Recent Water Damage Posts

What Are the Three Types of Contaminated Water?

11/5/2022 (Permalink)

Background of blue water and the phrase Water Categories In the restoration industry, water is classified into three categories

Water Categories

While water is essential for life, contaminated water can often pose major problems in the wake of a disaster. When there's a problem with your water, what do you do? Knowing the types of contamination can help guide your next steps in dealing with unsafe drinking water.

In the restoration industry, water is classified into three categories:

The three categories are:

  • Category 1 (clean water): This type of water is typically the safest. It typically comes from a local municipality and has not been treated. The quality will vary depending on where you live and what type of treatment your municipality provides for its residents.
  • Category 2 (contaminated): This can include rainwater that enters through a roof or window, flood waters from rivers or streams, septic tanks or wastewater systems that have been damaged by flooding, etc. These sources may contain chemicals from industry or agriculture that could be harmful to humans if ingested over time in large amounts (or long-term exposure). 
  • Category 3 (sewer or outside flood): Sewers are manmade channels used to carry away waste materials such as feces, so they do not pollute drinking water sources such as lakes/rivers/streams, etc. However, water within these systems is extremely contaminated. 

Category 1 water, or clean water. 

This category of water includes water from burst pipes, broken supply lines and other similar sources. The main difference between Category 1 and Category 2 is that the former has very few microorganisms in it. That’s right! It’s safe to drink.

If you find yourself in this situation, use common sense to determine its safety: if there is any discoloration, smell, visible particles floating around, do not drink it. 

Category 2 water, also known as gray water.

Category 2 water, also known as gray water. This type of contaminated water can contain microorganisms and other contaminants that make it a health risk. It typically comes from toilet bowls, aquariums or washing machine overflows. Gray water may also come from burst pipes, broken supply lines and other similar sources.

Category 3, also known as black water

Black water is highly contaminated with bacteria and microorganisms. It comes from sewage lines, floods and any source that has been in contact with human waste. Black water is the most dangerous type of contaminated water to encounter because it often contains harmful pathogens such as E. coli or salmonella that can cause food poisoning, diarrhea and dysentery.

Contaminated water is everywhere and can make you sick. You should always be careful when it comes to drinking water, but there are three types that you need to know about. These include chemical contaminants, biological contaminants, and radioactive substances.

How the Pros Clean Up After Sewer Damage

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Servpro technicians downloading drying equipment from a van If you need help with sewer clean-up at home, a team of qualified professionals can get the job done.

As if a flooded home isn't enough to cause for concern, there may also be sewer damage on the property. Known as black water or category 3 water, this type of flooding threatens building materials, furniture, electronics and personal belongings. You should never try to handle sewer cleanup on your own. Instead, enlist the services of a professional flood restoration company to help. The pros have what it takes to make your home livable once more.

Causes of Category 3 Flooding

If you encounter black water in your home, you typically know right away to stay far away from it. This water contains raw sewage, including human feces and other hazardous materials. It can infiltrate your home from a variety of sources:

  • An overflowing toilet
  • A ruptured sewage pipe in your home
  • A broken city sewer line or a sewer backup

What You Can Do
Avoid contact with black water. Make sure you get family members and pets out of the home as soon as possible. If it is safe to do so, turn off the main water to your home, especially if an overflowing toilet is the cause. You should then contact your local Round Rock, TX, utility company, followed by a sewer cleanup crew to help remove the water from your home.

What the Pros Do and Why Call Them
A team of professionals has experience cleaning up after category 3 water, whether it's from a flooded toilet or a sewer line problem. The professionals have protective equipment and high-powered tools to remove the water from your home. Technicians then can dry the affected area. Thorough disinfecting also ensures that no harmful components remain in your house.
If you need help with sewer clean-up at home, a team of qualified professionals can get the job done efficiently and give you peace of mind knowing you have a clean, restored house once again.

Understanding the Three Types of Water Damage

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

Five air movers placed in an area where water damage occur, flooring has been removed Cleaning up after water damage in a home in Round Rock, TX.

Understanding the Differences In Water Damage Categories

Any home can experience water damage, but it's important to understand the three categories by which it is classified. Being able to identify which type of damage you are dealing with can help you address any water issue in your Round Rock, TX, home.

1. Category 1 - Clean Water
Contamination levels determine water damage categories, the first of which is referred to as clean water. As the name suggests, this type contains no dangerous contaminants and is relatively easy to manage. Clean water damage may include an overflowing sink or shower or appliances that leak water from their supply line.

2. Category 2 - Grey Water
Chemical or biological contaminants are the basis of the second category type, known as greywater. Cleaning detergents or urine can lead to greywater in your home's washing machine or toilet. Exposure to this type of water damage poses slight risks and if left untreated, can become even more unsanitary and evolve into the final category type.

