Recent Water Damage Posts

How to properly snake a clogged pipe.

3/12/2023 (Permalink)

toilet auger Need assistance with a clogged toilet, give SERVPRO a call today.

Don't let fear of failure keep you from trying out this DIY method for unclogging your pipes at home. If anything goes wrong, call in a professional plumber who knows how to use their own snake instead! Before you call a plumber and spend hundreds of dollars on repairs, try clearing the clog yourself. This guide will show you how to snake a drain using only common household tools.

Locate the clog.

Locate the clog. You'll want to check all of your drains, starting with the kitchen sink. If you have a garbage disposal, be sure to remove it and run water through it to see if anything's stuck in there. Then move on down through your plumbing system, if there's any type of bathtub drain or shower drain (including a tub/shower combo), make sure that it isn't blocked by hair or soap scum buildup.

If you're still having trouble finding where things are getting backed up, try inspecting all of your drains outside as well. Sometimes leaves can get stuck in an exterior drainpipe that leads away from the house, or even small animals like mice could make their way inside if there are openings around pipes leading outside.

Remove debris.

Once you have removed the clogged drain, it is important to clean out any hair or other debris that may have been trapped in there. If left behind, this material will just clog up again, requiring another snake job and possibly leading to a bigger problem down the road if not addressed properly. Water damage could potentially occur if the debris is not cleaned out of the drain.

Snake the drain.

You can use a snake to push the clog further down the line. A snake is a flexible wire with an attached hook at one end and a handle on the other end. The hook is used to grab onto pieces of debris that may be caught in your pipe, then you pull them through until they reach where you want them to go.

If you're using this method, make sure that your drainpipe isn't plugged up all too tightly, you don't want it breaking under pressure! You might need someone else's help if it does break or get stuck inside your drainpipe (which could cause even more mess).

Snaking a clogged pipe is not hard or scary, it just takes some patience and know-how (and maybe a little bit of elbow grease. If your still in need of plumbing assistance, SERVPRO is here to help! Give us a call at the sign of a clogged drain.

What is the Water Damage Restoration process?

2/10/2023 (Permalink)

overflowing toliet When disaster strikes, give SERVPRO a call at the first sign of water damage.

Water damage is a serious problem for homeowners and business owners alike. If you have water damage in your home or business, SERVPRO has the experience and expertise to help. Water damage restoration is a process that takes many steps. After you've experienced water damage, it's important to take immediate action. Your technician will assess the damage and determine its source before creating a plan of action based on your unique situation.

After water damage occurs.

If you've experienced water damage, it's important to take immediate action. Water damage can cause mold and other problems if not addressed quickly. In addition to causing structural damage and secondary damages. Mold can also be very expensive to remove once it has begun growing in your home or business.

Assess the damage.

Upon arrival, your technician will assess the damage. First, they'll look for structural damage to your home and determine if there is any risk of secondary damages. The technician will also take note of how long the water has been standing in your home, as well as what caused it (i.e., broken pipe). They will inspect all items that have been damaged by this incident in order to determine whether they can be salvaged or if they need to be discarded entirely.

Source of the water

The source of the water will be determined, as well as its cause. If you have a broken pipe, your technician will identify where it's located and how much damage has been done by determining where there is standing water or puddles on your property. After this initial assessment, he or she will go about removing any debris and drying out areas that have been affected by moisture, for example, carpets, walls and ceilings.

A plan of action

The technician will assess the damage and create a plan of action. The source of the water, if it can be determined, should be addressed first. If there is standing water in your home or office, this needs to be removed before any cleaning can begin. Removing the wet materials as soon as possible, will cut down on secondary damages. Once this has been done, they will determine what needs to be removed and what needs cleaned up. The use of dehumidifiers and air movers are also put in place to remove moisture and dry surfaces quickly.

Restoration begins.

Once everything is dry, it's time to start the restoration process. Restoration is the final step in water damage restoration and can be best done by a professional. SERVPRO has the experience and equipment to restore your property quickly and efficiency. The goal of this step is to clean, repair and replace damaged items as needed.

