Recent Water Damage Posts

Will a Water Damage Claim Raise My Rates?

11/10/2021 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. If your home suffers flood or water damage, SERVPRO is here to help you. Call us!

Is A Water Damage Claim Going To Increase My Insurance Rates?

If you suffered from a home flood recently, you may be worried about making an insurance claim. Will reporting the issue cause your rates to increase? Read on to learn what you need to know.

The Claim Category is Important

As it turns out, there are certain types of claims that are more likely to cause your premiums to increase than others. These include:

Although water-related destruction is on this list, do not get discouraged. If you were not at fault, you are more likely to be safe from a rate hike than if you were to blame.

Severity Matters

The extent of the damage is also of importance when making an insurance claim. If the damage is contained to a small area, you will likely see only a minor rate increase or none at all. If the issue is complex, you may have to start making higher payments on your policy.

Rate Hikes Vary

If you do get an increased insurance rate, it may not be as large as you think. The average rate is usually raised by about 20 to 40 percent, depending on the insurance provider. As mentioned above, your premium increase is also based on how bad the damage is, who was at fault and what occurred.

Hikes Are Not Forever

If your rate goes up, it should not be permanent. Even the strictest of companies rarely increase premiums for longer than five years, and some only go up for two years. If you lose coverage, your only option may be to find high-risk insurance, which can be very expensive for most Chino Valley, AZ, homeowners.

The best way to understand if filing an insurance claim is right for you is reviewing your insurance policy. If this is your first claim and the company typically forgives those, reporting the water damage is probably a wise decision. If the damage is widespread and will be costly to fix, filing a claim may be your only option. Weighing the pros and cons and reviewing the information above will help you to be better prepared to make the right financial decision.

Bathroom Supply Lines: What They Are and How Often To Replace Them

8/14/2021 (Permalink)

A drainage system under sink A little prevention may go a long way to keeping water where it belongs:

What Are Bathroom Supply Lines And How Often Should They Be Replaced?

From the municipal water supply in Prescott Valley, AZ, to a home’s plumbing system and out through the faucet, water passes through a lot of pipes, hoses, and tubes to make its way into your hands. One of these is a supply line that brings the water from your home’s plumbing and into individual appliances and fixtures that use water, such as a bathroom sink or toilet. Supply lines are located in so many places in a home that supply line damage can be a big deal.

What Is a Supply Line?

Supply lines are made of an inner polymer lining, covered in a braided stainless-steel sleeve. The rubber or plastic tube keeps the water contained, while the steel sleeve maintains the strength the polymer lining needs to withstand water pressure. Even with good manufacturing and materials, supply line damage can still occur, leading to an event like a bathroom leak. Damage can be caused by the following:

  • Corrosion caused by chlorine
  • Corrosion from household cleaners
  • Age

How Do Supply Lines Fail?

The most common way a supply line fails is when the steel sleeve corrodes, the metal strands breaking one by one until there is enough of a gap for the lining to poke through and balloon outwards. The polymer lining can’t withstand the water pressure, and this causes it to burst, leaking water. Depending on where this supply line leak occurs, the damage could be merely an annoyance or an outright disaster.

What Should You Look For?

One of the best ways to prevent a leak like this is to keep an eye out for damage and replace supply lines about every three years. Signs of a possible problem would be the appearance of crimps or kinks in the line, pitting or corrosion on the braided steel, or a bubble in the hose. Catching a potential problem before it becomes a problem is often the most surefire way to avoid damages.

Suffering the effects of supply line damage can be costly. However, a little prevention may go a long way to keeping water where it belongs: inside the pipes.

6 Tips for Saving Belongings Damaged by Water

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in the hallway of a Prescott Valley, AZ home. Water damage in a Prescott Valley, AZ home.

How Do You Clean Belongings Damaged by Water?

If you have water in your home in Prescott Valley, AZ, chances are you'll have to deal with damage to the house itself as well as some of your belongings. Some furnishings, electronics and valuables may be salvageable if you follow the right steps.

1. Rinse: A broken pipe can release dirty water into your house. If your belongings are covered in silt, dirt and other debris, you need to rinse them off with clean water before you can start the cleanup process.

2. Clean: How you clean belongings depend on the materials they're made from. Electronics, for example, should not be submerged in water. You may need to use dry cleaning to start repairing delicate objects. Other items can be put through a washing machine.

