Recent Water Damage Posts
How to Prevent Water Damage: Everyday Tips and DIY Tricks
Water damage can be unpredictable. However, there are steps you can take to help prevent it. In fact, it can be quite easy to make sure your plumbing and HVAC systems are in good working order.
Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, we’re proud to be leaders in cleaning and restoration services here in this community. Our team of advanced technicians has all the specialized knowledge, training, and equipment necessary to handle any size disaster. But rather than cleanup after a disaster, we’d like to help you prevent major damage from occurring in the first place.
Here are some ways you can prevent water damage on a day-today basis, both when you’re at home and traveling away for an extended period:
Everyday Water Damage Prevention Tips
If you’re careful about what goes down your drains, you can help prevent cracks and damage to your pipes that might otherwise lead to leaks and water problems.
- Be careful what goes down your toilet. It’s a good idea to flush only human waste and toilet paper. Note: even “flushable” wipes can clog toilet drains, especially in bulk.
- Make sure not to pour grease or coffee grounds down drains as these can clog pipes and sewer lines.
- If you have a drain clog, try using a drain snake rather than a chemical cleaner as a snake is typically both more effective and less potentially hazardous.
DIY Water Damage Preventative Maintenance
Here are some easy DIY steps you can take to inspect and maintain your water supply. If you do notice signs of wear and tear or incorrect operations, be sure to call professional services soon before a small problem turns into a major home disaster.
- Clean your gutters regularly once a year and be sure to check them after heavy storms to make sure water is flowing properly.
- Once a year, make sure to visually inspect your plumbing - including any toilets, sinks, tubs, washing machines, or dishwashers – and look for any signs of damage or leaking.
- Flush your sinks with baking soda and vinegar to help prevent clogs. You can use lemon juice to eliminate any odors.
- Consider investing in a sump pump in case of flooding and be sure to check it regularly to make sure it is in good working order.
Pay attention to your water bill each month. An unexpected increase may indicate that water is leaking somewhere.
Water Damage Prevention When Traveling
If you’ll be traveling away on vacation, here are steps you can take before you leave to help prevent any water problems while you’re away.
- Adjust your HVAC settings to a low setting or turn them off completely if possible.
- Consider turning off your water supply and draining your pipes.
- Ask a neighbor to check on your house every few days to make sure there aren’t any developing problems.
While it’s not always possible to prevent water damage, these tips can help minimize your chances of having to deal with a major water-related emergency. And if something should happen, know that SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch is available 24/7 to help deal with any size water damage problem, large or small.
How to Deal with Water Damage to Your Home
If you’re facing water damage, there are some steps you can take to minimize the costs of restoring your home. The following are tips that can help you lessen the effects of any future water damage.
Just remember that depending on the extent of the damage, sometimes your smartest move is to call a professional right away. Your first priority needs to be making sure you and your family are safe.
Before you can clean and restore your home, you first have to get rid of the mess.
Molds and bacteria flourish and grow in any damp space with little air flow, and can be very dangerous. Anyone working on cleaning-up water damage ought to wear protective clothing such as masks, gloves, and safe footwear.
Electrical hazards and the potential to slip and fall are the other major safety concerns – only perform those clean-up activities you know to be safe.
When belongings get wet, they can become much heavier than normal; you don’t want to attempt to lift something that is too heavy and hurt your back on top of everything else!
Remove Damaged Items
If your basement has flooded, you need to get the damaged items out. Unfortunately, many things may be beyond saving, or easier and cheaper to just replace rather than try to salvage. If you can make some of these decisions earlier rather than later, it may help you save costs in the long run.
Remove Water and Let Your Home Dry
Sometimes, the amount of water will be too much to remove yourself and you should call your cleaning and restoration professionals right away. Prop-up wet cushions and upholstery somewhere they can dry out. And place a piece of aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting to prevent further water damage.
Ripping up soaked carpet will most likely be necessary - be careful of nails and carpet tacks.
DO NOT use any electrical appliances that may have gotten wet or damaged themselves. A household vacuum cleaner is generally not a good option for cleaning-up after water damage, however, if you can get your hands on a commercial grade shop vacuum, that may help you clean and save some money in the process.
