Recent Water Damage Posts
Where to Find Common Sources of Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Fenton/South Ballwin
A water leak can turn into a big problem. Contact the SERVPRO of Fenton/South Ballwin team if you are dealing with any water damage.
Where to Find Common Sources of Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Fenton/South Ballwin - https://www.SERVPROfentonsouthballwin.com/blg
Chances are good you didn’t wake up this morning with your fingers crossed, hoping you’d get to deal with a burst pipe or water running down your wall. Let’s be real—nobody wants to deal with water leaks, but as homeowners, sometimes we get no choice.
If you’re vigilant, however, you may be able to spot warning signs, or make necessary updates before aging pipes wear down. Here are a few places to keep your eyes on.
Toilets. Your toilet always has water running in and through various seals and tubes, and over time, it’s prone to develop leaks, particularly in the flapper or the valve seal, which are inexpensive and simple to replace.
Appliances. You likely have several appliances that use water hoses—dishwashers and refrigerators often develop leaky water supply lines—and traditional tank-style water heaters have been know to explode when they get over about 10 years old.
Clogged gutters. Shimmying up the ladder is inconvenient at best, but it’s a surefire way to prevent clogged gutters. Otherwise, dirt particles, leaves and other debris settle and compact themselves into an impassable dam, which means water finds its way up into and under your roof and trickling down your interior walls.
Roof damage. Your roof takes a beating. It’s the main line of defense against harsh sunshine, rain and hail, but all those things over time cause shingles to break, bow up or otherwise dissipate.
Pipes. Heavy water pressure or any oxidization can cause pipes to crack or fail, sending water spewing everywhere. And it’s not only an indoor threat—you may not even know that tree roots can find their way into the tiniest cracks in a sewer line or outdoor pipe and end up causing a complete blockage.
Blocked garbage disposals or other pipes. Eggshells, coffee grounds, and even rice or pasta can glob up in garbage disposals or soak up enough water to clog your sink drains. And what’s more, if your p-trap joints aren’t secure, the plunging you may have to do to unclog those drains can cause your pipes to separate and release all that water and gunk into your cabinetry or floor.
You can’t foresee every leak, but with an eagle’s eye, you can see some of them coming. Replacing hoses and keeping an eye on these common leak areas can prevent a number of water damage scenarios.
If a water leak erupts into a big problem at home, you’ve got the best team in the business on your side. Contact SERVPRO today so we can get started.
Movement of Moisture has a direct effect on the drying process
Movement of Moisture in the Drying Process
Water enters materials in two primary ways: (1) from absorption of water in direct contact with materials and (2) from absorption of excessive moisture in the air. To understand how materials dry, we should learn how moisture moves through and from a material. Moisture moves by four mechanical processes: Liquid flow, air movement, capillary suction, and vapor diffusion.
- Liquid flow. We most often observe moisture movement as water flows in liquid form. Liquid flow occurs as rainwater leaks through a roof, ground water soaks through a foundation, or water pours from a broken water pipe.
- Air movement. Moisture in the air is carried by moving air. Air moves from high air pressure areas to low air pressure areas and brings moisture with it. Moisture moves by airflow through cracks and small openings in a building’s envelope or as air pressure moves moist air through a chimney. Moisture and air moving from outside a building to the inside is called infiltration; moisture and air moving from inside to the outside is called exfiltration.
- Capillary suction. Liquid moisture can move through a narrow pathway due to contact between the moisture and the surface of the path. Capillary suction allows liquid moisture to move through the pores of porous materials.
- Vapor diffusion. Water vapor moves as a gas through materials. Water vapor moves from areas of high vapor pressure to areas of low vapor pressure. Whether moisture moves through a material by vapor diffusion depends on whether differences in vapor pressure exist across the material. How fast moisture moves by vapor diffusion depends on how permeable the material is.
By understanding how moisture moves, our highly trained technicians at SERVPRO of Fenton/South Ballwin can make sense of the pace of their drying efforts (whether ideal or not) and how to potentially speed up the drying process for certain materials.
Be Prepared: Locate Your Water Shut Off Valve
Be Prepared BEFORE Disaster Strikes!!!
Water gushing uncontrollably through your house or business is hazardous, unsafe, and will quickly cause major flood damage. If that water is coming from your home's own water supply, and not from outside sources, you can and should shut it down very fast. NOW is the time to locate your Water Shut Off Valve. Once found, make this known to all family members as they may be home alone when disaster strikes! Our office offers FREE Shut Off Tags that you can place as a reminder to all. The quicker the water supply is shut off the less damage to your home or business.
