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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Water Damage Blog Posts

Faulty Plumbing is Often the Cause of Water Damage

8/13/2018 (Permalink)

Many times when water damage occurs in a home or commercial property, it is due to faulty plumbing. Those without plumbing experience may have a difficult time recognizing potential issues and then addressing these issues before they become a bigger, more expensive problem.

According to thecleanplumbers.com, there are eight common causes of plumbing leaks that can lead to water damage to a property.

  1. Advanced Corrosion – Over an extended period of time, corrosion can damage pipes and create holes where water can escape. This is a more common issue in piping that was installed over 30 years ago.
  2. Degraded Seals – In order to keep connections watertight, rubber seals are used wherever the pipes are connected to the fixtures. Over time, these seals can degrade and crack, allowing water to seep out and eventually cause damage.
  3. Excess Water Pressure – Water pressure that is too high can actually damage the inside of the plumbing pipes and create a risk for leaks. If the pressure is extremely high, it can even cause the pipes to burst.
  4. Fixture Cracks – Sometimes the actual faucet or pipe that connects directly to it can crack and cause a water leak. This usually happens due to impact. One area that this is common is under the sink. When items are stored under the sink, the pipes are often repeatedly bumped and can eventually lead to pipe damage and water leaks.
  5. Incorrect Pipe Laying – Plumbing should be handled by knowledgeable professionals. It is very important that pipes and connectors are laid properly because small mistakes that at first may not be noticeable can cause massive water damage later.
  6. Pipe Joint Damage – The bends or joints where the water is redirected through the pipes are curved connectors that attach to the straight pipes on either side. Extreme temperatures and water pressure can damage these joints and lead to water damage.
  7. Shifted Connections – Over time, homes can shift and therefore, so can the pipes inside. If the shifts are too much, the pipe connections can break and water damage occurs.
  8. Untreated Clogs – It seems obvious how clogged drains can lead to backups and water damage. But how the clogs are treated can also cause pipe damage. Chemical drain cleaners are often used to unclog drains. At times these chemicals do not remove the entire clog which causes the harmful chemicals to be trapped in one spot in the pipe system. The chemicals can then eat away at the pipe, eventually causing damage and a water leak. It is safer to treat clogs with a plumbing snake or hydro-jetting.

Hopefully learning how to recognize potential plumbing problems and how to address the issues will help you avoid future water damage to your property. But in the unfortunate event that you do end up with a water damage disaster, SERVPRO of Cincinnati East is always here to help! CLICK HERE for Water Damage Emergency Tips!

Common Causes of Water Damage

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

There are many different causes of water damage in a home. Much of the time it is impossible to predict or prevent water damage from occurring, but just knowing the most common causes might just help!

Broken Pipes and Hoses

Burst pipes, broken water lines and cracked hoses often lead to water damage in the home. Periodically checking these can prevent a water loss before it ever happens. Maintenance is key!

Accidents

Accidents do happen! Overflowing sinks, toilets and bathtubs all commonly cause water damage in the home. And who is most guilty of this? The children! To help prevent an accident in your home, always check that faucets are turned off and make sure the kids aren’t overflowing the tub!

Sewer Back Ups

Sewer back-ups can cause a lot of nasty damage! Watch for tree roots growing into drain lines!

Basement Moisture and Leaks

Leaky foundations and moisture in the basement often result in damage as well. Dehumidifiers, waterproofing, and sump pumps can all be very helpful in warding off major water damage occurrences.

Weather

Interior water damage also occurs as a result of weather. Flash flooding happens when least expected. High winds and hail can cause roof damage. Regularly cleaning the gutters and inspecting the roof for damage can definitely help prevent a future water damage incident.

Knowing what causes most water damages in a home can definitely help with prevention. Take a look at your home for signs of potential problems. A few preventative steps today might just save you from a larger water disaster in the future!

CLICK HERE for Helpful Water Damage Emergency Tips!

After the flood…Can the carpet be saved?

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

When a homeowner is faced with a water damage situation in his home, he often wonders if the carpet and padding can be saved. When SERVPRO of Cincinnati East is called for water restoration services, there are factors that the water technicians consider to help determine if the carpet and padding is salvageable.

Upon arriving to the site, the technicians will identify the category and classification of the water damage to ensure that the property is restored following industry guidelines. The level of contamination of the water helps determine whether or not the carpeting and padding can be saved.

