Recent Water Damage Posts
Preparing for the Insurance Adjuster's Visit
A home adjuster is an important part of the insurance claims process
To Prepare For The Adjusters Arrival, Follow These Steps
You have probably heard that floods are not included in a typical homeowners' policy. Yet many other types of water damage are covered. For instance, if water enters your home through a hole in the roof caused by a storm, you can file an insurance claim to pay for the cost of repairs.
Before your claim is finalized, a home adjuster will visit your property to see how much damage there is. To prepare for the adjuster's arrival, follow the below steps.
1. Make an Inventory
If it is safe to do so, walk around your home to see which items were damaged. Make a list of these possessions that includes costs and dates of purchase. You can give this list to the adjuster when he or she arrives.
2. Check for Structural Damage
The adjuster will also want to look at structural issues on your property. This includes any harm that occurred to the shed or swimming pool. Identify this damage in advance so you can show it to the adjuster.
3. Get Electrical System Inspected
Find out if the house has any electrical problems before the home adjuster arrives. The insurance provider may even cover the cost of this inspection.
Keep in mind that if there is a major disaster in St. Charles, MO, the adjuster may have to visit numerous homes in your area within a short amount of time. As a result, the adjuster may initially only be able to provide an estimate of the damage. You can always set up a second appointment for a more thorough assessment.
After the adjuster has left, you can contact emergency restoration professionals. Your adjuster may even recommend a local company that he or she has worked with in the past. Make sure the adjuster has approved the cost of the cleanup before the work begins.
A home adjuster is an important part of the insurance claims process. If you properly prepare for his or her visit, you should get your money more quickly.
Benefits of Using a Certified Water Damage Expert
What is the IICRC certification?
Water damage to your commercial property from such things as flooding or a broken pipe should always be taken seriously. If left untreated, the damage can pose serious health risks to your employees in Weldon Spring, MO. It is important to call a certified expert as soon as possible after the trouble occurs to assess the situation and handle the water clean up. When searching for a qualified company, make sure it employs IICRC-certified professionals.
What Is IICRC Certification?
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is an organization that sets the industry standards and certification for cleaning, restoration, and inspection. A company has to pass a rigorous audit before obtaining certification. Each technician must also pass a strenuous written exam to ensure they are knowledgeable in their specific field.
What Are the Benefits of IICRC Certification?
Each individual that is certified by IICRC has been trained to handle water clean up in a safe and professional manner. Some of the benefits in choosing a certified professional include:
Works well under pressure - Certified technicians are trained to handle stressful emergencies with a level head. They are also excellent problem solvers.
Has specific knowledge to handle technical equipment - Trained professionals can safely and effectively operate all of the advanced drying, cleaning, and deodorizing equipment.
Can communicate well - A professional will be able to answer your questions with clear and concise responses so that you aren’t left in the dark.
Has the ability to handle large projects - A certified water restoration professional is trained to identify all problem areas and handle the water damage repair, especially on large commercial properties.
As you begin your search for a restoration company to take care of your water clean up, make sure you select an IICRC-certified company. This will give you the confidence you need to know that your property is in good hands.
How to Handle Leaks in Light Fixtures
A "water in light" situation is the worst thing that could happen in the event of a leak
Possible Causes Of Water In Light Fixture
As a homeowner in St. Peters, MO, a "water in light" situation is the worst thing that could happen in the event of a leak. The result is a highly hazardous situation that requires urgent professional attention. The last thing you want to do is test your DIY talents with this type of project.
Possible causes of water in light include:
- An overflowing AC drip pan
- A leaking bathroom directly above
- Broken fire sprinklers
Turn Off the Electricity
There's no doubt water and electricity don't mix. For that reason alone, turn off the power at the main switchboard immediately you notice water in the electrical fixtures. That will mitigate ceiling damage and give you time to inform everyone of the impending danger.
However, do not assume the power is off just because you flipped a switch. Water can be pretty unpredictable, and there's no telling when or if it will get into the switch box. Instead, use a non-contact voltage tester to make sure the electricity is off.
Shut Off Water Supply
Depending on the situation, the leak could be coming from a plumbing accident. If so, find the main valve and turn it counterclockwise to cut the water supply. That should stop further water damage, saving you thousands of dollars.
