That is where we introduce deodorization – we use thermal foggers or ULV foggers to spray the deodorants. Our OCT, odor control technicians can make the right call.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach has a proven record in fire, storm, water and mold restoration. Contact us at (561) 795-5410 and be served by an industry leader.
Hot Water Tank Malfunctions Can Mean Water Removal Efforts To Your Palm Beach Home
Visually inspect your water heater on a regular basis for changes in how it looks or for apparent leaks.
Did you know that the average water heater is not meant to last more than ten years? You would not be alone in being unaware, it seems. Month to month, Palm Beach homes are seeing the life run out of their heating tanks in their home, which can cause a considerable mess. The excessive water that results from this malfunction can be overwhelming, not to mention damaging to the structure and contents of your residence.
Understanding that each of these appliances has a shelf life is just the tip of the iceberg, however. There are plenty of calls to our SERVPRO team for Palm Beach water removal following heater malfunctions in units that were not at all close to their proposed expiration dates. There are ways to help prevent substantial water damages, but there is always a risk with having a high-pressure appliance routed through your indoor plumbing system.
Common malfunctions to these water heating units are in response to normal wear on gaskets and seals. With years of daily use, any machine is going to need to be serviced or replaced. Failure to do so can see these weakening points eventually expose themselves completely, spilling the contents of the tank or rupturing the appliance’s connectors to the supply side of your plumbing network. Either scenario undoubtedly causes a great deal of water to pour onto the floor and requires removal to prevent considerable damage to your home.
Our SERVPRO water restoration and removal techniques use the most efficient equipment to eliminate the water and to dry the area as quickly as possible. Removal begins with portable pumping units and truck mounted equipment, which can quickly evacuate the water from the affected area, so drying efforts can begin immediately afterward. The faster these processes can happen, the less lasting or irreparable damage that occurs to the structure of your home (not to mention the contents of the room).
Visually inspect your water heater on a regular basis for changes in how it looks or for apparent leaks. This kind of diligence can prevent significant water removal efforts later on. If your water heater does decide to malfunction, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. You can reach us anytime at (561) 795-5410.
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Removing Water and Damages in West Palm Beach After Hurricane Irma
Professional Services Available to Restore Your Home
Hurricane Irma is on track to be one of the costliest hurricanes in United States history, rivaling Hurricane Katrina in potential economic damage. Millions of Floridians have been affected, with some having lost everything in the storm. In the aftermath of such disasters, SERVPRO is always ready at West Palm Beach to provide water removal services to a sizable and desperate population in need. While our systems would normally strain under such a heavy workload, our national resources allow us to acquire extra equipment and even personnel in the aftermath of such disasters. Here are a few ways we can help after Hurricane Irma.
Many homes remain flooded in West Palm Beach and require water removal. Even if standing water has gone away, water remains soaked into materials and foundations across most of the community, creating grave and immediate structural and mold problems for those left without care. Our wide array of water extraction and removal devices allow us to handle a broad spectrum of moisture problems and fully clear your home of water in a timely fashion.
Even if your home has fully dried out, it likely still bears the marks of flood damage. Stains, debris, and warped materials now plague many local homes, presenting simple but significant obstacles for homeowners looking to return to normalcy. SERVPRO specializes in water damage restoration, and we can help to eliminate any lasting damage, no matter how severe it may seem.
Mold Checks and Remediation
Hurricanes invariably lead to the explosive growth of one particularly troublesome household organism: mold. Mold can begin to grow with any amount of water added to the home but is especially likely after flooding. Our technicians and inspectors are always careful to monitor for and deal with mold colonies should they begin to grow.
SERVPRO of West Palm Beach is here to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Call us 24/7 at (561) 795-5410 for emergency services or questions about our work.
Visit http://wpb.org/ for more information about West Palm Beach.
Water Damage Comes in Many Classes in Palm Beach
After enough water damage occurs, some areas will need complete restoration, like this kitchen cabinet.
Rely on SERVPRO to Restore Your Home After a Water Intrusion or Leak
Damage from water can occur from different sources throughout your home. Your kitchen can develop a leak in a water hose leading from a dishwasher or a kitchen pipe under the sink. Your washing machine can overflow, etc. Many people believe that the water caused by these instances is clean, but the EPA reports that “clean water” can carry unhealthy bacteria. Other causes of damage can also be caused by a leaking room, bad weather, or cracks within the foundation.
Water damage is classified into four different classes for proper treatment. If you experience water damage in your Palm Beach home, restoration experts can determine what is needed in the clean-up efforts. The classification of water damage is based on the effects of the water, the rate of evaporation, and how much moisture is absorbed by the materials in the area. All four classifications involve the following information:
• Class One is the least harmful. This damage affects only part of a room, with materials that include particle board, plywood, structural wood, vinyl composition tile, and concrete.
• Class Two has a fast rate of evaporation. This faster rate means that carpets and cushions are damaged. The seepage of water up a wall is less than 24 inches, and moisture is held within structural materials.
• Class Three has the fastest rate of evaporation. Damage may come from faulty sprinklers or other ceiling sources that can soak the walls, furniture, carpets, ceilings and the subfloor. A wide-spread water event.
• Class Four requires special water restoration and removal treatment. This classification affects flooring, plaster, stone, brick, crawlspaces, and concrete.
SERVPRO is a leading industry, water remediation service. For the safety of everyone in the home, it is important to distinguish which category of water damage you have. Restoration experts from SERVPRO offer removal services such as sewage clean-up, structure drying, water mitigation, contents inventory and cleaning. Our ASD, applied structural drying technicians, can deal with any type of water problem requiring extraction and restoration. "Like it never even happened."
For a quick, professional, water removal service, contact SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. We are locally owned and operated. We have the expertise and equipment to restore your property properly. Call us today at (561) 795-5410. You can expect an immediate response time 24 hours a day, day or night.