What’s the Difference Between Flood Damage and Water Damage?

Many people use the terms flood damage and water damage interchangeably when going through the claims process after an accident or weather event, but the two are very distinct things! Knowing the right term to describe your situation is vital for receiving compensation from an insurance company, filing a claim and working with a remediation company to restore your home to the previous condition.

Water Damage

Water damage is a very broad category that includes a huge range of things that can happen in a home. Water seeping out from a broken water heater, a burst sewer line, a leaky toilet or countless other sources could lead to water damage. Because there are so many possible causes of water damage, it can also drastically range in severity and scope.

Flood Damage

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) establishes the guidelines for what constitutes flood damage. First, the definition of flood is “a temporary situation where two or more acres of dry land, or two or more units of property, are covered in water from a list of water sources. The potential sources of flood damage water include:

  • An overflow of inland or tidal waters
  • Mudflow
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters
  • Collapse of land along the shores of a lake or similar body of water due to erosion or caused by waves
    exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that lead to a flood

Water Damage vs. Flood Damage

Based on the above, there is one key question that dictates what type of damage your home is dealing with—is your home the only house that is having problems? If the answer is no, there’s a good chance you are coping with flood damage.

While water damage is often covered by homeowner’s insurance policies, flood damage is only covered by a flood insurance policy. It’s essential to understand what you are dealing with to work with both Flood Department and your insurance company. We can work with you to determine what type of damage your home has incurred and develop an adequate restoration plan. Because the clean-up process is different if the damage is water damage or flood damage, the source of the water matters. Is it safer to clean up water from a leaking faucet in your home that was already filtered and treated? Or, is it safer to clean up flood water that could contain sewage, toxic material and pathogens? The difference matters!

Flood and Water Remediation from Flood Department

Flood Department can complete a wide range of mold removal, flood damage restoration, smoke damage remediation and crime scene clean-up services. To learn more about our services and get your water damage problem taken care of before it becomes worse, give us a call at 301-829-2600.

5 Signs That You Have a Sewage Leak

A broken or damaged sewer line is one of the last things any homeowner wants to deal with. Whether it’s old sewer pipes pushed past the breaking point or tree root intrusion forcing damage, a sewage leak should be taken care of as quickly as possible for the health and safety of your family. What are some of the tell-tale signs of a sewage leak?

5 Signs That You Have a Sewage Leak

  1. What’s that smell? One of the first signs of trouble that most homeowners notice is the distinct odor of sewage. Sewer gas can occasionally end up in or around your home for other reasons, like a dried-out drain, but an overwhelming sewage scent is a strong indication of a sewage leak, backup or broken line.
  2. Is your toilet making noises? A strange noise coming from your toilet is usually not a good sign. If your toilet is making a gurgling or bubbling sound after you flush, it’s a sign that a sewer line might be broken. Because gurgling is the sound of air being briefly trapped and pushed out again, it could mean that air is being introduced into your sewer line.
  3. Does your home have a lingering mold issue? Mold growth is another sign of a potential sewage leak. Some molds only need humidity levels slightly above 55% to start growing and flourish. A single cracked or leaking sewer pipe behind a wall can lead to high humidity levels that turn into a mold problem.
  4. How quickly are your toilet, bathtub and sink draining? A slow drain could indicate a sewage backup. If your bathtub, sink and toilet are still draining slowly despite attempts to clear the line and removing any hair from the drain, you could be dealing with cracks, channeling or tree root intrusion that are causing a sewage leak.
  5. Does your lawn have one bright patch? It sounds strange, but having one portion of your lawn that is particularly lush and green is a sign that you could have a sewage leak. Sewage is a rich fertilizer for plants, and a sewage leak will give the grass in the area surrounding it plenty of extra nutrients that lead to extra growth.

Trust Flood Department for Sewage Clean-Up

Flood Department can complete a wide range of mold removal, flood damage restoration, sewage clean-up, smoke damage remediation and crime scene clean-up services. To learn more about our services and get your sewage problem taken care of before it becomes worse, give us a call at 301-829-2600.

The Biggest Fire Hazards in Your Home This Winter

While Flood Department provides smoke remediation services to homeowners throughout Maryland every day of the year, winter is a particularly dangerous time for fires. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, $2 billion in property loss occurs every year as a result of winter house fires. Winter fires also account for a whopping 30% of all fire deaths over the course of a year, despite accounting for only 8% of all total fires. How can you protect your family this winter?

Home Heating Fires

Over the course of 2013-2015, over 45,000 home heating fires occurred every year, which caused a yearly average of 205 deaths, 725 injuries and over $500 million in property loss. After cooking fires, home heating fires were the most common type of winter fire. Heating fires peak in January and between the hours of 5 PM-9 PM. If you are using space heaters in your home, always put them on a solid, flat, non-flammable surface. Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from anything flammable. Never use a space heater with a broken plug. You should also keep flammable items at least 3-5 feet away from your fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators or candles.

Electrical Fires

3 in 5 home electrical fires are the result of home electrical wiring or lighting equipment. They are especially common during the winter because many homeowners put up electricity-sucking lights and decorations, in addition to using space heaters. To prevent electrical fires, you should only plug one heat-producing appliance (space heater, microwave, coffee maker, etc.) into a wall outlet at a time. Never use extension cords in conjunction with heat-producing appliances, and only use extension cords on a temporary basis.

Cooking Fires

Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires, and many cooking fires occur during the winter months. When you’re cooking in the winter, always stand by the pan. If you’re leaving the stove to welcome guests or check something in another room, turn the burner off. Keep pot handles turned to the back of the stove to avoid bumping into them.

Prevent Fire Hazards in Your Home

Flood Department can complete a wide range of mold removal, flood damage restoration, smoke damage remediation and crime scene clean-up services. To learn more about our services and get your water damage problem taken care of before it becomes worse, give us a call at 301-829-2600.