Call the Professionals
Next, have a plumber come on-site to asses the leak. They should fix it quickly and get the area ready for electrical work. After that, get an electrician to replace the light fixture.
Keep in mind that this restoration process may take a long time to complete as the experts have to make sure the entire electrical system is free of water.
That said, please do not attempt to fix the "water in light leak" – unless you have training and experience in dealing with flooded electrical systems. Things can head south in an instant, leaving you homeless or even worse.
What To Know About Frozen Pipes
Cold temperatures can lead to freezing which in turn can cause water damage
What To Know About Frozen Pipes
Many business owners in St. Charles, MO, find that water damage occurs after a pipe freeze. There are a few things business owners should know about their pipes and any cold weather they may experience in their area. If you think you may be at risk for frozen pipes there are a few things you should know
1. How Freezing Leads To Damage
When water freezes it expands. These means that any water in the pipes during cold weather can expand and bush against the walls creating stress points. Enough stress from within can lead cracks which in turn can create broken pipes. When the water thaws it can seep through any cracks and create a leak, or if the chink is large enough flood the area.
2. Winterizing May Help Prevent Freezing
One way to help prevent this type of water damage is to winterize the pipes. This process usually involves turning of any water to outdoor spigots, and draining the water to ensure these pipes are empty. Pipes in areas where there is no insulation from outside temperatures may require additional insulation.
3. Damage Should Be Quickly Fixed
In the even that a frozen pipe does lead to flooding, it’s best to have the damage repaired as quickly as possible. If left unattended water caused damage can seep further in and lead to issues such as mold, swollen wood, and even cracks in the foundation. Fortunately, a local damage restoration service can help with a water cleanup as well as any repairs that need to be made.
Cold temperatures can lead to freezing which in turn can cause water damage. Winterizing your business’s pipes can help prevent this problem, but if damage does occur a local restoration service may be able to help. Remember, if damage does occur, it’s best to have it taken care of as quickly as possible.
Water in Light Fixtures Requires Precaution
When there is water in light fixtures it becomes a more serious issue
A water leak in your St. Peters,MO, is a hassle. When there is water in light fixtures, that hassle quickly becomes a more serious issue. Since water is an electrical conductor, a ceiling leak requires extra safety precautions. Although you may want to jump right in and solve the issue, staying safe needs to be the first priority.
4 Safety Precautions
At the first signs of water in a light fixture, take the following safety precautions to ensure no one is injured or a fire starts.
Immediately turn off the water and electricity in the home. This will stop extra water coming in if it is from a pipe burst and reduce the chances of an electrical fire starting.
Communicate the situation to everyone in the home. It is best to stay clear of any electrical sources until the situation is remedied. If possible, block access to the affected area.
Test that the electricity is off with a non-contact voltage tester. This includes checking outlets, switches, and appliances. Be sure to not touch sources with visible moisture.
Get professional help. A licensed electrician and water damage expert can help ensure the situation is safely handled and repaired.
After finding water in light and taking the above precautions, you can begin to do some minor cleanup while you wait for the professionals. If water can still be visibly seen dripping, capture it with buckets or large bowls. Towels and newspapers can be used to absorb the standing water. Any rugs, furniture or other items that have been affected should be removed to dry out.
It's also important to find the source of the problem. Ceiling damage is often a result of a roof leak or plumbing issues. If there is a bathroom above the affected area, you will want to also call a plumber.
Water in light fixtures is not something to be taken lightly. By taking a few extra precautions, you can safely get the situation handled and your home back to normal.
3 Tips for Preventing Frozen Pipes
Let the faucet drip
When it gets cold outside and you bundle up to stay warm, don't forget to give your pipes a bit of TLC. Dropping temperatures can lead to frozen pipes, causing them to burst and flood your St. Peters,MO, home. Too often, people who live in warmer climates don't take steps to protect their pipes. Remember that a pipe freeze can happen in any community when freezing temps cause an unusually cold day or two.
Metal Pipes Are the Main Risk
It's possible for pipes inside and outside the home to freeze. It's also possible that harm done during the winter may not show up until temperatures warm up again in the spring. Metal water pipes are particularly susceptible to the cold:
- Metal readily conducts cold from the water and the air
- Pipes tend to be only an inch or two in diameter
- Water systems run into the home from outside, carrying freezing temps inside
There are steps you can take to make sure the water running through your pipes doesn't freeze.
