Recent Water Damage Posts

Floodplains What Are They and How to Protect Your Property

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

A floodplain is an area of land adjacent to a stream or river which stretches from the banks of its channel to the base of the enclosing valley walls, and which experiences flooding during periods of high discharge.  The soils usually consist of levees, silts and sands deposited during floods.  

Historically, many towns have been built on floodplains where they are highly susceptible to flooding for a number of reasons

  • access to fresh water
  • the fertility of floodplain land for farming
  • cheap transportation, via rivers and railroads which often followed rivers
  • ease of development of flat land

The extent of floodplain inundation depends in part on the flood magnitude.  What should you do to reduce the potential amount of damage to your home if you live in a floodplain?

  • Elevate and reinforce your home to make damage less likely during a flood.
  • Check with a professional to:
    • Raise your furnace, water heater, and electric panel to floors that are less likely to be flooded. An undamaged water heater may be your best source of fresh water after a flood.
    • Install check valves in plumbing to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home. (As a last resort, when floods threaten, use large corks or stoppers to plug showers, tubs, or basins.)
    • Construct barriers such as levees, berms, and flood walls to stop floodwater from entering the building (if permitted by local building codes).
    • Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage through cracks.
  • Use sand bags when flooding is expected:
    • It takes two people about one hour to fill and place 100 sandbags, creating a wall one foot high and 20 feet long.
    • Make sure you have enough sand, burlap or plastic bags, shovels, strong helpers, and time to place them properly.
    • If a flood is expected, some communities will offer free sandbags to residents. Be sure to watch or listen to the news so you can access these resources.

Remember: standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding but flood insurance does. Get information at www.FloodSmart.gov.

Common Causes of Water Damage

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

This Gainesville customer's bedroom carpet was saturated with water after a pipe burst in their home.

Water damage in the home, especially damage that is not identified, can cause serious issues to the home’s structure and even to you and your family’s health. Unfortunately, far too many homeowners are unaware of some of the most common causes of water damage and are therefore not prepared to prevent it in the first place. While some water damage is unavoidable, being educated on typical sources for water issues will make you more prepared to identify a problem and handle it before it becomes both costly and destructive to your home.

Residential water damage is extremely common, especially in homes throughout the Hall County, Gainesville, Georgia area. Understanding potential sources of water issues is the first step to prevention. The following are some of the most common causes of water damage:

  1. Washing machine supply lines pressure
  2. Dripping toilet
  3. Busted or leaking pipes
  4. Sewer lines backup
  5. Gutters
  6. Water buildup in crawl spaces
  7. HVAC problems
  8. Malfunctioning appliance like dishwasher, sink, refrigerator, etc.
  9. Heavy rains or major storms

While the above causes are the most commonly seen challenges for homeowners, there are a variety of additional causes of water damage. Being proactive is the best way to save money and maintain your home’s interior and exterior in optimal condition. If you believe that your home has suffered from water damage, our team of SERVPRO water damage restoration experts is here to help. Call us today to learn more!

A/C Leaks - How to Prevent

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

A/C Air Handlers are often located in attics, if the drain line clogs and the wet drip pan overflows this can result in damage to the rooms below.

In the south our A/C systems are often working overtime to keep us cool.  Occasionally your A/C system will have a leak and depending on the location of your air handler this can result in water damage to your home. Water leakage from a central air conditioner is almost always related to the condensate drip pan and drain system, located at the indoor air handler inside the house. Since the A/C evaporator coil inside the air handler can generate over 20 gallons of condensation on a humid day, the potential for substantial water damage in the event of a malfunction is clear. How can you avoid A/C water leaks?

Check the condensate drip pan regularly – This large flat pan located underneath the indoor air handler catches condensate as it drips off the A/C evaporator coil. Collected condensate drains out of the pan into a drain line usually plumbed into the household sewer line or discharges somewhere outside the house. If it’s cooling season and the air conditioner is running, the drain pan will likely be wet. However, you should not notice standing water in the pan. This usually indicates a clogged or sluggish condensate drain line and an impending damaging overflow. Also, look around the perimeter of the pan for signs of leakage such as wet spots or puddles. Drip pans may crack or corrode with age, seeping small amounts of water gradually. Contact a qualified HVAC service provider if you see standing water or evidence of leakage.

Consider an automatic shut-off switch – To avoid water damage from the condensate system, an automatic shutoff switch detects excess standing water in the drain pan and turns off power to the air conditioner before an overflow occurs.

Get regular A/C service – Mold growth inside the wet drip pan is a frequent cause of clogs in the drain line. Annual preventive maintenance by a qualified HVAC technician includes inspecting the condensate drain system, cleaning the pan and installing time-release biocide tablets in the pan to inhibit mold and algae growth all season long.

