Recent Water Damage Posts
My Basement Has Flooded! Now What?
Be sure to clean water damage after a flood in your Colorado Springs, CO home as quickly as possible to avoid further damage.
When you discover that your Colorado Springs, CO, basement has flooded, panic tends to ensue, especially if water is still flowing in. How do you stop and extract the water? Is anything going to be salvageable? How do you even restore the area after flooding? These are some of the main questions people ask during a basement flood. Fortunately, all hope is not lost; there are ways to restore much of a water-damaged area and its contents. When it comes to water damage, every second counts, so act quickly.
What Are the Steps for Remediation?
- Prioritize Safety
Most importantly, you and others in the area must remain safe. Before you even step into the basement, turn off the electricity to the basement or the entire house. Electricity can flow through standing water if it's in contact with electronics, appliances, or electrical outlets. If you can't safely navigate to the circuit breaker, call a professional electrician or your power company to turn your electricity off.
- Stop the Water
If the water is still flowing into the basement and it's from a burst pipe or another plumbing issue, shut off the main water supply to stop the water. You can call for pipe repair after you've started the restoration process.
- Wear PPE
If the flood originated outdoors or contains sewage or another toxic substance, it's vital to wear personal protective equipment. This PPE not only keeps you and others in the area safe but also prevents cross-contamination to other parts of the house.
- Eliminate Standing Water
You must extract standing water as quickly as possible. Every minute counts when it comes to water damage, as the damage progresses rapidly. The time it takes to eliminate the water could mean the difference between something being salvageable or not.
- Remove Contents
Remove all affected items from the area. This not only includes basement contents but could also include carpeting and carpet padding, hardwood flooring, and drywall. Flooding will soak carpet and padding; it probably won't be dried quickly enough to save. Wet wood tends to warp and buckle and probably won't be salvageable. Drywall will soak up water like a sponge. You will likely have to cut out the wet parts of your drywall and replace them. Contents such as upholstered and wooden furniture will have to be assessed for salvageability.
- Begin Drying
Mold can start growing within 24 hours of moisture exposure, so everything needs to be completely dried as quickly as possible. If you can't dry it within 48 hours, it probably won't be salvageable. The basement itself will also have to be dried thoroughly as quickly as possible to avoid mold growth. It's best to hire water damage restoration professionals to do this job, as they have the expertise and industrial equipment to handle the job safely and efficiently. In the meantime, you can run fans and dehumidifiers to dry the area faster. Heat will also help the drying process.
- Clean Everything
You'll need to clean and disinfect everything to ensure no lingering bacteria, mold spores or other harmful substances remain. Everything that the water touched must be cleaned, including walls and furniture.
When you discover flooding in your basement, time is precious. The sooner you can begin drying, the more of the affected items you can save.
How To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing
Pipes from a local commercial building.
Winter may mean shorter days and cooler temperatures in Colorado Springs, CO, but it doesn't have to mean bursting pipes and water damage too. Here are six ways to prevent your pipes from freezing this winter.
6 Ways To Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
1. Let the faucet run overnight
It's true what they say: It's always coldest just before the dawn. If you have pipes that are exposed to the elements, even a tiny trickle of water from a faucet that's connected to those pipes can stop them from freezing if left running overnight.
2. Shut the garage door
This is especially useful if your garage is home to water supply lines. Keeping the door shut keeps the cold out and the temperature up — at least a little bit.
3. Open the cabinets under the sink
Leaving the cabinet doors open beneath your kitchen, bathroom, or utility sink allows more of the warm air in your home to reach the pipes and can potentially stop them from freezing.
4. Keep the temperature in your home consistent
Turning the thermostat down a few degrees before you jump under the covers at night may save you a couple of bucks on your energy bill, but in the winter, that drop in temperature can also lead to freezing and bursting pipes.
5. Insulate your pipes
Some areas of your home, such as the basement and attic, are naturally colder than the rest of your home. Wrapping the pipes in these areas with insulation can keep them heated enough to avoid freezing over.
6. Eliminate drafts
Keep your home toasty warm and your pipes thoroughly thawed by making sure the seals around windows and doors are tight. It's also a good idea to inspect your home annually for other cracks and seal them promptly.
Very few people have money conveniently tucked away in a "fix broken pipe" fund. Following these six tips can help eliminate the threat of freezing and bursting pipes, as well as the need to enlist the help of a professional water damage recovery company.
7 Steps for Replacing a Toilet
Apply caulk to the new toilet bowl to avoid leaks.
If you discover a leaking toilet at your home in Colorado Springs, CO, toilet repair may not be an option if the leak is severe. You might have to replace the old toilet. Even if you're new to this type of job, it should still be relatively easy.
Steps to Replace a Toilet
Here are the steps:
1. Shut Off the Water Supply
First, shut off the water at the supply line. Then, flush the toilet to drain the water. Next, the water supply line must be disconnected from the bottom of the toilet tank. You must then remove the bolts on the toilet's base.