Leave the Heat On
If you plan to go out of town, leave the heat on. The ideal temperature is somewhere above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you generally turn your thermostat down at night, consider the same step of leaving it a bit higher when outside temperatures drop very low.
Let the Faucet Drip
When you open the faucet, water continues to move through the plumbing system, relieving pressure throughout the system. If you have hot and cold water in separate pipes, open both handles just a little bit.
Open Cabinet Doors
The pipes running under the sink can be kept a little warmer if you leave the cabinet doors open to allow access for the heated air of your home. Any rooms that you might otherwise close off should also be opened up to allow for warm air to pass through.
If you do experience frozen pipes, contact a St. Peters,MO, water damage remediation professional right away. Water causes damages quickly and freezing temperatures are sure to exacerbate the problem.
Prepare for a Visit From the Insurance Adjuster
The insurance adjuster works closely with our team from start to finish
Filing a homeowner’s insurance claim in O'Fallon, MO, can be tricky if not handled correctly. Details are key in these situations, especially if the cause of the damage is not clear. To ensure your claim is accepted, you must know exactly what your policy requires you to do. If you skip some steps or miss any deadlines, the insurance agent may throw your claim out.
Contact Your Agent Immediately
Contact either your insurance agent or the insurance company to find out the specifics of your policy and what types of damage are covered. You will also need to know:
- How much time you have to file the claim
- If the claim will exceed your deductible
- How long the claim will take to process
- If they require repair estimates
Prevent Further Damage
Some insurance companies require that you do some temporary repairs or get board up services to secure the damaged areas and prevent further damage. You will want to save receipts for any purchases you make regarding the home damage, to collect insurance reimbursement. You should wait on completing large permanent repairs until the home adjuster assesses the damage.
Prepare a List
Before the home adjuster arrives, it is best to be prepared with a list of house damages as well as damaged belongings, so they can add this to their overall claim valuation. Your list should include the items, a description of each, approximate purchase date, and the replacement or repair cost. Having receipts for as many of these items as possible will help your case move more quickly.
If your insurance company requires bids from licensed contractors, collect a few written bids with materials and prices listed clearly. Keep copies of everything you provide to the home adjuster, as well as copies of paperwork they provide to you. Write down names and numbers of everyone at the company you speak with too, just in case something goes wrong with your claim.
Repair Your Home Back to Normal
Providing your home adjuster with as many details as possible will help to ensure your claim is accepted. Doing all of these things in an efficient manner is important too, as the longer some types of damages sit around, such as water damage, the more likely mold and further permanent damage can set in. Disaster remediation companies can help you repair both your home and damaged belongings quickly and thoroughly, saving you time and effort.
Three Crucial Steps in Removing Water From Your Flooded Basement
Cleaning your gutters can prevent future water problems in your home
How to Stay Safe While Removing Water from Your Flooded Basement
Anyone that owns a home with a basement knows the fear the very thought of a foot of standing water reaching across the floor below ground can send up the spine. A basement flood is more than a nuisance; it can be a costly destructive force that destroys Christmas decorations, stored antiques, and even precious pictures and journals. The flood water can also seep into the structure of your home and weaken the foundation. No matter how the water got into your basement, you need to remove it as quickly as possible; however, to stay safe while doing so, there are three crucial steps to follow.
Stay out of the water.
The flooded basement can be an electrocution hazard, so stay out of the water. Call in a water removal and restoration team to get the liquid safely out as quickly as possible and while you are waiting for the team’s arrival, turn off the utilities to the area. If you must enter the water, wear rubber boots at least six inches higher than the water’s level and move very carefully with each step.
Know what to throw away.
Floodwaters are often filled with bacteria, fecal matter, and other chemicals that can damage your home and any items soaked by the liquid. Electronics, appliances, stored porous items, and water-soaked walls and floors resulting from a basement flood are probably damaged beyond repair. Make sure to itemize everything you throw away so you can apply for insurance coverage of each piece.
Prevent future water problems.
