Recent Water Damage Posts

Help! The Toilet Leaks When Flushed

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

A clogged toilet SERVPRO can help you fix this problem quickly.

Help! When Flushing The Toilet, It Leaks

Leaking water is never ideal. It can waste your money and even cause damage to your Folcroft, PA, home. If you have a leaking toilet, you may be at your wits end. Why is it happening and how can you stop it?

Top Reasons Toilets Leak When Flushed

Knowing the why can help you better understand how to fix the problem. As you try to investigate your bathroom leak, consider these possibilities:

  • Damaged Wax Ring: The wax ring at the base of the toilet may dry out or get damaged in another way. This makes the seal imperfect and can lead to leaks. If this is the culprit, you'll notice the water coming from the base of the toilet.
  • Loose Tank: Over time, the tank of your toilet may loosen due to use. Tanks have to fit tightly onto the seat to stop leaks from taking place. If the tank is the issue, you may notice water seeping out at the base of the tank.
  • Broken Closet Flange: The closet flange provides a mount for the toilet on the floor. If this part is bent or damaged, it could lead to a leaking toilet. Fixing this piece requires you to either replace the whole flange or fill in the missing piece.
  • Loose Closet Bolts: The closet bolts work to hold the toilet to the ground. If they get loosened over time, you may notice water pooling at the base of the toilet every time you flush. You may be able to fix this problem by simply tightening the bolts. However, you need to be careful not to overtighten, as this can lead to cracks.
  • Poor Installation: Finally, if the toilet was not installed correctly to begin with, you may have leaking problems from day one. The only way to fix this issue is to try to reinstall the toilet. You may need a new wax seal and flange anyway.

Because a leaking toilet can lead to major water damage, you may not want to try to fix the problem on your own. Turning to a residential water damage specialist can help you fix the problem quickly.

3 Tips for Staying Safe After a Flood in Your Home

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

A home basement flooded SERVPRO, as water damage specialists, have all the training to help you.

3 Tips For Remaining Safe in Your Home After A Flood

No matter the cause, the aftermath of flooding in your Collingdale, PA, home can be devastating. Standing water from a broken pipe, contaminated water from rivers or creeks, and the dangers of mold can all be safety hazards present after a flood. While it can be important to assess the damage, there are a few tips you can remember to keep yourself and your family safe as well.

1. Avoid Electrical Outlets and Systems

Flood water in a home due to a broken pipe can cause severe damage to the building's electrical systems and create shock hazards to people and pets. You may want to avoid entering your home or the flooded area until you are sure the power is off, and seal the room to prevent anyone from entering the area if possible. If you must go into flooded rooms, consider wearing knee-high rubber boots and heavy rubber gloves to minimize the danger of electric shock.

2. Do Not Immerse Yourself in Flood Water

Flooding that enters your home due to overflowing streams and rivers can pose a serious biohazard. These waters can contain human pathogens that may cause gastrointestinal distress, bacterial infections and dangerous viruses. Avoid immersing yourself in these waters, and wait for a professional flood cleanup company to drain it away safely before you enter your home.

3. Do Not Disturb Mold

Mold is a common occurrence after flooding; however, it is a good idea to avoid touching it. Touching growing mold can cause spores to detach and spread to other areas of your home. Once mold spreads, it can be difficult to treat. Take photos for your insurance company, but otherwise, let your flood cleanup professionals deal with its treatment and removal.

Whether a broken pipe or mother nature causes flooding in your Collingdale, PA, home, there are a variety of dangers that might be present afterward. Knowing how to keep yourself and your family safe can avoid disaster and tragedy until help arrives.

3 Tips for Cleaning Up After a Sewage Flood

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet Sewage backup on a toilet.

How Do You Cleanup After A Sewer Flood?

There are some possible disasters you can prepare your Sharon Hill, PA, home for, but one that might catch you completely unprepared is a sewer flood. These floods can happen when weather conditions back up your neighborhood’s sewer line and then back up out of your toilet. You will likely need the assistance of a professional sewer cleanup crew to rectify this issue, but there are a few actions you can take to ensure your family and the remainder of your home stays safe.