2. Remove the Old Toilet and Wax Seal
You'll see a caulk seal around the bowl's base. It needs to be cut out. The toilet should be movable. Now it's time to remove the leaking toilet, then remove the wax seal. If you see that damage has occurred from the leak, you might need to call water damage remediation professionals to take care of it before installing the new toilet.
3. Apply Caulk to the New Bowl
Caulk then needs to be applied to the base of the new bowl. This will make the installation look cleaner and will keep leaks at bay.
4. Install the New Wax Ring and Bowl
Place the new wax ring between the bolts. Then, put the bowl into place. The wax seal will be compressed by the bowl's weight.
5. Grease the Spud Washer
At the base of the tank is a spud washer. Put a coat of plumber's grease on it. Then place the tank as you're lining up the mounting bolts.
6. Tighten the Tank's Bolts
Place the washer on the bolts and then tighten the nut. Then, fully tighten the inner-tank bolts and place the mounting bolts on the bowl's base.
7. Ensure the Toilet Is Level and Test for Leaks
Ensure the toilet is level. Reconnect the water line and turn on the water. When the tank fills, test for leaks by flushing the toilet.
A leaking toilet can be a real inconvenience. However, if it can't be repaired, it should be replaced as soon as possible before the problem worsens.
Tips for Water Damage Prevention
Fix leaks before having secondary damage.
When homeowners think of water damage, they usually imagine a large flooding event from a storm or water main break, but small things such as undetected leaks can cause a lot of problems, too. Damage from water in your home in Colorado Springs, CO, is not inevitable, though. There are several things you can do to prevent it from happening.
4 Tips to Prevent Water Damage
- Have a Consistent Maintenance Schedule
Most water damage is entirely preventable. All you need to do is update your maintenance checklist to ensure that it includes leak prevention tasks:
- Clean gutters and downspouts
- Minimize landscaping near pipes or sewer lines
- Check pipes and supply lines for weak spots or leaks
- Maintain appliances
- Winterize pipes before the first big freeze of the year
- Improve Water Loss Detection
Another way to prevent damage is to head potential problems off at the pass. To do this well, you have to know when they start. An unusually high water bill could be a sign of a leak that leads to water in your home. A working sump pump in your basement protects it even when you are not there.
- Know Where Your Water Main is Located
A broken pipe is not always something you can prevent, but you can minimize the amount of water it releases by turning off your water main. The shutoff valve stops the flow of water into your pipes so that you can get the issue resolved.
- Fix Leaks and Damage Quickly
Even if your home is damaged by an unpredictable accident, quick pipe cleanup can help you prevent secondary damage. It's important to call water restoration experts as soon as you know there is an issue so that they can stop the progress of the seepage and prevent mold growth.
To prevent water in your home from causing extensive problems, you have to be diligent. Proper maintenance and vigilant attention to changes help you safeguard the structural integrity of your house.
What You Should Know About Overflowing Toilets and Sewage Backup
Our Specialists can help you if you experience an Overflowing Toilet and Sewage Backup.
Property owners must be diligent about the upkeep of their homes, especially when it comes to making repairs and fixing problems. Water damage, in particular, can lead to major issues, especially if it’s due to something as serious as a flooded toilet or sewage backup.
If you ever have this problem in your home in Colorado Springs, CO, it’s important to know the steps to take to minimize the damage.
Dealing With an Overflowing Toilet and Sewer Damage
If your toilet has flooded your bathroom, follow these steps:
- Shut off the water: The easiest way to shut off the supply is usually by turning the valve underneath the toilet. Depending on the extent of the flooding as well as the toilet’s contents, this valve may not be accessible. In that case, locate the main water supply for your home, and turn that off.
- Rig your toilet float: If accessible, you can also open the tank and adjust the float’s position to prevent the tank from refilling.
- Turn off electricity to the bathroom: Water and electricity are a hazardous combination. If possible, turn off the electricity to the affected areas at the breaker.
- Remove excess water: Depending on the level of flooding, you may be able to remove excess water using towels, buckets, and wet vacs. Be sure to wear gloves and other protective gear to minimize contamination.
- Call a professional damage restoration provider: Water damage can get underneath floors and behind walls, causing other types of damage, including mold. A professional restoration service is equipped to fully clean and remediate all areas impacted by flooding.
- Notify a utility or sewage company: If the problem is a result of a backup, you should notify the utility provider or entity responsible for wastewater lines in your neighborhood.
Understanding Water Damage
Water damage falls under three categories:
Category 1: This generally includes damage from a leaky pipe or overflow from a sink. Also called clean water, this water is usually free of contaminants.
Category 2: Water damage in this category could include an overflowing toilet (without feces) or certain leaking appliances such as a dishwasher or washing machine. Category 2 water is also called grey water and contains some contaminants.
Category 3: Also called black water, category 3 water is severely contaminated and contains unsanitary agents. An overflowing toilet with feces, sewage backup, seawater, and flooding are examples of category 3 water damage.
Grey water from a toilet can become black water if left unattended.
Sewer damage and other forms of black water require special approaches to cleanup and disinfection that come from professionals. Your local provider can fully assess the damage caused by your toilet and use the appropriate methods for sanitization and drying to restore affected areas to pre-damage conditions. If your home requires structural repairs and rebuilding, the pros can handle that also.
