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Water Damage

4 Ways to Prevent Winter Water Damage

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Snow and ice go hand in hand with winter water damage for many Maryland homeowners, as the freeze-thaw cycle and cold pipes wreak havoc on properties. Thankfully, there are many small steps you can take to prevent winter water damage from costing you a fortune this season. Use a Leak Detection Device A small water leak can cause a tremendous amount of damage if it is not caught in a reasonable amount of time. Leak detection devices can be installed near appliances like water heaters, dishwashers, sinks and refrigerators. These will sound an alarm if moisture is detected. If you invest in a higher-end detector, some come equipped with smartphone apps that can send you push notifications the moment that an uptick in water usage or moisture is detected. Turn Off the Water Are you leaving town for the holidays? You should always turn off the main water supply before you leave town to prevent water loss from occurring. If your water supply is off, you won’t need to be worried about a burst pipe or persistent leak while you are miles away. Inspect Your Exterior Another common cause of winter water damage lies outside of the home. Before any snowstorm or precipitation, you should inspect your gutters for leaves and other debris. If there is build-up in gutters, the water might overflow and send water down the side of the house or under the roof instead of draining it away. The time before winter is also your best bet for completing a roof inspection. Any shingles that are missing or damaged should be replaced before snow falls, or water could creep into the roof and cause damage. Protect Your Pipes If you have access to pipes in your home, you should insulate them with pipe insulation. When it’s cold […]

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A Look at the Timeline of Water Damage

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When water trickles into your home during a flood or when a pipe bursts, how much time do you have to prevent water damage? Many homeowners and business owners are surprised to learn that in a fairly short amount of time, irreversible damage can be done. In the First Hour The moment that your home starts to flood, the water will move in using the path of least resistance. As it pools and continues to accumulate, it will saturate everything in its path including flooring, textiles and other porous items. The stains and finishes on furniture could be released and lead to staining on carpets, flooring and textiles once the water has receded. Any moisture-sensitive furniture with a finish could turn white or have a cloudy appearance. Any paper goods can be ruined in less than an hour of exposure to water. In the First 24 Hours The smell of your home will morph from something pleasant to something more musty and sour. The drywall in the home will start to swell and decompose. Any unprotected metal surfaces will start to tarnish, and finished furniture can start to crack. If textiles or paper goods that are dyed are in contact with the water, the dye can seep and cause permanent staining. In the First 48 Hours-1 Week In a prolonged flooding situation, after 48 hours mold, mildew and other contaminants have begun to flourish. Unprotected metal will start to rust, corrode and pit. Furniture will warp and become irreparably damaged. Paint on the walls and on furniture will blister, and any adhesives will decay and lose strength. Studs, casings, windows and doors will all swell with water and warp. Wood flooring will also expand and warp or buckle as a result.  It’s Important to Call for Water Damage Remediation Right […]

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What Should I Do After a Hurricane?

Hurricane

The peak of hurricane season every year starts in mid-August and ends in late October. When you live in Maryland, you’re all too familiar with the sudden rains, flooding and winds that can come along with the fall months. If a hurricane hits and affects your home, it’s important that you know how to proceed in the aftermath. Prevent Further Risks If you were evacuated for the hurricane, you should wait to return to your home until local officials have indicated it is safe to do so. Stay away from any power lines that are loose or hanging, and report them to your power company right away. If your home has water around the base of it when you approach, you should not enter, as it is unsafe to do so. You should also check for any structural damage indicators like holes, warping or cracks in the foundation. If you do not feel safe entering your home, do not do so. Keep Track of the Evidence Documentation is vital when flooding occurred during a hurricane. Thorough documentation is essential. What does thorough mean? Not just taking a picture of your living room, but taking photos of each book on the shelf that was damaged, every electronic that is unusable and more. Your insurance company will want to see a great deal of evidence to determine if you will receive reimbursement and how much you will get. If you take out items or water before you document the scene, you could lower your chances of recovering enough from the insurance company to afford replacement and repairs for what was lost. Protect Yourself Don’t assume that the water in your home is clean. Instead, you should assume the opposite. Water that looks clean can be contaminated by debris, sewage and chemicals. The […]