SERVPRO of Southern Blair and Bedford County has  technicians that are available 24/7 for your water damage needs, and they can get you back to normal as quickly as possible. SERVPRO is the most trusted name in the water damage restoration industry. We're ready to respond immediately when you need us most: day or night, weekends and holidays included.

What to Do If a Pipe Bursts

11/8/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe with a sign that says Don't wait A leaking pipe will become a burst pipe causing flooding.

How to Handle a Burst Pipe

It's unfortunate, but every home has the potential to suffer from a burst pipe or line. Knowing what to do in this situation can help you minimize water damage and get your home back up and running again. It also helps to know what not to do: don't try fixing it yourself! If you're faced with this problem at home, follow these steps:

Shut Off the Main Water Valve

Once you've ensured that no one is injured and everyone has evacuated the premises, shut off the main water valve. If you're unsure how to turn it off, there should be instructions nearby; if not, simply call a plumber who can help you find where it is and what to do with it.

Shutting off your home's main water valve will stop all water flow into or out of your property. This action is critical because if left unchecked, leaking pipes can cause damage to floors and walls as well as cause flooding in surrounding areas. Once this step has been taken and any necessary repairs made to prevent further damage (see below), turn on your home's faucets again using only cold tap water for flushing purposes until everything is back up-and-running smoothly.

Open a Faucet to Relieve Pressure In the Line and Stop the Flow of Water

If a pipe bursts, you should open a faucet to relieve pressure in the line and stop the flow of water. This will reduce stress on the pipe and prevent further damage. You may also use a wet/dry vacuum to remove water from your flooring.

If you have any questions about whether you have a burst pipe, contact one of our trained technicians today!

Call an Emergency Plumber

If the pipe has burst, it’s important to call an emergency plumber right away. Here's why:

The plumbing system is often your home's most vulnerable part of your infrastructure. It contains water and gas, which can be deadly if not handled properly. Leaky pipes can cause severe damage to your property, so you need a professional who knows what they're doing come in as soon as possible.

If a pipe bursts within the walls of your home, it could cause serious damage to everything around it—from drywall and floorboards to electrical wiring and insulation. This can lead to further leaks or costly repairs down the road.

Use a Bucket To Remove Excess Standing Water, if Possible

If you can, remove any excess water from the area. This can help prevent a small leak from becoming a big problem. Use a bucket to collect water and remove it from the area or use a wet/dry vacuum if you have one on hand. If your house has hardwood floors, put down large pieces of cardboard to prevent damage while you work.

Another way to try and catch the leak is by using a shop towel or something similar as an absorbent pad underneath your leaking pipe.

Call SERVPRO for Cleanup and Restoration Services

Call SERVPRO of Southern Blair and Bedford County at (814) 624-9083 to receive help with your cleanup and restoration needs. We are a 24/7 emergency service, so there's no need to wait until regular business hours to call us. We'll be there right away!

Our fast response time, guarantee for all work performed, and certified technicians mean that you can rest assured knowing we'll take care of everything needed for restoring your home or business back to its pre-burst condition. If you're looking for an expert in basement water damage or any other type of pipe burst cleanup or repair work, look no further than SERVPRO of Southern Blair and Bedford County!

If you find yourself with a burst pipe, don’t wait to call for help. The longer you wait, the more damage your home could suffer from secondary water damage like mold growth. Contact SERVPRO today if you need immediate cleanup services after a burst pipe incident!

Water Damage - 5 Steps for Prevention

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Rainwater flowing from falling metal during a flood. Prevent downspouts from creating basement flooding

Steps To Prevent Water Damage In Your Home

For a new homeowner in Mount Union, PA, especially one who has only ever lived in apartments, the maintenance list for your new purchase can seem daunting! As you plan how to manage lawn care, home upgrades, and regular maintenance, make sure that your checklist includes steps for preventing water in your home. Water intrusion can be costly in a number of ways. Here are five things you can do to prevent water damage.

1. Check Seals
Especially in the basement and near windows and doors, check to make sure that all edges are sealed. Even a slight crack in the caulking can allow water to seep, causing mold damage or structural problems.

2. Inspect the Roof
A leaky roof is a common way that you can end up with water in your home. Look for wet or discolored spots in the attic that indicate the presence of water. If you're unsure as to whether water damage has occurred or is occurring, call a local water damage specialist to complete an assessment.