Three Ways to Quickly Locate the Water Shut Off Valve
Find the Water Shut Off Valve on the Inside Perimeter
The first step is to physically search for your house's main water shut off valve on the inside of the home. Typically, it will be located on the perimeter of the house since that is where the water first enters your house. Also, stay on the side of the house that is facing the street. Your water main begins at the street and heads in a straight line to your home. When you find the valve, turn the handle or knife-style valve.
Find the Shut Off Valve on Your Property Inspection Report
If you still cannot find the cut off valve after physically searching for it, one alternative is to check the property inspection report that was completed for you when you were in the final phases of purchasing your home. Look in the plumbing section of the report. This section should locate the shut-off valve for you and have a photo of the valve. Even if the water system was not defective at the time of the property inspection report, the report should still note the locate the shut-off valve as a matter of course.
Find the StreetSide Shut Off Valve
If the previous methods fail, there is another valve located at the beginning of your water main, at the boundary line of your property and the street or sidewalk. Find the ground-level metal or plastic utility box trap door located at ground level. Call the water company's 24-hour emergency contact line. Staff may direct you to shut off the valve by yourself or to wait for an emergency dispatch team.
Call our office at 636-527-5990 or email us at email@example.com to request your FREE Shut Off Tag!!! #SERVPROFENTONSOUTHBALLWIN
This frozen pipe could spill over a couple hundred gallons of water into your home or business within a couple hours causing extensive water damage!!!
Bursting water pipes are a major concern when winter temperatures drop below freezing. But why do frozen pipes burst?
Perhaps surprisingly, freezing pipes do not burst because of ice expanding in place. Instead, it has to do with pressure inside the pipes.
When water freezes, its molecules crystalize into an open hexagonal form, which takes up more space than when the molecules are in their liquid form — that is, the water molecules expand as they freeze.
As the ice expands, it pushes water toward the closed faucet. This causes an immense amount of water pressure to build between the ice blockage and the faucet — eventually, the pipe ruptures under the pressure, usually at a spot where there is little or no ice.
The pipe areas upstream of the ice clog are not typically in danger of bursting because the pressure is not great enough. In this case, the water is not blocked, and can always retreat to its source.
Pipes that are the most at risk of bursting are those located outside of building insulation, or those in unheated interior areas, including basements, attics, and crawl spaces.
Heating or insulating these vulnerable pipes with fiberglass or foam sleeves can help prevent them from bursting. Additionally, keeping the facet open and letting the water run, even at just a trickle, will help prevent the water pressure from building to dangerous levels.
Prepare your home or business before the bitterly cold temperatures arrive!!
Air Mover Types
Of all the tools used in structural drying, air movers are the greatest in number. Regardless of design, the function of the air mover is quite simple: it is the tool designed to blend the air at the surface of wet materials with other air in the affected structure By doing so, the air mover helps accelerate the rate at which warm air heats surfaces.
Some of the many factors that influence evaporation rates can be influenced or manipulated by the restorer, while others are almost completely out of a restorer’s control. Air movement is one influence on evaporation that we can indeed control. First, however, we must understand air moving equipment and the role air movement plays in the evaporation process.
Air movers are compared in several ways:
- Amp draw: The amount of power the unit uses.
- Volume: measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM)
- Velocity: measured in feet per minute (FPM). Faster airflow translates into more removal of a boundary layer.
- Static pressure: measured in inches of water column. This is needed from an air mover when attempting to force air through ducting or pulling air through resistance.
Types of air movers:
- Carpet dryers (high velocity air movers) are the most common type of air movers.
- Low profile centrifugal air movers provide high velocity air movement from a small-sized unit
- Low pressure axial air movers: specialized air movers used to move large volumes of air with low amp draw.
- High pressure (HP) carpet dryers are specialized carpet dryers, fitted with a high horsepower motor.
- High pressure axial air movers: commonly called ventilation fans, are used to move large volumes of air through ductwork.
- Inter-air drying systems: are used to dry cavities such as under cabinets, wall cavities and under hardwood floors.
We are always here to help!! Call on your professionals at SERVPRO of Fenton/South Ballwin for all your water restoration needs. 636-527-5990
What's Safe to Flush or Drain?
What’s Safe to Flush or Drain?
Disposing of the wrong items in a toilet or drain can cause blockages and slow drainage, flooding, and hazardous sewage back-ups into your home or yard. Fixing them can require costly and disruptive repairs for you and contributes to sewer rate increases for the whole community. Don’t let your hard-earned money go down the drain. Follow these guidelines at home and work.
