Recent Water Damage Posts
Durham Water Loss, Sudsy Kitchen, Here Comes SERVPRO!
Sudsy Water Damage in Your Durham Kitchen? SERVPRO Provides Fast Cleanup and Drying
An Overflowing Dishwasher Leads to Water Cleanup in a Durham Kitchen
Dishwashers are one of those appliances we can count on, day after day, to do the job right most of the time. However, one small thing, like accidentally putting too much detergent in your dishwasher or a faulty float switch can cause plenty of problems from overflowing on your kitchen floor to potential water damage and mold growth in your kitchen. Without swift water cleanup, you may have more to worry about that mopping up soap suds and water on your linoleum floor.
If an overflowing dishwasher causes you to seek out professional water cleanup for your Durham home, the certified technicians at SERVPRO are ready to help you. All of our specialists receive extensive training and education on water damage prevention as well as cutting-edge tools to evaluate and eliminate moisture in your home.
Within just a few hours of your call, our SERVPRO technicians can begin cleaning up any remaining water in your kitchen with wet/dry vacuums and thorough cleaning of surfaces with EPA-registered disinfectant to prevent bacterial exposure. Linoleum flooring is a vapor barrier, so depending on the amount of time since your dishwasher malfunction has occurred, it may need to be removed to allow any moisture that has seeped into the subfloor to dry.
Drying the wooden subfloor can be accomplished with the help of centrifugal air movers placed every 10 to 16 linear feet, industrial-grade dehumidifiers, and other materials, such as a large sheet of 6mm polyethylene to trap water vapor for removal more effectively. After drying has finished, we can reinstall your flooring and restore any other surfaces that have been affected by water, such as wooden furniture. By the time we finish, your dishwasher overflow may as well have never happened.
SERVPRO of Durham; We're Faster To Any Size Disaster, so we can come to your home and restore it to a preloss condition 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including all holidays. If you need our services for mitigating damage to your home, give us a call at (603) 868-3343 today.
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Addressing Water Damage in Your Durham Rental Home
SERVPRO Provides First Aid to Water-Damaged Medicine Cabinets in Durham--More Than a Band-Aid
Water damage often hides in hard-to-reach places in the home. When allowed to accumulate behind installations such as bathroom cabinets, it often leads to further structural and property damage that is difficult to fix without professional assistance.
In the event of a leak behind a bathroom medicine cabinet that leads to water damage in your Durham rental home, certified, highly-trained SERVPRO technicians are available 24/7 to address and mitigate the damage.
When our team comes to your home to inspect your water damage, sensors are used to evaluate moisture levels. After inspection, water is removed from the bathroom wall with a portable extractors or drilling weep holes for drainage and drying depending on the amount of space available. After extraction, our SERVPRO professionals can get right to work on drying the water-damaged areas behind your bathroom cabinet.
To facilitate proper air flow, a technician can now use those drilled weep holes to force in warm air via an injecti-dry system, part of our advanced equipment invenory. After that, an air mover is positioned at a 45-degree angle to the affected wall at a rate of one per 150-300 square feet of drying area. In cases where surfaces such as carpet are soaked through, technicians position air movers every 50 to 60 square feet of affected area. Typically, carpets are not the flooring of choice in a bathroom.
Dehumidifiers also require proper setup to absorb and eliminate moisture picked up by air movers. This process is aided by small chambers created with polyethylene partitions that are positioned to contain drying to the water-damaged area. As the surface dries, the partition is made smaller in order to continually accelerate drying.
After drying is complete, our experts can then clean the area with an EPA-registered broad spectrum disinfectant. Fast drying techniques can aid in the cleanup process as well. In the event of odors, ULV foggers or pump sprayers are commonly used to deodorize walls and ceilings. For a minor mishap, a gel to absorb odors and provide fresh scents can be used.
SERVPRO of Durham is ready to assist you 24/7. If you need assistance with a disaster of any size, call us today at (603) 868-3343.
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What are Desiccant Dehumidifiers and How are They Used to Remediate Water Damage in Your Kingston Home?
Plumbing failures can cause a lot of water to accumulate in your home quickly. Call SERVPRO of Durham for all of your water loss restoration needs.
Water Damage Experts in Kingston Describe How Desiccant Dehumidifiers Work
A failure in your plumbing system is the most common type of water damage situation that occurs. Once a pipe breaks inside your Kingston home, many gallons of water can pour into your structure quickly. Moisture can easily seep into many of the materials that make up your contents and building materials. Once these items get saturated, it is wise to call in a professional restoration company such as the SERVPRO Franchise System to mitigate issues created by the disaster. When materials receive water damage, the ideal conditions must get created for them to dry out rapidly.
