Water Damage Cleanup | Top Reasons for Basement Flooding

No homeowner is surprised that basements run a risk of flooding. They are, after all, below ground at least partially. However, some homeowners are shocked to learn that basement flooding and water damage cleanup can be needed all year round, even during the dry season. Basement flooding is common, especially because many of the common causes of basement flooding are out of human control, but many causes can be prevented.

Most Common Causes for Water Damage Cleanup in the Basement

You probably know that basements can flood when storms or a power failure cause the sump pump to backup or stop working, but some of the other common reasons include

  • Failure of the drainage tile
  • Improper sealing of the floor and walls
  • Improperly installed or damaged downspouts and gutters
  • Clogged gutters
  • How water tank failure
  • Water supply line damage such as broken or clogged pipes
  • Improperly sealed basement windows
  • Leakage from water in rooms above the basement
  • Appliance leaks or damage such as washer overflow, leaking refrigerator or sink, toilet overflow, etc.
  • Hurricane, flood, or tropical storm

Steps to Water Damage Cleanup in Greater Pittsburg

If you’ve recently experienced basement flooding and need water damage cleanup, the first thing you need to do is turn off the power. Water and electricity do not mix, and electrocution can be deadly. Next, you’ll want to call a professional restoration crew to assist if the water damage is severe. Professionals are trained in mold mitigation and will ensure that the cleanup process is done correctly from start to finish.

Because water can damage your personal property so quickly, the next thing you will want to do, as long as you have personal protective equipment such as rubber boots, gloves, and goggles, is to start removing everything from the room. Take furniture and other belongings outside if you can where they can dry, or to a room where you can use fans to help dry the items. The cleanup crew will suction out the water, clean or remove the carpet depending on the damage, and perform mold mitigation to ensure that nothing grows after they are gone. The entire cleanup process can take between three and seven days in many cases.

If you need water damage cleanup in your basement, call ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh at 413-528-6077.

 

 

Water Damage Services | What Is A Sump Pump?

Moving into your first home is exciting; however, the transition between renting and ownership means having to take care of your own maintenance. One part of owning a home that most first-time homeowners may not know about at first is the function of a sump pump. However, if you ever need water damage services, you’re likely to become familiar with sump pumps quickly.

Sump pumps are pumps installed in basements or crawlspaces to keep the home from flooding. These pumps need to be in the lowest point of the home and installed inside of a sump pit. Water flowing underground or seeping into the soil during torrential downpours or flooding will be pumped away from the home to prevent water from entering the basement or crawlspace.

Do I Need A Sump Pump?

Sump pumps are required to be in homes due to the U.S. Federal Clean Water Act of 1987.  If your home was built before 1987, you should check to ensure there is a sump pump in the basement.

Does the Sump Pump Work Automatically?

Automatic sump pumps do not run continuously; however, homeowners don’t need to do anything to activate them. A float activator arm acts as a pressure sensor to turn on the pump. The mechanism looks similar to what you’ll see inside of your toilet tank. When the float activator is not working correctly, your sump pump can fail and cause basement flooding. Luckily, water damage services are available to help you correct the situation. There are two types of automatic sump pumps—submersible and pedestal. Water damage services can help you decide which is best for your home.

Manual sump pumps are also available and great to be used in case of emergency when your automatic sump pump fails, and you need a backup. Manual sump pumps aren’t as convenient as automatic but work the same way.

Water damage services are ready to assist you when your sump pump fails and your basement floods. Calling the professionals is the best way to ensure that flooding from groundwater is cleaned up the safest way possible.

If you’ve had a sump pump failure, call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh at 412-314-3832.

 

 

Water Damage Services | How Much Do Water Damage Services Cost?

One reason many homeowners are hesitant to contact water damage services is that they are afraid of the price tag. The national average for water damage restoration is around $3,000; however, some services can be a little as $500 to or as high as $8,000 in some areas. This seems like a lot; however, many homeowners don’t realize what is included in water damage services and how many steps are involved in the cleanup process.

What Does Water Damage Services Include?

For most flooding situations, restoring water damage will include gray water extraction, removing furniture and other belongings, cleaning carpets and floors, cleaning surfaces, drying the room, and repairing any drywall and ceiling damage. Mildew and mold mitigation can also be included but will add to the cost of the project.

Other services you may need to help finish restoration after a flood include roofers, plumbers, and carpenters. Many times, during a flood, doors, windows, trim, flooring, and pipes need to be fixed or replaced. If new appliances need to be purchased, they will also add to the total cost of restoration. This is why homeowners need to keep in mind that restoration is not only about water removal and drying but can be much more complicated.

The hazard level of the water will also impact how much your water damage services cost. There are three categories of damage—white, grey, and black. Black level hazards such as human waste from a sump pump failure or sewage backup will be the most expensive while white will cost the least. Clean water cleanup, such as a broken pipe, can cost as little a few hundred dollars to mitigate, whereas a sewer backup or flood easily can cost more than $3,000.

If you need water damage services, call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh at 412-314-3832.

