Recent Water Damage Posts

After a Flood

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

After a Storm

No one wants to have to clean up after a flood, but here's how to start.

What should you do after a storm floods your home? After a significant weather event, you may find yourself dealing with conflicting impulses. On one hand, you'll be eager to start the cleanup process right away. On the other hand, you'll probably feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. While it’s best to have a restoration professional working through the process on your behalf, there are certain steps you can begin while you wait for help to arrive.

Safety First

The first and most important thing to know is how to re-enter a building safely. Never begin damage mitigation until a building has been cleared as safe. 

  • Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet yourself or standing in water.
  • Don’t walk through floodwaters. Water can be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage or possibly even be electrically charged.
  • Turn off electricity to any rooms that are affected by flooding.
  • Don’t operate any electrical equipment while standing in wet or damp locations.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
  • Wear protective clothing such as boots, long pants, and gloves when entering your home or dealing with flooded areas. I realize this is going to be uncomfortable in Austin since storm season is generally in the late summer heat, but it’s not worth the risk of injury to wear shorts in a flood clean-up.

Next Steps

Once you get into your building, notify your insurance agent. Your policy guidelines will influence your next steps and your agent should be able to recommend a trusted water restoration team in your area. To make sure that your agent has an accurate assessment of the damage, take photos or video to record the condition of your building and possessions. Don’t move any objects or collections without documenting their condition.

At SERVPRO of Columbus, we’re ready to answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but there are still some steps you can take the moment you get back home while you’re waiting for our team to arrive.

The faster you act, the more effective the restoration process will be and the better your chances are of saving water damaged possessions.

  • Remove any paintings, art objects, documents and other sensitive materials to a safe, dry place.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Raise wooden furniture out of standing waters and place on blocks if possible.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. 
  • Move large furniture away from walls for better air circulation.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.

Tips for Carpet Care

If the affected room is carpeted, there are a few things you can do to prevent further damage to your carpet that might not be obvious if you’ve never been through a flood before.

  • Place aluminum foil between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items from wet carpets.
  • Do not leave colored area rugs on wet carpets (or white rugs on wet colored carpets). Color transfer from one can stain the other.

Let Us Help You

Most people only ever have to recover from a flooded home once in their lifetime. When it does happen, it’s good to have a partner who has been through this before. At SERVPRO of Columbus, we have years of experience and the backing of the SERVPRO system to draw on and help make your home "Like it never even happened."

If you are dealing with flood damage, call us for help at (706) 568-1934 or request help online today.

Pipe Burst

4/4/2020 (Permalink)

pipe Pipe Burst

How Pipes Can Burst Year Round: Signs and What to Do

Not many property owners worry about the risk of pipes bursting in the summer time. In fact, it is only a concern during extremely low temperatures around December, January, and February. As the temperatures drop, the water in the pipes can freeze, expand, and create a fissure within the pipe.

To prevent this from happening, it is highly recommended to keep them insulated or heated by doing the following:

  • Wrapping them with heat tape or insulation
  • Set up heat lamps or space heaters near pipes during extreme conditions

On the other hand, burst pipes can happen at any time of the year due to a number of causes. They can also go undetected for days or even weeks because some are in hidden areas, such as in basements, attics, behind walls, and under floors.

Causes of Pipe Bursts Other than Weather

The most common causes of non-weather related pipe bursts include the following:

  • Hard Water: Naturally, water contains a number of minerals, including calcium and magnesium, referred to as “hard water.” While safe for humans and animals to drink, these minerals will cause significant wear and tear on the pipes. After building up inside, the flow of water is slowed and the pressure increases. The insides will also become corroded and weak. It won’t take long before holes develop and create leaks, and ultimately, water damage. But there is a way to slow down the rate of corrosion: adding a water softener to the water will remove the magnesium and calcium and ultimately decrease the chances of a burst pipe.
  • Poor plumbing: If the property is old or the plumbing was not installed correctly, it’s only a problem waiting to happen. Bad soldering or loose pipe will quickly lead to them bursting, creating a disaster at the worst time.
  • Rust: Older homes and buildings have the highest risk of pipe bursts due to rust and corrosion. These pipes made from iron, steel, and even lead will be quick to rust, causing them to fissure and flood the surrounding area. Many newer homes now have copper and PVC pipes, which can resist rust, but unless necessary, it is cost-prohibitive to run new plumbing lines through a home.

Signs of Pipe Bursts and How to Prevent Them

One of the most obvious signs of a burst pipe is water damage or standing water, but there are others that can let you know of a disaster much sooner. Here are some other signs of pipe bursts as well as how to prevent or limit the damage:

  • Water stains: Water damage will often leave yellow marks. It’s important to notice these and take action right away to fix the problem before it becomes worse, such as water coming through the drywall.
  • Lower water pressure: Pipes leaks can reduce the overall water pressure in your home, usually occurring right away. Make sure to be conscious of this problem, locating the leak sooner than later.
  • Discolored water: If the color of water coming from the faucets is brown or yellow, it is most likely the cause of rust within the pipe. It’s important to locate and replace the pipe right away as it can ruin a number of water-related appliances like the dishwasher and water heater. Make sure to drink bottled water in the meantime.