Once you’ve removed the water and damaged items, you’ll want to use a disinfectant to clean up the remaining affected areas. There are some green products that are safe to use and can help make a difference to the amount of professional grade cleaners you may ultimately need. Just be sure to read the labels and wear your protective gear.
Get the Air Circulating
The extent of bacteria and mold growth will depend on a number of factors, including moisture level, temperature, and the presence of wood and paper materials on which they can feed. If significant mold growth develops, that will increase your remediation costs – so it’s important to start drying as much as you can as soon as you can.
While your household fans can’t compete with professional equipment, they certainly can help and ultimately reduce remediation costs. Running a dehumidifier can also help remove excess humidity from the affected environment.
If you do require professional water damage restoration services, the professionals at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch offer 24-hour emergency service. We’re a locally owned and operated company here in your community providing the highest caliber water inspection, extraction, drying, and restoration equipment and service.
Is Your Hot Water Heater Leaking? Here’s What to Do.
Finding out that your hot water heater is leaking is never a pleasant experience. But this minor emergency doesn’t have to become a major disaster.
Here’s a list of steps you can take to minimize the damage from a leaking heater:
Confirm that it is, in fact, your water heater that’s leaking.
Sometimes looks can be deceiving. If you see a puddle of water under your hot water heater, it’s obvious why your first thought would be a heater leak. But that may, in fact, not be the problem.
If it’s a small puddle, your first step should be to clean-up the water an inspect the heater. Do you see any wet fittings or other signs of leakage from the tank itself? Check your surroundings for other water sources? Maybe there’s a nearby window or pipe that is the actual source of the water you see. Don’t forget about the effect of gravity! If your floor slopes, the water may have traveled from a different source point to the place where it ultimately pooled.
Turn off the water.
If you do have a leaking water heater, the next recommended step is to turn off the water.
Your hot water heater should have its own shut off valve.
If your valve is broken, you may need to shut off the water to your home. If you need assistance, reach out to your local expert professionals.
Cut the power.
Whether you have a gas or electrically powered water heater, your next step is to shut off the fuel source that powers your heater.
A gas tank should have its own dedicated shut-off gas valve. You want to make sure the gas is off so your heater will be safe to work with. If you have an electric tank, you can shut off the power at the breaker.
Try to determine the location and cause of the leak.
Now that the water and power are off, you will be in a better position to assess your situation and try to determine the location and course of your leak:
Check the pipes that connect to your heater for any loose fittings. This may just require quick tightening with a wrench.
- Check your pressure relief valve. If the temperature or pressure is too high, this could be causing valve leaks. Your water heater should be around 120 degrees Fahrenheit and the pressure shouldn’t be over 80 PSI.
- Check the drain valve to make sure it doesn’t need replacing.
- Check the bottom of the water heater itself -- it may be that the tank itself is cracked and needs to be replaced.
If you determine that it is your tank that is leaking and the leak is serious, you may want to drain the tank to minimize further water damage.
Hopefully, the leak from your hot water heater hasn’t caused too much water damage. But if you need professional assistance, the restoration pros at SERVPRO Eatontown / Long Branch are here to help. We’re equipped to handle any size water damage restoration needed for either residential or commercial buildings.
Just call us any time 24/7 at 732-858-5422
A Simple Step-By-Step Guide for Dealing with Water Damage
It’s a homeowner’s nightmare: water damage. An extensive water problem in your home can feel overwhelming. Unfortunately, serious problems – like mold growth – can begin within 24 hours, so it’s important to assess your situation and act quickly.
If you’re staring at a pool of water in your home and wondering what to do next, here’s a guide to help you start getting everything back to normal.
Call for Professional Water Damage Restoration Services ASAP
The simple fact is, the quicker you bring in professional help, the better your chances of minimizing the long-term damages and costs.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
Once help is on the way, check your homeowner’s insurance to see if your water damage will be covered.