3. Dry: Once the initial cleaning has been taken care of, you need to make sure your possessions are properly dried out. If you return a wet item back into your home, you may be reintroducing excess moisture.

4. Disinfect: Some objects may need to be cleaned again after they have been dried out. Water in the home can lead to mold growth, but you can combat this by disinfecting any affected belongings.

5. Repair: Water can cause some objects to start to degrade or break. If this is the case for your piece of art or electronic device, you may need to have a professional water remediation team help you with the repair. Most items should not be fixed until they have been cleaned and dried.

6. Replace: In some situations, your furnishings may be too far gone to repair. In this case, it may be best for you to replace the items that have sustained too much damage.

As you get rid of standing water in your home, you'll need to address structural issues and damage to your belongings. Cleaning and repairing any items you can may help save you money on your water repair project.

How To Find Bathroom Leaks

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a shower cabin with glass wall that is damaged A shower pan leak can cause severe water damage.

If you see water pooling in your bathroom in Prescott, AZ, it's important to find the water source right away. The longer the water sits, the more damage it can do. A bathtub leak is especially difficult to spot and often goes undetected until it becomes a huge problem. If you spot water damage, call a water restoration service as soon as possible. To catch the issue early, follow these tips.

How To Spot a Leaky Bathtub

Leaky bathtubs usually originate from one of two sources:

Faucet Leaks: A leaking faucet is fairly easy to fix. It's usually caused by worn rubber washers within the faucets assembly. Taking the faucet apart and replacing the washers may fix the problem. If you aren't sure what type of washers to buy, bring the old ones to your local hardware store. Sometimes replacing the washers won't fix the leak, though. In that case, you may need to replace the whole faucet assembly.

Drain Leaks: A bathtub leak can also originate in the drain. The easiest fix is when the seal around the drain becomes loose. In this situation, remove the drain and apply plumbers putty around the entire assembly. If that doesn't fix the leak, you may have an issue with the plumbing underneath the drain. A plumber can fix this problem.

How To Check the Shower Pan for Leaks
A shower pan leak can cause severe water damage. To identify such a leak, put enough duct tape over the drain to cover it completely. Make sure it is watertight. Pour enough water from a bucket into the shower pan to make at least an inch of standing water. Check for water at the base of the shower pan. Look for pooling that extends beyond the tile. If it occurs, contact a plumber to replace the pan so that it is installed properly.
A bathtub leak can become a serious problem. Make sure you address the issue right away.

4 Important Items To Include in Your Business Continuity Plan

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Business Continuity Plan Concept Every enterprise needs a solid business continuity plan.

Here Are Four Matters That Are Imperative To Incorporate Within Yours

When flooding, fires and other natural disasters occur, companies become at risk for grinding to a halt. In addition to damage requiring the talents of a business renovation service, these extreme weather events trigger lost productivity and lower revenue. For this reason, every enterprise needs a solid business continuity plan. Having one in place will help assure that downtime is kept to a minimum. 

1. Recovery Strategies
Plan out what you will do if operational necessities become unavailable. How will you continue if electricity is lost? What happens if critical employees are unable to come in? Know ahead of time what is to be done under every scenario.

2. Alternative Vendors
What should happen if other companies whose services you rely on suddenly cannot fulfill their duties? Identify providers outside of your usual channels and include them in your business continuity plan. Line up alternatives for essentials such as performing equipment fixes, delivering customer orders and providing office supplies.

3. Emergency Response Plan
In addition to keeping everyone safe, knowing what everyone is expected to do during a disaster helps smooth operations. The faster everyone gets to safety and is accounted for, the quicker you can get back up and running. Write out expected procedures and post them in your most highly-trafficked area.

4. Alternative Locations
Think about where your staff can go in the event your building in Prescott Valley, AZ needs to be evacuated. Find a nearby office with unused space or ask employees living in larger residences if they would be willing to host a temporary headquarters. Having staffers work from home is also often a viable alternative. Perform a test run of your plans for functioning remotely ahead of a fiasco.
A well-conceived business continuity plan can keep your venture humming even after calamity strikes. Avoid losing potential income by thinking ahead and planning for the worst.

4 Steps To Clean Up Broken Pipes

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Standing water on kitchen floor, water damage in Prescott Valley, AZ Water damage in a kitchen floor

4 Steps To Clean Up Broken Pipes

Dealing with bursting pipes is probably at the top of a homeowner’s worst to-do list. There is a lot of uncertainty that comes with water damage. That is why it is important to get the cleanup started and the help you need as soon as possible.