1. Do Not Touch the Flood Water

After a sewer backup, the water that flows from your toilet is likely contaminated and is what professionals call “black water.” It may contain human and animal feces, sewer chemicals and other biohazards. Seal off the nearest door and avoid touching any of the water with your bare hands. If you must block water with towels or other absorbent material, wear thick rubber gloves and a breathing mask to protect yourself.

2. Clear the Outdoor Area

Once the sewer cleanup crew arrives, they may bring one or more large tanker trucks and other vehicles that transport sump and trash pumps that will help them drain away from the contaminated water. Try to give them plenty of room by moving your cars and other objects that might block their way. Prevent children and pets from roaming too close to the vehicles once they arrive.

3. Ask About Deodorizing Services

A flooded toilet can cause unpleasant sewer smells to linger, even after the water is gone. However, a professional cleanup crew might have several options for deodorizing your home. This service goes a step beyond cleaning, as the processes these professionals use are unique and clean the air as well as your home’s floor and walls to ensure unwanted odors do not return later.

When sewers malfunction and cause a flood in your Sharon Hill, PA, home, it can be distressing. However, a professional sewer cleanup crew can give you peace of mind when it comes to draining away the water and leaving your home smelling clean and fresh once more.

Getting Ready for the Insurance Adjuster

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

basement flooded Flooded basement in Essington, PA.

Getting Ready for the Insurance Adjuster

When your home in Essington, PA, has sustained water damage, it can be overwhelming to process what happened and know what to do next. However, as soon as you have a handle on the extent of the damage, it's important to place a claim with your insurance company as quickly as possible. Soon after you file your claim, a home adjuster should be sent out to assess the damage and file a report. While you're waiting for the adjuster's visit, here are a few tips to help the claims process go smoothly:

Know What To Ask Your Agent
Have your questions written down before calling your insurance company and be sure to ask:

  • When to expect the visit from the adjuster
  • What receipts you need to provide
  • What the deadline is for filing
  • What your deductible is
  • Whether your policy covers the damage you incurred
  • How long it will take to process your insurance claim

Itemize the Damage Thoroughly
Create your own "damage report." In addition to writing out a detailed list, photograph and videotape the overall damage and the damage to each item on your list. If you've saved receipts, collect them and make copies to give to the home adjuster, or if you don't have them, research the current replacement costs for what's been damaged. Get written estimates for repairs and include that along with everything else.

Act Quickly To Repair Damages
If your repairs require expertise not in your skillset, call in the appropriate contractors to begin the work as soon as possible. In many cases, your best option is to hire a water damage remediation service to address everything from the initial cleanup to preventing further damage in the future. Even better, these professionals can work with your insurance company to help speed along the claims process.
If you don't already have it, ask your home adjuster or agent whether you can add a flood insurance rider to your policy. Because water damage occurs unexpectedly, it's a good idea to be prepared ahead of time so you aren't hit with a big bill if the worst happens.

How To Clean Category 3 Flood Waters

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

sewage water damage in commercial building Sewage backup is considered Category 3 water damage

All types of flood water have the potential to cause damage, but some are more worrisome than others. Those deemed Category 3 are the worst, as these waters contain harmful toxins including negative bacteria and pesticides. Because cleaning this level of flooding requires the most care, here are a few things you should know about the origins and cleaning of these nefarious disasters.

Category 3 Spill Types

Also known as black water, Category 3 flooding has a number of causes, some of them being:

  • Toilet overflow
  • Sewage backup
  • Rising rivers and streams

Improperly handling one of these noxious stews exposes you, as well as your employees in Sharon Hill, PA, to a significant danger. If you are incapable of following each of the below cleanup guidelines, contact a flood water restoration professional to do the job for you.