At any time you notice one of these signs, be sure to call a licensed plumber as soon as possible to fix the leak. Then call for water damage cleanup to extract excess water and repair the affected surfaces.

Burst Pipes – What to Do:

As soon as you find a burst pipe, taking immediate action is crucial. Without immediate attention, the water will spread and seep into additional building materials and furnishings, even increasing the risk of mold growth.

Many pipe bursts occur when nobody is home, such as when the temperature is kept low while the owners are living in a warmer climate. In this situation, consider installing a water-detection sensor that can send alerts to your computer or phone if the pipes become frozen. Installing low-cost security cameras within the home can also keep you updated if there were ever a problem.

In the situation that the pipes do burst while you are not home, make sure that a trusted neighbor is allowed to access the home to shut off the water supply. Letting them know can mean the difference between a saturated carpet and standing water in the home while you are away.

Make sure to call the technicians at SERVPRO Columbus right away for burst pipe water damage restoration services in the Columbus, GA area.

Call for Water Damage Restoration

As soon as the water is shut off, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO Columbus for emergency flood cleanup. Our technicians are available 24/7 in the Dallas, TX area to respond immediately, extract the water, and set up the drying equipment to prevent as much damage as possible. We can also conduct any repairs as needed, removing soiled drywall, flooring, or carpeting to prevent the risk of mold growth.

SERVPRO of Columbus Ga is a leading provider of disaster restoration services in the Columbus, Ga area, and our technicians are each IICRC-certified, trained, and experienced to provide the best service possible. We also use the industry’s newest equipment and products to ensure quality results while preventing problems in the future.

Give us a call at (7006) 568-1934 if you live or work in the Columbus, Ga area and are dealing with a burst pipe. We are available 24/7.

Cleaning Up After a Flood

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

After a flood happens in Columbus, GA, homeowners may be faced with property losses and damage. Unlike a pipe leak, which is relatively clean water, the cleaning requirements for floodwaters are different. Along with potential black water in the mix, there can also be debris and loosened materials to watch for.

Assessing the Damage

Anything the flood waters touch will need to be addressed. If the flooding is overwhelming, a flood clean professional help you address the problem and provide services to get your home looking “Like it never even happened.” During an initial inspection, in addition to checking flooring and walls, check the following for any contact with the waters:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Carpet
  • Kitchen utensils, plates, cups, etc.
  • Appliances
  • Mattresses
  • Toys

While some of these may be able to be cleaned, such as appliances and furniture, some of them should be thrown away. Things like mattresses and stuffed animals can be difficult to completely clean. If a rug has been saturated more than 24 hours, it may need to be tossed. Any clothes, rugs and furniture should immediately be removed and set out to dry before cleaning.

A Thorough Clean

One of the main cleaning requirements for flood waters is a good flood disinfectant. It will not only eliminate bacteria, stains and odors but also help reduce the potential for mold to grow. Once any wet items have been dried, usually for at least 48 hours, the cleaning process can start. Be sure to clean anything that has been in contact with water and remember to take safety precautions during the process, such as:

  • Wear disposable gloves and clothing.
  • Avoid touching the face or eyes.
  • Refresh cleaning solution when it becomes cloudy.
  • Thoroughly wash hands after cleaning.

While cleaning requirements may feel overwhelming on top of all the other stresses from the flooding itself, it’s important to ensure everything is clean. That will ensure any mold or bacteria is stopped in its tracks before becoming an issue down the road. Call SERVPRO of Columbus at 706-568-1934, we are here to help!

How Dry Is Dry

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

A Typical Moisture Meter Used By SERVPRO Technicians

How Dry Is Dry?

 When you experience water damage to your Columbus, Ga home or business, how do you know when it is really dry?

At SERVPRO of Columbus, we have certified technicians that use professional techniques and equipment like moisture meters to ensure the proper amount of drying has taken place. 

Did you know that some materials can be over-dried? Things like wood floors and some building materials require a certain amount of moisture to maintain their strength and shape. The proper amount can also be dependent on several factors like elevation and region.

Our technicians know exactly how much moisture is appropriate for all of the materials in your home, and will be sure to restore them correctly.

If you have water damage in Muscogee County, call SERVPRO of Columbus 24 hours a day @ 706.568.1934. We look forward to hearing from you!

Columbus, GA Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Columbus basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 706.568.1934

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Columbus and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 706.568.1934

Columbus, Ga 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbus 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 - 706.568.1934

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 Columbus 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 Columbus

SERVPRO of Columbus 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.

Faster to your Columbus, Ga Water Damage Event

1/16/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Columbus provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Columbus arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 706.568.1934

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • 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.

About SERVPRO of Columbus

SERVPRO of Columbus 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.