3. Extend Downspouts
Water that pools around the foundation of your house will compromise the structural integrity of your home. Ensure that the downspouts are not cracked and that they extend at least two feet away from your home to prevent water pooling.

4. Maintain Drains
If a sink is slow to drain, don't ignore it. A clogged pipe can lead to a broken pipe if the clog isn't cleared. The pressure of water building up can compromise your plumbing and lead to big problems.

5. Upgrade Pipes
In an older home, check the status of the pipes. Pipes that are corroded or old can easily crack under pressure or from extreme temperatures. If a pipe does crack, a leak might occur, causing extensive damage in a short amount of time. Pipe cleanup and repair can protect your home.
Preventing water in your home is a simple matter of following a regular home maintenance schedule. Always contact a professional if you're concerned about potential damage to your home.

How To Handle Broken or Frozen Pipes

6/30/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a room and flood cuts were performed to drywall Water damage specialists in Morrisons Cove, PA.

How to Deal with Frozen or Broken Pipes

Your commercial building in Morrisons Cove, PA, depends on reliable plumbing to function properly. Water damage from a frozen pipe, however, can lead to serious secondary issues if not dealt with quickly. Here are the steps you need to take as soon as you know you have a problem.

Stop the Damage
Broken pipes continue to release all the water that flows to them into your walls or cabinets. To stop damage in its tracks, take the appropriate measures to resolve the issue that's causing it:

  • Shut off the building's water main.
  • Call the plumber to repair the pipes.
  • Remove vulnerable items or documents out of the path of the water.
  • Get rid of standing water.

Call for Water Cleanup
Even after the pipe is fixed, there is still work to be done. Any drywall, insulation, flooring or ceiling tiles that were drenched will need to be repaired or replaced. Water damage restoration specialists can arrive at your building within hours of the event to assess the problem. Then they formulate a game plan for mitigating whatever water issues you have.

Prevent Future Damage
Once you have put your business on hold for mitigation, you probably never want to go through that again. You can increase your chances of preventing future damage by keeping pipes warm so that they don't freeze. Add insulation tape to them, especially if they are located along an external wall. Keep the temperature in your building no lower than 55 degrees, even at night when it's empty. Open cabinets that contain the pipes when the building shuts down for the evening so that warm air can reach them more easily.
Not all water damage is preventable, but fast attention and quick cleanup can get your building back to normal in a timely manner. As soon as you know you have damage, call for the help you need.

5 Ways To Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

5/21/2022 (Permalink)

Hand with glove cleaning a dirty gutter Keep your gutters clean.

Water Damage Prevention in Your Home

No matter what caused water in the home, whether a burst pipe or heavy rains, water will quickly begin causing damage. Although nothing is 100% certain, taking some simple actions can further prevent water damage.

1. Inspect Your Roof, Gutters and Downspouts for Damage or Blockages
You should check your roof, gutters and downspouts at least twice a year and after significant storms. Look for roof damage like missing or loose shingles. Also, look at the caulking and flashing around roof penetrations (e.g., vents, drains, chimneys). Inspect your gutters and downspouts for damage or blockages, and clean the gutters regularly.

2. Improve Your Yard's Drainage
If you're experiencing water seeping into your Breezewood, PA, home after heavy rains, you may need to improve your landscaping. Your yard may have improper drainage or be graded toward your home.

3. Examine Your Plumbing for a Broken Pipe
Clogs or cracks in water lines and hoses can eventually develop into a deluge of water in the home. Check under bathroom and kitchen sinks and around toilets to ensure there's no moisture in these areas. If you find a leak, call for pipe cleanup and repair immediately. If you have standing water, you may need water damage restoration professionals to mitigate loss and mold growth.

4. Check Your Water Pressure
Regularly review the water pressure in your home to ensure it isn't putting a strain on your plumbing. You can buy a low-cost gauge at a home improvement store to inspect it yourself.

5. Maintain Your Appliances
Any appliance that uses water can spring a leak, including dishwashers, clothes washing machines, refrigerators and air conditioners. Regularly check the water supply lines for each appliance. If you see rust, cracking or bulging, or moisture along the lines, you should replace them as soon as possible.
Discovering standing water in the home can be anxiety-provoking, to say the least. Much of the risk can be prevented by doing simple inspections and maintenance a few times a year.