Category 3 Spill Cleanup

Individuals authorized to rid offices of contaminated water are required to wear safety gear such as goggles, boots and gloves. Before starting, rid your space of hazards like electrical wires touching water or cracked drywall in danger of collapse. Identify and halt any rushing source of liquid. Place desks and chairs that are not easily removed from the jeopardized area onto raised blocks.
Soaked carpeting needs to be dried with a sub-surface extraction device, but any overly compromised floor covering should be discarded. Sop up standing water with mops and squeegees and then use dehumidifiers to increase aeration. Once the zone is free of moisture, apply a biocide to prevent mold growth.
Check every room to make sure water has not seeped elsewhere, paying close attention to the moisture levels of affected areas. Keep track of completed steps and write down everything to be certain that nothing is skipped.
Flood water can wreak havoc within offices, especially that of the contaminated variety. Should your business become soaked with hazardous liquid, rid yourself of it with safety in mind.

How To Unclog a Drain Without Using Harmful Chemicals

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Woman with plunger trying to remove clogged sinks. You can try with a plunger to unclog the drain

Different Ways To Unclog Your Drain

Chemical cleaners may work on your clogged drain, but they can also damage your pipes. The chemicals produce heat which can cause metal and plastic pipes to warp. Using chemicals on drains that are completely blocked is especially bad since they will just sit on top of the blockage causing more damage to your Collingdale pipes. There are some safe and effective alternatives to unclogging your drains, however.


1. Plunger
A sink plunger should be placed over the drain opening so that it seals the area completely. The vacuum created by the pumping action can sometimes clear the clog.


2. Wire Hanger
If a plunger doesn't work, try using a straightened wire hanger. Push the wire down into the drain and then slowly push it out and then back in several times to break up the blockage.


3. Drain Snake
You can rent a drain snake from your local hardware store in, to fix the clogged drain. Place the auger end into the drain and turn it while feeding the cable into the opening. Continue to twist the snake handle until you reach the blockage, allowing the cable to latch onto the clog. Slowly pull out the cable, along with the clog.


4. Baking Soda and White Vinegar
A great alternative to a chemical drain cleaner is using baking soda and white vinegar. The combination of the two ingredients causes a chemical reaction that eats through the blockage, without damaging the pipes. First, pour 3/4 cup baking soda into the drain, followed immediately by 1/2 cup white vinegar. Cover the opening with a rag and leave it for about 30 minutes. Boil some water and pour it down the drain slowly.
It's important to remember that if you require any sewage cleaning, call a water damage repair service as soon as possible.
You don't need harsh chemicals to fix your clogged drain if you try these quick and inexpensive solutions.

What To Do About Wet Building Materials and Contents?

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Wet contents in a home, basement water damage Water damage in Philadelphia, PA

What Can Be Salvaged After Water Damage?

Water damage to your Philadelphia, PA, home can cause all sorts of damage, from swelling wood to mold growth. Understanding what can be salvaged and what must be replaced is key to an effective restoration process.

What Can Be Saved?
Depending on the extent of the damage, some of the items in your home may be salvageable. The following are some items that you or an experienced restoration service may be able to repair:

  • real wood
  • drywall
  • carpeting
  • upholstered furniture
  • paper items such as books and pictures
  • some electronics

Solid wood can generally be restored if it is dried out quickly and thoroughly. Parts of the wood that have begun to rot can be excised and filled in with putty. Drywall, on the other hand, can only be salvaged if the damage is minor. If the drywall has begun to disintegrate or grow mold below the surface, it must be replaced. Like wood and dry wall, carpet and upholstery should be dried out as quickly as possible. If they can be fully dried before mold begins to grow, they should be salvageable. While the aforementioned items can often be restored with wet/dry vacuums, fans, dehumidifiers and moisture meters, paper items and electronics generally require more specialized care.

What Cannot Be Saved?
Although many items can be restored if they are dried out quickly, there are some items that cannot be salvaged. A lot of times swelling wood in cabinets, subfloors and composite wood furniture indicates that the material should be replaced rather than restored. The nature of the water also determines what can and cannot be saved. Water from a ruptured supply line or other clean source only poses a risk if it is allowed to stand for more than a day or so. Water pipe repair and cleanup should be completed promptly to avoid this scenario. Materials that come into contact with contaminated water should be thrown out if they cannot be thoroughly sanitized.
Whether you are dealing with swelling wood, wet carpeting or any other water damage it is important to act quickly. If not, your possessions may incur structural damage or mold growth.

