Recent Water Damage Posts

Deal with A Leaky Dishwasher

4/27/2020 (Permalink)


We use dishwashers practically every day in order to ensure that our silverware, cups, and dishes are clean. Because dishwashers are used so frequently, there is a greater risk for the formation of a leak and even flooding. Your kitchen and its surrounding areas can experience serious water damage if the leak or flooding from the dishwasher is significant. At first glance, a small leak may not seem capable of instigating major water damage, but a series of small leaks or a recurring leak can cause a large quantity of water to accumulate over time, thus resulting in larger-scale water damage. It is important to understand the common causes of dishwasher leaks and floods, as well as methods of effective cleaning in order to protect your home from extensive water damage.

Causes
There are many reasons as to why dishwashers can leak or flood, but there are three common causes with which it is beneficial to be familiar. Damage to a dishwasher door, such as a bent door latch or an improperly latched door, is the first of three common causes of dishwasher leaks. Dishwasher door damage is most likely the culprit of your leak if you observe a leak directly beneath the dishwasher door. The use of an improper dishwasher detergent is a second common cause of dishwasher leaks. Standard dish soap may appear to be an acceptable alternative to dishwasher detergent, but dish soap is not appropriate for dishwashers, as it produces an excess of foam and suds. Those suds push water against the dishwasher door, which apply pressure to the dishwasher door and can result in water leaking out of the unit. Dishwasher units can malfunction on occasion and take in more water than they should, which serves as a third common cause of dishwasher leaks. When dishwashers overfill with water, the unit may have trouble draining properly, thus increasing the likelihood of water leaking or flooding from the unit.

Cleaning Up
In order to prevent more water from escaping the unit, water must be shut off before the cleanup process begins. Because water and electricity are not a safe combination, it is extremely important to also shut off electricity if your dishwasher unit is located near electrical outlets or other electrical appliances. Following this step, the next order of business is to, through the use of a mop or towels, remove as much standing water as possible. If there is still water flowing from the unit, it may be beneficial to create a barrier using towels. The leak or flood water may have reached surrounding areas of your kitchen, such as cabinets, nearby furniture, or pantries, so it is important to check those areas for water damage. If they have undergone such damage, remove items within cabinets or pantries and clear out damaged furniture from the area. A wet-dry vacuum can be used to eliminate any additional standing water. After this has been completed, it is important to dry and disinfect the surfaces that have been impacted by the dishwasher leak or flood in order to protect against the growth of mold or mildew, which can lead to further damage. Mold thrives in moisture and humidity, so it is a good idea to open windows as a means of maintaining air circulation and utilize a dehumidifier to sustain low levels of humidity inside of your home.

Need Additional Help?
Dishwasher leaks and floods can be overwhelming. SERVPRO’s trained water damage specialists and advanced drying equipment are just a call away and ready to help remediate the areas of your home that have experienced water damage as a result of a dishwasher leak or flood.

Understanding Ceiling Stains

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

A water stain on your ceiling could be caused by a leaky pipe.

An unwanted yellow ring or streak of discolored substance is undoubtedly one of the worst discoveries to make when glancing up at the ceiling in passing. The visible markings of a water leak, these stains indicate water damage in your ceiling, which can not be expunged with a new coat of paint or averting your eyes from the stain. Ignorance will only cause the problem to grow, facilitating the growth of mold and mildew. Therefore, it is crucial that the damaged area of the ceiling is quickly remedied. However, before taking action, it may be beneficial to understand the common causes of ceiling water stains.

Common Causes

With a solid understanding of the common causes of these stains, the root of your ceiling’s stain can be determined, which can help identify the best course of action to take. Ceiling water stains are primarily formed from three scenarios: clogged gutters, caulking issues, and leaky pipes. If a heavy rainstorm has recently occurred, clogged gutters may be the cause of your ceiling’s water stain. When gutters overflow, rain water can seep into your home and stain ceilings. If the ceiling stain appears soon after a shower or bath was taken in your home, the stain may be due to a caulking issue. Old caulking is prone to cracking and deteriorating, which can lead to leaks when water escapes a shower or bathtub. Finally, water can leak from pipes that run throughout your home. If a dishwasher, bathtub, refrigerator, or even an air conditioner are situated directly above the stain on the next floor up, your ceiling stain may have been caused by leaky pipes. Take a moment to recall the last time someone took a shower or bath, last week’s heavy rainstorm, and the last time you ran the dishwasher. Your leak may have been connected to one of those situations.