Typically, a sudden major flooding event (like bursting pipes) is more likely to be covered than a long slow leak. You’ll want to act fast in order to make a claim. It’s also a good idea to take photos to document the evidence.
SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch can help you manage the insurance paperwork process – just ask!
Remove Any Items You Can
When you’re dealing with water damage, remember: safety first.
“Slip and fall” accidents and electrical hazards can be common in water damage situations, so only perform those clean-up activities you know to be safe.
If it is safe to do so, remove any items you can from the affected area. It’s a good idea to gather any loose items from the floor, especially colored rugs, or other colored materials that might leave a stain. Prioritize the removal of any valuables as well as any wet items like cushions or upholstery that can be taken out to dry.
Remember: water-logged materials can be very heavy, so make sure to be safe and handle them carefully!
Dry Out the Damaged Area
If it is safe, start drying out the wet area.
Mops and buckets can be useful to remove excess water quickly. Also wipe down any wood or porous objects that may be more sensitive to water damage. Open windows and doors to allow maximum air circulation.
Also, if you have access to electricity, run an air conditioner and/or fans on high and use a dehumidifier. While a wet-dry vac can be a useful tool to deal with minor flooding, NEVER use a vacuum cleaner to remove excess water.
Remember: if there are any electrical hazard concerns, do NOT attempt to use any appliances.
Disinfect Damaged Surfaces
Once you’ve removed excess water, you can start to disinfect the damaged area to clean-up and prevent further mold growth and other contamination.
A simple cleaning solution is one-part household bleach to one-part water. Just lightly spray and wipe down any affected non-porous surfaces.
SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is a locally owned and operated organization of highly trained technicians with the expertise and advanced technological equipment needed to clean-up and repair your water damage fast. We’re ready to respond to your emergency situation immediately, and we will oversee and document the entire process until your home is fully restored.
What to Do When Sewage Backs Up in Your Home
A sewage backup can be a homeowner’s nightmare.
Having to deal with a disgusting mess and the damage to items in your home are often just the start of the problems. If the backup is severe enough, you may have to keep out of your house until the damage restoration is complete. There are also potential serious health risks from the contamination. And don’t forget about the potential major hit to your wallet, especially if you have to pay not only for restoration services but for replacements of ruined furniture and appliances too.
In order to protect your home, it’s good to know some preventive measures you can take, as well as the best steps to follow right after a sewage backup to mitigate the damage.
To save yourself and your home from a sewage backup, here’s some advice to keep in mind:
- Keep your drains clear of clogging. Don’t flush items down your toilet that can cause build up in the pipes, such as diapers, sanitary napkins, or thick waste. Also, don’t get rid of grease down the sink, as grease can harden within the pipes and then collect other waste, creating a major clog.
- Conduct regular inspections of all the pipes and valves in your home and make sure they are well maintained.
- Don’t plant trees too close to the sewer lines, as over time the roots can grow and damage the pipes.
- Keep a working sump-pump on hand, just in case.
If a sewage backup does happen, you may be able to limit the damage considerably if you take the following steps:
- Call for professional sewage cleanup and restoration services ASAP. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely deal with the hazards of unsanitary sewage water, and the quicker you enlist help, the better you can contain this emergency situation.
- Put on protective clothing, such as gloves, rubber boots, and protection for your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Open windows to allow air circulation and remove any fumes.
- Use your sump pump to remove excess water.
- If it is safe, shut off the power. But if you have any doubts, don’t touch electrical equipment.
- Discard any soaked, dirty items and debris. Try to remove unaffected valuables from the premises to keep them safe.
- Scrub any items that have been only slightly affected with an antibacterial soap and water then let them air dry.
- Try adding a small amount of chlorine bleach to standing water to help disinfection.
To keep safe, here’s a list of things you should NOT do:
- DON’T attempt any cleaning measures if you have the slightest doubt about sanitation. Remember: safety first.
- DON’T attempt to flush toilets or drain sinks and tubs. Wait for the professionals to inspect, sanitize, and restore your plumbing before you use your water system again.
- DON’T use harsh chemical to try to unclog the drains. You don’t want to cause further damage to your pipes. This is why professionals have special training and cleaning solutions.