An overflowing toilet can be a minor nuisance. It can also become a major problem, especially if there’s sewer damage and other types of black water, the most severe type of water damage. Shut off the water supply and do what you can to stop the inflow. Even if you’re able to remove the water, be sure to call a professional damage restoration company to safely remove contaminants and repair the damage.
Understanding Homeowners Insurance Coverage for Flood Damage
Follow these tips and learn more about Insurance Coverage for Flood Damage.
If your home is financed through a mortgage, then you’re required to carry a homeowners insurance policy by your lender. This insurance plan protects the lender’s interest in your property. Even if you don’t have a mortgage, having property insurance is a wise move for your home in Colorado Springs, CO. If your house is subject to certain types of damage, a policy spares you from having to pay out of pocket for repairs or replacement.
Carrying property coverage is part of being a responsible owner, but you also should know what is and isn’t covered. Flood damage, for instance, is generally not covered. Let’s take a closer look at water damage and homeowner coverage.
A Closer Look at Flooding and Insurance Coverage
Your homeowners policy does not cover damage from the following types of flooding:
- Storms and weather events
- Overflow from bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and ponds
- Oversaturated ground
You would need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy for protection from flood damage. There are other types of water damage that you may experience in your home, some of which is not included in your coverage.
What’s Covered and What’s Not
Water damage in your home may also arise from a broken pipe, an overflowing toilet, or a malfunctioning appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine. When it comes to your policy, coverage isn’t based on the extent of damage, but rather on whether the problem was immediate or gradual. Most insurance plans will only cover damage that is sudden and accidental.
Destruction that comes from a gradual problem probably won’t be covered by your plan. This is one reason why regular inspection of your house and its mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems are characteristic of responsible homeownership.
It’s important to understand the limitations and restrictions of your policy. We’ve established that sudden water damage is usually protected, but be aware of the following exclusions:
Poor maintenance: A broken pipe from a freeze seems like a no-brainer, but your claim could be denied for failure to wrap your pipes and take other preventive steps when the weather is very cold.
Source of damage: If a busted dishwasher supply line causes damage to your floors, your policy would cover floor replacement, but not the dishwasher.
Sewer or drain backup: If an outside sewer, drain, or pipeline backs up into your residence, your homeowners plan won’t cover any repairs. You might be able to purchase a separate policy to cover water backup.
When Disaster Strikes
No matter what type of water damage you experience, it’s important to contact a company that specializes in water damage repair. These professionals have the knowledge, expertise, and equipment to restore your house to pre-damage conditions. They know the best ways to expedite the process, looking for ways to lower costs by prioritizing repairs over replacement where possible.
Having homeowners’ insurance is a good idea whether you have a mortgage or not. While your policy may not cover flood damage, it can cover your costs for repair from other water problems. There’s no time like the present to become familiar with what your plan includes and excludes.
Frozen Pipes: Insurance Coverage and Prevention
Prevent frozen pipes to avoid filing an insurance claim in your Colorado Springs, CO home.
With the winter months ahead, many homeowners are checking to see what their insurance will and won’t cover in terms of winter damage, like frozen pipes. Most policies cover accidental or sudden damage to a home’s plumbing, meaning you can file an insurance claim for a bike break due to a pipe freeze. However, there is no guarantee that all costs will be covered by your policy.
While policies will vary, there are some everyday items covered. Most insurers will cover:
- Tearing out walls for burst pipe access
- Repairs to damaged property
- Repairs and restoration to walls
Most insurance companies will not cover the cost to repair the section of the broken pipe. Pipes that freeze are often the result of maintenance issues, meaning it is not covered by insurance. Therefore, it is vital to focus on prevention this winter. Contact a water remediation specialist in Colorado Springs, CO, for insight into more specifics.
Avoid an Insurance Claim By Following These 5 Protective Plumbing Practices
A burst pipe from freezing can result in significant property and water damage. Thankfully, preventing such issues is simple with some basic maintenance practices. If you plan on going on vacation this winter, make sure to adhere to the following five strategies.
Do you have any exposed plumbing? Sometimes, a house will have pipes running through a garage or outdoors. You want to make sure that you insulate any exposed pipes with a foam roll or insulating tape.
It is also beneficial to insulate pipes under sinks or that are exposed in the basement. While these areas are often protected against lower temperatures, preparing for emergencies like outages is best.
Many houses have outdoor faucets or fixtures. You will want to disconnect any hoses from these fixtures to allow for proper drainage. Failing to remove hoses can result in frozen and broken faucets, resulting in property damage. If there is a separate shut-off valve, it is best to turn the water off and allow the fixture to drain.
One of the worst things you can do when leaving your house in the winter is turn off your heat. While you probably want to save money, your plumbing requires heat to function correctly. While you can turn down the thermostat, try to avoid going below 55° Fahrenheit.
One of the best things you can do in the winter, especially in the coldest areas of your home, is run the water. You do not have to turn faucets on full force either. Essentially, you want to turn on your faucet so that it drips slowly. A slow drip will help keep water moving instead of freezing.