These 5 Signs Mean You Should Change the Supply Lines in Your Bathroom

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

Bottom of a toilet seeping water A leaking toilet might be a sign of supply line damage

These 5 Signs Indicate That Your Bathroom Supply Lines Should Be Replaced

Supply line damage from old or corroded water pipes not only costs you money but can also incur costly repair bills. If you see any of the following signs, change the supply lines in your bathroom right away.

1. A High Water Bill
When you have a supply line leak, that water is running whether you're using it or not. It's going into the soil around your home, causing damage to the street and sidewalks near your property. Contact restoration specialists to repair the damage and return your Martinsburg, PA, residence to normal.

2. The Type of Pipe
Water pipes have different warranties depending on their materials. Steel braided pipes have a lifetime guarantee. Plastic pipes, on the other hand, only have a lifetime of between five to eight years, depending on the material from which they're made. They're more prone to supply line damage than other types of pipe.

3. Low Water Pressure
If your toilet is taking longer to fill than it used to or there isn't as much water coming out of your sink's faucet, that too could be a sign that your supply lines need to be replaced.

4. A Toilet or Bathroom Leak
If you keep finding a puddle of water on the floor near your toilet, that could also be a sign of supply line damage. Replace those lines to avoid further waste and deterioration.

5. Noisy Pipes
If you hear the sound of running water, even when your faucets are shut off, your lines are likely impaired. Damaged lines will also make other noises like bangs or whistling sounds.
Damaged water pipes can cost you money in wasted water and repairs, but with the help of professionals, your lines can be replaced and your home will not only be good as new, but even better.

Residual Troubles of a Burst Pipe: Understanding Secondary Damage Hazards

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall due to humidity Water can lead to mold growth.

Understanding Secondary Damage Hazards

When a pipe breaks, homeowners in Roaring Spring, PA, experience a primary issue. Water sprays out of the pipe, drenching the space. When fluid infiltrates an area, it triggers secondary concerns, some of which are quite hazardous. Black mold can grow, and structures can begin to deteriorate. To avoid these significant headaches, owners should understand how water impacts a location. The following are three possible significant problems.

1. Structural Integrity

Builders designed the house with numerous porous materials. These substances--drywall, wooden beams and carpeting--easily and quickly absorb moisture. Like a sponge, they pick up the high humidity levels, filling their crevices with fluid. Over time, this leads to rot and decay. The following may become noticeable:

  • Warped floorboards
  • Water stains
  • Crumbling paint
  • Corroded metal
  • Foundational cracks

Breaches to the structure mean owners must face extensive repairs to restore safety. A water restoration company should evaluate the premises. Using moisture readers, the experts can determine the extent of saturation and recommend appropriate remediation services.

2. Fungus Contamination

Dampness, especially in dark locations, activates fungal spores which begin to spread at rapid rates. Within 24 to 48 hours, the microbes have made themselves at home, settling inside objects. Black mold moves throughout the space, eating away at organic material. Left to linger, it can even enter the air system, migrating to other rooms. Decontamination procedures should occur immediately, requiring drywall and carpeting tear-outs. Bleach isn't going to reach inside. Content cleaning experts may use sophisticated technology to salvage belongings. Ultimately, though, most of the soaked items need to go.

3. Electrical Haywires

Part of the secondary damage is a concern for the home's wiring. Water and electricity do not mix. As the wetness moves into the walls and crawl spaces, the fluid could interfere with the outlets and overall electrical system. Be cautious about using even the fan. Be plugging or using any source, and have the wiring evaluated for damage.
The busted pipe can create a domino effect, permitting multiple calamities to begin. Black mold and structural harm are both possible. Be aware of the dangers, and be proactive in the cleanup. Efficient and methodical care could avoid these hazards.

Cleaning Sewage in a Home

1/29/2022 (Permalink)

water leaking from under a door. Sewer backup in a home in Duncansville, PA.