- DON’T let children or pets near the affected areas until your house been thoroughly cleaned, sanitized, and restored.
If you are dealing with sewage backup, SERVPRO’s specially trained technicians are here to help. Call us 24/7 at 732-858-5422.
Better to Prepare and Prevent
Preparing for a flood would have kept the contents of this home from being soaked and ultimately having to be discarded.
Knowing that flooding and storm damage is a potential threat, there are preventative steps you can take to minimize any future damage.
First, don’t forget to do your spring cleaning. Our homes, and especially our basements, can easily become cluttered with things we don’t even need. Better to clean them out once a year when the weather is nice. If flooding does happen, you’ll be glad that excess clutter is gone.
Second, get your belongings off the floor and up on shelves. Boxes piled up on the floor can quickly become an awful nightmare once water starts to rise. However, if your items are already sorted out on shelves above the water, it’s one less thing to have to deal with. For any low hanging shelves, metal and plastic are recommended rather than wood as they better survive potential water damage.
Finally, make sure you have enough ventilation and keep the air circulating. Potential mold growth will depend on a number of factors, including moisture level, temperature, and the presence of wood and paper materials on which they can feed. Running a dehumidifier can also help remove excess humidity from the affected environment.
If you do require professional water damage restoration services, the professionals at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch offer 24-hour emergency service. We’re a locally owned and operated company here in your community providing the highest caliber water inspection, extraction, drying, and restoration equipment and service. Call us now at (732) 784-4082.
Groundwater Basement Flooding
Water in a basement needs to be extracted and dried out as soon as possible.
Groundwater flooding is basically water in your basement caused by seepage or flow through the walls or foundation floor.
According to State Farm Insurance, there are four common sources of water entering basements. Each source has its own specifics and requires its own course of action.
Surface water running down foundation walls.
If this is the first instance of water problems in your basement, the first thing to check for is surface water draining down next to the foundations. Water coming in at one location or only at the exterior foundation wall indicates surface water problems. Here are some things to look for once you get outside.
- Overflowing gutters: leaves
- Overflowing gutters: downspouts
- Downspout distance
- Pavement slope
- Landscape slope
Groundwater in water-saturated soils being pushed into the basement by hydrostatic pressure.
If no surface water sources are found, then the source of the water is likely subsurface groundwater under hydrostatic pressure. When the groundwater levels outside the basement rise above the level of the floor, the basement acts like a boat in a pond. If a boat is sitting in water, water will leak in through any open cracks or holes. It works the same way with a basement. Hydrostatic pressure can push water through hairline cracks.
Unfortunately, subsurface groundwater problems are more difficult and more expensive to fix than surface groundwater problems.
Storm sewer water from the municipal storm sewer system backing up into the home's existing perimeter foundation drain and leaking into the basement.
If you have an older house within town and the house has a basement with no sump pump, it is likely the perimeter foundation drain system connects directly into the city storm sewer system. If the level of the basement is below the street level, there is the potential of storm water backing up in the city storm sewer system and being pushed into the perimeter foundation drain system. This can saturate the soils around the house at the basement level with storm water under hydrostatic pressure, causing water to leak in.
- Underground springs
- Storm water backing up
- Sewer water backing up
Sanitary sewer water from a clog in your home's sewer line. If there is a clog in the municipal sewer line, or the combined municipal storm/sanitary sewer system backing up into the home's drain system, it can cause sewer water to come up through sink drains and floor drains on lower levels.
Whatever the cause of water in your basement, remember it is important to have it dried out as soon as possible by a professional. SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is available 24/7, and will be able to get to your water damage quickly.
Hot Water Heaters: What to Know
Homeowners should be aware of hot water heater maintenance and replacement.
Water heaters are one of those appliances that you use frequently, but always seem to forget they’re around. Oftentimes homeowners are surprised in the middle of the night or after coming back from vacation to find water everywhere. A broken water heater can leave over 50+ gallons of water all over your house, depending on how big it is.
How can you tell if it’s time to change your water heater? There are definitely signs.