If you will be traveling this winter, it is likely best to shut off the main water supply to your home and drain the system. Draining the system is straightforward; you merely turn on the faucets in your home until no more water is coming out. Draining ensures there is nothing in the pipes to freeze.
While an insurance claim will typically cover the damage caused by a burst pipe, it will not cover the pipe repair. It is best to take preventative action to avoid a break, to begin with.
Understanding Clean Water Damage
Contaminated water must be clean properly in your Colorado Springs, CO commercial.
Category one water damage is defined as clean water. The problem likely stems from a freshwater line break. However, do not be fooled. While the source of the damage is initially uncontaminated water, it can and will evolve the longer it is left to fester.
As water sits on the floor, it becomes contaminated with bacteria, chemicals, and whatever else is on the floor, walls, or shelves and within the water. Therefore, it is crucial you deal with the water in your facility as quickly as possible.
3 Ways To Deal With Clean Water Damage
When dealing with the aftermath of a supply line break, time is of the essence. The water category can change rapidly, so if the spill is manageable, it is critical to wipe it up as soon as it is noticed. If it is a significant flood, contact a remediation specialist in Colorado Springs, CO, to manage the cleanup process. Either way, there is a four-step process to mitigating the problem.
1. Turn Off the Water Source
Before dealing with the growing flood on your facility floor, you will need to turn off the water supply to the affected area. If the spillage is in a kitchen or bathroom, you can often find the supply shut off under a sink or behind a toilet. If the problem occurs elsewhere in the building, it might be best to shut off the main water supply until you can locate the appropriate shutoff.
When working with a professional mitigation company, the team that arrives on the scene will probably know where the shutoffs are because they will have superior knowledge of plumbing systems. It is best to stay out of the pros way and let them do what they are trained to do.
2. Clean Up the Spillage or Overflow
Once the valve is off and there is no more water feeding into the flood, you can begin the cleanup process. You will need a mop, bucket, towels, etc., to dry the area as quickly as possible, limiting secondary damage.
A professional service will have access to commercial shop vacs, pumps, air movers, fans, etc., making the cleanup that much faster and more efficient. One thing to note is working with professionals almost always results in a quicker recovery time.
3. Call an Expert
Assuming the damage to the property is significant, resulting from a broken pipe, it is likely never better to try and DIY the project. A professional crew can remove more water in a small window than your company is likely equipped for, and speed and efficiency are crucial to mitigating any significant or lasting damage.
A clean water flood is typically referred to as a category one flood. As long as the disaster is cleaned up quickly, you can mitigate any significant damage. However, if the water sits for a long time, it will worsen to category two or three problems. When dealing with clean water or water disaster, like a minor or significant flood, it is likely in your best interest to hire a professional company.
How to Prevent Water Damage: Managing the Calm, So There is No Storm
Leaking refrigerator supply line can lead to water damage to your Colorado Springs, CO, home
If faucets and drains function correctly, most homeowners don’t pay attention to water in the home. However, when that water is suddenly overflowing spaces and causing damage to property, homeowners take notice. The tips below will help you manage the calm now so that there are no water issues later.
1. Perform Routine Maintenance
Most elements of a home require routine maintenance to ensure that everything continues to function correctly, and this is no different for plumbing. Most plumbing systems should be cleaned out and inspected once or twice a year. This pipe cleanup and maintenance helps to protect your home from experiencing significant water damage.
2. Keep an Eye on Appliances
While water in the home is necessary for daily routines, care should be taken around appliances, both old and new. From small leaks behind the dishwasher to failed seals under the toilet, appliances are some of the most common culprits of water damage. Again, routine maintenance can help catch most of these issues before any significant problems occur.
3. Install Preventative Measures
A clogged or broken pipe can lead to extensive damage both cosmetically and structurally, but the installation of backflow valves and sump pumps can help to prevent any potential problems. Additionally, the installation of waterproofing systems and gutter systems can help to keep the lower levels of your home dry.
4. Conduct Bi-Annual Inspections
In addition to routine maintenance, you may want to conduct bi-annual inspections, spring, and fall, to pinpoint any areas of concern. Hiring a professional in Colorado Springs, CO, can be a wise choice because they will be equipped to give you a thorough understanding of the health of your home and its plumbing.
Again, water in the home is necessary, but it must be contained and controlled to prevent costly repairs and damage. Homeowners have a responsibility to their property, to maintain it and care for it. By performing routine maintenance, being mindful of appliances, and conducting regular inspections, homeowners can protect both their home and their family.
Dealing With the Aftermath of Broken Pipes in a Commercial Facility
If the broken pipe is not fixed, further damages can come to your Colorado Springs, CO, business building.
While most commercial facilities can experience a lifetime of business without dealing with bursting pipes throughout the facility, these problems do occur. Broken pipes are typically more common in facilities without temperature control and during the winter months, but such situations can occur at any time and with little warning.