There are three categories or classifications for floodwaters: Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3.

Category 1 is considered to be clean, non-contaminated water. It may come from overflowing tubs, leaky faucets, or broken pipes. In most instances of category 1 floodwater, the carpets and padding can be dried and restored.

Category 2 floodwater is classified as gray water. It is considered dirty water and it may result from malfunctioning washing machines or dishwashers for example. If the carpet has been wet for less than 48 hours, it can sometimes be restored. However, for category 2 floodwater, the padding is usually replaced.

Category 3 floodwater or black water is considered hazardous because it contains dangerous contaminants. Black water can come from instances like sewage backups and toilet overflows. In cases of black water floods, the carpeting and padding should be removed, disposed of and replaced.

The SERVPRO of Cincinnati East technicians are experts in water restoration. They have the knowledge and expertise to inspect any situation and make professional decisions as to the appropriate restoration process to use.

If you are facing water damage in your home, call us today! (513)575-4113!

What I've Learned Working for SERVPRO of Cincinnati East

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

From the perspective of Cassie Kohrs – Administrative Assistant, SERVPRO of Cincinnati East

When you think of buying a new home what do you envision? When I was younger I dreamed of the perfect basement where I could host parties and my future kids could play. I wanted to be able to walk out of my basement and right into my backyard. What I didn’t think of though, are the disasters that can happen that may make my picturesque home an expensive project to fix! As an administrative assistant at SERVPRO of Cincinnati East, answering customer calls day after day, I have learned a few things! While I don’t own a home yet, I definitely hope to in the future. That is why I am thankful to this industry for teaching me what to look out for when I finally get to buy that dream home.

            One of the very first things I noticed when I started working for SERVPRO of Cincinnati East is a trend of storm damage to basements. When Cincinnati gets hit with heavy storms the most common place we clean up is the basement. We see damage all the time from sump pump failures, sewage backups, water flooding in from window wells, and underneath doors. Many times these basements are finished and we have to tear out carpet, padding, and drywall. These are often expensive to clean up and then put back together and in some cases the damage isn’t even covered by insurance. It didn’t take long for me to become disillusioned from that perfect finished basement! That however, doesn’t mean that this has to become wasted space.

            Basements, even if unfinished can be a great place for many things. For instance, a basement makes the perfect laundry room. Growing up I didn’t have a finished basement but my dad built a great table that made the ideal work bench for folding laundry. A work bench like this could also be perfect as a crafting or tool table. Unfinished basement space can also be utilized as storage. But I have learned to make sure that items stored on the ground should always be in a deep plastic container so that, in the unfortunate event of a flood, the stored items are safer from water. Another good idea is to store the contents on racks that are at least a foot or two off the ground. And as an extra precaution, I would advise placing these in waterproof containers as well to help prevent water damage. This is especially essential if you are storing important papers, or family photos.

            I personally am not disappointed that I won’t have a big fancy finished basement someday. I am perfectly happy to adjust that part of my future home. (It just means that I get to claim that as my crafting room!) I also don’t want to discourage others from having a finished basement. These are very nice spaces if you are willing to risk the possibility of flooding. However, I will say that if you have a finished basement or are interested in having one in the future, talk with your insurance company and find out what kind of coverage you have and what coverage is available. Also, make sure that you are prepared for this situation by keeping the SERVPRO of Cincinnati East phone number handy. We are always here to help!

SERVPRO OF CINCINNATI EAST TO OFFER CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSE

12/20/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Cincinnati East is offering a free continuing education insurance credit course entitled, “Ethics.” This course is for OHIO credits and will be held at our SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati location at 2115 Schappelle Lane, Forest Park, Ohio, 45240 on January 18th, 2018 from 8:30am to 11:30am with registration beginning at 8:30am. Please note that 100% attendance is required to receive CE credit for this course and that breakfast will be provided!

The premise for this course is that although we may have solid ethical foundations and usually make rational ethical decisions, ethical lapses are likely to come when we are stressed, angry, upset, worried, or otherwise disengaged. We will explore what “Ethics” is by participating in group activities that will help with understanding and making ethical decisions.

The reservation deadline for this CE course is January 2nd, 2018…So for more information or to reserve your spot, contact SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati at 513-541-3200 or email at mobrien@hartkes.com.