Whenever moisture gets into your house, mold growth is always a possibility which is why our SERVPRO Franchise professionals always mitigate water damage inside your Kingston residence as quickly as possible. As soon as we show up, we inspect the building and figure out how severe the problems got and where in your house suffered from moisture-related issues. We use moisture sensors and meters to determine how wet the carpet, drywall, and wooden materials got after the leak. Once we make sure the work area is safe and develop a plan of attack, we begin removing moisture.
To start, our SERVPRO Franchise professionals utilize specialized extraction equipment to pull out water while it is liquid. After our extractors pull out as much liquid as they can, we commence the rapid structural drying phase. During this procedure, we set up air movers and dehumidifiers. Air movers push air around while the dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air.
There are two different types of dehumidifiers we utilize; one works off of condensation while the other uses chemical attraction to remove water from the air. Desiccant dehumidifiers use a water-absorbing silica gel to pull out moisture. The machine pulls air across a desiccant wheel that pushes smaller amounts at a time across the silica gel that chemically attracts moisture particles. A heating coil inside the unit then heats the air dispersed around the wheel to help the water vapor removal process. The dehumidifiers then release hot, dry air into the affected environment.
If you ever have your plumbing system fail and need specialized drying, call SERVPRO of Durham at (603) 868-3343 as soon as you notice you have a problem.
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Advice From Professionals on Drying Your Durham Water Damaged Home
Inspect your home often for signs of leaking pipes.
We Can Handle Water Removal In Durham
Water breaches from a pipe burst, roof leak or plumbing issue can damage your property you do not address it promptly. It is best to contact restoration specialist like us right away to reduce costs. Our team can respond quickly, which can reduce further damages to your home. Standing water inside the home should be removed as soon as possible because excess moisture can cause mold growth and can damage your home’s structure if it sits for more than 48 hours. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster and can restore your home when possible.
SERVPRO water removal technicians in Durham are efficient and can first check the structure to determine the type of equipment they need to successfully and adequately complete the job. In most instances, the team can employ either portable or truck-mounted extractors to remove water fast. Pumps, wet vacs, and wands may also be put in place to help eliminate moisture from the affected areas such as from the flooring and sub-floors as well as from the carpeting.
Our teams thoroughly dry the structure to prevent rot and mildew from growing. The crew employs air movers to circulate warm air throughout the structure and to dry the area quickly. The techs utilize high-velocity axial fans and dehumidifiers to remove moisture from inside the home. The use of air movers, dehumidifying machinery and fans can help with the drying stage by reducing humidity. Our trained technicians use heaters to dry certain areas rapidly. Hidden moisture inside the home can damage your floors, carpeting, and walls, which makes contacting us the right thing to do in emergencies such as this one.
SERVPRO of Durham water removal services are available 24/7 and can restore your property to its preloss condition when possible. We are near you and are ready to help when you need us. Call us at (603) 868-3343 to make an appointment. Our teams work fast and can make it look “Like it never even happened.”
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What Are Highly Trained Specialists Look For When Scoping A Contaminated Property In Newmarket
Water infiltration is one of the common forms of property destruction.
Five Things Water Damage Technicians in Newmarket Look For When Scoping A Contaminated Structure
Water infiltration is one of the common forms of property destruction. Causes include plumbing overflows, faulty appliances, pipe bursts, and roof leaks. Your home can be infiltrated by clear water or gray water. On rare occasions especially when it rains heavily, sewer backups can cause black water to infiltrate your home. As the best restoration technicians in Newmarket, we respond fast to stop further damage. Before water extraction begins, we start with scoping.
Scoping is where we use our expertise and water restoration equipment to determine the extent of the damage. As water damage technicians in Newmarket, we first inspect the affected area. During this process, we gather information about the structure. We also identify potential health hazards (S500 Principle 1, Health and Safety). Using this information, SERVPRO technicians choose the best mitigation and restoration measures.
There are many things we consider during scoping especially if water damage is due to black or gray water.
Number Of Materials Contaminated
At the scene of water damage, SERVPRO technicians begin by inspecting the number of contaminated materials. To provide an accurate count, each contaminated material is identified and recorded.