The sewer pipes that serve the toilet, shower, bath, sinks, washing machine, and floor drains in your home or business are designed to carry only three things: human body waste, toilet paper, and wastewater. When other items are put down the drain, they can combine to cause clogs, put additional stress on the pipes, or get caught up in our wastewater treatment facilities. This material then needs to be trucked to a landfill, causing extra work and expense, and higher rates for customers.
Don't Flush or Drain (Just to name a few!)
- Bread Dough
- Coffee Grounds
- Paper Towels
- Rubber Bands
- Wet Wipes
- Place a wastebasket in your bathroom for disposing non-flushable items.
- Place liquid cooking fats, oil and grease into a container with a lid and dispose of in trash.
- Wipe down greasy pots, pans and dishes before washing.
- Have your sewer rodded or snaked regularly.
- Dispose of old medicines or drugs at an approved drug take-back site or event.
- Dispose of motor oil, paint, grease or other dangerous fluids at the St. Louis Household Hazardous Waste collection facility.
If your home or business sustains a backup we are here to help 24/7/365 days!!! Call SERVPRO of Fenton/South Ballwin 636-527-5990
Role of Air Movement for Evaporation
Two aspects of air movement influence evaporation of moisture from materials.
- Velocity- The speed of the air moving across surfaces.
- Volume- The quantity or amount of air moving during a period of time.
Velocity is a multiplier in the evaporation process, multiplying the rate that evaporation occurs. The velocity of airflow is comparable to wind speed. Higher wind speed will result in higher evaporation rates. Likewise, the faster the velocity of air moving over a wet surface, the better the rate of evaporation will be. Velocity is measured in feet per second (FPS), feet per minute (FPM), or miles per hour (MPH), and can be determined using an anemometer.
Volume is critical to the circulation of air. Airflow used for drying must have high wind speed, but that wind must be dry air. The source of dry air usually is a mechanical dehumidifier, though it could be the outdoor environment. Regardless of source, the dry air must be distributed or circulated throughout the affected area, much like the heated or cooled air from a home air handling system must be distributed throughout.
Moving air from one location to another is a product of mass, or volume, and is usually expressed in Cubic feet per Minute (CFM). We measure air movers in terms of CFM to indicate how much air the air mover is able to move around.
Restorers can better control air movement when they understand the roles of air volume and air velocity. Volume is not velocity. Adequate velocity is critical for increasing the rate of evaporation. Adequate volume is important when trying to circulate wet, dry air throughout especially large and complex structures.
SERVPRO of Fenton/South Ballwin professionals are here to help with all your drying needs.
The Science of Drying
Did you know there is a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of Fenton/South BallwinFranchise Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your business suffers a water damage, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will:
- Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
- Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
- Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.
What exactly does it mean to help "Speed up Mother Nature"? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material - but only if the air is, indeed, drier.
The only problem is nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.
Your SERVPRO professionals have the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more.
It's not only the equipment, but the technology too. SERVPRO had developed DryBook, a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process and helps ensure industry drying requirements are met. With DryBook Mobile, you can know exactly where your property is in the drying process.
Bottom line, SERVPRO of Fenton/South Ballwin Franchise Professionals have the training and equipment to help make water damage "Like it never even happened."
We are always here to help! 636-527-5990
Hazard Awareness and Risk Assessment
The first line of defense against safety hazards is awareness. A hazard inspection checks for any work-site situation that potentially poses danger to life or property. Project managers must then perform a risk assessment on all potential hazards found on the work site. The assessment evaluates the risk or likelihood a particular hazard will cause harm. Due to the unsafe nature of most water damaged structures, hazard inspections and risk assessments are essential for protecting workers.
The initial hazard inspection and risk assessment of a water damaged facility would involve three important aspects. The first step is to identify hazards that could give reason not to enter the building, such as wet electrical panels and collapsing ceilings. The second step is to identify the presence of regulated building materials such as asbestos, lead or PCB's (polychlorinated biphenyls). Government-regulated substances may require testing or inspection services from specialized. Third-party experts to assess health and safety issues. Finally, a competent technician conducts a risk assessment and installs or implements the necessary hazard controls for any identified hazards.
What to expect from the Initial Water Damage Inspection?
What to expect from the Initial Water damage inspection
The goal of the restoration process is to transform an abnormally wet, potentially damaged structure into an environment of equal or better appearance and cleanliness than before the intrusion occurred, and to do so in the most economical and efficient means possible.
Our Loss Professionals begin this process by identifying all affected materials. Water must be tracked from its source and followed in every direction to establish an accurate perimeter of the flooded area. Next, our Loss Professional documents what types of materials have been affected (e.g., type of subflooring, type of carpet and underlay, type of wall construction, and type of insulation.) Affected materials are then evaluated against three criteria to determine if they should be restored or replaced.