If you have water damage from your HVAC system call SERVPRO of Gainesville at 770-536-1010

Preparing for Holiday Travel

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

The Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays are quickly approaching. When leaving Gainesville for vacation, few people consider prepping their homes against water damage. You go through your checklist of turning off the coffee pot and stove and locking all the doors, but what happens if you have a leak and need a water pipe repair while you are away? A broken pipe can do a lot of damage, especially if it is left unattended for several days. 

Prepping Your Home

Before leaving for an extended vacation, check your home for leaks. Examine the pipes under the sink and the water heater for any cracks or rust. Inspect the hoses that connect to any appliances. Insulate any exposed pipes if you are leaving in the winter. A pipe that burst due to freezing needs water pipe repair immediately. Ask a neighbor, friend or family member if they can check in on your home periodically. If no one can check on your home, turn off the main water and drain the pipes. 

Preventing Floods

It is important to not only prep your home to prevent damage from a leak but also from a storm. Make sure your gutters are cleaned and water can flow freely through them. Check your sump pump. Clear out any debris you see. Test it by filling the sump pit and turning on the pump. Check your window seals and your roof for any leaks. All of these checks are especially important if any heavy rains or storms are expected in your area.

Returning from a vacation to find your house flooded can be devastating. Standing water can cause real damage to your home. A simple water pipe repair can escalate into a big problem if no one is there to address the issue. Take the time to prep your home against intruding water before you leave. That way you can enjoy your time away without worries.

If you have water damage call SERVPRO of Gainesville at 770-536-1010.

Document Restoration

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

What would you do?

In the aftermath of disaster, some of your most valued contents—documents, photographs, and books—could be lost forever. As a leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO knows that timely mitigation is the key to recovering damaged possessions. With years of experience and state-of-the-art technology, SERVPRO’s restoration professionals will help you recover your paper goods before it is too late.

Our Document Restoration Facility:

  • Innovative: we use the latest vacuum freeze-drying method, as well as gamma irradiation technology for sterilizing
  • Secure: managed by HIPPA Master-certified technicians, under 24/7 surveillance
  • Digital: we use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents
  • Flexible capacity - we can accommodate large commercial losses or small residential jobs
  • Full Service: we offer a range of services including drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorization

Our Technology

The SERVPRO document restoration team uses innovate vacuum freeze-drying techniques; in fact, we use the same freeze-drying methods used by the Library of Congress to dry valuable historic documents and books. Our vacuum freeze-drying process is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration (GSA).

Types of content:

  • paper documents
  • books and magazines
  • manuscripts and files
  • photographs, films, negatives, and microfiche
  • x-rays
  • blueprints and maps
  • parchment

Document Cleaning and Disinfecting

In many water damage situations, like sewage or flood water, documents will be exposed to bacteria, viruses, pesticides, or other harmful chemicals. Our team uses a gamma irradiation process to safely and effectively sterilize your documents.

Digitizing Services

In the digital age, converting your paper files and photos to digital formats can have an invaluable impact on your business or home. With the help of SERVPRO’s restoration professionals to digitize your documents, you can save storage space and have access to your records at the touch of a button. And perhaps most important of all, you’ll have digital copies of your valuable documents that can’t be lost in a flood or fire.

Need your valuable documents restored? Call SERVPRO of Gainesville 770-536-1010

Hall County 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

8/13/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial water loss

SERVPRO of Gainesville provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Gainesville, Georgia and Hall County.

SERVPRO of Gainesville is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today – Gainesville 770-536-1010

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Gainesville has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time.We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Gainesville

SERVPRO of Gainesville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Hall County 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

7/19/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Gainesville provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Hall County

SERVPRO of Gainesville is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (770) 536-1010

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Gainesville has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Gainesville

SERVPRO of Gainesville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

SUMMER SHOWERS

4/5/2016 (Permalink)

In the event of water damaged caused by flooding our team is well equipped and well trained to make it "Like it never even happened." Here are a few tips to help get the situation under control until we get there:

1. Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

2.Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to help even out the drying process.

3. Try and wipe up the excess water from any wood furniture after removing all tabletop items

4. Do not leaves books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on any flooring to avoid possible staining. 

Call SERVPRO of Gainesville in the event of water damage. (770) 736-1010

Winterizing Pipes

11/30/2015 (Permalink)

Winterize your home before the cold sets in:

  • The main valve - Know where the main water valve is located and confirm it turns easily. Don't wait until an emergency to find out.
  • Pipe insulation - Insulate plumbing in drafty and unheated areas such as garages, outdoors, unfinished basements, and crawlspaces.
  • Faucet drip - Leave a trickle of water running on faucets located on exterior walls to prevent pipes from freezing
  • Open cabinets - Keep vanity doors under sinks open to allow heat inside.
  • Garage door - Keep your garage door closed, when able, to maintain maximum heat.
  • Cap bibs - Place insulation caps on hose bibs.
  • The thermostat - Leave the termostat set no lower than 55 degrees F.