Course Number: 37868

SERVPRO of Cincinnati East Strives to Support the Community

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Cincinnati East believes in giving back to the community whenever possible. We are always looking for ways to help out local schools, neighborhoods and charities by offering our time and talents.

For example, we were honored to help a local school district by donating labor and materials when one of the school buildings suffered water damage and needed dry out services. The school Board was very grateful for the donation because it allowed them to use funds elsewhere to better serve the students in the district.

SERVPRO of Cincinnati East strives to have a positive presence in the community and is happy when an opportunity arises to help the students, residents and employees of our community. We value our community and are proud to support in any way we can!

Leaking Hot Water Heater Causes Water Damage to Home in Batavia, Ohio

10/2/2017 (Permalink)

There was major water damage to this ranch home located in Batavia, Ohio due to a leaking hot water heater. The flooring was damaged in the great room, kitchen, and bathroom of the home. Because such a large area was affected, before the SERVPRO of Cincinnati East water technicians could begin remediation, it was necessary to first pack the contents of the home and move them to an on-site storage unit. As part of the process, SERVPRO supplied the storage unit, all packing materials and even an on-site, temporary portable toilet. Because the floors of this home are a wood sub floor raised up on 2 X 4’s, the plywood and wet insulation needed to be removed and bagged for disposal. Once the flooring and other non-salvageable items were completely removed from the home, advanced drying equipment was set up and monitored until the dry out process was complete. Dry out is now complete and the home is ready for structural repairs.

Types of Flooding and Ways to Prepare

9/4/2017 (Permalink)

According to inhabitat.com, there are two types of flooding, natural flooding and man made flooding. Natural flooding occurs as a result of weather. Heavy rains, flash floods and snow melts are all examples of natural occurrences that can cause water damage. Man-made flooding results due to the malfunction of a man made object. Burst pipes, plumbing issues and faulty water heaters are examples of times when man made flooding can occur and cause water damage.

There are ways to prepare for and help lessen the risk for flooding. For natural disasters, it is important to have a plan in place to communicate with family, especially if evacuation is necessary. Putting together an emergency kit is also a good idea. If possible, preventing water from entering the building at all is always best. Waterproofing basements and sealing walls are both methods that can help keep the water out. For man-made disasters, first of all it is important to check the home insurance policy. Flood detection equipment can be installed to detect water and stop it from flowing into the home. Pipes, water heaters, plumbing, foundations, and drainage systems should all be checked routinely to ensure that they are functioning properly.

Of course, not all flooding can be foreseen and prevented and it can happen when least expected. SERVPRO of Cincinnati East is available 24 hours a day and can respond immediately to a water damage situation. Our highly trained water technicians have the training, expertise, and advance equipment to restore the property back to preloss condition. So if you have water damage and need help, call us today!

(513) 575-4113

SERVPRO of Cincinnati East & the Timeline to Water Restoration

8/21/2017 (Permalink)

A homeowner can be faced with a water damage when they least expect it! A burst pipe, flash flooding, clogged gutters, an overflowing sink can all cause water damage to a home. When homeowners are faced with an unexpected water damage they want to know that their home will be back in order as soon as possible. SERVPRO of Cincinnati East has a proven process to restoration after a water loss.

Within ONE HOUR from the first notice of loss, one of our professionals will be in contact with the homeowner to arrange for service to begin.

And within FOUR HOURS from the first notice of loss, our expert crews will be on-site to start mitigation services. We understand that quick response is the key to reducing damage and saving money!

Once onsite, our trained and fully equipped crew will walk through the job process with the homeowner, explaining what to expect. We know that open communication is very important to build trust with our customers!

Our water crews will begin pretesting for restorability, working from the source of the damage outward. And within EIGHT business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal summary of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person.

Our professional crews will work neatly and efficiently to regain control of the property when a damaging event has taken over. They will use state of the art restoration techniques to ensure that the property is taken care of right the first time. And after the work has been completed, a final walk through will be conducted to ensure complete customer satisfaction. We want to leave a job knowing that the homeowner is satisfied and happy with the results.

The Advanced Water Restoration Equipment of SERVPRO

7/24/2017 (Permalink)

In the event of water damage to a residential or commercial property, trained professionals and expert equipment are very important for the restoration process. Our water technicians use exceptional equipment to extract and eliminate moisture from a property.