Taking Action vs Calling a Professional

Drilling into your ceiling in order to verify the source of the leak can be a daunting task for many homeowners. If you have any hesitation, calling a professional may be the right call. With the tools, knowledge, and experience, a professional can remedy the water stain quickly and effectively.

Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking?

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

As we near the end of August and begin the transition into fall, summer temperatures will remain for a while longer, pressuring our air conditioners to continue relieving us from the heat. The chances of your air conditioning unit leaking are increased with constant use. While a small leak may seem manageable and not immediately concerning, it can grow into a much larger issue, resulting in serious amounts of water damage if your faulty AC unit isn't repaired quickly. Without repairs, you run the risk of mold or bacteria growth and caved-in ceilings as well as other types of structural damage to walls and floors. Being able to understand the problems that lead to leaky air conditioners, such as clogged drain lines, improper installation, and frozen evaporator coils, will help you to identify the reason why your unit is leaking and how to resolve the issue. 

An air conditioning unit's drain line clogs when debris, dirt, or rust accumulates within the drain line, creating a blockage that results in the drain pan overflowing. Leaking onto the pan's surroundings, objects such as carpets, floors, walls, and ceilings can be damaged. Suppose your home's AC unit was installed recently and a leak emerges. This is a common result of improper installation. When the drain line isn't secured tightly, the pipe can loosen and eventually separate from the unit, causing a leak. If your unit was not recently installed and its drain line is not blocked, your unit's air filter may be to blame. The longer an air conditioner is used, the greater the possibility of the filter filling with dirt, clogging the filter. When the filter clogs, ice forms inside of the evaporator coils and when that ice melts, the unit can leak. Replace your air filter on a regular basis in order to prevent the filter from clogging.

While you can take every preventative measure to prevent your air conditioning unit from leaking, there is always a chance that your unit could leak. In that case, turn off your AC unit and call a professional immediately after you discover a leak. Automatically shutting off the AC unit when its air filter or drain line clogs, a float switch can be installed by a professional to provide additional protection.

What to Do When Your Washing Machine Floods

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Suppose you enter your laundry room one day to find that the floor is covered in water from your washing machine. As horrific as this hypothetical situation may be, it is important to recognize that washing machines can and most likely will flood at some point in time, so knowing how to manage the flooding is absolutely necessary. Hoses as well as seals located inside of the washing machine are usually to blame when a washing machine breaks and floods. When this occurs, flood water can spread to surrounding carpets and walls, which can easily be damaged by the water if it is not removed quickly.

Turn off the water and unplug the washer immediately after you discover that the washing machine is flooding in order to stifle the flow of water and prevent the water and electricity from reacting with one another while cleaning up. Before you begin cleaning, take any clothes that were inside of the washing machine when it began to flood out of the washer. Use towels, a mop, or a wet water vacuum depending on what you have available in order to eliminate any water. Dry the affected area using fans or dehumidifiers and if the weather is mild and dry. If carpets or drywall were destroyed by water damage during the flood, replace these items with fresh carpet and drywall. Disinfect the affected area before you return to regular use of the washing machine.

In order to ensure that you don’t discover a broken washing machine in your laundry room once more, avoid pouring too much detergent into the washing machine. Using an unnecessarily large amount of detergent for a load of laundry can result in the formation of an excessive amount of suds that can overflow and cause the washing machine to flood. If you notice any signs of corrosion on the washing machine’s hoses, be cautious when running loads of laundry until they can be replaced or repaired, as the machine can flood of the hoses break. Finally, monitor the state of the washing machine’s drain line because if the drain clogs, the risk of the machine to flood will be enhanced.

What Causes Pipes to Leak?

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage can occur as a result of flooding in homes. But what causes that flooding? A common origin is pipes that leak. Water damage can be destructive, so it is beneficial to be able to understand the reasons as to why pipes leak.

Eating away at pipes, corrosion can cause pipes to rust, break, and therefore leak. Make sure to watch for discolored water coming from the pipes and deformed pipes, since these can indicate corrosion. Any rusting on the pipe itself as well as other visible signs of corrosion can also imply this type of damage. Avoid pipe corrosion by surveying the condition of pipes before buying a home in order to make sure that they are in good shape. You can also have the pH of your water tested by professionals and make an effort to stop leakage using satisfactory clamps until professionals can sufficiently fix the damaged pipes.