3. Category 3 - Black Water
The third category, and the most alarming, features the highest level of contaminants, including bacteria and fungi. Sewage backup (think an overflown toilet) and groundwater flooding due to storms, rising seas, or rivers are the main causes of black water.
Because of the biohazards this category carries, it's vital to let a water damage restoration company handle the job. Flooding and sewage cleanup is best left to the experts as they are fully equipped to remove the infected water, dry the area and sanitize the property to the highest standard.
Understanding the differences in water damage categories can help keep your home and family safe. You'll be in the clear with clean water, while greywater offers more concern and black water means it's time to bring in professionals.

5 Things To Check When Preparing Your Business for Winter

3/18/2022 (Permalink)

Plumbing system covered with insulation covers. Protect your pipes with insulation.

Preparing Your Business for Winter

Owning a business anywhere can be difficult, but having a commercial property somewhere that endures harsh winters comes with unique challenges. Extreme cold weather in Round Rock, TX, can often lead to problems like frozen pipes, ice dams and other kinds of building damages. To avoid having to call a disaster restoration professional after the next winter storm, make sure your company is ready for the elements. Here are five things to assess when going through your winterization checklist.

1. Plumbing

Frozen pipes can quickly lead to bigger problems, so making sure your plumbing is in good condition should be a top priority. Nobody wants springtime flooding. You can prepare your pipes for colder weather by insulating and sealing any cracks or openings.

2. Insulation

Speaking of insulating, how is the insulation of your building structure? You can keep your business warmer for customers by protecting it with a variety of insulation types. From blanket-style to rigid to foam, there are many options for keeping your commercial space comfortable in wintertime.

3. Roofing

When it comes to storm damage, the roof is a popular place to find it. If you can safely look on top of your building, check for ice dams or block gutters, and clear them out. If you do not have safe access, call a professional.

4. Windows

Before the next winter storm, another place you will want to check are the windows. Remember to inspect them both inside and outside. Doing so can save you money on energy bills throughout the season.

5. HVAC

To ensure your building has proper air ventilation throughout the colder months, take a look at your HVAC system. Replace air filters and make sure everything is working properly.
In order to prepare your business for the next winter storm, create a checklist of tasks you need to complete before the snow starts to fall. Be sure to include the items here.

Cleaning Personal Belonging After a Broken Pipe

2/9/2022 (Permalink)

Flooring removal, drying equipment placed on bathroom and bedroom Water cleanup in a Round Rock, TX home.

Cleaning Personal Belonging After a Broken Pipe

If you have the misfortune of dealing with a broken pipe in Round Rock, TX, your first instinct may be to get rid of any item the water came in contact with. Water in your home can cause incredible damage to your floor and sheetrock, and having to discard personal belongings may devastate you. Fortunately, with the help of dry cleaning and ultrasonic cleaning, many of the contents of your home can be saved after broken pipes flood your home.


Non-Porous Items

Depending on how much flooding was caused by broken pipes in your home, you may have many items to clean. Anything that came in contact with the water should be scrubbed thoroughly, including non-porous items like the ones listed below:

  • Toys
  • Appliances
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Furniture
  • Storage containers

Scrubbing these items thoroughly may reduce the number of bacteria on them, but ultrasonic cleaning may be required to completely remove all germs. This type of cleaning involves spraying water infused with microscopic bubbles onto the item. As the bubbles pop, they effectively clean each item and remove all traces of bacteria quickly and easily.

Porous Items

When you begin to clean up after you have standing water in your home, you may have the urge to discard any item that could have absorbed water. Even porous items like the ones listed below can be saved with the right care.

  • Upholstered furniture
  • Bedding
  • Curtains
  • Stuffed animals
  • Clothes

The key is to have any kind of fabric that may have absorbed floodwater dry cleaned. The special process and solution that dry cleaners use can usually remove every trace of floodwater from fabric, allowing them to be fully restored.

No one wants to throw away personal belongings just because they came in contact with water from a broken pipe. Abundant moisture in your home can cause enough damage, so resist the urge to discard your sentimental belongings. With the proper care and dry cleaning, nearly anything in your home can be saved.

How Long Does It Take To Clean Up Water Damage?

12/31/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment set up in a kitchen Water damage clean up in Round Rock, TX

Water Damage Clean Up

When your home is affected by a flooding event, it can disrupt your whole life. Bursting pipes, for example, can take you by surprise and expel an incredible amount of water into your house before you turn off the main water valve. Whatever the source of the water, your first question after you call a water damage mitigation specialist in Round Rock, TX, is probably how long it’s going to take to return your home to normal. The answer depends on the type of water, the amount of water and the extent of the damage.