Detection equipment is used to find the areas of the structure that are affected by water and to determine the extent of moisture absorption. This equipment is also used to verify that the environment has been dried thoroughly upon project completion.

Extraction equipment is the equipment used to actually remove water from an area. This equipment is used to clean carpets and upholstery as well as to remove water from floors.

Airmovers and dehumidifiers are used during the dry-out process to enhance moisture evaporation and reduce drying time.

And finally, to neutralize and eliminate any odors left behind after the water intrusion, deodorization equipment is used to help restore the area to preloss condition.

Clogged Gutters - A Leading Cause of Water Damage!

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Gutters play a key role in preventing water damage to your home. That is why it is essential that you keep your gutters clean and free of debris. Their purpose is to channel rainwater to the downspouts and away from the home, protecting roofs, walls, and foundations of homes. To keep gutters working properly, it is important to make sure that gutters are cleaned regularly so that water can flow freely to the downspouts and away from your home.

So how often should you clean your gutters? It is recommended that you clean your gutters AT LEAST twice a year!

Clogged gutters can cause many issues for a homeowner. If water finds its way into the walls and ceilings of the home, it will cause interior damage. In winter months, pooling water around the foundation of the home can cause foundation cracks if it freezes and expands. The paint and siding of a home can also be damaged as water overflows from the gutters.

Failing to clean gutters regularly can be a very costly mistake! It is one of the most important tasks of a homeowner and, if done on a regular basis, can prevent many homeowner headaches!

Frozen Pipes Can Lead to Extensive Water Damage...Tips to Reduce This Risk!

1/19/2017 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes can be a messy and expensive issue. Extremely cold temperatures of the winter months create a substantial risk for burst or frozen pipes. Being prepared and informed may help minimize the risk of frozen pipes and prevent extensive damage and repairs.

The American Red Cross provides several preventative measures to help reduce the chances for freezing pipes:

  • Drain water from swimming pools and sprinkler supply lines.
  • Remove, drain, and store outdoor hoses.
  • Consider insulating exposed water pipes.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow for warmer air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Let cold water drip from the faucet that is served by the exposed pipes.

The American Red Cross also provides suggested steps if frozen pipes are suspected:

  • Keep the faucet open. As the pipes begin to thaw, the running water will help melt the ice.
  • Apply heat to the frozen area of the pipe using a hair dryer, heating pad, etc. until full water pressure is restored.

Following these suggestions can reduce the risk for frozen or bursting pipes and subsequent water damage. However, if you experience a water damage, SERVPRO of Cincinnati East is always available to help!

As the Fall Season Arrives...It's Time to Clean the Gutters!

9/15/2016 (Permalink)

As we are gearing up for the fall season, now is the time to check those gutters!

Gutters play a significant role in preventing water damage to homes. Their purpose is to channel rainwater to the downspouts and away from the home, protecting roofs, walls, and foundations of homes. To keep gutters working properly, it is important to make sure that gutters are cleaned regularly so that water can flow freely to the downspouts and away from the home.

Clogged gutters can cause many issues for a homeowner. Water that is blocked by the debris in gutters will find the path of least resistance when it tries to drain. This often means it will find its way into the walls and ceilings of the home causing interior damage.

In winter months, if water overflowing from the gutters pools around the foundation of the home, it can freeze with the colder temperatures. When it freezes, it expands. This can cause foundation cracks that then lead to flooded basements and crawl spaces. Also in the winter months, water that is blocked in clogged gutters can freeze and cause pressure on the roof. This can lead to damage to the roof and water leaking into the home.

The weight of the rain-soaked debris in gutters can also lead to damage. When the debris absorbs the water, it becomes extremely heavy and places a great amount of stress on the gutters and their brackets. This additional weight can cause the gutters to fall from the home which leads to costly repairs.

Water overflowing from the gutters can damage the paint and siding on a home. Additionally, if the water gets behind the siding and inside of a wall, the wood becomes wet and can rot. This can go unseen behind the siding until it is too late.

Obviously, failing to clean gutters regularly can be a very costly mistake! It is one of the most important tasks of a homeowner and, if done on a regular basis, can prevent many homeowner headaches!

Have a Ball on Vacation & Protect Your Home While Away!