Floods are not always preventable. However, there are things you can do to help protect your home. Cleaning gutters, sealing foundation cracks, installing rubber water barriers, and sloping the ground around your house can help prevent future floods. Nothing is fool proof, but each of these steps can help.
A basement flood in Weldon Spring,MO, can be costly and cause serious damage to your home. When a flood does occur, use these three crucial steps when removing the water.
Safety First When Dealing With a Basement Flood
Find out what type of insurance coverage you have and whether your insurance company has any requirements.
Too many homeowners regularly deal with flooded basements after heavy rainfall and during the spring thaw. What can you do when this disaster strikes your own home? Take a look at the following steps for how to safely resolve a basement flood in St. Charles City, Illinois by addressing:
- Insurance requirements
One of the first things you need to understand is that there's more than water damage to worry about. As soon as even an inch of water has collected in the basement, you need to address the danger of electrocution and the possibility of gas problems. If you have a service panel, a water heater, or other major appliances in the basement, there is a serious risk of electrocution. If the level of water is higher than the electrical outlets, do not go into the area. Instead, call the fire department for the safe removal of much of the water.
If the water level is low, begin by shutting off the power to the basement. If the breakers or circuits are in the basement, put down a wood or plastic step stool, so you don't touch the water. Keep all appliance cords out of the water and wear rubber boots while working in the flooded area.
Prevent Gas Leaks
Contact your gas company and get specific instructions from them for dealing with flooded gas appliances. There should be a gas shutoff on the outside of your home.
Contact the Insurance Company
Find out what type of insurance coverage you have and whether your insurance company has any requirements. For example, you may need to provide photographic proof of the flooding, or the insurance company may require you to work with specific flood remediation companies. Even if you intend to handle much of the work yourself, you need to know what your insurance company expects.
After making sure that electricity, gas, and insurance requirements have been satisfied, you can move forward with removing water and addressing damages caused by the basement flood. Remember you won't get much done if you, friends, or family members are injured before you even get started.
Preventing Water Damage During Building Construction
Broken pipe in a St. Peters, MO building
One of the most frequent losses caused during building construction is water damage. Whether it is the result of a flooding, unexpected rain storms, or a forgotten water pipe repair, the resulting water can cause delays in construction and an over-run on building material replacement costs. Here are three ways that water damage can cause problems.
Flooding from a broken pipe or a plumbing valve that was incorrectly installed can be one of the most frequent causes of water damage loss during construction. Losses can result in thousands of dollars due to
- Damaged material tear-out
- Removing debris
- Water remediation team expenses
- Material costs
- Employee wages
Reducing possible construction defects can help avert expensive repairs, as can taking precautions such as turning the water off at night to a building under construction. This can also help reduce your loss profitability.
Construction delays can result in a great deal of paperwork as insurance becomes involved. It may only be damage from a water pipe repair or sudden torrential rain storm, but when building materials are damaged, it can become costly, and contractors must turn to insurance as a partial remedy. Once water enters the building envelope, the losses in time and man-power can be staggering.
In this social media rampant world, loss from water damage in a flooded area during construction can result in angry clients in St. Peters, MO, that may rant on one of their social walls about the building delays. That, in turn, can influence the way others look at you and your crew, and it may even prevent the possibility of future jobs.
Reducing water damage can be as simple as checking for water pipe repair issues during construction. By avoiding flooding, you can often prevent schedule delays and increase your profits. If you do have water damage problems, contact a water remediation team immediately for help to alleviate secondary water damage.
Three Things You Should Know About Water Damage
Leaking roof in a Weldon Spring, MO home
3 Things to Keep in Mind in The Event of Water Damage
Water from a storm or pipe burst is often the cause of home damage, but it is likely that you don’t know all there is to know about this common problem. Here are a few things to keep in mind in the event of water damage to your Weldon Spring,MO home.
1. It Can Come From a Variety of Sources
There are many things that can cause water damage. In the winter, frozen pipes can break, and snow or ice can cause damage to your roof and create a leak. A broken water line can also cause quite a bit of damage. Water can also come from a smaller source, such as a leaky pipe or cracks in the walls.