Sewer Cleanup Process

Sewer cleanup in Duncansville, PA, is certainly not a pleasant experience, but when a sewer backup happens, be sure to take care of it right away. Whether it occurs as the result of a flooded toilet or another issue, leaving the sewage in place can result in significant damage to the home.

Taking Steps To Clean and Disinfect

The first step in the process is ensuring safety, so you should wear the right protective gear and ensure that the gas and electricity to the area you have to clean are shut off. Next, use the following steps to make sure that the area is sufficiently cleaned and sanitized:

  • Drain all flood waters from the area.
  • Remove all items that can be picked up and carried out of the space.
  • Mix a low-suds detergent with warm water and completely scrub all surfaces.
  • Use plain warm water to rinse thoroughly every area that you just cleaned.
  • Sanitize the surfaces using bleach or a similar product.
  •  Use fans and open windows to air out the space and alleviate the humidity.

Preventing Future Sewage Backup

After you go through the sewer cleanup process, you probably understand this is surely something that you never want to have to tackle again. To help avoid it in the future, you should take the right preventative measures. The first step to this process is knowing what the possible causes are, which include tree roots causing blockages to the sewer lines, water in your basement deteriorating the elements that protect your home’s lines, and the sanitary main becoming blocked.

With this information about sewer cleanup and the prevention of future problems, you can better get the task completed and start working on the steps for restoring your home. Keep in mind that the faster you tackle the problem, the less damage that may occur.

4 Steps to Prepare For an Adjuster’s Visit

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

Clear standing water in a bedroom Water damage in Mount Union, PA.

4 Steps to Prepare For an Adjuster’s Visit

The process of filing an insurance claim should proceed smoothly if a policyholder prepares for a visit from an insurance adjuster. A home adjuster will need information about building materials, contents, and structural damage. Here are four steps to help homeowners prepare for an adjuster's visit.

1. Gather Information

Assemble as much information as possible about contents and building materials that have sustained damage. It can be helpful to obtain an expert opinion regarding which items or materials can be cleaned or repaired and which will need to be replaced. Helpful information includes descriptions of items, approximate dates of purchase, and the estimated cost of repair or replacement.

2. Find Signs of Damage

A home adjuster will probably also want to see signs of damage. A policyholder should make a list of damage to show an adjuster. Homeowners may also want to take photographs or record video footage to submit to the insurer or keep for their records.

3. Obtain Bids

Homeowners may be able to expedite the process of filing a claim by obtaining estimates from contractors and specialists that perform mitigation and restoration. The more itemized these bids are, the more likely it is that the claim will be approved and processed in a timely manner.

4. Make Copies

Make at least one extra copy of any documentation submitted to an insurer. Keep copies of all the paperwork the insurer provides. Policyholders should also keep a record of the names and phone numbers of adjusters you talk to in the process of filing proof of loss.

These measures will help homeowners prepare for a visit by a home adjuster, and should increase the likelihood that an insurance claim will be processed in a timely manner. If you require the services of a residential damage mitigation and restoration company, look for a company trusted by insurers in Mount Union, PA.

How To Prevent Plumbing Issues in Your Commercial Building

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Pipe bursting. You can prevent many plumbing problems from affecting your business in Huntingdon, PA, if you take careful precautions.

Plumbing problems are common in commercial buildings. With so many customers and employees going in and out, bathrooms and sinks are used repeatedly. Frequent use of plumbing systems can lead to problems such as the following:

• Clogs
• Broken fixtures
• Leaks

A broken pipe or damaged water main can lead to huge amounts of water leakage. If you are currently dealing with water damage, call a professional to help you start the restoration process. If you’d like to avoid serious issues from happening easily in your commercial building, here are a few proactive tips that can keep your building safe from water damage.

Keep an Eye Out for Clogs

Unless you’re talking about the wooden footwear, clogs are annoying. They can be even more irritating when they occur in your building’s bathrooms. Employees and customers alike lose access to toilets, sinks, and showers. While this can lead to bad business or conflict within the company, clogs can lead to more serious issues. Water pressure can rise to dangerous levels when the plumbing system is blocked.

One way to avoid clogs is to clean the bathrooms regularly. This can help remove potential obstructions. Another great way to avoid clogs is to put up signs that remind customers and employees what they can flush down the toilet. However, if clogs are still recurrent it might be a bigger problem within the pipes themselves.