Porous Vs. Non-Porous
Once we are done counting, the next step is to check if the material is porous or non-porous. This is important especially when it comes to carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture. If carpets and rugs are non-porous, they may trap water beneath. This makes the top down drying process invalid.
Can Your Home Be Ventilated?
If it can, we can expedite the water extraction and drying process. Also, we can prevent mold growth in your home by improving airflow in and out of your home.
Decontamination And Restoration Of Your Valuables
Is decontamination of the materials possible? Can they be restored or do you have to replace them? This is an important stage in scoping as it gives homeowners a clear picture of the damage. Also, it helps homeowners to provide insurance adjusters with a record of the damaged items and their value.
Is The Contamination A Health Threat?
During scoping, SERVPRO water damage technicians determine the type of water flooding your home. By doing this, it will help provide a clear answer to the following question – is the water infiltration a health threat? If found to be a health threat, the right measures are put in place.
SERVPRO of Durham technicians follows the Water Damage Emergency Services Report as a guide. By doing so, we are able to scope your home thoroughly and gather the required data. If you're in need of professional water restoration services, call our 24/7 emergency line at (603) 868-3343.
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Reducing The Effects Of Water Damage to Newmarket Neighborhoods
Newmarket Homes Suffer Reduced Water Damages When SERVPRO Lowers Humidity while Extracting Water
Humidity Reduction Decreases Drying Time after a Water Loss
Most residential flooding in Newmarket and other New Hampshire homes comes from common and mundane sources like a rusted out water heater or a broken water line running through the garage and into the living areas. The results can still be as expensive as damage from a fire or when stormwater finds its way inside.
Restoring a Newmarket home after water damage means getting the water out and beginning the drying process as quickly as possible. SERVPRO restoration teams have the equipment and training to accomplish this and return each residence to its original, dry condition promptly. Our technicians carefully follow several key measures to support these efforts.
The simplest one to monitor is temperature. If the home heating and air system is available, technicians keep the temperature between 70 and 80 degrees. If not available, team members bring in space heaters keep the affected rooms in this range. In cold weather winter conditions gas powered, trailered in heaters can be employed.
As technicians use pumps to remove standing water, other SERVPRO specialists monitor the humidity levels. High moisture content in the air can slow normal drying, and even warp furniture and wood flooring. Our personnel installs dehumidifiers to lower the humidity while performing other restoration actions. These devices can remove up to 25 gallons of water each day, depending on the amount of moisture in the air and the devices used.
Reducing humidity also helps speed up evaporation. The longer water stands, the more get absorbed by property like carpets and drywall. Increasing evaporation helps convert more water to vapor, so technicians speed it up by installing air movers to force warm, dry air over damp surfaces. To draw this increased vapor out of the home, team members use exhaust fans to pull the damp air out of affected rooms and direct it out of the home, along with the LGR type dehumidifiers.
Both fans and air movers increase air movement throughout the home, helping to dry the air and surrounding property. Technicians carefully monitor the speed and temperature of both devices to ensure they do not cause secondary damage or accidentally increase humidity levels by raising the temperature too rapidly. When not correctly placed, it is possible for uninformed or unskilled technicians to actually cause "raining within the structure."
Drying a home after water intrusion is not a quick process. SERVPRO of Durham is here to walk homeowners through every step, so they have confidence in our actions and their choice of restoration companies. If you need us, call (603) 868-3343 today to get started.
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Getting Your Newmarket Home Dry After Water Damages
When your washing machine malfunctions and sends many gallons of water onto your floor, call SERVPRO. Contact us right away for best results.
Team SERVPRO Employs Many Methods to Dry Out Your Home After Water Damage
Among the many ways that you have set out to make your Newmarket home a little more comfortable and convenient, the purchase and installation of appliances have to rank very high on this list. With the simplicity of machine labor, you have a lot more free time and do not have to work as hard. Unfortunately, with water fed appliances, you are also always at the risk of a potential disaster.
Even if the water damage to your Newmarket home is not substantial, it is still advisable to pursue professional restoration services. With the widespread nature of water, many areas can get affected in a short period with no way of the homeowner knowing. While you might work to correct the damage you can see, dampness and moisture from the incident continue to plague the areas like subflooring and wall cavities.
Fortunately for you, our SERVPRO professionals have the tools and the expertise to make a difference in your water damaged home. From extraction solutions to thoroughly drying the areas, we work as quickly as possible to return your home to preloss conditions. While extraction might not always be a requirement, drying the area thoroughly continues to be in every water damage scenario.