When breaks occur, it is crucial to quickly deal with the problem to limit inventory and property damage. Businesses should contact a licensed water mitigation company in Colorado Springs, CO, for more information and to begin the recovery process. In the meantime, there are a few steps a business owner can take in the interim:
- Shut off the water supply
- Dry the affected area
- Remove valuable and salvageable inventory and assets
Remove the Water Source
Before a company can fix a broken pipe, it is necessary to eliminate the primary source of concern: the flowing water. A property manager should want to limit the risks of further flooding or inventory damage. If possible, cut off the water supply by only closing the valve to the affected area. If a controlled shutdown is not possible, locate the water main for the property and turn that off instead.
The primary concern is to stop the rush of water into other areas of the facility and to allow the swift removal of spillage from affected spaces. Bursting pipes can cause a lot of damage and quickly, so take care to acknowledge and account for any potential threats to you or your worker’s safety.
Do Not Allow Water To Sit For Too Long
The longer water spills out of the pipes, the more water damage in Colorado Springs, CO, will accumulate. Additionally, if you leave the water to pool and stand in an area, the more primary and secondary damage the property will experience.
The water spilling out of a broken pipe is most likely clean, but that does not mean the damage to the property is limited to minor issues. Mold is a significant concern after water leaks, and it can be costly and challenging to repair.
Removing water and drying the space quickly is essential to limit mold risks. However, unless you are sure the water damage results from a clean source and the area is safe for entry, leave the cleanup to the professionals.
Move Valuable and Salvageable Items to a Safe Dry Space
Once the affected area is dry and professionals have deemed it safe to enter, you and your team can begin removing inventory and assets. If there are any dry, unaffected items, it is best to start with these. For any objects in contact with the water, it is often best to work with a mitigation specialist to determine salvageability. Depending on the severity of the flooding, you will not manage to save everything, but a professional can help you select the items with the best repair potential.
While not every business will need to deal with burst pipes, those that do need to realize that a quick response is crucial to reducing the level of damage sustained. Following the above steps can help reduce many of your concerns and limit the odds of severe secondary damage.
5 Ways SERVPRO Serves Adjusters and Clients
SERVPRO serves adjusters and clients
As an insurance adjuster, it is your job to provide quality service to your client, while also controlling costs for your employer. That is why SERVPRO franchises are set up to provide the best service to both adjusters and clients.
SERVPRO Provides Service to Both Adjusters and Clients
1. Fast Claims Processing
The number one goal of SERVPRO professionals is to restore your client's property “Like it never even happened." Customers appreciate the immediate response provided by locations in Colorado Springs, CO, which makes them happier with your service.
2. Cost Control
Restoring property costs less money than replacing it. Franchise professionals aim to restore wherever possible and replace only when necessary. Pretesting is performed on every insurance claim to determine which property can be restored and which must be replaced.
3. Complete Claims Information
The insurance adjuster won't have to chase restoration paperwork around to close a claim. Franchises furnish itemized loss inventories with pictures of critical items. Additionally, the claims information center provides a complete electronic job file, online access to all files, informative reports and performance comparisons.
4. Qualified and Well-Trained Staff
Clients and insurance companies can count on franchise staff because they are trained to IICRC standards for fire and water cleanup and restoration. Continuing education classes are made available to both franchise staff and insurance clients at an IICRC Approved Training Facility.
5. Compliance and Professionalism
Franchise professionals take their jobs seriously. They work hard to provide peace of mind to customers while performing fast, quality service. When you use SERVPRO you can focus on settling the claim without having to worry about any vendor problems. The performance of franchise professionals adds value for you, your managers, your customers and your shareholders.
The insurance adjuster and the client can rely on franchise professionals to be Faster to Any Size Disaster. Their highly-skilled technicians take the worry out of the restoration process so that everyone involved can focus on other things.
Supply Line Changes
Supply line from a leaking refrigerator caused severe water damage.
Your water supply lines in your home in Colorado Springs, CO, help to bring water into your home, ensuring appliances in your home such as toilets, showers, sinks and bathtubs have adequate water flow. As a homeowner, it's often useful to know about supply line damage and the importance of replacing supply lines.
FAQs About Supply Line Changes
What Are Signs of Damage to a Supply Line?
A damaged supply line can cause major damage to your home, and homeowners whose homes have sustained excessive amounts of water damage may find it useful to contact water damage restoration experts. There are several common signs that your supply line may be damaged, including:
- Mold growth near or around your supply line
- A musty odor in your bathroom
- A sudden, unexplained spike in your water bills
- Low water pressure in sinks or showers
- A bathroom leak
How Often Should You Replace Your Supply Line?
Different types of lines are prone to different types of supply line damage, and therefore, there isn't a set period of time that every line should be replaced. Plastic supply lines generally come with a warranty of about five to eight years; any point after this time, you may need to replace them. However, steel braided supply lines frequently come with a lifetime warranty and generally do not need to be replaced as frequently as plastic supply lines.
Can You Prevent Damage to Your Supply Lines?
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent damage to your supply line. To prevent major damage, know common signs of supply line issues. If you do suspect a supply line leak, it's often important to quickly shut off the water in your home. If older lines or plastic lines need to be replaced, it can also be cost-effective long-term to install durable steel braided supply lines.
