Recent Water Damage Posts
Secure your Home before your Summer Vacation
Prevent water damage while you are on your getaway.
As we make our way through the summer, you may be going on a summer trip. If so, here are some simple ways to make sure you come home to your home safe and sound, and not a watery nightmare.
Do an Inspection
As you are packing the car and getting ready to head out, do a quick inspection of your home to ensure you are ready to leave. Turn off the water main, and drain the existing water from sinks, toilets, and outdoor spigots. Once the water main is switched off, turn on faucets, spigots, and flush toilets until water no longer flows out.
Other places to inspect:
- Pipes under every sink.
- Water heater.
- Seals around windows (in case it rains).
- Appliance hoses: washing machine, dishwasher, and ice maker.
- Sump pump. Dump a bucket of water into the sump pump to ensure it's working. Make sure to listen to its motor running as well.
- Toilet tanks. Look for cracks that may worsen and leak while you're gone.
Have someone check on your home
Give a set of keys to a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor and have them check on your home periodically while you are gone. The amount of times they should check in depends on the length of your trip, but it should be at least twice a week. Once water damage occurs, letting it stagnate for days at a time can multiply the cleanup costs tremendously. Show your house sitter all bathrooms, where the water main is, and other areas at risk of water damage. Leaving a check list for them will make sure they don’t miss any subtle leaks or moisture.
Leave heating and cooling systems running as normal, these allow air flow through your home and prevent humidity from building up. They also will keep pipes from freezing if there is a sudden temperature drop one night, which is more of a risk during the fall and winter months than in summer.
Enjoy your trip!
If you do a thorough inspection, take proactive safety measures and leave someone to look over your home, then you have done more than enough to ensure you won’t suffer from water damage. Although anything is possible, and even the most cautious plan can still not prevent water damage, you shouldn’t worry about the safety of your home while on vacation. Take steps to prepare and then enjoy your time away!
Water Damage Response Tips
You are going to panic initially when you realize your home has suffered water damage. Once you give us a call, we can quickly send technicians out to begin remediation on damaged property. Before we arrive, instead of panicking, you can take steps yourself to prevent further damage. These steps should only be used if the water damage is caused by clean water. If you have suffered damage from sewer, toilet, or other contaminated water sources, stay away from the scene as it may have adverse health effects.
Here are tips for what you can do to prevent further water damage to your home, until our trained technicians can make it to you.
- Shut off the water source if it can be done safely.
- Remove any excess water by mopping or using towels.
- Remove and pop up we upholstery cushions for drying. Do not put cushion covers in washing machine.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs.
- Hang furs and leather goods separately at room temperature.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Do not use a regular vacuum to try and remove excess water.
- If water damage is in the ceiling, do not turn on lights or overhead fans. And keep out of rooms where the ceiling is beginning to sag from holding water.
What is a Sump Pump?
Your Home's Best Defense Against Water Damage!
You will almost never think about your sump pump, unless it is broken, and that is the way it should be. A sump pump has one purpose and that is to make sure you never think about it because it is doing its job perfectly of keeping your home dry and safe. So, what is a sump pump?
Below your basement is a catch basin that is designed to accumulate water from around your home so that it does not seep inside the foundation, this basin is known as a sump. When the water accumulation begins to fill the sump, a pump is used to move the water out of the basin and into a storm drain this pump, the sump pump, keeps water out of your basement, leaving it dry.
There are different types of sump pumps, some are automatic while others need to be manually operated. There are also submersible sump pumps, pedestal, battery operated, water-powered, and a variety of other types. What type of pump you should have depends on your budget, preferences, and the environment around your house.
A sump pump is your home’s best defense against water damage. While it can’t prevent damage from broken pipes, leaks in the roof, or appliance malfunctions, a sump pump can prevent water around your home from causing any problems. Without a sump pump, your basement could have constant influx of moisture which would cause weak floors and walls, odors, and mold growth. A worst-case scenario would be a completely flooded basement because there was nothing pumping the water out.
Keeping your sump pump in proper working condition is crucial, having a broken pump is no better than not having one. Typically, a sump pump is good for 5-10 years and will either need replaced or repaired afterwards. Hopefully, once you set it in place you won’t have to think about it until after those 5-10 years, when it is time for replacement. How do you know when to replace a sump pump? If it is making unusually loud noises this could be due to several factors, including debris jams, worn out parts, or from constant use. If you are concerned about your sump pumps condition, test it by dumping water around the pump and seeing if it starts automatically and drains the water quickly. If it appears to be operating incorrectly, contact a service provider or replace it, you don’t want to wait to do this as you never know when a heavy rainfall could occur.
Why Your Water Bill is so High
How much water does your home use? Every month you might look at your water bill and think, “We went through THAT much water?” From your sink, to the dishwasher, toilet, washing machine, drinking water, and garden hose, you might be shocked about how much water you go through. After a while, your water bill will begin to set into a pattern, and you will know your usual consumption. However, if one month it is an oddly high bill however, these could be the causes.