The 3 Criteria are:
- Degree of Contamination
- Damage to the item
- Replacement cost vs. Restoration cost
Only after identifying the material and considering these three factors does the Loss Professional decide which materials should be dried and which should be replaced. In addition, the Loss Professional will also decide which materials should be dried aggressively and which should be dried through more disruptive means.
Extraction: Remove the Easy Water First
Light Extraction Wand used to remove excess water.
The most effective way to speed the drying process is to remove as much of the water in a liquid state as possible during the extraction phase of the restoration project. Poor extraction will significantly slow the drying process.
Extraction and evaporation are the only ways water can be removed from a wet structure. During the extraction process, liquid water is extracted, mopped, squeegeed or otherwise removed from the structure. This takes some energy, but not nearly as much as evaporation.
The most important factor in extraction is not how much water is removed, but how much water is left behind. It is important to remember that every drop of water left behind will add time to the drying project.
The two-step process for carpet and pad extraction:
- The primary goal of the initial extraction of the affected area is to contain further migration of the water within the structure. This step is accomplished using a light wand attached to either a portable or truck mounted extraction unit.
- The deep extraction process is accomplished by using a sealed or weighted extraction tool attached to either a portable or truck mounted extraction unit.
If deep extraction is not available, the carpet pad must be removed to prevent lengthy drying times. Otherwise, excess water will remain in the carpet underlay. This water must be removed through evaporation, which prolongs the drying process. It also increases the amount of equipment required to meet drying timelines and drastically increases the likelihood of secondary damage to the structure and its contents.
Primary and Secondary Damage following a Water Intrusion
Water intrusions will affect building materials both immediately and over time. Damage that occurs immediately by direct contact with water is referred to as primary damage. Damage that occurs because material remains wet for an extended period of time is referred to as secondary damage.
Water also affects materials indirectly. Excessive moisture leads to elevated humidity. Many building materials will absorb excess water vapor and suffer damage, especially when the air in the structure is allowed to remain above 60% relative humidity. This form of damage from high humidity is also referred to as secondary damage. Secondary damage includes dimensional changes, loss of structural integrity, microbial growth and staining.
Hygroscopic materials absorb moisture easily, whether from direct contact with water or from exposure to high humidity. As a result, hygroscopic materials are very susceptible to secondary damage. Such materials gain and lose moisture continually in an effort to equalize with the water content in the surrounding air. The more hygroscopic the material, the faster it will collect water vapor, and the easier it will suffer secondary damage.
Why we Monitor on a daily basis
Drying progress is noted during daily monitoring visits. The Project Manager asks "Is it drying?" while comparing the moisture readings taken from two separate monitoring visits. These two sets of data, recorded in DryBook, reflect the impact of the drying effort on the affected materials over a 24-hour period.
If materials are making significant progress after the initial 24-hours of drying, then drying continues; no major change is necessary to the process. Our Project Manager continues to observe progress until drying is complete.
If materials are not drying, it is clear that the current approach is not working. The Project Manager must re-evaluate the equipment, systems and processes and refine our approach. The approach can be more aggressive, or more disruptive. The evaluation process is identical to the initial assessment except in one important detail. Now the material has been wet for an additional 24 hours. Damage and contamination are of greater concern.
This cycle of evaluation and re-evaluation must continue throughout the restoration project. The critical element to the process is that drying progress must be constant. If the drying process is not working, the Project Manager must modify the drying environment by adding or subtracting equipment or possibly removing wet, non-salvageable materials. The most economical and effective methods are best identified by a consistent focus on contamination, damage and cost.
The Role of Air Movement for Evaporation
Two aspects of air movement influence evaporation of moisture from materials:
- Velocity - The speed of the air moving across surfaces.
- Volume - The quantity or amount of air moving during a period of time.
Velocity is a multiplier in the evaporation process, multiplying the rate that evaporation occurs. The velocity of airflow is comparable to wind speed. Higher wind speed will result in higher evaporation rates. Likewise, the faster the velocity of air moving over a wet surface, the better the rate of evaporation will be. Velocity is measured in feet per second (FSP), feet per minute (FPM), or miles per hour (MPH), and can be determined using an anemometer.
Volume is critical to the circulation of air. Airflow used for drying must have high wind speed, but that wind must be dry air. The source of dry air usually is a mechanical dehumidifier, though it could also be the outdoor environment. Regardless of the source, the dry air must be distributed or circulated throughout the affected area, much like the heated or cooled air from an HVAC system must be distributed throughout.