As with any element in your home, it can be wise to learn about supply lines. Though supply line damage has the potential to devastate your home, being knowledgeable about signs of damage, when to replace your supply line and how to prevent damage can help you to keep your supply lines functioning at their best.
Does Your Insurance Cover Flooding and Water Damage?
Flooding can cause severe water damage.
Will your homeowners' insurance cover the flood damage that occurs because of a broken pipe? The answer to this question depends on several factors. One of the most important things you need to know is that the damage is probably covered if the damage was the result of a sudden or unforeseen happening:
- Leaking air conditioner
- Malfunctioning clothes washing machine
- Broken pipes because of freezing temperatures
It's important to understand that your policy may not cover all of these specific situations. Your best source of accurate information is the insurance coverage provider.
Understand Insurance Exclusions
In most situations, if the damage is the result of gradual changes or the lack of proper maintenance, you'll probably have to pay for the repairs. Some examples of policy exclusions include a leaking pipe that you ignored, mold damage from an ice dam on a clogged roof gutter, and high levels of humidity in the bathroom. Again, coverage and exclusions vary from one insurance provider to another.
Don't Ignore Signs of Trouble
Most of the time, insurance companies expect homeowners to care for the plumbing system, taking steps to make sure pipes don't freeze, connections are kept tight, and that signs of damage, such as cracks and mold, are addressed right away. Slow-developing damage is often the result when homeowners don't address these issues, and this type of flood damage often isn't covered.
Keep Up With Maintenance
The best way to avoid the costs of hiring flooding and water damage cleanup crews is to regularly maintain the pipes and plumbing systems in your home. At the first sign of trouble, take steps to correct leaks, clogs, and mold. It's also helpful to contact your agent to learn more about the water damage risks in Colorado Springs, CO. You could also ask for advice on reducing the risk of a broken pipe and other sources of flood damage.
How To Protect Your Pipes During Cold Weather
A burst pipe leads to water damage
A slow leak in a pipe in your home in Colorado Springs, CO, may go undetected for a while, but there's no mistaking the sudden and extensive damage a pipe that has frozen can cause. Here are some pipe freeze prevention tips to help keep your home safe from water damage during the winter.
3 Tips To Avoid Freezing Pipes and Water Damage
The best way to avoid extensive water damage from frozen pipes is to prevent the issue from happening in the first place. There are a few places in your home where your pipes are the most vulnerable to freezing:
- Right inside exterior walls
- Connected to exterior faucets
- Inside closed cabinets
- In unheated areas such as attics and crawl spaces
There are several things you can do to prevent pipes from freezing. Insulate your pipes, particularly the ones that are near exterior walls or in spaces cut off from the central heating in your living spaces. You can apply electrical heating tape to pipes as well. Be sure to keep your heater on, even when you are not at home, if temperatures outside are below freezing. During the coldest parts of the day, it's a good idea to open your cabinet doors or allow your water faucets to drip for reliable pipe freeze prevention.
If you can catch a frozen pipe before it bursts, you may be able to save the pipe and the area around it from damage. A telltale sign that you have a frozen pipe is a significantly smaller flow when you turn on a faucet. Turn the faucet off, locate the pipe and slowly warm it up, allowing the ice inside to melt. The faucet should then flow normally again.
A burst pipe leads to water damage that can only be properly repaired by water mitigation experts. The technicians must tear out all ruined materials and rebuild the area affected by the flooding. If your insurance doesn't cover the cost, you may be looking at a lot of out-of-pocket expenses.
These pipe freeze prevention tips can protect your home from water damage. Make pipe protection part of your regular winter maintenance plan.
Leaky Pipes, Broken Appliances, and Flooding: Does Your Insurance Cover Damages?
Water damage due to broke pipes are common.
When the spring thaw has caused your pipes to burst and flood the basement or your air conditioner is leaking onto your wood floor, will your insurance company cover the damages? This depends, in part, on your insurance policy. The biggest factor is usually the type of damages:
- Sudden and Unforeseen Damages are usually covered by homeowners' policies
- Gradual Damages due to issues such as leaky pipes or a lack of maintenance may not be covered
- Wear and Tear is nearly always up to the homeowner with very few exceptions
If you believe that your claim should be covered by your policy, you can reach out to a consumer advocacy organization in Colorado Springs, CO.
Keep Up With Routine Maintenance
Most of the time, insurance companies expect homeowners to regularly maintain the plumbing systems in their homes. This means taking steps to prevent the pipes from freezing, keeping the pipes free of clogs, and generally responding to any cracks, splits, and leaks. When homeowners don’t respond to leaks, rust, or deterioration, the insurance company is likely to hold the homeowner responsible.
Make a Claim Even If You Aren’t Sure It’s Covered
However, while the damages from a slow leak may not be covered, when leaky pipes become broken pipes and flood your home, the resulting damages fall under your insurance coverage. This type of coverage may be found in the all-perils section of your policy. This shouldn’t be seen as an excuse to avoid routine maintenance; if there’s evidence that neglect is the cause of the leak and/or break, the insurance provider may deny your claim.