- On average, your gas hot water heater should last anywhere between 8 to 12 years, while an electric model will last a bit longer at 10 to 15 years. If your water heater is getting up in years, it may be time to replace it before it breaks.
- Tinted water coming from your hot water tap means there may be rust in your water heater, which is a possible indicator your hot water heater is showing signs of wear and may start to leak.
- Gurgling or popping noises coming from your water heater are caused by the buildup of hard water sediment heating up and exploding inside your water heater tank.
- Look around the base of your hot water heater for dampness. This may be a symptom of a slow or intermittent leak.
- If you have no hot water while using your hot water tap, it may be a sign that your water heater needs to be checked out.
- If you see a puddle around the base of your hot water heater, immediate action should be taken to replace it.
Remember, prevention and being prepared could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. But if you need us, the professionals of SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch are available 24/7/365, and will have your home cleaned up and restored “Like it never even happened.”
Water Damage 101
Standing water needs to be mitigated quickly before it has the chance to turn into blackwater.
According to Wikipedia, wastewater is any water that has been affected by human use. But did you know that there are different grades of wastewater? Should your home be affected by water damage, it is imperative to act quickly to mitigate damage and prevent further damage such as mold growth.
Floodwater that does not pose an immediate health threat is known as clean water. Clean water floods can result from malfunctioning appliances, toilet holding tanks, and melting snow and rainwater. Clean water home floods are generally safe for you to clean up yourself, but remember--time is an important factor. Standing clean water can become greywater if left untreated.
Greywater refers to wastewater that is not contaminated with fecal matter. As far as household wastewater goes, greywater could include water from bathtubs and showers, appliances such as dishwashers, a weather event, an overflowing plumbing fixture or appliance or even a broken pipe.
When flooding occurs, it can saturate carpeting, furniture and drywall. If you experience a home flood with greywater, wear protective gear, and keep children and pets away from the flooded area. If the flood is extensive, such as several inches of water in the basement, it is advisable to hire professionals to safely clean up and decontaminate the area. Cleanup must begin as soon as possible as greywater can become blackwater if left untreated.
Blackwater is wastewater contaminated with human waste, flood water, or water contaminated with chemicals.
Blackwater floods are the most dangerous and the most destructive, and must be cleaned and mitigated immediately. Because of the unsanitary conditions of the water, items such as carpets, upholstery and drywall are often unsalvageable. Contact with blackwater can cause illness in both humans and pets.
Having water damage in your home is never a pleasant experience, and oftentimes it is destructive, and disruptive - affecting multiple rooms, floors, levels – of a home, office or multiple dwelling. Knowing whom to call and when could mean all the difference in keeping contamination and damage to a minimum.
Remember that you can call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch twenty-four hours a day, 365 days year. We will be there to survey and clean up your water damage quickly and get you back to your normal routine as quickly as possible.
Avoiding Winter Water Damage
The water that flowed out of this window and froze was caused by an unprotected pipe that burst.
In Monmouth County, cold winter weather can usually come at us in a snap after a warmer, summer-like autumn. Because water expands when it freezes, pipes are especially susceptible to crack and burst from the resulting excess pressure.
That is why it is so important to make sure that you take the steps to prepare your house – especially your pipes, for the freezing temperatures.
Following are tips to get your house ready:
- Wrap outside faucets.
- Caulk around pipes where they enter the house.
- Disconnect garden hoses.
- Drain in-ground sprinkler systems.
- Let a stream of water run if the temperatures dip below freezing.
- Open cupboard and vanity doors in the kitchen or bathroom.
- 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.
- Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving the home for several days or more, and set your thermostat a temperature no lower than 55° F.
IF YOU DO COME HOME TO FROZEN PIPES, THESE TIPS CAN HELP YOU
- 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 cannot 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.
Should you ever have a problem with water due to bursting pipes or any other reason, calling SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch will get your home back to normal “Like it never even happened.”
Water Restoration: 5 Ways to Deal with Water Damage
Standing water can create issues from water flow obstruction to mold.