To dry the area as it needs to be, our SERVPRO technicians often have to remove portions of drywall and paneling to access confined spaces in between the walls if those areas are discovered to get affected. The same goes for the areas beneath the flooring, into the support and subflooring materials that can often become overly saturated.
Several tools are necessary to dry out the affected area of your home. While the process usually consists of air movers and dehumidifiers, the injectidry system and large drying mats are also regularly in the rotation for drying out hard to reach places.
Appliances can cause a headache for any homeowner when they malfunction and spew water onto the floors. Our SERVPRO of Durham water damage specialists have all of the tools and equipment to get the job done quickly and correctly. Give us a call 24/7 aat a (603) 868-3343.
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When Your Durham Home Suffers Substantial Water Damages
SERVPRO of Durham is here to inspect, assess, and restore your property back to preloss condition.
SERVPRO is Here For You When Water Damage Strikes Your Durham Home
As a homeowner, your Durham residence is always on your mind regarding how you can make it better equipped to withstand the forces of nature and the damages that these instances can do to your home. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent of homeowners taking the most extreme of precautions, you cannot plan for the possibility of internal water emergencies or issues that pose a threat all on their own.
Your Durham home can fall victim to water damages with little notice or warning, especially with instances like appliance failure and degradation. Water-fed machines like your washing machine or dishwasher often do not age well, and simple components like bushings are all that stand in the way of preventing overfilling. When these parts malfunction or break, your appliances continually get fed water (overflowing onto the floors in the area) until you manually shut down the supply line.
Our SERVPRO team has seen all manner of disasters like these throughout our time serving customers in our communities. While every situation differs slightly, our unique training allows us to handle every water damage situation that we might encounter, and become a clear choice for those looking for professional restoration done right.
The process begins with an assessment of the damages and a determination of what we need to restore your home back to the way it should be. Often these situations require extraction of present pooling water, which typically gets achieved with the use of portable pumps and wet-vacs. For more extreme extraction needs, we can dispatch a pump truck from our SERVPRO fleet.
Drying the area is a critical component to restoration. It is essential that the area is thoroughly dried to prevent further damage to structural components or worsening damages like microbial growth.
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When it comes to overcoming water damages of any severity in your home, you want to make sure that the job gets done correctly. You can always put your trust in our SERVPRO of Durham restoration specialists to help you clean up the mess and move on from the damages. Give us a call 24/7 at (603) 868-3343.
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When You Need Help Removing Water From Your Durham Property
Urgent water removal services are something that many homes in the Durham region can need during the early spring.
Removing Water From Your Property
You need water removal services, and you need them quickly. The spring thaw has come, and the old sump pump in your basement has broken due to the excessive water running around your home as the snow melts. Now your basement floor is covered with ankle-deep water as the sump pump can no longer deal with the excess.
Urgent water removal services are something that many homes in the Durham region can need during the early spring. However, it is critical and essential that the water should not be left for too much time to stagnate. The more time that water sits in your home, the higher the chance for structural damage grows. Fortunately, help is never far.
SERVPRO can arrive at your home within hours of your call to evaluate the damage done. From there, our skilled technicians can set up a plan to extract the water that has collected in your basement. We employ the use of powerful truck-operated pumps as well as wet/dry vacuums to remove all of the water that has built up in your home.
Once we have removed the stagnating water, our technicians can evaluate the level of damage to the structure of your basement. Concrete floors can often build up a chalk-like calcium deposit when exposed to water. Our technicians can clean your floors thoroughly to remove this and then set up a drying plan for the rest of your basement.
Depending on the amount of the damage done by the water, SERVPRO can dry out your walls and any belongings that have sustained water damage. We can do this through the use of tools like dehumidifiers, axial fans, and air movers that can eliminate moisture from the air and your home.
When your home desperately needs water removal services, do not wait. Call SERVPRO of Durham at (603) 868-3343. We can work to get your home as soon as possible and return your basement to its preloss state.
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Simple Structural Degradation Can Lead To Water Removal In Your Kingston House
Secure Foundations in Durham to Prevent Water Damage
SERVPRO Tip--Check and Maintain Your Foundation to Prevent and Mitigate Water Damage to Your Property
There are several factors in your Kingston home that can ultimately lead to a water emergency. While most of this is beyond the control of the homeowner, there are some things that you can prevent through a little bit of continued maintenance. Such is the case with cracks and erosion to mortar joints that hold your foundation walls together. While this might not seem all that difficult to manage, this kind of minuscule damage can worsen over time and create a significant water emergency in the right conditions.
