Recent Water Damage Posts

A Concern for a Home Away From Home

1/14/2019 (Permalink)

A Concern for a Home away from Home

The Delaware Beaches are a popular destination for many families seeking a getaway.  There is nothing quite like spending summers in a dream vacation home.  It’s a wonderful feeling to have a place to look forward to throughout the year.  With summer far behind us, numerous homes will rest unattended for many months.  Moisture intrusion can easily lead to problems which can spread throughout your home.   Wallpaper, fabric, carpets, drywall, and wood products are all easily affected by such scenarios.  What can you do, and who can you count on to restore your property?

SERVPRO technicians are frequently called out to problems where homeowners are far away from the point of disaster.  In cases such as these, we pride ourselves in showing great care for the homes we’ve been entrusted with.  In a recent case, SERVPRO of Sussex County was contacted to remediate growth from a gorgeous summer home which held great significance to a local family.  While the family was away, moisture within the HVAC system created a perfect environment for fungal growth.  As it expanded throughout the system, growth spread throughout the home, affecting walls, furniture, and ceilings.  SERVPRO of Sussex County was called in to remediate mold from all affected surfaces. Our technicians possess an eye for detail.  Each floor was thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, including ceilings, carpets, walls, and belongings.  While some items were unable to be saved, the home was restored to its original, livable state.

  No matter what happens while you’re far from home, SERVPRO is only a one call away.  We have the skills and experience to handle any disaster.  As members of the Sussex County community, we feel closely connected to our local customers and value their trust.  If find yourself in need of help, call.  SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 for any questions or issues relating to all types of unexpected property damage.  We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Bad Pipe Dreams

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Bad Pipe Dreams An example of exposed pipes under a sink that may freeze if the internal temperature of the home is not controlled.

Bad Pipe Dreams

  The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety states that the most common cause of property damage during frigid weather is frozen pipes that burst.  In fact, the average cost of such an event is estimated at $5.000.00 or more.  Over time; global warming may decrease this threat, however that make take many decades or centuries. What can you do now to prevent those pipes from freezing?

  Obviously, the pipes that are most exposed and located in unheated areas are more at risk than those located in a temperature controlled environment.  But even pipes running through cabinets and exterior walls are at risk.

  Once the temperature begins to drop, there are efforts you can apply to hopefully minimize this risk.  The temperature “Alert Level” is at 20 degrees Fahrenheit.  When the outdoor temperature reaches this level you will want to take the following steps:

  • Keep your garage doors closed. Especially is water supply lines are located there.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Let the cold water drip from your faucets served from exposed pipes. Even a trickle will do the trick.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. (Here is where you have to ask yourself: Is a slight increase in my electric bill worth possibly saving you up to or more than $5,000.00? – probably so.)
  • If you plan to be away during cold weather – leave your heat on – set the temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • For a more long term solution – add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Applying pipe insulation is also a good preventive measure and since it is about 50 cents per linear foot – it is cheap as well.

If by chance you incur water damage from frozen broken pipes or another cause; the first thing you should do is call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 and we can offer remediation and get you and your home back to normal.        

Water Tight Advice

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water Tight Advice!

  SERVPRO of Sussex County responded to a call from a very smelly business about four months ago.  After a thorough inspection we found that the source was water intrusion which caused growth and mildew.  The lobby smelled like the most intense “locker room / body odor” smell that I have ever encountered.  Obviously, the business owner was concerned that this would not be good for business. 

  The water was coming in through leaking windows and since the structure was over 25 years old; this was not surprising. Over time, the water saturated carpets and flooring and proper drying never occurred; hence the intense odor.  The window sills and frames were also showing signs of water damage as well.

  We placed air movers and air scrubbers and recommended an Industrial Hygienist to inspect and offer protocol. The protocol offered by the Industrial Hygienist recommended that all of the affected windows be removed immediately and replaced. We offered the contact for a local window contractor and of course our agreement with the plan offered by the Hygienist.  We removed the smell and the growth; however they did not replace the windows.

  Let’s fast forward to two weeks ago – early October. We got another call from the same business after an intense weekend of rain and this time they had a water damage with standing water and saturated carpets, drywall and flooring throughout the basement and first and second floors.

  Again, our team responded and this time applied extraction and more drying, air scrubbing and cleaning.  Between the two losses the business incurred thousands of dollars in remediation expense.

  There is an old saying that goes “You can pay me once or pay me twice.” Which implies that if a lesson is not learned initially – more expense will occur.  If the business had heeded both the Hygienists and our recommendations – the second loss would not have happened.  The moral of the story is that these types of problems do not fix themselves and when a business or a resident is offered sage advice to prevent future issues – that advice should be heeded.

Is Your Washer on Auto Pilot?

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Is Your Washer on Auto Pilot?

Hurry!  Hurry!  Hurry!  There’s always so-o much to do and not enough time to do it in one day!  If you’re like me, you’ve not only got lunches to pack, breakfast for everyone (most of the time it’s on the run), making sure the kids are dressed and have their book bags in order, husband trying to remember where he left the keys to his car, and the dog barking – don’t forget to feed him!  And what about that pile of laundry?  You’ve got your in-laws coming over tonight and they won’t be happy to see that stack of smelly socks and who knows what else is in there.  Why not just put the laundry in the washer right now?  After all, you have a hair appointment that won’t wait and the laundry will be done by the time you’re back – right?