As a homeowner, water damage is always a cause for concern. When water damage does strike, it’s important to know how to handle the situation with efficiency and ease. Effective water damage restoration comes with knowing that the situation is urgent and calling the professionals immediately, however, there are a few things each and every homeowner can do to minimize the damage.
The best path towards successful water damage restoration is to not have to restore anything at all. One of the most beneficial things a homeowner can do is be informed. In short, know your home!
- Know where your water main valve switch is located. This is really important. Don’t be afraid to shut it off when you go away for long periods of time.
- During the winter, disconnect your hoses. This prevents standing water from forming and creating an issue where your water flow becomes obstructed. Bursting pipes are no fun!
- Maintain the hoses in your home. From the washing machine to under the sink, make sure you upgrade your hoses regularly to avoid leaks.
- Measure your water pressure. Hoses and pipes can only handle so much and checking the pressure that is running through them can save you a huge headache. You can buy a pressure gauge at Home Depot or Lowes that will do the trick.
Any disaster, small or large, comes with the risk of safety. First, make sure everyone is safe and while cleaning up the damage wear gloves, waterproof footwear, and protective gear. Additionally, be mindful of mold and bacteria, exposure to them can be very unhealthy.
SERVPRO’s professionals understand how important it is to create airflow in a water damage emergency and their team is second-to-none when it comes to water cleanup and restoration. As a homeowner, we recommend utilizing any fans or dehumidifiers you have in your home until the pros arrive. This helps prevent bacteria and microbial growth from forming.
One of the smartest preventative measures you can take is to keep a close eye on how you store your belongings and items within your home. Items and boxes stored at floor level are a target for damage, should a water emergency occur. Utilizing plastic or metal shelves for storage can prevent your items from taking on water damage. Avoid wood and particleboard if possible.
Plastic storage bins can provide an excellent way to store items as well. And even better, they’re cheap! Make sure the tops are secure and store them a few feet off the ground.
Isolate the Damage
If disaster does strike, you will want to remove the affected items right away. Separate water-logged items and place them in an area where they can dry. This will allow you the ability to move around the water-filled area with ease and create airflow that can help reduce water damage quickly.
Call the Pros
Dealing with water restoration and damage can be incredibly time consuming and frustrating. We suggest you call the professionals immediately so they can guide you through the process. The SERVPRO team is experienced and knowledgeable and will be able to get you back on track in no time. We are here to serve you!
If you need to reach us feel free to contact us through our site form or call us at (732) 858-5416.
Winning the War Against Wind and Water During the Colder Months
Icicles forming on your gutters can cause structural damage due to melting and refreezing water.
It seems most of the heavy-hitting storms happen in the fall, followed by brutal winter blizzards and nor’easters. Your adversaries during this time are the two legendary elements: Wind and Water. At full force, the wind will scatter leaves and tear off the sturdiest limbs; water will flood and wash away. The damage they can cause can be mind-boggling, resulting in physical injury and death, and property destruction.
Homeowners must be mindful of the impact that powerful storms and weather systems to their property and their loved ones. Decisions must be made in a timely manner to get ahead of the extremes of the season. The following are suggested remedies for possible issues that will come up as the seasons change and the weather gets colder.
Keep Drains and Gutters Clear
After a major rainfall, rain pours from your roof and pools around your property and leaks into your basement. A major reason is leaves and branches clogging water drainage on the street or around your house. When not raked away from drains, leaves and branches will clog them. Rake the leaves and clear treefall from your property.
The same applies for snow. Snow mounds on the street may be slow to melt and get stuck in a cycle of re-freezing and will block any drains. If it’s on your property—or if you’re feeling neighborly when the department of public works has left the job to fate—break it up and keep it clear.
As for the gutters around your roof, it’s best to contact a professional gutter cleaning service to clear out leaves and debris that could choke your gutters. If left unattended, rain will flow unhindered to leak down into your property, potentially flooding your basement. During the colder months, moisture in the gutters will freeze and weigh them down. They could come crashing down around you and cause injury as well as property damage.
Another tactic to aid with drainage is to consult with a landscaping service to design your property to move water away from your home, and have plantings to prevent soil erosion.