Most people do not go out of their way to visually inspect the structural integrity of their foundation on a regular basis, and there is a lot that gets buried underground that you cannot see. However, for what you can see, regular inspections can aid in preventing substantial water emergencies that require professional water removal services to your Kingston home.
Our SERVPRO team of certified professionals has gotten extensively trained in water restoration efforts and practices to ensure that every house gets restored to preloss conditions. A combination of our expertise and state-of-the-art equipment work to prevent the problem from getting worse while simultaneously repairing and restoring the present damage.
Extraction is a primary component of the water removal service, and depending on the severity of the water that is present, can get accomplished with a pump truck from our fleet or vacuums and portable pumps. It is imperative that our team surveys and assesses potential structural damage to ensure that the damage is not worse than initially thought.
Our SERVPRO professionals look to locate the source of the damage and repair this problem to your foundation. With cracks, holes, and worn mortar joints, the penetration can typically get sealed off with the use of hydraulic cement. The compound is sturdy and can withstand high-pressure water, giving you a lasting solution to the formerly pregnable wall.
Needing water removal services might seem traumatic, but if you reach out to SERVPRO of Durham quickly, you can rest a little bit easier. Our emergency response team is available anytime you need us by calling (603) 868-3343.
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Water Damage Can Happen Because of Leaks Around Shower Enclosures in Newmarket Homes
Leaks in Newmarket Bathrooms Cause Damage
Hidden Leaks Lead to Water Problems and Damage
Water is used throughout a Newport home, from washing machines to kitchen sinks to bathroom fixtures. When these devices leak, water can pool in locations that should always remain dry. Other times, breaks in water lines create the problem.
Newmarket homeowners can expect water damage to developing whenever water ends up where it should never exist. One such location is through tiny cracks in the grout around shower enclosures. Once these areas begin to take on water, they then disintegrate behind the grout, also. Water can affect any area adjacent to the shower enclosure, including above locations. This is because water seeps into porous materials quite quickly, sometimes defying gravity in a process called wicking.
When SERVPRO receives a call about water damage that comes from an undetermined source, we assure the homeowner that we carry the equipment and devices just for that purpose. Our hygrometers can detect water-laden materials, which allows us to follow the water back to the source. Many times, we find that undetected leaks and open areas that should not be created the problem. We eliminate this situation. In the case of a shower releasing water, we tear out the defective materials and replace them with all new ones or partner with a rebuilding company for the renovation.
We can often paint over the water stains found on walls and ceilings below and next to the shower area, saving the homeowner the expense of replacing these sections of the affected room. There are times, though, when this is not possible because of the amount of deterioration. Each home is unique, and we must assess each one on its own merit.
Our goal is to restore your home with the least intrusive and most cost-effective methods available to us. We want your home restored, so it is “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO of Durham can be contacted by calling our local number, (603) 868-3343, at any hour on any day of the year. We remain dedicated to our community and know emergencies happen round-the-clock.
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Water Removal Services after Flooding or Fire are Crucial to the Restoration of Your Durham Home
Durham Water Damage Gets Help from SERVPRO
SERVPRO Reduces Water Losses with Fast Extraction and Restoration
After a home takes on water of any kind, drastic changes begin to take place. Homeowners in Durham can protect their homes from the damage these changes cause by having qualified professionals carry out the necessary services. One small crisis can bring about a multitude of problems.
Durham property owners often rely on professional water removal services to dry their homes out when saturation is an issue. Unwanted water can come from interior or exterior flooding or firefighting efforts. Large amounts of water on floors or heavily saturated walls and attics need to be removed and extracted until achievement of complete dryness in your home occurs.
SERVPRO uses the latest in technology not only to remove the water in your home but also to find hidden areas with water and moisture. Elevated humidity can also create problems, and we have solutions for that kind of situation, as well. Hygrometers and moisture detectors help us locate areas where water seeped into, even when it feels dry to the touch.
Determined by the location and the material affected, we might use only hand-held and highly portable extraction units, heating pads for floors, air blowers, or full-size pumps mounted on large trucks. Combining any of these, along with air scrubbers, dehumidifiers, and desiccant machines, our technicians steadily, but quickly, dry your home's interior. Other restorative work cannot begin while conditions remain damp.