The biggest concern with a high-water bill is that there is an unknown leak in your house. Check the suspect areas first. Toilets are the first place you should check. A toilet that is in a continuous state of flushing can go through almost 200 gallons of water a day. If you hear a toilet running, that is an obvious sign, but by looking into the tank, you can often find the source of your problem. Once you have inspected all of the toilets, look at sinks and faucets for leaks to see if they have loose handles, pipes, or cracks that could be dripping water out. Next, check appliances that use water such as refrigerators, freezers, and hot water heaters. The connections may be loose or have worn down over time and this may be the source the leak. If you do not find a leak at any of these spots, then maybe there is no leak and it could be one of these other causes for your high-water bill.
You may have forgotten about large sources of water use. Water usage is not fixed and fluctuates throughout the year. During the summer, you could be using a garden sprinkler or filling up a pool or you have more people staying with you, such as kids home for summer break. During the winter, you may have family staying for the holidays or if your heating system is powered through the use of hot water, this could lead to an increase in use. As the season changes, so does our use of water, make sure to account for this when you look at your bill.
If neither of these seem to be the cause of your high-water bill, then it might be time to look at the way you are measuring your consumption. Water meters are used to measure the amount of water you use each year, while there are ways to read this on your property, today, it is done remotely by the water authority. You can request to have your meter checked for accuracy to confirm your previous bill. While uncommon, it is always smart to confirm your bill is accurate.
If you still are not sure of the cause for your high-water bill, you may have an underground leak. This can be a costly problem to solve and will likely require either bringing in an expert or purchasing detection equipment. There will often be an underground hissing sound that will give away the leak. If you have checked all of the above possibilities for finding the cause of your high-water bill, it may be worth considering an underground leak. If you believe this is the case, you should contact a professional inspector to look for the cause and confirm if this is true.
Monitoring your monthly water bill is the best way to make sure you don’t have further problems in the future due to water damage. A tiny leak, if left unchecked, can cause thousands of dollars in water, mold, and sewer damage, and you will be left on the hook for the water bill as well. Make sure to monitor your monthly water bill closely and look for any unknown peaks.
Tips to Prevent Water Damage
One of the great things about living in the modern world, is our access to usable water. In much of the 3rd world, having water for drinking, cleaning, and plumbing is not possible. With this wonderful access we have to be careful. If not monitored carefully, the damage can be catastrophic, and expensive.
Here are some SERVPRO safety tips for preventing water damage.
Most water damage claims do not come from storms, floods, or heavy rain but rather from neglect in monitoring and replacing minor parts. An easy way to prevent damage is to replace and upgrade hosing, pipes, and other small parts that can easily break.
Make sure all of your drains are working properly. If a sink or bath tub isn't draining properly, it could lead to future problems. Ways to keep your drains in good condition are:
- Avoid pouring grease down drains.
- Keep drains clear with a regular cleaning schedule.
- Always keep a strainer in place on sink and shower/tub drains.
- Frequently clean out the strainer and deposit the debris in the trash, not back down the drain or in the toilet.
Prevent Ice Dams from forming. In the cold North Dakota winter, an ice dam forms when warm air from the attic melts the snow on the roof which freezes in the cold air. If left unchecked, the ice can build up and push into cracks between the walls and roof. Leading to leaks which can cause water damage throughout your home. Prevention of this includes:
- Have your gutters and downspouts cleaned, inspected, and repaired during the fall to ensure clear passage of water.
- Insulate your attic properly — heat in the home should not reach the attic. Warm air can melt the snow on the roof, which refreezes, forming ice dams. Make sure the attic floor is airtight by sealing any openings.
- Provide enough ventilation to the attic to keep the roof cool. Warm air should escape through vents near the top of the attic. Cold air should flow in through vents near the eaves. The temperature in the attic should be 5 to 10 °F warmer than the outside temperature.
- Remove the snow on your roof when it’s about six inches deep. Use a roof rake or a long-handled brush to remove the snow without a ladder.
The best way to prevent water damage is to maintain and upkeep the quality of your home. These small, affordable home projects can prevent large, expensive calls down the road.
How SERVPRO Helped a local non-profit in their time of need.
Operating in Minot for 105 years, the YWCA has been a shining light for generations of women within our community. The organization, which last year provided over 4,000 nights of shelter, suffered a devastating problem in November 2019 when a backed-up toilet caused flooding throughout the entire 3-story facility, leaving a wave of damage throughout the building.