Water Removal

Water damage mitigation experts have specialized equipment to help them remove water from your home. If your bursting pipes gushed water for a long time before the main valve was shut off and the water is deep, submersible pumps are used to empty out the affected rooms. Once the water becomes too shallow for pumps, industrial wet vacs suck up the remaining water. The equipment used is so powerful that even a relatively large house can usually be emptied out in around 24 hours. Once the bulk of the water is out, the affected area needs to be completely dried to prevent mold from growing.

Drying

The amount of time it takes to dry out your home is highly variable. Multiple factors all play a part:

  • The type of flooring
  • The size of your home
  • The time of year
  • The humidity levels of the region

Industrial-strength air movers are used along with dehumidifiers to pull moisture from the air to speed the drying process. To completely dry out the flooded area can take anywhere from two to three days. However, if you have wood floors or water was left standing for a long time, it can take up to five to seven days.

When your life is disrupted by bursting pipes, the faster you can get back to normal, the better. Letting a water damage mitigation specialist in Round Rock, TX, handle the cleanup ensures it happens as quickly as possible. With an expert in charge, you can be back to normal within the week.

What To Do If You Have a Leaky or Broken Pipe

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

two air movers placed in a clean kitchen. Concept of water restoration services If you have a broken or leaking pipe give SERVPRO of East Round Rock a call!

What Should You Do If You Have a Leaking or Broken Pipe?

Gone are the days when homeowners had to trek to a well to draw water. Nowadays, with just the turn of a bathroom or kitchen faucet, water flows freely. Hidden in the walls and floors of your home are a series of pipes that supply water to your entire home. Unfortunately, broken or leaky pipes can cause your house to flood. If your Round Rock, TX, home has sustained damage, you must have a strategy for dealing with it.

Find the Leak
When a pipe bursts, the source of the flood is often obvious. For leaky pipes, however, finding the root of water damage can be tricky. Still, before you can fix a broken pipe, you must locate it. If you don’t have plumbing skills, you may not be able to go it alone. Instead, you must rely on a licensed plumber to find the leak. When you do, expect the plumber to take the following actions:

  • Ensure no legitimate water is flowing inside or outside the home
  • Check the water meter’s leak indicator
  • Compare water meter readings
  • Look for signs of water damage
  • Examine pipes

Contact the Insurance Company
Many homeowners are surprised to learn that their insurance policy covers damage caused by leaky or broken pipes. Whether you have a flood or just a bit of moisture, you should contact your insurance company. An adjuster can advise you on which restoration and repair costs are included in your insurance coverage.
As you probably know, a flood can destroy your home. Not only do floods often cause short-term damage, they usually leave behind long-term remnants. To preserve the comfort, value and appearance of your dwelling, you can’t leave your house’s recovery to chance. Instead, consider working with a reputable restoration service in Round Rock, TX. Simply put, you can’t overestimate the importance of having the right expertise, equipment and skill in restoring the condition of your home.

Burst Water Main: How to Protect Your Business After a City Main Break

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Hand turning off water valve Shut off the main water valve.

How to Protect Your Company Following a City Main Break

City water main breaks can be catastrophic for your business, especially if they go unnoticed, because of the potential plumbing problems in your building. If you notice the signs of a city main break, then you may want to take the following proactive steps.


1. Check Your Commercial Insurance Policy

While you may think that your insurance policy covers a burst main or that the city will pay for the damage, that is not always the case. Most commercial policies will not cover clean water damage unless it is from a fire suppression system or you have an additional policy endorsement, and the city is not responsible for damage that occurs on your property.

2. Shut Off Water Main

If you notice that there is flooding in the street outside of your business, or you see sediment coming through your faucets, you may want to shut off the main water valve to your building because these are signs that the city main may be compromised. Shutting off this valve protects your building from further damage and gives you time to notify the city.

3. Flush the System

Once you have shut down the access point for any more incoming water, you may want to flush your system to prevent any further plumbing problems. You can do this by turning on the faucets nearest the buildings main. By using the faucet near the location, you may be able to prevent any debris or blockages from further working their way into the system.

4. Call a Professional and Install Preventative Measures

After the city has fixed the main issues and repaired the broken pipe, you may want to call in a plumbing specialist in the Round Rock, TX, area to inspect your system and possibly install a water main filtration system. This system will help to prevent any debris or sediment from future issues from entering your buildings plumbing and causing problems.

Plumbing problems can be frustrating for business owners, but especially when they are not the fault of the business. While busted city mains can be devastating, the above steps may help you protect your company.

How To Clean Up Sewer Damage

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Repairing a sump pump in a basement with a red LED light illuminating the pit and pipe work for draining ground water Use a sump pump to remove as much water as you can.