Check Your Water Temperature

Depending on the business, you might count on the temperature of your water to always accurate. Either way, it’s always a good idea to check your water heater when temperatures start fluctuating or if you are struggling to get hot water. This often means that your water heater is broken or leaking.

To avoid water damage and other serious issues, don’t ignore the signs. You can also check on your water heater regularly to help you identify any possible difficulties. Check the outside of the heater for any external damage and then flush out the tank. You can also check the anode rod and heater vent for any problems.

You can prevent many plumbing problems from affecting your business in Huntingdon, PA, if you take careful precautions. Look for any indications and act quickly to avoid dealing with damage.

Why a Basement Floods and What You Should Do About It

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. A visible line is showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. A flooded basement in Huntingdon, PA.

What Should You Do If Your Basement Floods?

Typically, the best way to deal with flooding in your basement in Huntingdon, PA, is prevention. By understanding the usual causes of water retention in the lower floors of your home, you can take the necessary maintenance steps to ensure that your property stays dry for years to come.

1. Location and Climate Factors

A primary cause of excess water is above-average rainfall. Choosing to reside in a coastal area, for example, can increase the risk of a basement flood. Even in dryer climates, laying your home’s foundation on a low-lying or sloped part of the property can cause water to pool under walls and seep through the outer layers of the building.

2. Basement Drainage

Should your home sit near or on the water table, a basement drainage system and sump pump will likely be necessary to prevent excess dampness in the flooring. If the pump system breaks down due to electrical or plumbing problems, contact a qualified professional who can perform wiring or pipe repair. A powered mechanism for removing water from the basement after flooding is the most robust method for the prevention of property damage.

3. Sources of Leakage

Sometimes the biggest issues facing the homeowner lie in the ingress of water. Cracked walls or insufficient sealants and waterproof coatings can allow water that would otherwise drain away to enter the basement. Improperly positioned or damaged gutters and downspouts can divert water toward the house rather than into the yard. Gutters can also become clogged with leaves or other material, causing them to overflow. Gaps in roofing tiles or shingles can also cause undesirable water redirection, especially in periods of extreme rain or snow melt. Controlling the water volume before it reaches the basement is often the best preventative measure.

Following the above checklist of troubleshooting tips will usually stop the problem before it begins. Should you experience unavoidable flooding and require basement cleanup and decontamination, contact a company that specializes in that process to avoid potential health hazards.

Stay Safe: Understanding the Categories of Water Contamination

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

There are few amenities as easy to take for granted as clean water, but also few amenities more damaging to be without. From maintaining hydration to hygiene, access to clean water is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, access to clean water is not universal and many are exposed to contaminated water. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) classifies water into three tiers:

1. Clean water
2. Water that is contaminated
3. Sewer and outside flood water

It is important to understand these classifications in order to properly assess the safety of a water source.

Category 1 – Clean, Safe Water.

The highest classification is reserved for water from sources that pose no significant health risk. When using water from this category, it is important to ensure that the water has not become contaminated from an outside source elsewhere in the supply line, such as traveling through unclean pipes or being stored in a dirty receptacle.

Category 2 – Contaminated Water.

Water that carries potential risks is classified as category 2. Due to exposure to high levels of microorganisms, category 2 water should be avoided as it can lead to irritation or illness. Although ingestion of category 2 water is an obvious risk, it is also inadvisable to come in contact with this water as well, such as using it for cleaning, as the pollutants contained within it may not require ingestion to cause illness.

Category 3 – Septic and Outdoor Water.

The most polluted water is classified as category 3, and it carries extremely high levels of potentially harmful elements. The most common form of contamination leading to this classification is backed up toilet water, known as black water; however, septic water can also be caused by the introduction of unclean outside water sources into the supply line.

Exposure to contaminated water is a hazard, and cleaning it up is something that should not be put off to a later date once it’s identified. When unsafe water is discovered, it is important to contact a restoration professional in Ebensburg, PA, promptly. The professional can assess the contamination, identify the source of the pollution, and clean up the problem to once again restore access to healthy water.

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