Find Out Which Services Are Covered
When your claim is approved, damages to carpeting, floors, and drywall are generally covered. You may also get coverage for the services provided by water damage cleanup and restoration professionals. In some situations, mold prevention services are also covered. However, the cost to fix broken pipe probably won’t be part of this claim.
Replacing an Old Toilet
Leaking toilet in Colorado Springs, CO.
True, with proper upkeep and maintenance, a toilet may last longer than initially expected, but the day will come when the seals fail, and wear gives way. When this happens and your left with a broken and leaking toilet, you will need to replace the old with a new toilet, and that can be done relatively simply.
- Remove the Old Toilet
An old toilet can fail for many reasons, but whatever the reason, to avoid a significant water and possible sewage disaster, it is wise to remove the toilet and replace it. The steps for removal are straightforward.
- Shut off and remove the water supply line.
- Use water solidifier to dry up any remaining moisture.
- Remove the bolts and toilet from the floor.
- Remove the wax ring.
- Block sewer gases by stuffing a rag into the exposed drain.
- Remove and repair or replace the flange, if needed.
- Installing the New Toilet
While a leaking toilet may not be cause for replacement, a new toilet does provide some security as a thorough fix. Thankfully, the installation of a new toilet is as straightforward a process as the removal.
- Install the new bolts into the flange.
- Press the wax ring onto toilet base.
- Remove the rag from the floor drain and set the toilet in place, over the bolts.
- Secure the toilet by using cap bases, washers and nuts.
- Prep the tank by installing the inner workings and the bolts.
- Secure the tank to the toilet bowl by sliding the bolts through the predesignated holes.
- Attach and tighten all bolts, and turn on the water supply, checking for leaks.
- Install the seat, and you’re finished.
Since not every toilet repair or replacement goes smoothly, it may be wise to have a plumbing specialist in the Colorado Springs, CO, area on standby. These individuals can swap out your toilet in no time.
While there can be numerous reasons for a leaking toilet, age may be a factor. If age is the underlying cause, then replacement is a wise decision and can be performed by you or a professional.
Have You Performed a Water Heater Flush This Year?
Water heater leak in a Colorado Springs, CO home.
Because many home projects compete for your attention, water heater maintenance can be easily forgotten. Routine activities like running the dishwasher, showering or washing laundry depend on a properly functioning unit. Unseen problems may slowly develop into major disruptions in your hot water system.
How Should a Heater Be Flushed?
Performing a flush can help you identify problem areas. Before you start, establish a safety zone in the heater room. Then perform the following steps:
- To avoid electric shock, make sure floors and all other room surfaces are dry, and turn off your main water valve.
- Next, turn off the electric power circuit breaker or turn off the gas, depending on your heater's energy source.
- Wait several hours for the tank water to cool off.
- Attach a garden hose to your water heater drain, place the other end on your driveway, and open the tank drain so water can flow outside.
- Repeat until the unit is empty, then detach the hose, close the drain valve, turn on the main water supply, and safely restore the power.
When Are Flushes Recommended?
Although your heater may be working, these appliances lose effectiveness over time as water sediment builds up, so yearly flushing helps maintain the units in optimal condition. Certain signs may indicate that you need to schedule a water heater flush sooner.
What Are Some Early Warning Signs?
One of the first signs can be strange noises coming from the tank. Water may take longer to heat or leaks may begin to appear under the heater. Water discoloration or unpleasant odors can also signal problems.
What if There Is a Problem?
If you experience problems or feel you cannot safely perform a flush, you may want to call for professional assistance in Colorado Springs, CO. Some issues may need to be identified and resolved by an expert technician. You can receive the help you need and best solutions can also be evaluated.
Preventative yearly maintenance can maximize the life of your water heater and help identify problems while they are small enough to be fixed. That's always a good idea!
Kitchen and Living Room Flooding
Temperature fluctuations causing burst pipes and flooded homes all over southern Colorado.
We have been having some crazy weather fluctuations in southern Colorado lately. This has caused us to see a number of house floods due to frozen and burst pipes.
Our team of highly trained technicians, using specialty drying techniques, have saved four hardwood floors from needing to be demolished. This makes our customers and their insurance adjusters very happy and we could not be happier with the calls our technicians are making in the field.
Trained Water Damage Technicians
When disaster strikes you can trust SERVPRO to get the damage mitigated in a speedy and professional manner. We pride ourselves on having the know how and skills to best serve our entire territory. Our technicians are trained on the job and at the IICRC schoolhouse. Because of our training, we are the trusted brand in water damage cleanup for homeowners and insurance agents.
Do You Need to Worry About Your Bathroom Supply Line?
Toilet supply line burst in this Colorado Springs home
Supply Line Damage and Maintenance
Homeowners are incidental experts on a range of topics they might never have expected to know about, like plumbing. This knowledge usually comes with time and experience. One such mysterious category is supply line damage and maintenance. If you are new to owning property in Colorado Springs, CO, you have come to the right place.