Wrong thing to do!  Do you realize that IF your washer makes the decision to keep filling with water as the fill switch may just suddenly break while you’re away, your entire house will be flooded with water by the time you return home?  Depending on how long you’re gone, you may have furniture and carpet floating in many, many rooms.  If your laundry room is on the second floor, you could also have a cascading waterfall down your staircase.  YIKES!!

While SERVPRO of Sussex County realizes that a water damage may also occur even through no fault of your own, they are there to help get your home back to a preloss condition or “Like it never even happened”.  If you need someone to help with your water loss, call the experts at SERVPRO of Sussex County 302-856-9768.  The highly trained IICRC technicians will be there to start the drying process.  If you have a water damage, call the professionals – call SERVPRO of Sussex County 302-856-9768.

Tips for Post Flood Safety

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Tips for Post Flood Safety

  Once the waters recede and the immediate danger has passed; one should still use caution before entering a flooded home or structure.  Hidden dangers may pose threats as serious as the initial flood itself. 

  FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) offers much guidance on this issue and you may read more at:  Never assume a flooded building is safe and always be aware of the following hazards before re-entry:

  • Electrical hazards – Never enter a flooded building if the power is on. Make sure the power is turned off at the main breaker box and leave it turned off until a licensed electrician or building inspector has inspected and deemed it as safe.
  • Structural Damage – If the framing or the foundation are damaged – do not enter. Look carefully and if you detect any instability leave immediately.  A collapse could cause serious injury or even death.  Again, have a licensed professional inspect for safety.
  • Hazardous Materials – These include pesticides, fuel oil, gasoline or other chemicals which may have been spread during the flood. Typically, if the structure was built prior to 1978 there may also be a risk of asbestos and or lead based paint.  Any building material other than solid wood, glass or metal may pose a risk of asbestos.
  • Injuries - One of leading leading causes of injury is slips and falls due to slick surfaces. A damaged building may also present the risk of falling objects.
  • Biological Hazards - These include bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew. Bacteria and Viruses present in dirty water pose a health risk if ingested or from exposure.  Even a small cut can become infected from bacteria or hidden parasites.  Mold and mildew may grow indoors and can cause health risks if not safely cleaned and remediated.

  Remember, floods can occur due to natural causes or from man-made issues such as broken pipes.  If you have any concerns about water damage; please contact us at SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 and we will be happy to inspect and offer remediation services.

Murphy's Law

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Murphy’s Law

   It’s Murphy’s Law that if you own a house, something will go wrong – you may even have a catastrophe – right?  OK – who is this Murphy and why is he in charge of the law in the first place? 

   If you “Googled” it, you will find many different versions on the subject, but it’s actually Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr. who was born in 1918.  Murphy was the eldest of five children.  He attended West Point and immediately commissioned into the Army Air Corps and saw action against the Japanese in China and Burma.  He was a successful pilot and aerospace test engineer.  Murphy decided after the war to involve himself in the technological aspects of aircraft design, and went to work as a research and development officer for the Air Force.  It was during this period of his life that Murphy became involved in the experiments that would give rise to the naming of his Law, “If anything can go wrong, it will and at the worst most possible moment.”

  No matter whether you have a brand-new home with new plumbing, new shingles on the roof, and new appliances or you have an older home, you’re bound to have a leaky pipe, loose shingle, or one of those appliances, such as a washer, dishwasher, or refrigerator hose fail.  And, of course, with Murphy’s Law you’re never home when it happens!

  We may not be able to stop all of those catastrophic losses to your home, but when they do happen – remember to call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 to help with the clean-up.  SERVPRO will respond to your home within a few hours, extract any standing water, set drying equipment in place and make sure all your clean-up needs have been met.  All of our technicians have met the IICRC training requirements.  SERVPRO of Sussex has a 24-7 answering service for all your cleaning needs.  Whether it be water, fire, odor, mold mitigation, crime scene clean-up, interior duct cleaning, carpet and/or upholstery cleaning – call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768.

Water Damage is best left to our Experts at SERVPRO of Sussex County

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage is best left to our Experts at SERVPRO of Sussex County

   I recently had the privilege of attending and participating in an IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) Water Damage Restoration class in Toughkenamon, PA for SERVPRO of Sussex County.  Although my role with our company is more of a sales and marketing nature – I embraced this opportunity to educate myself further in order to better address customer concerns and questions in the field.  I also wanted to develop a better understanding of this process since it is a major part of our regular work schedule. 

  The class was offered over three days with a test required on the third day. We received a book and the instructor – Ron Valega was awesome.  He was very informative and almost immediately created a comfortable rapport with the class participants with colorful anecdotes and humor. We viewed many videos which highlighted safety tips and proper workmanship.

  I had no pre conception about the intensity of the subject matter and found it both interesting and challenging.  After about the first three hours of information; I began to develop a deeper respect and appreciation for my workmates who have not only earned their certification through this class; but apply their expertise on an almost daily basis.  Parts of the class addressed Psychrometrics – which is the understanding of the relationships between temperature, humidity and air flow and how they all play a part in the drying out process for structures and materials.  It was during this time that I began to envision a lower test score for myself since I found this somewhat confusing and after you pass the age of 50 – nothing new comes easy!

  I learned that water restoration is very complex and if not applied correctly can do more harm than good in some cases.  To make a long story short – I did receive a passing grade but more importantly I obtained the knowledge that our technicians are skilled and trained experts who are ready to offer a plan of action when they arrive to the scene of such damage.

  Please call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 for any questions or issues relating to water damage and remember it is always best to use an expert in such cases to lessen cost and severity of damage. You may also visit our website at: