Water Damage Cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh | Why Do Basement Foundations Crack?

When homeowners see cracks in the basement it is always cause for concern. Cracks can indicate a significant structural problem with your home that needs to be addressed right away. Luckily, cracks don’t always mean you’ll have to undergo a major construction project. Often, there are simple DIY fixes that can go a long way to keeping your basement dry and avoiding water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh. The best way to avoiding these structural issues however is to know what causes them.

  1. Poor Drainage- Having inadequate drainage around your home is the most common reason your basement will start to have cracks. Drainage involves more than just a good gutter system, however. Your yard needs to be properly graded and your irrigation systems need to be on a timer. If your drainage is poor, you will be making frequent calls for water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh.
  2. Concrete Shrinkage- After the basement floor is poured and the concrete dries, slight shrinkage will occur that can lead to small, hairline fractures in the flooring. These cracks can appear for up to one year after pouring the basement and are not a major cause for concern. Homeowners can seal the cracks to avoid leaks of water or radon gas.
  3. Concrete Settling- The floor slab can crack as it settles and the less supported section can sink, causing the surface to become uneven. These cracks will need to be leveled and stabilized by a professional. You’ll need to fix this issue immediately to avoid water seepage into your basement and having to handle water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh.

Sometimes there is nothing you can do to prevent a basement flood. Cracks can appear spontaneously, especially if the weather has been disastrous. Check your basement frequently during times of heavy rain to ensure there are no sudden risks of flooding that will leave you needing water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh.

If you didn’t catch the basement crack in time and your basement is flooded, call ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh to handle the water damage cleanup at 412-528-6077. You can also visit us on Facebook.

 

Water Damage Removal | Protecting Your Basement from Flooding

Every homeowner knows that one of the most vulnerable parts of their home is the basement. Flooding, leaks, sewer backup, and sump pump failure happens to even the most diligent of homeowners which is why there are water damage removal companies ready to rescue you from your latest disaster. However, wouldn’t it be nice if you could just prevent flooding in your basement? Well luckily, you can! There are several ways to protect your dry basement and belonging to water damage, just follow the tips and tricks below.

  1. Basement Sealant- Sealant is a high-quality waterproof paint that stops moisture from coming into the home from the outside. Sealant rolls or brushes on quickly and is quite easy to use. When the liquid dries it creates a watertight barrier. Five gallons is typically needed for a 500 square footwall.
  2. Strategic Gardens- Many homeowners like to line the perimeter of their home in a beautiful garden and flower beds; however, constant watering of the plants can increase the water seeping into the ground and raise your risk for foundation leaks. Plant bushes and other plants that do not need much water around your foundation and save the pretty blooms for the lawn, around trees, or along a fence line.
  3. Interior Drainage- Sometimes you need more than just a sump pump to avoid having a water damage removal company on speed dial. Interior drainage channels are installed inside the basement walls. You will need a foundation contractor to complete this job, and the price tag is high; however, homes that are in flood zones can often benefit from this solution.
  4. Smart Storage- Keeping your belonging up off the floor if your basement is used for storage is important to reduce their risk of water damage. Shelving and plastic, waterproof storage totes are the best to utilize if your basement is used for storage of your personal belongings and mementos.

Water damage removal is costly and takes several days to complete in the worst cases. Avoid having a total loss by following our tips and tricks for maintaining a dry basement. If you run into trouble and need professional flood damage help, call ServiceMaster today!

Set up an appointment with your ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh today by calling 412-314-3832

Water Damage Removal | Home Appliances Likely to Flood Your Home

Every homeowner is terrified of the day they will need water damage removal services. While most people believe this day will come when they experience a natural disaster, there are several common appliances in every home that are known to leak, flood, and cause water damage at some point during their life. If you have any of these appliances in your home, check for leaking or abnormalities often.

  1. Water Heater- Your hot water heater may be out of sight, out of mind, but when corrosion, age, and other factors lead to leaks and holes, you will lose gallons of water and may experience property damage. Hot water heaters should be expected at least once per year for signs of wear and tear and remember to replace every decade. Hot water is nearly guaranteed to fail after the twelve years and can cause thousands of dollars in losses and the need for water damage removal.
  2. Washing Machine- Most washing machine leaks are caused by hose failure and most washing machine owners do not even realize they need to check their hoses monthly for cracks, leaks, and drying out and replace them as needed. Not keeping up on appliance maintenance can result in a water damage removal service that you were not prepared to need.
  3. Refrigerator- The defrost drain being clogged is usually the reason refrigerators leak. Sometimes the drain can freeze over which will cause water to back up and leak. Hoses and waterlines, as well as bad seals, can also cause a lot of water problems.
  4. Dishwasher- This appliance is one of the smaller ones you own, but it can cause one of the biggest messes! Dishwashers that get clogged, have bad valves or hoses, or are not connected properly to the drain can cause a large, soapy puddle to quickly form on your floor or worse. Several gallons of water being lost from your dishwasher can cause quite a bit of water damage.