Upon inspection, it was discovered that multiple walls would need repairs, vinyl flooring replaced, and flooring dried. With the scope of the repairs building up and the estimated bills doing the same, the organization was not sure what to do. A large community push was made to donate time and money to repair the damaged building. That was when Ryan Conklin, the owner of SERVPRO® of Minot, showed up and generously donated the time, effort, and materials to repair the building. The next day, there was a crew on site ripping out the vinyl flooring to dry the wet tile underneath and immediately tending to the restoration.
Within a week the damage was undone, and the YWCA could continue as normal with their daily operations. Meghan von Behren, Executive Director of the YWCA, said she was most impressed with the professionalism of the crew on site. She stated, “They took steps to make the space clean, safe, and livable.” The SERVPRO staff was able to clearly explain what steps had to be taken and demonstrate safe techniques for repairing the damage. Now the YWCA is back to being a first-class facility that can accommodate all women, safely, without the risk of disease caused by untreated water damage.
At SERVPRO we pride ourselves on being a contributing member of the community and want to help out whenever we can.
The YWCA expresses extreme gratitude towards SERVPRO of Minot for their professionalism, the respect they displayed, and the quick turnaround time it took to get the facility back to new.
The YWCA serves women from all backgrounds whether they are suffering from domestic violence, human trafficking or any other situation. To learn more about how to help, visit the YWCA on Facebook @YWCAMinotND or contact the shelter at 701-838-1812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Effects of a Sump Pump Failure on a Finished Basement
Sump pumps have an average lifespan of 3 to 5 years, which means if you own a home with a sump pump you can anticipate it failing at some point. Sump pumps are used to prevent water from outside seeping into your house, which is particularly common during heavy rainfalls. It is important to ensure you sump pump is operating correctly.
To test your sump pump fill a five-gallon bucket with water and pour it slowly around the sump pump. The pump should kick on once the water level reaches a predetermined level below the basement floor. If the pump doesn’t turn on, it may be either clogged or damaged.
When sump pumps fail, water comes into your home that can be significantly contaminated. SERVPRO of Minot’s' technicians are trained to evaluate your home's building materials to determine which materials can be saved, and which must be removed.
Building materials that are not salvageable that are not removed can support microbial growth. Salvageable building materials that are exposed to the water for too long can also be destroyed.
If you have any questions, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Minot for your water emergency. With our trained professionals and specialized equipment, we will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Water Damage Restoration Certification
Did you know an 800 square foot basement with 12 inches of water contains approximately 6000 gallons?
SERVPRO of Minot’s staff recently completed the Water Damage Restoration Certification with the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Remediation).
The Water Damage Restoration Technician course is designed to teach our restoration personnel who perform remediation work a better concept of water damage, it’s effects on all materials, and techniques for the drying of structures. This course has given our residential and commercial maintenance personnel the background to understand the procedures necessary to deal with water losses, sewer backflows, and contamination such as mold.
Our emergency services personnel can inspect materials for restorability, cleanability and start the appropriate extraction and drying procedures as soon as possible to minimize disruptions in your home or business. We also work directly with your insurance!
SERVPRO of Minot’s staff is currently certified in Applied Microbial Remediation, Fire and Soot Remediation and Water Damage Restoration.
Sewer back up flowed into haulway.
To whom it may concern,
I am the maintenance man for McKenzie county and am responsible for repairs to our Hillside Court apartment complex. Hillside court is a facility for the disabled and seniors 62 and over with a meals on wheels program on site. I want to inform you that your employees have performed in a very professional and courteous manner. This goes to show what quality of demeanor and character your company seeks to employ.
Yesterday 10/4/16 around 4:30 we had a large sewage backup at our McKenzie County Courthouse building while a commissioners meeting and public hearing were taking place. At this time your company had a single staff member in town working at Hillside Court. I am unable to express how impressed I am with your employee’s ability to remobilize and begin extracting sewage in less than 10 minutes of asking for help! If this is not a SERVPRO record than it is in the running for second place.
If I knew the address in which to have mailed this letter to I would have used pen, paper, envelop, and stamp to express my thanks. Too often in the service industry do we only here the bad things rare is it when you hear about a job well done. Your staff on site is putting long hours doing knuckle busting demo work. It is my wishes that you will be able to express thanks and gratitude to your staff on behave of the tax payers of McKenzie County for going above and beyond our expectations.
Thank you for your time on this matter.
McKenzie County Maintenance
Flooded Basement in Minot June 2015 /After
Flooded Basement in Minot June 2015/After
Here is the after picture of the June 2015 flooded basment that our Crew responded to.
Flooded Basement in Minot June/2015 Before
This picture shows a flooded basement in Minot ND after the water had receded. SERVPRO of Minot was called to clean up the aftermath!
Flooded Basement June 2015 in Minot ND
Commercial Water Loss
Equipment placed on site!
An early morning call on March 9, 2015 had SERVPRO of Minot responding to a commercial water loss with 6,000 square feet affected. Over 110 pieces of equipment was placed and we had them back up and running within a week.