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

With summer in full swing now, many families are excitedly planning summer get-aways, hoping for a stress-free vacation to relax and enjoy their time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  In order to fully relax, it is important to have peace of mind that your home will be safe while you are away.  Water damage is one of the most common types of damage to homes. And what a nightmare it would be to return from a relaxing vacation only to find that your home has suffered major water damage! If a pipe leaks or bursts while you are away on vacation, water can destroy carpets, furniture and more, which can be very expensive. SERVPRO of Cincinnati East would like to share some steps that you can take to help protect your home from water damage while you are out of town.

  • Check your home for leaks before you leave. Be sure to look at the pipes under all sinks and inspect the water heater as well. Don’t forget to inspect the hoses that connect to major appliances such as the washing machine, dishwasher, and refrigerator to ensure that there are no kinks or damaged hoses.

  • Check the exterior of your home for potential causes of water leaks. Inspect the roof and make sure there are no loose or damaged shingles. Check the downspouts and gutters and clear any blockages. Make sure window seals are in good condition and repair if needed.

  • Examine your sump pump and check that it is in good working condition. Install a battery-powered backup source in case there is a power outage while you are away.

  • Ask someone you trust to check your home periodically while you are gone. Make sure this person knows where the water main shut off valve is located just in case a pipe does leak or bursts.

Leaking pipes and appliances and damage caused by storms cause millions of dollars worth of damage every year. In the event that a water disaster does occur while you are away, SERVPRO of Cincinnati East has the expertise to help restore your home.  But prevention is key when planning to be away for any length of time. So before leaving your home, be sure to take precautions to avoid returning home to a big expensive mess!

Water Damage - THE STEPS TO RESTORATION

4/26/2016 (Permalink)

When presented with a water damage situation, after contacting SERVPRO of Cincinnati East, here is what can be expected:

ONE HOUR: Within one hour from notice of loss, our SERVPRO professional will contact to arrange for service. Help is on the way!

FOUR HOURS: Within four hours from notice of loss, our SERVPRO professional will be on-site to start mitigation services. Quick response is the key to reducing damage and saving money!

DETAILED EXPLANATION: Our trained, uniformed, and equipped SERVPRO professional will walk through the step-by-step job process, explaining what to expect.

PRETESTING: Our SERVPRO professional will begin pretesting for restorability, working from the source of the damage outward.

EIGHT HOURS: Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal summary of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person, normally the adjuster or property manager.

CLEANING & RESTORATION: Our SERVPRO professionals will work neatly and efficiently to regain control of the property when a damaging event has taken over. They will use state of the art restoration techniques to ensure that the property is taken care of right the first time.

FINAL WALK THROUGH: After the work has been completed, a final walk through will be conducted to ensure complete customer satisfaction.

EXCEPTIONAL EQUIPMENT FOR DRYING AND RESTORATION

4/26/2016 (Permalink)

In the event of water damage, expert knowledge and state of the art equipment are paramount for effective drying and restoration. Trained SERVPRO of Cincinnati East professionals use exceptional equipment and expertise to first create an environment favorable for drying and then to extract and eliminate moisture from the structure.

Detection Equipment is used to locate areas affected by water, define the extent to which the structure and contents have absorbed moisture, and verify that the environment has been dried thoroughly. Moisture sensors, moisture meters and thermohygrometers are all used by SERVPRO professionals in the drying process.  Moisture sensors detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls. Moisture meters determine the actual moisture content of various materials and provide readings that enable SERVPRO professionals to monitor the drying process. And thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity which aides SERVPRO professionals in creating the proper atmosphere for more efficient drying.

Extraction Equipment is used to actually remove the water and moisture from the affected area. SERVPRO professionals use extractors, either portable or truck-mounted, to clean carpets and upholstery and to remove water from floors.

Air Movers are used to enhance evaporation at the surface level, thus reducing drying time. As airflow at the surface level increases, the moisture in the air increases. This moisture is then eliminated with the use of dehumidification equipment.

SERVPRO professionals use two types of dehumidifiers: refrigerant dehumidifiers and desiccant dehumidifiers. Refrigerant dehumidifiers work similarly to air conditioners and desiccant dehumidifiers use chemicals that absorb moisture from the air.

And finally, Deodorization Equipment is used to neutralize odors. SERVPRO professionals use either Ultra Low Volume Foggers or Thermal Foggers to eliminate odors caused by the water intrusion and restore the area to its original condition.