Whenever flooding includes contaminated water, we ensure that not only do we eliminate all the water but that we also remove any pathogens or chemical residues. We put our skills to work so we leave each home or business “Like it never even happened.” Failing to remove all the water can set your property up for future problems with mold, deterioration, and destruction of materials, foul odors, insect and other pest problems.
The skilled professionals at SERVPRO of Durham want to help you protect your home. Water removal services help prevent other problems from developing inside your residence. Because water damages from the first second it touches your home, contacting us at our local number, (603) 868-3343 can reduce total restoration costs while mitigating loss.
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Water Damage Discovered In Your Durham Home Needs Immediate Attention
Durham Water Pipe Leads to Damage at Durham Properties--Call SERVPRO for Removal and Cleanup
Comprehensive Restoration Post Water Intrusion is a SERVPRO Hallmark
The harm water does to a residential property in Durham is among the most serious problems a homeowner faces. Other maintenance tasks can be delayed with few additional consequences. Water damage must be dealt with as soon as possible, however, because of the pervasive deterioration it brings to the structure of your home.
A common source of water damage in your Durham property links to inconspicuous leaks in plumbing. The drips and seepage slowly saturate the structure of the house, causing wood to rot, metal to rust, and mold to multiply. Eventually bulging and staining of walls and ceilings, peeling paint, and unpleasant, musty odors signal the destruction happening within the walls. Our certified water damage experts have the training and the equipment to confront and conquer this hidden devastation. The sooner we respond, the better.
Our crew arrives at your home within hours of your call. An experienced SERVPRO project manager assesses the damage and outlines a plan that removes water, reduces moisture and restores the structure and features of your home. Since the water damage hid behind walls, expect us to plan and make careful openings to access the affected areas. We find and arrange for repairs to the leaks in the pipes, and then move on to treat and dry out all saturated spaces.
We remove any standing water with pumps or powerful extractors. If the water appears contaminated with mold, we contain it and discard according to local regulation. SERVPRO is a full-service restoration company, so we include a comprehensive EPA approved mold remediation performed by our Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians in the restoration blueprint for your home if indicated. After the mold and evident water disperse, our technicians establish drying goals using many moisture measurements taken throughout the damaged areas. Air movers and dehumidifiers complete this essential task of reducing moisture as appropriate for the different materials.
Our mission is always restoration rather than demolition and repair. This saves you money, protects the unique features of your home, and limits the disruption to your return to preloss condition. After the structure, drywall or plaster, and other fixtures dry, we focus on restoring as much of the original framing, supports, and interiors as possible. Our workers receive advanced education in Applied Structural Drying, Water Damage Restoration, and Odor Control. This knowledge base and our extensive experience in water damage abatement mean we deliver on the SERVPRO promise to restore your home “Like it never even happened.”
Contact SERVPRO of Durham at (603) 868-3343 as soon as you suspect water is the culprit behind the damage in your home. Our staff answers round the clock, every day of the year.
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Homeowners: Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes in Below-Freezing Weather
As the weather dips into colder temperatures, it is crucial to protect your home’s water pipes against freezing. Untreated pipes in your basement and crawlspaces can be an expensive and scary scenario for any homeowner.
Why Frozen Pipes Are a Problem
Water expands as it freezes. This expansion puts extreme pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor water faucets, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Also, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold.
In the U.S., frozen pipes cause significant damage every year, but they often can be prevented. Taking a few simple steps, even now, may save you a lot of aggravation and expense.
There are three common causes of frozen pipes:
1. Quick drops in temperature
2. Poor insulation
3. Thermostats set too low
Luckily, there are a number of preventative steps you can take to keep your pipes from freezing:
- Check the insulation of pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing.
- Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes. Be sure to use products approved by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and only for the use intended (exterior or interior). Closely follow all manufacturers’ installation and operation instructions.
- Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
- Use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
- A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
- Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you’re asleep, but further drops in the temperature – more common overnight – could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
If Your Pipes Do Freeze ...
- If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.
- If your house or basement is flooding, turn off the water valve and call 1-800-SERVPRO.
- Do not touch or use electrical appliances in areas of standing water due to electrocution concerns.
- Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard. Every year, many building fires are caused by people trying to thaw frozen pipes. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide.
- You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
- Again, if your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on and call 1-800-SERVPRO. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it. Likely places for the water turn-off valve include internal pipes running against exterior walls or where water service enters a home through the foundation.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat set to a temperature no lower than 55°F.