 

Water Damage Removal | Common Causes of Household Water Damage

Homeowners need water damage removal for more reasons than a roof leak or basement flooding. There are many ways that water damage can occur in your home that you might not realize. Most of the causes of household water damage come from accidents or a breakdown in appliances that can be surprising but also sometimes avoidable. When these things happen, however, there are ways you can clean up the mess quickly and efficiently.

Household Water Damage Causes

If you’re noticing water on the floor in your home, you’ll first need to figure out what is causing the leak or flooding. Some of the most common reasons you’ll need water damage removal in your home include:

  • Washer malfunction
  • Kitchen sink overflow
  • Kitchen sink pipes leaking
  • Garbage disposal clog
  • Dishwasher malfunction
  • Dishwasher clog
  • Sump pump failure
  • Bathroom sink overflow
  • Bathroom sink pipes leaking
  • Bathtub or shower overflow
  • Bathtub or shower pipes leaking
  • Burst pipes
  • Toilet overflow
  • Toilet clog
  • Toilet malfunction
  • Waterbed leak
  • Aquarium leak

Most of these causes of household water damage removal can be cleaned up easily and quickly, but some leaks can cause significant damage that needs professional assistance.

Even when small household leaks happen, homeowners need to ensure that water cleanup is complete to avoid mildew, mold, and rot. If the water damage is caused by an appliance, you’ll need to ensure that all area around, under, and behind the appliance is dry. This means you’ll need to pull them out to clean and dry them properly. You may need to use a wet/dry vacuum and a carpet shampooer to clean the carpeting in your home after water cleanup. When cleaning surfaces, ensure that you’re using a bleach solution to ward off any mildew and mold growth.

If you’ve had household water damage, call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh at 412-314-3832.

 

Water Damage Removal | When Your Pool Overflows and Causes Basement Leaks

Summer is upon us, and as you are filling up the swimming pool, one thing you need to keep in mind is accidentally flooding the basement or crawlspace. Many things could happen that can cause a pool to overfill or leak and cause a huge mess requiring water damage removal in your home or even your neighbors. Don’t worry, though! Even if the unthinkable happens and your basement is flooded, some professionals can assist in the restoration process.

Steps to Water Damage Removal and Basement Flooding

If your swimming pool has flooded your basement, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to ensure the proper water damage cleanup.

  1. Find The Foundation Leak-You’ll need to find where the crack in the foundation or crawlspace is located so that you can stop any additional water from entering the basement. You will most likely need a professional contractor to find a long term solution to a foundational problem.
  2. Water Removal- Your basement may have a sump pump that will remove the water from the basement, but if the pump has failed, you’ll need an alternative method. Wet/dry vacuums or pumps and hoses can be used to remove the water from your basement.
  3. Remove Furniture- Any items or furniture in your basement that have been saturated with water need to be removed from the basement and allowed to dry completely. If items can not be removed from the basement, but are salvageable, make sure to keep a fan on them.
  4. Drying Out- Once the water removal has occurred, you’ll need to run dehumidifiers and fans in the basement to circulate air and remove any leftover moisture. The fans will help to dry out the basement and any furniture or personal effects.
  5. Cleaning- The last step of water damage removal is to thoroughly clean all surfaces in the basement with a bleach solution. You’ll need to take care to mitigate any mold or mildew issues that you may see or smell.

Water damage in your basement needs to be taken care of immediately, and sometimes the situation can be overwhelming. Professional services are available to handle water damage in your basement, or anywhere else in your home or business.

If you’ve had a basement flood, call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh at 412-314-3832.

 

 

Water Damage Clean Up | Water Damage in Your Attic

Attic leaks are much more common than most homeowners realize; however, the attic isn’t usually someplace you venture to daily, so leaks can get out of hand without you knowing there was any damage at all. Leaks can cause significant structural damage to your home, so water damage clean up, and fixing the leak is imperative.

Steps to Water Damage Clean-Up in Your Attic

  1. Assess the problem- The first thing you must do is discover the source of the leak. Has a pipe burst? Is the roof leaking? Be sure to turn the power to the attic off and never touch anything that is plugged in in areas with water damage.
  2. Fix the Leak- Depending on the extent of water damage; your next step may be to fix the leak. Active leaks need immediate attention; otherwise, the damage will get worse. You’ll most likely need to call a plumber or roofer to fix the problem. Fixing the leak will also include replacing structural, electrical, or plumbing components if needed. Insulation may also need to be replaced.
  3. Water Damage Clean Up- After the leak is fixed, it’s time to clean up the water and fix water damage. You might need a wet/dry vacuum to suck any standing water out of the attic. Waterlogged items should be taken outside and left to dry if possible. All surfaces should be cleaned with bleach and water, and don’t forget that anyone helping needs to wear personal protective equipment. Open any attic windows to allow air circulation and bring fans up to the attic to help dry out the attic.

One of the reasons you must be diligent about your water cleanup in the attic is to avoid mildew and mold growth. Mold especially can be hazardous to your family’s health and spread throughout your home if you don’t catch it in time. Water in the attic can also cause the wood to rot and structural damage that can cost a fortune to repair. Hiring professional clean up services will reduce your chance of having a much bigger problem to remedy.