Shut Off the Water
Stop the water. Once you have found the pipe that is causing the issue, find the closest water valve and shut it off. Sometimes, that is easier said than done. If you cannot locate the exact source, shut off the main water valve to your home.

Call the Pros
To get your home back to normal, you will have to do more than fix a broken pipe. The sooner you get help, the better chances you have for minimizing water damage. Call the local water removal and restoration services experts in Prescott Valley, AZ. They have a tried-and-true process that includes:

  • Preliminary inspection
  • Water removal
  • Drying and dehumidifying
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing
  • Restoration

Not only will the job get done quickly, but due to the company’s in-depth process, you will not have to worry about mold growth and other issues.

Call Your Insurance Agent
Sudden damages from bursting pipes are likely covered by your insurance, but you should still call to be sure. The agent can start to process your claim quickly. Keep photos, detailed notes and receipts from repairs to make claiming easier.

Take Preventative Measures
Ask the restoration company for advice on ways to prevent future issues. The actions you take will depend on why your pipes burst in the first place. If your pipes froze, you might be told to insulate any exposed piping. If they were weak at the burst-point, the expert might discourage you from using corrosive cleaners to get rid of clogs.
Bursting pipes can cause a lot of unforeseen issues that take a professional to resolve. After the water is shut off, make the call to get your home back to normal.

Primary Versus Secondary Damage

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Air mover set up on the floor of a Prescott Valley, AZ home Cleaning up kitchen water damage

Primary Versus Secondary Damage

If your home in Prescott Valley, AZ, has experienced any type of primary water damage, then you know how expensive and time consuming the remediation process can be. However, you might not be aware of the dangers that secondary damage can present, such as black mold, warped flooring and other forms of structural damage.

Primary Damage
Primary damage is easy to identify and define. It's defined as the initial cause of the water damage, as well as any damage that was inflicted as a direct result of the incident itself. Some common examples of primary damage include:

  • Broken or burst pipes
  • Waterlogged possessions
  • Soaked carpeting, floor boards, ceiling tiles or other building materials
  • Leaking or overflowing household appliances, such as washing machines, toilets and sinks

Primary water damage can wreck enough havoc on its own. If these water damages are not remediated quickly and properly, they can lead to much more problematic, subsequent issues.

Secondary Damage
If you don't take the proper measures to remediate and completely clean primary water damage, then you might be stuck having to clean up subsequent damage as well. This is defined as any type of damage that was sustained after the initial accident was resolved, but still occurred as a result of the primary water damage. Some examples include:

There's no way of knowing whether your home is about to suffer from additional issues until the signs start to appear. These indicators could take hours, days or even months to reveal themselves, so it's important to always stay vigilant.
Addressing and remediating primary water damage as quickly as possible is the best way to prevent secondary damages, such as black mold and warped structures. Contact water remediation experts immediately if you suspect that your home might suffer from unwanted subsequent damages.

4 Signs You Might Have a Leaky Shower

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Mold containment set up in a Prescott Valley, AZ home A water leak is not a matter that should be taken lightly to avoid mold growth

Signs You Might Have A Leaky Shower

A shower or bathtub leak might seem like a relatively insignificant issue, but it can actually cause catastrophic amounts of water damage if left untreated. Unchecked water damage can only result in subsequent issues, such as flooding and unwanted mold growth. Check your home in Prescott Valley, AZ for the following signs if you suspect that you might have a leaky shower.

1. Mold or Mildew Growth

Mold and mildew both love moisture, so it's quite common to find them growing in your bathroom from time to time. Occasional mold growth isn't necessarily anything to be overly concerned about, but you might want to consider investigating the issue further if you notice that it reappears quite regularly.

2. Stained or Warped Ceilings

Check the ceilings on the floor directly below the shower or bathtub in question for signs of water damage. Any ugly, brown water stains are indicative of a shower or bathtub leak. In extreme cases, you might notice that the ceiling is warped or bulging. This is a sign that water is accumulating in the ceiling itself, and you need to contact professional help.

3. Damaged Bathroom Walls

Look for the same signs of damage in your bathroom's walls. Any peeling or chipped paint or wallpaper is usually indicative of water damage caused by a shower pan leak. If your walls are bulging or warped, you need to contact professional help.