Pipe Break? Can Insurance Help Homeowners Out?

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO equipment and air movers set up in a bathroom after a pipe burst in Philadelphia, PA. Pipe bursts are unpredictable

To See If Your Situation Is Covered, Ask Yourself These Three Questions

Cold weather and small leaks can create plumbing havoc. Pipes that appeared to function normally could bust open, spraying water all over valuables and kick-starting a flood that has lasting repercussions. To salvage the property, homeowners in Philadelphia, PA, should act quickly. The rooms need immediate drying and evaluation by a water restoration company. In addition, it's possible a rebuild is in the future. All of this together could seem daunting, emotionally, and financially. Is help available? Many residents have homeowners' insurance plans that could assist during this time.  

1. Was This Sudden and Unexpected?

First and foremost, you'll want to fix broken pipelines. Otherwise, the issues can persist. Is this part of cleanup covered? The answer usually lies with how the event happened. Gradual obstructions could have been mended. These circumstances may be refused. Usually, however, a pipe burst is unpredictable. It's unwarranted status and major impact on the building tends to lead to accepted appeals.

2. Was Anything Else Harmed?

The unfortunate part of flood destruction is that it effects a lot. Carpeting is usually torn out. Drywall must be cut and discarded. Belongings may require treatment. All of this is considered resulting damage, and it is often part of a your paperwork. The agency doesn't want to have the premises contaminated or harmed; it's in the best interest to correct everything now and avoid future complications such as rot, warping and mold growth.

3. Was the Residence Maintained?

Your insurance coverage typically stipulates that owners should care for the land. This means that they can question whether the plumbing was in good condition. If something developed over time (and homeowners knew about it), the insurer may claim negligence and deny the claim. Keep a file documenting personal efforts to care for the household. This evidence could be important in supporting your petition.
When a flood hurts your place, insurance may be able to alleviate some of the cost. Begin contact immediately, emphasizing the abruptness of the burden.

Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Flood water on the floor of an office in Collingdale, PA. Water damage in a Collingdale, PA commercial building

Most Common Causes Of Water Damage

Water damage to your commercial building in Collingdale, PA can prevent your company from doing business. It can also put your staff at risk. Therefore, the moment you spot any damage, you should seek water repair options. Most problems can be prevented by monitoring potential causes of water damage. This means that you should know what the most common causes of water damage are.

Damaged Windows
Water damage is often caused by windows that are not properly sealed. These can allow moisture to seep in, leading to mold buildup and warped wood. Resealing the windows regularly is important to prevent water damage.

Damaged Pipes
Many things can lead to a broken pipe. These include:

Bulging walls, water stains, loose tiles, and musty smells are all signs that you may have a broken pipe. Detecting these leaks can be challenging and often requires professional help.

Foundation Issues
If regular maintenance is not performed, you could find water leaking into your building through the foundation. Poor drainage is another cause of this issue. Some of the most common signs that your foundation leaks include puddles in the basement and framing that has become wet.

Roof Leaks
A leaky roof can cause a lot of water damage, including mold buildup, fire hazards, ceiling damage, and compromised structural integrity. If your building experiences a lot of heavy rain and snow, it could lead to a leaky roof. Similarly, if you have a lot of snow that is not properly removed, it could cause problems with your roof.

Sewer Clogs
Sewer water contains bacteria and other pathogens which cause illness and infection. If you see the signs of a clog, such as gurgling sounds or water backing up from a toilet or drain, you should have it fixed and call your water damage restoration professionals immediately. Remember, if you experience flooding from a sewer clog, avoid contact with the water.
Water damage in a commercial building is a serious problem that you should address immediately. It can have many causes including damaged windows, a broken pipe, foundation issues, roof leaks, and sewer clogs.

Tips for Flushing Your Gas Water Heater

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Hand attaches hose to a home water heater to perform maintenance in Philadelphia, PA. Flushing a water heater

It's easy to forget about your water heater until it doesn't function properly. Over time, sediment and mineral deposits can accumulate inside the heater, preventing it from working as it should. Replacing a heater can be a costly ordeal, so maintaining it is a smart idea. Performing a water heater flush periodically will keep your heater working properly for many years.