If you’ve had an attic leak, call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh at 412-314-3832.

Water Damage Cleanup | Top 5 Causes of Home Water Damage

Owning a home is one of the most rewarding investments you can make into your future. Owning property is a way to create generational wealth that can be passed to your children and grandchildren. However, many things can cause our homes to depreciate. Most people are aware of how natural disasters such as flooding can do irreparable damage to houses. However, several common household accidents can happen to anyone at any time, which will leave you in desperate need of professional water damage cleanup.

  1. Toilet Leaking or Flooding-When the toilet overflows or has a leak, your bathroom floors can start to saturate and get soft and saggy over time if the leak is not fixed. Take special precautions when cleaning up a toilet overflow with waste.
  2. Leaking Washing Machine- Your washer might start leaking water due to clogged drainage, worn-out piping, or ruptures to the rubber hoses. When water doesn’t drain properly from your machine, your clothes can get ruined also.
  3. AC/Water Heater Leaking- When the drainage system of your central air or water heater backs up due to clogged lines, they start to leak and ruin your walls and ceiling quickly. Your insulation can also become soggy and need to be replaced.
  4. Burst Pipes- When temperatures drop below freezing, your pipes can burst if water freezes inside of them. Pipes rupturing can flood every room of your house from floor to ceiling. The fire sprinkler systems in your commercial businesses can freeze and cause the need for water damage cleanup also.
  5. Sump Pump Failures- Sump pumps can fail during heavy rainstorms and flooding, or because of mechanical failure. When your sump pump floods your basement, chances are you will have hazardous waste that needs to be cleaned up as well. Homeowners need professional services for this kind of water damage cleanup.

Many of the top causes of home water damage can be prevented, but sometimes accidents happen, and we can’t stop flooding in our homes. Flooding in your home needs to be cleaned up as soon as possible to reduce damages and lower your risk of mold growth.

Do you need help with water damage cleanup? Call ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh today at 412-419-3253

 

Water Damage Cleanup | Will Water Damage Decrease My Home Value?

When you purchase a home, it’s an investment into your future that you hope appreciates over the years. However, many unfortunate things can happen to harm your investment, including natural disasters. Sometimes, accidents in the home, such as a bathtub flooding, washing machine leaking, or sump pump failing, can also cause damage that will decrease your home’s value. Luckily, water damaged cleanup from a professional disaster restoration company like ServiceMaster can help you mitigate and repair the damage.

How Water Damage Can Affect Your Home

Quick water damage cleanup is vital for making sure your home isn’t damaged to the point of disrepair, especially when the damage is caused by storm flooding or sump pump failure. When hazardous waste is involved in water damage cleanup, homeowners need to hire professionals to mitigate the damage and restore your home.

Not only does water damage and hazardous waste ruin your property and contaminate the air, but the moisture will also encourage mold growth, which can have long term adverse effects on people, and pet’s, health. Mold can destroy the value of your home and make potential buyers turn their heads before they even come to see the house.

Most of the time, a home with flood damage can be saved from the mold as long as professional restoration happens immediately after the disaster. You should be aware, however, that homeowners are required by law to disclose mold and water damage issues to home buyers. If you sell your home and the new owners find mold, they may be able to sue you for damages. If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market and have had water damage cleanup in the past, you should consider getting a mold inspection before selling to protect you and the buyer.

Do you need help with water damage cleanup? Call ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh today at 412-419-3253

Water Damage Cleanup | When Your Bathtub Overflows

Water Damage Cleanup | When Your Bathtub Overflows

Every homeowner has dealt with an accident in their home involving water at some point in time. One of the most common household water accidents that can happen (especially if you have kids!) is a bathtub overflow. You plug the tub, turn on the water, get distracted, and before you know it, there’s water flooding your bathroom. It happens to the best of us and fortunately, most bathroom floods are easy enough to clean up, although, in worst-case scenarios, professional water damage cleanup could be necessary.

Step to Cleaning Up A Flooded Bathroom

  1. Turn off the Water- This step seems like common sense, but in a state of panic it is easy to forget to do the simple things like turn off the water source. If your bathtub overflows, you should just be able to turn off the handle, but you might also need to find the water shut off valve to your home which is usually located by the water meter or in the basement.
  2. Turn off the Power- If you have a lot of standing water (more than an inch or two) you should turn off the power to the bathroom using the circuit box to ensure that no standing water can become electrified.
  3. Clean Up Standing Water- The first part of water damage cleanup is to remove the water. You’ll need to soak water up using towels, or suck the water out using a wet/dry shop vacuum or carpet cleaner.
  4. Dry it Out- Mold prevention is going to be very important after a flooded bathroom since this area is already a humid, moist place. Once the water is removed, you’ll need to use fans and possibly a dehumidifier to remove all moisture from the bathroom. Fans and open windows will help also if the weather permits.

Special concerns you might need to address for water damage cleanup in a flooded bathroom include dealing with raw sewage or human waste. This type of cleanup needs to be more detailed. And other safety measures need to be taken when cleaning up hazards like sewage.

If you need to call in the professionals, give ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh a call at 412-826-1010.