4. Cracked or Broken Bathroom Floor Tiles

Your bathroom comes into frequent contact with water, so your floor tiles are naturally able to withstand moderate amounts of moisture. If you notice that your floor tiles are cracked or broken in any way, you likely have a leaky shower.
A shower or bathtub leak is not a matter that should be taken lightly. If you notice one or more of the above indicators, then you need to contact water remediation experts to help solve the problem and prevent further water damage.

Flooding at Your Business: 3 Tips for Preventing Secondary Damage

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Studio flooded by storm Flood damage in Campo Verde, AZ

Actions To Take To Prevent Future Damage To Your Property

When an unexpected flood impacts your Campo Verde, AZ, business, the water damage may seem overwhelming. Soaked inventory, office furniture and building materials could all be affected, and you may not know where to begin when it comes to cleanup efforts. While calling in a flood mitigation service can provide you with the support you need, there are still a few actions you can take in the meantime to prevent future damage to your property.

1. Shut Off the Main Water Valve
If the flood occurred as the result of a broken or burst water pipe, you can reduce the amount of standing water by shutting off your building’s water supply. Broken pipes will likely continue to gush water until you take this step. Remember to approach the shutoff valve carefully and if you cannot access it safely, you may want to call your local water company for assistance.

2. Reduce Humidity Levels
One of the most common types of secondary water damage is the development of mold on walls and ceilings, as standing water can increase humidity levels and create ideal conditions for fungi to multiply rapidly. You can reduce humidity in your building by opening windows and using fans to lower moisture levels.

3. Prevent Odors
One difficult aspect of water cleanup is how to prevent odor from lingering once your flood damage and restoration company has cleared away standing water. This can be especially difficult if the flood’s source was a sewer or overflowing toilet. Your flood technicians can offer you different options for odor control, such as the use of ozone machines that remove the smell instead of simply trying to mask it.
Because water damage could be widespread when it hits your Campo Verde, AZ, business, you may not know where to begin when it comes to cleaning up. Keeping a few tips in mind about preventing secondary damage may protect the future of your commercial property and the prosperity of your business.

Is Drain Cleaner Damaging Your Pipes?

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Drain cleaner ads, water pipe detergent with clear pipes section in 3d illustration Is it safe to use drain cleaners in our pipes?

If you have a clogged drain in your home in Prescott Valley, AZ, you may be wondering how to tackle the problem. Perhaps you've seen an advertisement for a drain cleaner that will miraculously flush the clog away, but is it safe to use? While many products work to a certain extent, you should be aware of the negative consequences of using chemicals in your pipes.

Disadvantages of Using Chemicals in Your Drains

Chemical cleaners produce heat to remove the clog, so if your pipes are old, weak or made of plastic, they can be easily damaged.
The toxic chemicals in the cleaners are harmful to the environment.
A completely clogged drain can't be cleared using cleaners. The chemicals will just sit there in the pipes and eat away at the metal, eventually causing the pipe to leak.

Safer Ways to Remove a Clog
There are several non-toxic cleaners on the market that use enzymes to dissolve the clog. These enzymatic cleaners take a little longer to unclog the drain, but they are safe on the environment, and they won't damage your pipes. They work best on organic materials, such as soap and hair.
A plunger will loosen many clogs, but if that doesn't work, try using an auger. You can rent one cheaply at your local hardware store. The auger, or snake, is fed into the drain to pull out the clog.
If the clog gets backed up far enough into your sewer pipeline, a sewage cleaning may be necessary. The sewer pipes carry wastewater from your home, and if they get backed up, they can cause flooding. You will need to contact a professional to clean out your sewage pipes right away to avoid extensive water damage repairs.
It's important to work on that clogged drain as soon as you discover it. Waiting can cost you a lot of money down the road.

Can a Water Leak Cost My Business Thousands of Dollars?

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

Leaky faucet Water leaks can cause major damage in your home

A water leak can be obvious, like after a pipe break or water main accident. Other leaks may be so low-key that they aren’t detected until they become a huge problem. Below are some tips for discovering hidden leaks before they cost you a ton of money in water damage repairs.