When your appliances fail, they are often covered by warranty; however, those warranties do not cover water damage removal services. Make sure to check your connections, hoses, and valves to all your appliances at least once per month to increase longevity and prevent flooding.

If you have experienced a major leak or flood at your home, call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh at 412-314-3832.

Water Removal Company | Services Homeowners Can Expect from A Water Removal Company

Homeowners don’t usually think much about their local water removal company until they have a flood they are dealing with. Although flood damage from storms, broken pipes and sewer backups are some of the most common services these companies are called for, there are several other services offered that homeowners might not be aware of. Water cleanup companies can help homeowners navigate some of the most difficult home maintenance issues above and beyond a flood.

Content and Document Drying-Paper is one of the most susceptible to water damage; however, documents can be laid out on a flat surface to dry easily. The problem with letting documents naturally dry is that they are still susceptible to mold growth. A Water removal company can use vacuum-free drying, microbial disinfecting, deodorizing, sanitizing, ultrasonic separation and Gamma-ray irradiation techniques to properly dry and preserve your content and documents.

Carpet & Upholstery Restoration- Many homeowners believe once their carpet is saturated, there is no way to salvage it; however professional water cleanup companies could have a solution for you. These companies have commercial grade carpet cleaning machines and chemicals that can extract water, clean, deodorize, sanitize, mitigate mold, and restore your carpet, and some types of flooring.

Drying and Dehumidification- Structural dehumidification is necessary when there’s been a flood because water can travel behind the walls, through the HVAC system, and under the flooring, creating a humid and moist environment for mold to thrive. High-velocity air circulators and dehumidifiers will make sure all the structural elements are dry as well.

Fire Fighting Damage- You might not think about water damage when you’re worried about your house burning down; however, firefighters are worried about the fire they are putting out, not the rooms the water is falling in. Hundreds and thousands of gallons of water might come down on your home if there’s a fire which, combined with the fire damage, will devastate your property. A professional restoration company that handles firefighting damage can minimize your losses.

Contact a Water Removal Company in Greater Pittsburg

If you have recently had to deal with any sort of water damage in your home or business and need help with the cleanup, call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh at 412-376-4645.

Water Damage Cleanup | Tips for Cleaning Up After a House Fire 

A house fire is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. Fire can be devasting and destroy an entire house leaving it unsalvageable, but sometimes, fires are small, and the damage is confined to a small space. When the fire department must come out to put the fire out, homeowners will have more to think about than only the fire damage. They’re going to need water damage cleanup as well.

No matter how big or small the fire is, however, one thing that homeowners must keep in mind is that the cleanup process cannot begin until authorities give the go-ahead to reenter the property. The homeowners will probably also need to call their homeowner’s insurance agent before they begin taking out any trash or beginning water damage cleanup. The insurance agency will most likely offer to send out an inspector for your claim quickly to take photos and assess the total loss.

Other tips for cleaning up after a house fire include:

  • Consider a dumpster delivery service. If your fire was a large one, you might have large furniture structural trash such as drywall, lots of clothing and linens, and other household goods that were burned, smoke damaged, or water damaged.
  • Personal Protective Equipment should always be worn, especially if you are doing water damage cleanup. Rubber boots and gloves, waders, and eye covers should be worn if there is substantial standing water. Always make sure the power remains turned off to the home as well while you are taking care of water damage to avoid electrocution.
  • Use tri-sodium phosphate cleaner to spot clean belongings with soot damage. You can also use TSP to clean walls, floors, cabinets, and some furniture. Mix with water and use a sponge to wipe surfaces down. TSP removes soot and smoke odor.
  • Hire a water damage cleanup professional when the damage is extensive. Often, firefighting ends up with an entirely saturated home and the best way to mitigate mold and mildew, remove soot, and complete a cleanout is to hire the professionals.

A house fire is one of the biggest disasters a homeowner can face but you don’t have to face the cleanup alone. Call a professional restoration company to help ensure your house is good as new once again.

If you’ve recently suffered a house fire call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh at 412-376-4645.