Recent Water Damage Posts

WHY PIPE FREEZING IS A PROBLEM!

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

  • Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
  • Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
  • Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Information for this blog obtained by redcross.org - when you have a water emergency, call the franchise professionals at SERVPRO of Cape May County, 609-624-0202.

Prevent Water Damage in your Cape May County Home.

9/3/2018 (Permalink)

How to Prevent Water Damage In Your Home.

Preventing water damage is a lot cheaper than paying for repairs. Here are three easy prevention tips.

Water damage is the No. 1 culprit that weakens your home’s foundation and what holds your house together.

Here’s how to prevent water damage using three easy strategies that will give you peace of mind the next time heavy storms hit.

#1. Ensure Good Drainage

Poor drainage weakens your foundation, causing cracks, uneven settling, and pathways for water to enter your home.

Clean your gutters routinely. A clogged gutter will send cascades of water down the side of your house, damaging your siding and foundation.

Ensure your downspouts direct water 5 to 10 feet away from your house.

Make sure your yard is sloped at least 6 inches over a 10-foot span away from your foundation. That slope keeps water from getting down right next to your foundation, where it could cause walls to lean, crack the masonry, and create leaks. (For crawl spaces, keeping water away makes sure excess water doesn’t pool underneath your floor, making for damp conditions that encourage mold, rot, and insects.)

#2. Test Your Sump Pump Regularly

Sump pumps come to life during storms. That’s not when you want to realize yours isn’t working properly. You should check it at least once a year, and ideally perform several checks during heavy storm seasons.

How to test your sump pump:  Slowly fill the sump pump pit with water. Watch for the “float” (similar to the float in your toilet) to rise, which should turn on the pump. Then watch to make sure the water level falls.

Test your backup pump the same way, but unplug the main pump first. If you don’t have a backup pump — or a generator — and are on municipal water, get one that runs on water pressure. If you’re on well water, your only option is the battery kind.

#3. Check for Water Leaks and Fix Them

Persistent leaks lead to mold and mildew, rot, and even termites and carpenter ants (they like chewing soggy wood, since it’s soft). Yet if you fix a leak soon after it starts, there may be no long-term damage at all. 

How to check for leaks: Check for dark spots under pipes inside sink cabinets, stains on ceilings, toilets that rock, and of course drips.

At least once a year, inspect your roof. Repair missing, loose, and damaged shingles. Repair any cracked caulking and check for leaks around flashing.

So now you know how to prevent water damage — and add years (and lower maintenance costs to your home!). Of course if water damage does affect your home, be sure to call us at 609-624-0202.

Concerned About Flooding Due to Storms?

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Here in Cape May County, it’s important to be prepared for water damage. Many of us live on barrier islands where the threat of flood is an everyday concern whether its high tide from a full moon, heavy rains or an intense storm.

Being prepared for flooding and water damage is your best defense. Be aware of the tides and the weather, be prepared to move cars to higher grounds and keep all pets inside when necessary. Be aware of how high off the ground your home is, do you have a crawlspace that would be susceptible to water?

Finally, have a plan in place in the event water damage does occur in your home. SERVPRO® of Cape May County is ready to go 24/7 to assist you. We can be reached at 609-624-0202, we will work to make your situation as stress-free as possible.

Water Catagories

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Catagories There are three types of contaminated water.

There are three types of contaminated water: 

Catagory 1:"Clean Water" is from, a clean source like a broken water line; however, if left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3.

Category 2: "Gray Water" may contain bacteria and viruses, and can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated.

Category 3: "Black Water" comes from flooding rivers or sewer backup and may contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals and microbes.

No one wants to end up with category 3 water damage in their home. If you run into a water damage problem, call the trained professionals at SERVPRO® of Cape May County at 609-642-0202 to make the process as stress free as possible. We are here to answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

5 Ways to Protect Your New Home from Water Damage

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

After spending a great deal of money on a new home, the last thing you want to face is the hefty expense of water damage repairs. However, this is a reality all new homeowners should prepare for — especially since floods are the most frequent and costly types of natural disasters in the United States.

SERVPRO® of Cape May County reminds consumers that there are several ways to protect against damage caused by storms, floods, and plumbing emergencies. To help you keep your property in good condition, this residential restoration service offers a few important tips to follow:

5 Water Damage Prevention Tips for New Homeowners

  1. Invest in Roof Inspections

Small roofing problems can develop rapidly — and result in serious leaks the next time a heavy storm comes along. Visually inspect your roof at least once every year, especially after bad weather occurs. You should also hire a professional roofer to thoroughly inspect the structure about once every three years. If you spot any issues — such as missing shingles — have them repaired immediately.