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The Hidden Dangers of Basement Flooding

Basement Flooding

Basement floods can be heavy, severe and cause devastating damage to your home. While everything above your basement steps might seem normal, damage to the foundation and basement of your home is no laughing matter. Whenever we are called out to a home or property with basement flooding, we take our time and look for these hidden dangers to keep your family safe and prevent bigger problems down the road. The Signs of Basement Flooding While walking downstairs and stepping in a puddle is the most obvious sign of a basement flooding, there are other subtle signs you might have a moisture problem, including: Air that is damp, humid or heavy Respiratory issues Mold, mildew or fungus that is visible Standing water Spots or cracks on walls Warped Flooring If you have a finished basement and have carpet or wood on the floor, there’s a good chance that your floor materials are going to be incredibly damaged. Standing water can damage anything underneath it, even a concrete floor. Whenever possible, we will work to restore the flooring that you have instead of recommending a replacement. However, if the damage is severe, replacement might be the only option. Staining on the Walls By the time that flooding reaches your basement floor, there’s a high probability it has picked up dirt, debris, grime and plenty of bacteria along with it. All of that water will leave behind whatever it was carrying when it is removed, which can cause wall staining. This is also why it’s so important to have professional flood remediation after your basement floods. Don’t handle dirty, bacteria-filled water on your own and risk your health and well-being. Mold Growth It only takes a short period of time for mold to start the growth process, especially if your basement is […]

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What Should I Do After a Flood?

Just a few weeks ago, the second tragic flood in two years struck Ellicott City, MD. While the level of flooding that occurred is not easily remediated, smaller floods due to heavy rain have become commonplace in many Maryland homes. What should you do if your home is full of water? Prevent Further Risks If the flood that happened was so severe that you needed to leave your home, you should take care when returning to the property. Check for structural damage like cracks, warping or holes before entering the property. You should also contact your utility provider immediately if you are concerned about damage to water, electric, sewer or gas lines. Turn off all water and electricity supplies to the home to prevent further hazards. Take Photos Before you remove water, you should thoroughly document the damage to your home in photos and videos. Your insurance company will need to see as much evidence as possible to determine what you will receive for the damage. If you remove water or items before you take the time to document everything, you could decrease your insurance coverage and be unable to afford the necessary repairs. Protect You and Your Family Even if the water sitting in your home appears to be clear and clean, there is a high probability that it has been contaminated by sewage, chemicals and debris. Before entering, you should put on waders or waist-high waterproof boots. You should get rid of any perishables that have had contact with the water. You should call a professional water remediation company like Flood Department. Call Your Insurance Company You should notify your insurance company as quickly as you can after a flood occurs. If the entire area around you has been affected as a result of heavy rains, remember that […]

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Preventing Water Damage in Your Home

A burst pipe, leaking appliance or terrible storm could lead to water damage in your home, as well as large expenses and homeowner’s insurance claims. To keep your home safe from the costly and stressful effects of water damage, here are some of our best tips! Check the Outside of Your Home Are there any hoses connected to your home with standing water inside of them? In the best-case scenario, the hose will freeze and stop water flow. In the worst-case scenario, the water will cause your pipes to explode and create serious damage to the walls, floor and foundation of your home. You should also take the time to check your gutters and downspouts. Are they both free of debris? If you allow debris to accumulate, it can lead to blockage and ice dams. Standing water on your roof can also lead to serious damage that requires professional repairs or replacement. Pay Attention to Your Appliances Inside of your home, you should take the time to check your appliances regularly for any leaks. Are there pools of water around the base of your dishwasher or washing machine once you are done using them? Any signs of leaks or water problems should be taken seriously and dealt with as quickly as possible. A small leak can become a big problem over time. Keep an Eye on Your Water Pressure If water pressure is set too high, pipes and hoses might break under the pressure. Use a water pressure gauge on an outside faucet to check how strong your water pressure is. Install the gauge and turn your faucet as high as it will go. Most homes have pipes that are designed for water pressure between 40-70 psi. If your home’s pressure is higher than 100 psi, you should install a […]

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