2. It Is Not Always Covered By Homeowners Insurance
Depending on the source of the water damage, you will not always be covered by your insurance. One example is if you have failed to maintain your home properly and a broken pipe or appliance is found to be caused by negligence. Another instance when you will generally not be covered is if the damage is caused by flooding. Most homeowners policies do not cover this type of natural disaster, and you will need to have a separate flood policy.
3. It Can Cause Significant Damage
Even if the source of damage seems insignificant, you should have it dealt with right away. A leaky window may not be as much of an emergency as having a pipe burst, but if it is ignored, the water damage will only worsen. Water can cause building materials to warp and can contribute to the growth of mold inside of your walls and flooring, so it should be taken care of as soon as you notice it.
Whether a pipe burst or a leaky roof has let in moisture, a professional water damage remediation service can help. They can repair both the source of water in your home as well as the resulting damage. If you notice water in your home, do not hesitate to get it fixed.
Prevent Water Damage While You Are Away
Broken pipe in St. Peters, MO
Have you ever traveled for an extended period of time and wondered what was going on in your home in St. Peters,MO? In order to prevent the necessity of water pipe repair, it is important to properly monitor your home while you are away.
Steps To Prevent Water Damage
In order to prevent water damage from a broken pipe while away from your home, here is a list of things you can do to prevent coming home to a house that is flooded.
- Make sure that your heat is on to prevent pipes from freezing while you are away.
- Have someone check on your home while you are gone or utilize a digital home monitoring system that can be viewed using your smart devices.
- Check all the pipes in your water system and heating system before departing to make sure there are no cracks.
- Ensure that your heating system is working correctly, that all necessary repairs have taken place and that the oil tank is filled if your home is heated by oil.
- Look at the connections to your appliances to determine they are secure and there is no chance of a leak occurring.
It is important to take the necessary steps to prevent a leak and do your best to ensure that water pipe repair is not needed when you return home.
What if Water Damage Occurs?
Even with all the preventative measures, there is no guarantee that you will not come home to a broken pipe or some sort of water damage. If something has flooded while you were away, it is important to take the proper steps to dry your home and personal property. Shut off the main water valve if the leak has occurred in a pipe in order to prevent further damage. If the amount of water damage is severe, a professional water mitigation company can help to restore your home and prevent future issues.
Sitting water can be harmful to your health and home. Prevent it if you can, and don’t be afraid to ask for help with water pipe repair when it is necessary.
How To Identify Category 3 Water Damage
Flooding caused by rain in St. Charles, MO
Category 3 water is highly contaminated. Insurance companies and restoration experts use this categorization to describe water that may contain chemicals, pathogens, and solid waste. This category of water calls for sewage cleanup. Learn how to identify black water and clean up this type of damage.
Identify the Source
The third category of water damage differs from the first two categories in terms of its origin. Category 1 water is clean, treated, and comes from a supply pipe. Category 2 water is contaminated, but does not contain solid waste. Category 3 water is a result of:
- Flooding caused by rain or rising bodies of water
- Sewer backups
- Water left standing for long periods of time
If water in a residence comes from any of these sources, it is very likely contaminated. Cleanup methods will depend on the amount of solids present.
Determine the Consistency
The fastest way to eliminate standing water is to use a pump. Some pumps can extract solid waste in addition to water. Homeowners will probably need to rent a pump or hire a water damage cleanup company. Solids in this category of water may include:
It is necessary to remove all standing water and solids. Homeowners or cleanup professionals should wear personal protective equipment when dealing with contaminated water.
Clean and Disinfect
In addition to cleaning, it is also necessary to disinfect areas exposed to black water. Mitigation professionals often perform several phases of cleanup, including:
- A disinfecting pre-treatment
- Tearing out
Carpet and drywall should be torn out and replaced, as it is difficult to completely disinfect porous materials. Professionals can recommend the best approach to cleaning and restoration.
Homeowners should hire a sewage cleanup company to remove black water from a residence in St. Charles,MO. Quickly completing the mitigation process may limit primary damage and reduce the risk of mold.
What Water Damage Can Do To Your Home or Business:
Common Water Damage
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of St Charles City and County provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of St Charles City and 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.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 SERVPRO of St Charles City and County 636-926-0033
Here is a Typical Timeline for Water Damage:
- 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.
About SERVPRO of St Charles City and County
SERVPRO of St Charles City and 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.