If you have a concern about the basement flooding, your house should have a working sump pump system or a French drain system to prevent seepage or drain collected water. If your basement does take in water and you are able to drain it out, you should set up a de-humidifier to dry it out to prevent mold and mildew growth.
Seal Potential Leaks & Gaps
It’s almost inevitable that leaks will develop in a house, from top to bottom, owing to long-term exposure to the elements, construction concerns or animals nesting. As it gets colder and wetter, those leaks could become more than just a nuisance. When a leak entry point freezes and re-freezes, the gap will expand and allow more water in.
If the leak is coming from the roof, you will need to locate where the leaks are coming from and seal them. You can do it yourself, but if it looks like a bigger job, locate a roofer.
Windows can also be a source for leaks. Just like the roof it will take some detective work to locate where water is coming in–you may have to check for cold air as well. Once you find it, you’ll have to caulk around where the break is.
Clear Away Sick Trees and Loose Branches
The day after any powerful storm will find a landscape littered with fallen branches and downed trees. Some of those trees will have a crushed house underneath. Others will lean on power lines. One of the reasons for the trees to be uprooted may be that the ground was so sodden the roots couldn’t maintain their grip, owing to poor drainage.
If you have trees on your property it would be in your best interest to hire an arborist or tree service to check your tree’s health. Most branches and fallen trees were weak and sick before a storm, and only needed the right gust to send branches flying and trunks to topple.
If you do have sick trees, then you should have them and whatever weakened limbs removed. It’s recommended to get a professional service to do it. DIY only works if your experienced and know how to handle the tools to do the job.
Should you need professional assistance, SERVPRO has the professionally trained staff to handle your post storm clean-up. Regular property maintenance can make the difference between a rough weather season that’s manageable and one full of hazards, costly financially—and in life and limb. Staying several steps ahead of the damage caused by wind, rain, ice and snow can make for a safe and secure rest of the year.
Winter Ice Dams: Cause, Effects, and Prevention
What Causes Ice Dams?
Ice dams form when melting ice and snow refreeze above the eaves of your roof and subsequent melting backs up under the shingles. This causes interior leaks and water damage to interior walls and ceilings.
Preventing Ice Dams
Proper ventilation, drainage and insulation are the only ways to prevent ice dams and can be achieved in the following ways:
- Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris
- Check and seal places where warm air could leak from your house to the attic: vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures are all possibilities
- Inspect, or have your roof and attic inspected for proper ventilation and insulation
- Look for signs of inadequate ventilation: rust spots, rusty nails or a mildew smell are all signals that moisture has formed on the inside of your roof
- If you have soffit vents in your eaves, make sure they are not blocked and insulation surrounding them is secured so that air can flow easily
- Keep snow from accumulating on the lower three to six feet of your roof
- Install snow and ice slides to prevent ice and snow from "bonding" to the lower roof
- Install a rubberized ice and water shield beneath the roof shingles for the first three to six feet from the eaves up
- Install heating cable along the eaves to melt ice
Removing Ice Dams
- Consult a roofing professional
- Do not use a snow blower, shovel or blowtorch to try to chip, break or melt ice dams
Ice And Cold Can Wreak Havoc On Your Home
March is here and winter is still with us in Monmouth County NJ. From Sea Bright to Long Branch, Red Bank and Eatontown, many homeowners have experienced water damage from frozen pipes these past two months. Keep in mind that ice dams can also cause water to come into your home from the outside elements. Luckily, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is here to help 24 hours a day. Our experienced crews can tackle any type of water or fire damage in your home. Call us at 732-578-9888.
Avoid Winter Water Damage
With ice, snow and cold temperatures across the Jersey Shore, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch reminds you take the steps needed to avoid major flooding problems...
- Wrap outside faucets
- Caulk around pipes where they enter the house
- Disconnect garden hoses
- Drain in ground sprinkler systems
- Let a stream of water run if the temperatures dip below freezing
- Open cupboard and vanity doors in the kitchen or bathroom
- Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving the home for several days or more.