Steps for Flushing a Heater

Your water heater either runs on gas or electricity. Let's examine the steps to follow in flushing a gas model. First, have a large bucket, garden hose, and screwdriver at the ready. A pair of gloves is also a good idea to protect your hands from hot water.

Turn off the thermostat on the gas heater. The gas pipe that leads to the thermostat has a valve that must be turned to the “off” position. Then, turn off the cold water spigot, which is located near the top of the heater.
At the kitchen sink, turn the hot water on full. This will prevent a vacuum in the line as you drain the water from the tank. It will also increase the water flow as it drains.
Connect the hose to the drainage spigot and make sure the other end is either in the bucket or in an area outside away from the house.
Turn the spigot on and allow the water and sediment to drain completely.
Turn the drainage spigot off and disconnect the hose. Then turn the cold water spigot back on.
When the kitchen faucet water stream runs smoothly, the tank is full. Turn off the kitchen faucet, then turn the heater's thermostat back on.

To keep your home in Philadelphia, PA from running out of hot water, make sure to flush out your water heater every year. It could also save you from costly water damage repairs down the road.

What Should You Do When the Upstairs Toilet Overflows?

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Basement damaged by toilet water in Collingdale, PA Basement Bathroom Water Leak Damage

What Should You Do When the Upstairs Toilet Overflows?

For various reasons, pipes break or clog. Did someone use too much toilet paper? Did an employee continue to pour grease down a drain? In fact, sometimes it's no one's fault. It's simply defective piping. Whatever the cause, business owners end up facing the mess of sewer damage, an absolute physical, emotional, and financial drain. It's even harder when that break happens on the second story, allowing the polluted fluid to seep down below, ruining not just one floor but two. If this is the case, consider the following to get the building back to normal.

1. Have a Thorough Inspection
First, you can work with the sewage company to repair the source of the issue. After all, you don't want the situation to grow even worse. Then, contact a water restoration company. These experts in Collingdale, PA have specialized equipment and knowledge. When they arrive on scene, the staff should begin to survey the damage, section off the impacted zones, and prepare a plan to sanitize your space.

2. Discard Soaked Material
Unfortunately, sewer damage is highly contaminated with bacteria and other microorganisms. It's not something that is simply dried up. The safest decision is to eliminate anything that was heavily drenched. Therefore, the crew should begin removing the soaked flooring as well as the affected portions of the ceiling. If the liquid penetrated through, it may have harmed the downstairs. If that is the case, they could begin tearing out items from here as well.

3. Restore the Rooms
The flooded toilet and other fixtures may be replaced with newer items. The spaces are dried with dehumidifiers and then sprayed with antimicrobial spray. At this point, the restoration team begins construction, patching, painting, and replacing anything lost from the flooding. By the end, both floors should look like they did before.
Sometimes sewer damage is unavoidable. While you can't stop it, you can fix it. Seek the aid of experts who can lead and advise.

Determining the Category and Class of Water Damage

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Air movers set up to dry the water in a basement in Collingdale, PA SERVPRO of South Philadelphia / SE Delaware County is dedicated to responding immediately to water and storm damage emergencies.

When handling a water loss in Collingdale, PA, we have to identify the category and the class of the water that caused the damage.  

CATEGORY

  • Category 1: Water originated from a sanitary water source and does not pose substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure.
  • Category 2: Water contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans.
  • Category 3: Water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents.

CLASS

  • Class 1: Only part if a room or area is wet or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture.  Little or not wet carpet and/or pad is present.
  • Class 2: An entire room or more is affected.  Carpet and pad may be wet.  Water has wicked up walls less than 24 inches.  There is significant moisture remaining in structural materials.
  • Class 3: Fully involved.  Water may have come from overhead.  Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, pad, and sub floor in virtually the entire area are saturated.
  • Class 4: Specialty drying situations - Wet materials with very low permanence/porosity i.e hardwood, concrete, brick.  Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which require very low specific humidity.