The Sewer Cleanup Process

You walk into your home in Round Rock, TX, and immediately you smell it. The telltale odor of sewer backup permeates the air. You find the problem and call restoration experts who specialize in sewer cleanup. After doing so, you should shut off the water and power to the area and then leave the space to keep you and your family safe from the contaminated water. When the professionals arrive, this is the process they are likely to follow.

Containing the Sewage

The first step of the cleanup process is stopping the spread of the contamination. There are several parts to this step:

  • Technicians don protective gear to keep themselves safe.
  • Remove and bag any affected items.
  • Identify the perimeter of the area the contaminants have reached.
  • Seal off the area so that microbes and bacteria do not go any further.

Removing the Water

After the damage from the flooded toilet has been identified and contained, the next step of sewer cleanup is water extraction. Using industrial pumps, technicians remove as much of the water as they can from the area. The faster water is removed, the faster the actual cleaning process can begin.

Assessing Items and Materials

Certified experts are trained to recognize which items can be cleaned and which items need to be discarded. After the water is removed, they discard unsalvageable items and put others aside to be restored.

Drying the Area

At this point, nothing remains that can't be dried and saved, so the intense drying process begins. Technicians increase airflow and use dehumidifiers to completely dry the area and prevent mold growth.

Disinfecting Items and Materials

Even though the area is dry, it is still not clean. Bacteria may still be on the remaining floors and walls, so they need to be professionally disinfected. Salvageable materials and items are restored and returned to the area.

At this point, everything is dry and clean. The sewer cleanup process concludes with walls, floors and other essential items that had to be discarded being replaced.

3 Steps To Fix a Leaking Kitchen Sink

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Drainage system under sink leaking A leaky kitchen sink may seem like a minor issue, but an ongoing leak could have serious consequences.

Here Are Three Steps To Fix An Under- Sink Leak

A leaky kitchen sink may seem like a minor issue, but an ongoing leak could have serious consequences. Homeowners or occupants may be able to fix a malfunctioning faucet, drain or drain seal at a residence in Round Rock, TX. A leaking supply line or other plumbing problems that could cause flooding to require expert repair. 

1. Find the Source of a Sink Leak
A leaky or broken water supply line may visibly drip or spray water in a home. A P-trap or sink drain leak may only be evident after water has run through the sink. If you cannot locate the source of a leak, shut off the water supply and contact a plumber.

2. Fix the Faucet, Drain or Seal
A leaky faucet is relatively easy to replace, along with one or two washers or gaskets. A P-trap leak may require clearing a blockage, tightening connections, or replacing a corroded trap. A sink drain leak may need to be unscrewed and repacked with plumbers putty. A broken supply line is more likely to cause Category One water damage or flooding and require expert repair.

3. Contact a Plumber If a Leak Continues
If the kitchen repair measures you take to stop a leaky sink are not effective, it is a good idea to call a plumber sooner rather than later. The longer an under-sink cabinet or other areas remain wet, the higher the risk of major water damage and mold.
A leaking sink often starts off as a drip, but a problem that goes unaddressed could end up flooding a home kitchen in Round Rock, TX. If you cannot resolve the underlying cause, contact a plumber to minimize primary damage. An under-sink cabinet that has been exposed to water for a long period of time or repeatedly may suffer primary and secondary damage.

Are Water-Related Losses Covered by Insurance?

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Hands holding a portfolio with an insurance form with the sentence  Are you covered? Do you have water damage coverage?

What Is Covered By Your Insurance Policy

Many businesses in Round Rock, TX, face steep costs to repair water damage. Water from damaged pipes and other sources can cause a lot of damage that needs to be repaired by water restoration professionals. 

Freezing
Many damage claims are caused by frozen pipes. When a frozen pipe occurs, water may slow down or not flow through it at all. This causes pressure to build up and the pipe to burst. Unfortunately, this event is typically not covered by insurance companies. However, there are certain exceptions. Here are the times when frozen pipes are covered:

  • There is damage to fire protective systems
  • You did your best to maintain heat in the building
  • You don't maintain heat, but you do drain all the pipes in the winter

Sudden Water Damage
Suddenly damaged pipes and appliances are covered under most policies. For example, you leave for the weekend without leaking pipes and return to find one has ruptured and water is pooled on your floor. This has caused extensive damage to your flooring. Because it was sudden, you can expect to have the repair costs covered. Additionally, you can expect any damage caused by a sudden rupture of your fire protection system to be covered. This type of coverage includes the costs of repairing your building. It also generally covers the cost of replacing equipment and furniture.

Fire Protective Systems
Damaged pipes to your appliances are generally not covered under your insurance. However, any damage caused by water released by a fire protection system will be covered. Additionally, the cost to repair or replace the system is covered.
Flooding and water damage comes with great costs for a business. Fortunately, many of these events are covered under standard building insurance. Therefore, business owners should know what is covered under their policies.