Ways To Check for Hidden Leaks

Check the water meter. This is one of the easiest ways to detect a water leak. Turn off all the water in your building and watch the meter. If it begins to change, this signals a leak that is moving fast. If the meter doesn’t change right away, leave it for 2 hours and then check again. If it changed after 2 hours, you likely have a slow leak.
Look at your water bill and usage. Compare your current bill and usage with previous months’ information. If your usage and bill have increased substantially, without any significant changes in habits, this would indicate a leak somewhere in the building.
Inspect the building’s exterior. Make sure that water hose connections are tightly secured and there is no pooling water anywhere on the lawn. A professional should inspect the irrigation system at least once a year to make sure there are no leaks in the system.
Test for toilet leaks. Grab some liquid food coloring and put a few drops into the toilet tank. After 10 minutes, check the toilet bowl. If the food coloring appears in the bowl, you have a toilet leak.

How to Handle Leaks
A leaky faucet may be easy to fix by replacing seat washers or reinforcing a seal. Most hidden leaks, however, take the eye of an experienced plumber to remedy the situation.
If you suspect a water leak in your building in Black Canyon City, AZ, don’t hesitate to call a professional. You will reduce the risk of water damage by tackling the problem head on.

What To Know About Water Heater Noise

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

Water temperature controls on a hot water heater In some cases, your water heater could be making sounds that may indicate there’s a problem

What To Know About Water Heater Noise

If you have a water heater in your Bagdad, AZ, home, you may have noticed the occasional noises coming from the unit. These noises can be anything from a humming or whistling sound, to clanging or banging. Each noise may mean something different so it’s important to know what these sounds mean. Here are a few things you may want to know.

1. Some Noises Are Normal

In some cases your unit may make some humming sounds as it heats up. In many instances this humming is perfectly normal. However, if it bothers you it may be remedied by tightening the heating element. If you hear a singing or screeching sound it may be that a valve in partially closed and needs to be opened all the way.

2. Some Noises Could Indicate a problem

In some cases your water heater could be making sounds that may indicate there’s a problem. Crackling or popping sounds could indicate sediment stuck to the bottom of the tank. Similarly you may hear banging sounds as sediment is carried around the tank by the heated current. If there is sediment in the tank contacting a professional to perform a water heater flush may remedy the problem.

3. A Professional Can Help

If you think you have a problem with your heater, or if you find a leak or flooding water in the area, then it’s best to contact a water damage restoration service as quickly as possible. Fixing the source of the leak and cleaning up the water quickly can help you avoid long term damage to the home. You may also want to also the team making repairs to look for possible related damages such as mold growth.
If you’ve been hearing sounds from your water heater it’s important to identify what the sounds are so that you can determine if there may be a problem. Certain sounds may be normal while others could indicate potential issues. When in doubt always contact a professional for help.

4 Essential Maintenance Steps To Take Before Turning on Your Sprinkler System in the Spring

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded office Water clean up in Prescott Valley, AZ

If your sprinkler system has been dormant all winter long, immediately turning it back on when spring starts can be disastrous. Sprinkler flooding can wreak havoc on your business in Prescott Valley, AZ, causing extensive damage to your landscape and even to the structure of your building. To avoid creating a huge mess and needing unnecessary water damage restoration services, irrigation maintenance is essential. Always take care to complete the following steps before attempting to turn on your commercial sprinkler system and work with a professional landscape company or irrigation expert to ensure your system is ready to go.

Check Drain Valves

Close all the manual drain valves and open the main valve to the sprinkler system. Check each valve box for frayed wires or leaks.

Inspect the Vacuum Breaker

The vacuum breaker requires irrigation maintenance to prevent backflow into drinking water pipes. Check for any leaks or spring tension. Ensure the test valves are closed and turned at a 45-degree angle.

Clean and Adjust Sprinkler Heads

Locate every sprinkler head and make sure they haven’t been damaged or buried. Clean off any dirt or grime from the head so the can water spray out correctly. Adjust the position of the sprinkler heads, ensuring they are aimed directly at the lawn and plants. If not, the water may be aimed at sidewalks, driveways, or the outside of your building.

Look for Signs of a Broken Pipe

A broken water line or pipe is a common cause of sprinkler flooding, especially after an exceptionally colder winter. Look for any signs of cracks or breaks in piping. Puddles and water bubbling under the grass are other indicators of a broken pipe.
By working with a sprinkler irrigation specialist, you can ensure all of these irrigation maintenance tasks are completed and that your system is ready for the spring. If at any point you notice your system start to flood, turn off the water supply to avoid damage and get help.