Moving air from one location to another is a product of mass, or volume, and is usually expressed in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). We measure air movers in terms of CFM to indicate how much air the air mover is able to move around.
Project Managers can better control air movement when they understand the roles of air volume and air velocity. Volume is not velocity. Adequate velocity is critical for increasing the rate of evaporation. Adequate volume is important when trying to circulate warm, dry air throughout especially large and complex structures.
Why Water Damage is NOT a DIY Project
Oftentimes, homeowners don't realize the extent of the water damage in their home. Excess moisture is one thing, but damage from a flood, sewer backup or something else can be devastating to your health and your home in general. It doesn't take long for a situation like this to spiral out of control and leave you struggling to figure out what you are going to do to take care of it. The best thing you can do is turn to the help of a professional. Our team at SERVPRO Fenton and South Ballwin has all of the necessary tools to make sure your home is taken care of and the water damage is cleaned up properly.
- Dirty water from sewage backups is loaded with deadly substances from parasites to chemical residues.
- Bacteria, fungi and viruses thrive in contaminated fluids. They pose all sorts of health risks, such as hepatitis and salmonella.
- It only takes 24 hours for mold to begin growing out of control and invading your space.
- Even a small amount of water left undried could be a source of problems for your home.
Our team here at SERVPRO Fenton and South Ballwin has all of the necessary tools and experience to come in and get your water damage taken care of and thoroughly cleaned up to prevent anyone from falling ill or mold setting in.
HOW SEVERE LOOK HERE!
Water damage can originate by different sources such as a broken dishwasher hose, a washing machine overflow, a dishwasher leakage, broken/leaking pipes, and clogged toilets. Homeowners should inspect and replace worn pipe fittings and hose connections to all household appliances that use water at least once a year. This includes washing machines, dishwashers, kitchen sinks and bathroom lavatories, refrigerator ice makers, water softeners and humidifiers. Below is a specific way SERVPRO has combined different scenarios of water damages of how severe the damage actually is.
Category 1- Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as "Clean Water". Examples are broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows or appliance malfunctions that involves water supply lines.
Category 2 - Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to. Known as "Grey Water". This type carries micro organisms and nutrients of micro organisms. Examples are toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.
Category 3 - Known as "Black Water" and is grossly unsanitary. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. Type 3 category are contaminated water sources that affects the indoor environment. This category includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. Category 2 Water or Grey Water that is not promptly removed from the structure and or have remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back flows that originates from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.
Class of water damage is determined by the probable rate of evaporation based on the type of materials affected, or wet, in the room or space that was flooded. Determining the class of water damage is an important first step, and will determine the amount and type of equipment utilized to dry-down the structure.
Class 1 - Slow Rate of Evaporation. Affects only a portion of a room. Materials have a low permanence/porosity. Minimum moisture is absorbed by the materials.
Class 2 - Fast Rate of Evaporation. Water affects the entire room of carpet and cushion. May have wicked up the walls, but not more than 24 inches.
Class 3 - Fastest Rate of Evaporation. Water generally comes from overhead, affecting the entire area; walls, ceilings, insulation, carpet, cushion, etc.
Class 4 - Specialty Drying Situations. Involves materials with a very low permanence/porosity, such as hardwood floors, concrete, crawlspaces, plaster, etc. Drying generally requires very low specific humidity to accomplish drying.
Different removal methods and measures are used depending on the category of water. Due to the destructive nature of water, chosen restoration methods also depend heavily on the amount of water, and on the amount of time the water has remained stagnant. For example, as long as carpet has not been wet for longer than 48 hours, and the water involved was not sewage based, a carpet can usually be saved; however, if the water has soaked for longer, then the carpet is probably irreparable and will have to be replaced.
Here at SERVPRO of Fenton and South Ballwin we have a highly skilled team who can clean up any amount of water in your home or business. SERVPRO of Fenton and South Ballwin is open 24/7/365 so give us a call anytime at 636-527-5990.
Water Damage Timeline
Have you ever had your toilet over flow, or spill a lot of water on your floors and didn't notice until later how much water got on the floors? Well, not properly cleaning spilt water on your floors right away can cause serious problems. Check out the water damage timeline below and see what happens in minutes, hours and even weeks!
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.
Our team here at SERVPRO of Fenton and South Ballwin has all of the necessary tools and experience to come in and get your water damage taken care of and thoroughly cleaned up to prevent anyone from falling ill or mold setting in. Give us a call at 636-527-5990 and we'll make it "Like it never even happened."