  1. Test Your Sump Pump Annually

When you have a flooded basement, your home’s sump pump can help clear water out to prevent damage. However, these devices only have an average life span of 10 years and can often experience issues after long periods of inactivity. To avoid flooding damage, test the sump pump once a year and promptly repair any problems.

  1. Keep Your Gutters Functional

If your gutters don’t provide proper drainage, excess water can spill over and damage the walls and foundation of your home. Regularly clean your gutters to promote the flow of water away from your home. And if you spot sagging or broken gutters, have them replaced as soon as possible.   

  1. Watch Your Water Bill

Since the majority of your home’s plumbing system remains hidden behind the walls, it can be tough to spot leaks that may cause water damage. However, unusual upticks in water bills can be a sign of a potential leak. If you notice increasing water usage, call a plumber for a professional inspection.

  1. Check Your Insurance  

While proactive inspection and repairs can help new homeowners avoid water damage, some incidents can’t always be avoided. In these cases, strong homeowners and flood insurance policies can help cover the cost of water restoration and mold remediation.

When water damage occurs, it’s important to restore the area as quickly as possible to prevent structural deterioration and mold growth. You’ll find fast and reliable care from the professionals at SERVPRO of Cape May County. To learn more about our emergency restoration services call (609) 624-0202 to request assistance.

Cape May County 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Cape May 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 - 609-624-0202 
you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Cape May County has the 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 flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Cape May County

SERVPRO of Cape May County 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. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Cape May County Residents: We Specialize in Flood Cleanup and Restoration!

6/2/2017 (Permalink)

Flooded Crawlspace/Basement

A crawlspace or basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. These areas are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your property could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causing surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more…

The flooding in this home was caused by heavy rain runoff.  Cape May County had received several inches of rain that week and it overwhelmed the system. 

At this particular job, we were on site within an hour to inspect the damage and to begin the water extraction process.  In less than four days we had the area dry. We used advanced inspection and monitoring equipment to determine that the structure of the home was dry. 

If water damage is not handled quickly and properly, it can cause severe damage to your home’s structure, not to mention the potential harmful health effects of mold. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get! 

We are Flood Damage Specialists, and we: 

  • Are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • Are a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • Bill the Insurance Company Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About!
  • Highly-Trained Technicians in Water Restoration Techniques
  • Use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Have advanced inspection and extraction equipment

Have Questions? Call Us Today – We’re Here To Help! 609-624-0202. We make it, "Like it never even happened.®" 

SERVPRO® of Cape May County 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

6/2/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Cape May 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 – 609-624-0202

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 Cape May County has the 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 flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Cape May County

SERVPRO of Cape May County 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. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Call 609-624-0202 if you need emergency water assistance.

Faster to your Cape May County Water Damage Event

6/2/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Faster to your Cape May County Water Damage Event SERVPRO® of Cape May County provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in all of Cape May County

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we.

SERVPRO® of Cape May County provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Cape May County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 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.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • 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.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 at 609-624-0202.

Water Damage Tips for Cape May County Residents

2/1/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Tips for  Cape May County Residents "Like it never even happened.®"

Affected by Water Damage? We're here to help Cape May, Ocean City, Wildwood and surrounding areas in Cape May County!

Did you know that the first 24 hours after a storm causing widespread flooding and water damage are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage?

Many flood situations require professional equipment and knowledge of the science of drying to mitigate, however, there are steps residents and business owners can take to help minimize damage until professional help arrives.

  • First and foremost, do not operated any equipment that requires electrical power in areas that have standing water or moisture.

  • If the water has entered the structure through the flooding of a creek, stream, or river, if it is seawater, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered to be black water and could be hazardous to your health. For this type of damage, avoid contact with contaminated items as much as possible.

  • Take the greatest caution while entering your home, and wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing when dealing with flooded areas.

  • Throw away all foods - even canned goods - that have come into contact with flood waters.

  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for drying. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.

  • Only open windows to promote drying if the air outside is less humid than the air inside.

  • If your home has a crawlspace, be aware excess moisture in this area can often foster mold growth.

SERVPRO® of Cape May County has responded to many large loss and storm events in the state of New Jersey and across the country. When Winter weather strikes, we make it, “Like it never even happened.®

Call 609-624-0202 if you have any water damage questions. We're here in your community, and we're here to help!