To bind water connectors, seals are adhered to the pipes when installed. With age and usage, the seals can break and therefore cause flooding. If you see any puddles of water forming on the ground beneath a seal or condensation on the outside of the pipes, the seals have likely been damaged. In order to protect seals from this damage, be sure to run water through your pipes regularly so that the don’t dry out and keep your eyes peeled for any of the aforementioned indicators of damage. If you don’t run water through the pipes regularly, the dried pipes can cause seals to crack and eventually break. Ask a friend or neighbor to run the water in your home in the event that you must leave town for a prolonged period of time, as doing so will protect the pipes and seals from damage.

Causing pipes to contract and expand, extreme changes in temperature can cause pressure buildups in pipes. This increased pressure results in pipes rupturing and leaking in response. Pay close attention to the price of your water bill, as leakage can skyrocket the price. While it may sound odd, monitoring the smell your drains can also be beneficial, as a musty smell emanating from the drain can signify leaky pipes. Finally, if you notice any sudden changes in water pressure or flow, it may also be pointing to leaky pipes. Open cabinet doors, allow warmth to reach the pipes, and keep water flowing through the pipes in order to prevent your pipes from freezing during the cold months. Setting your thermostat to a certain, fixed temperature may also prove to maintain the good condition of your pipes.

Preventing Water Damage To Carpets

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Preventing Water Damage To Carpets

How Can Carpets Be Damaged by Water?

Water damage to carpets is most commonly the result of plumbing issues such as leaky pipes and weather effects such as flooding or leaking after the buildup of water in areas that store water during storms such as attics or basements.

Warning Signs

Discoloration of the carpet is a visible sign of water damage. However, water damage can impact carpet without visible indicators. For example, another common sign of water damage is a putrid, musty odor that will not vanish after cleaning. Illness of those living in the house as well as amplified allergy symptoms may also signify the presence of water damage to carpets in a home.

Why You Should Act Quickly

Mold and mildew will grow in the damaged carpet the longer it remains untreated. In this case, the carpet will need to be completely removed, as mold and mildew cannot be destroyed through simple cleaning. The carpet padding and subfloor underneath the carpet can also be damaged if the area is not hastily cleaned. Finally, mold and mildew can cause detrimental effects to the health of those living in the home, as they can infiltrate the home’s ventilation system.

Precautions to Take

Any moisture in the carpet will need to be removed using a wet water vacuum. Surrounding furniture should also be checked to ensure that they have not also been contaminated. To prevent further mold growth, it may also be beneficial to scrub other carpets and walls in the room that was affected. Dry out the room and create better ventilation by opening windows and utilizing fans or a dehumidifier. To treat a specific area, sprinkle baking soda on top of the area and vacuum. Steam-cleaning the area will also help to destroy dead mold spores. When in doubt, call SERVPRO to guarantee a thorough and sufficient elimination of water damage in your carpet.

Why Did My Basement Flood?

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

Water will find the least path of resistance and it could be into your basement. Be prepared and know how to prevent a flooded home!

Why Did My Basement Flood?

Flooding of basements is one of the most common issues most homeowners face. Although flooding occurs during heavy rains or rapid snowmelts, it can also occur in dry weather.

There are many reasons for basement flooding including seepage, storm sewer backup, and improper grading among others. As the basement lies in the lowest level of a building, it is prone to flooding.

What causes basement flooding?

These are the most common causes of basement flooding:

Foundation Leaks: Water can seep into the foundation if there are cracks in it. The risk of flood in your foundation is more if your home is near groundwater. Cracks in the foundation can lead to significant water leakage into the basement.

Leaking basement windows: Windows in the basement can leak and let water creep in during rains. Whenever it rains, there could be a significant collection of water on the windowsills. Fixing the windowsill is the only option to prevent basement flooding.

Blocked sewer: If the manifold that connects the public sewer system to your house is blocked it can lead to floods in your basement. It is important to call local authorities immediately to address blocked gutters and SERVPRO of New Cumberland/Carlisle to mitigate the sewage and water damage.

Debris in gutters: The gutters play a critical role in preventing basement flooding as they carry away rain water from the home.  If they are clogged or damaged, they can overflow during rains and allow water to build up. If the ground near the basement soaks up too much water, it can seep into the basement as well.

Improper grading or sloping: If the yard does not slope away in the right manner, rain water does not drain effectively. If the sloping is towards your home rather than away, excess water can result in basement flooding. 

Improper downspouts: Downspouts channel water away from the foundation and should be at least 5 to 6 feet away from the wall of the basement. If the downspouts are missing or broken, water tends to pool near the house and slowly seeps into the basement.

SERVPRO of New Cumberland/Carlisle provides professional emergency clean up and restoration services on a 24/7 basis. Should you encounter water or sewage damage call our office directly at 717-761-2173.