Know Your Warranty
Unless you have noticed a supply line leak, you should plan your maintenance and replacement schedules based on the warranty. There are various types of supply lines, and each has a different policy. The first step is to identify your own. Some common lines are:
Plastic tubes- typically have a warranty of 5-8 years
Steel braided tubes- typically have lifetime warranties
Copper tubes- warranties are determined by factory brand
Keep Track of Time
It is best practice to replace your supply line once a decade, unless specified otherwise by your warranty. That is, if you don't discover any supply line damage. It can't hurt to set up a more frequent inspection schedule to make sure this doesn't occur. This will also help if you can't remember how long it's been; ten years is a long time. If you have just moved into an older home, you should also consider inspecting the supply line to determine how you should move forward.
Know Who to Call
You probably shouldn't attempt to investigate a bathroom leak or replace a supply line on your own, for fear of making it worse. Then you'll have water damage to deal with. Do some research and have a professional home water service on call. Enlisting a company you trust can help with staying on top of your replacement schedule, as well.
Plumbing issues can be difficult to grasp if you are a new homeowner, but with some organization and some help you should be just fine. Before you know it, dealing with supply line damage and bathroom leaks will seem like a breeze. You may be the one giving this advice, next time!
The 4 Stages of Sewer Damage Cleanup
Mitigation experts may recommend increasing ventilation with air movers
Four Stages of Cleaning a Sewer Backup at a Commercial Property
Sewer cleanup procedures are intended to prevent building occupants from coming into contact with sewage or contaminants. It can take several hours for mitigation professionals to eliminate damage and a few days for the affected area to dry. Learn more about the four stages of cleaning a sewer backup at a commercial property in Colorado Springs, CO.
Removing standing water and solid waste is the most critical stage of cleanup. The longer Category Three water is left standing, the higher the risk for severe primary and secondary damage to building materials and contents. It is ideal to extract water within hours of a backup.
2. Tearing Out Damage
Porous building materials and contents can sustain irreparable damage from exposure to waste water. Carpet, drywall, insulation and even ceilings beneath areas that experience a major sewer backup may need to be torn out and replaced. Sewer cleanup experts will tear out ruined materials prior to cleaning and disinfecting the area to prevent recontamination.
3. Cleaning and Disinfection
After standing water and damaged materials have been removed, the area exposed to contaminated water should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. This step is critical for reducing contagion and mold risks.
The affected area must be completely dry before restoration can proceed. Any residual moisture in a structure when rebuilding starts can increase the risk of mold growth. Mitigation experts may recommend increasing ventilation with air movers or fans and running a dehumidifier.
These are the major stages of a sewer cleanup. Depending on the severity of damage caused by a flooded toilet or sewer backup at a building in Colorado Springs, CO, it may take damage mitigation experts several days to progress through all of these stages. Non-professionals may not be able to work as quickly or eliminate every trace of contamination that could continue to support bacteria or mold growth.
Spring season - flood season
Flood causes Water Damage in Colorado Springs.
While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains and severe weather, which can increase your flood risk. During the rainy season, we are at high risk for flash flooding, which can occur rapidly within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall.
As one of the most common hazards in the United States, it's important we prepare for the potential disaster that flooding can cause. Even if you are located in a low risk flood zone remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future.
Spring season - flood season
In order to help prepare you for the possibility of a flood, I offer the following tips:
- Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan
- Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk
- Install check-valves to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your facility
- Seal basement walls and floors with waterproofing compounds to prevent seepage through cracks
- Always keep your gutters and downspouts clean to allow water to flow freely
- Prepare a flood evacuation plan
- Know how to safely shut-off utilities
- Keep insurance and vital records in a water-proof box
- Have a portable radio to listen for important current information
When your facility sustains water damage from flooding, you should call SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs immediately at (719) 266-0881. The longer you wait to call, the greater the chance of mold growth and unrecoverable property. Our team have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of water damage.
What To Expect During the Sewage Cleanup Process
Sewage damage in a Colorado Springs, CO bathroom.
Sewage backup can cause extensive damage to your home in Colorado Springs, CO, along with health and sanitation problems. Because sewage can contain dangerous bacteria, parasites, viruses and other contaminants, proper sewer cleanup is critical. Luckily, emergency restoration professionals have the necessary tools and techniques to provide the solutions you need. Depending on your situation, here’s what you can likely expect during the cleaning process.
Extraction of Water and Sewage
The first step to sewer cleanup is usually to remove all water and sewage from the area. This can be done with pumps or vacuums, depending on the size of the spill. Contaminated water will be classified into one of three categories to determine a plan of action.
- Category 1 is clean water that does not pose a hazard to humans or animals. An example of this water is that from an overflowing sink or broken water line.
- Category 2 is gray water, such as that from a flooded toilet with only urine present or from a malfunctioning washing machine or dishwasher. This category may cause sickness or discomfort.
- Category 3 is black water and contains dangerous sewage. This water can come from sources like an overflowing toilet containing feces or floodwater from rivers, lakes or streams.
Next, the area will be carefully inspected for damage. Flooring, ceilings, drywall and other structural materials can be affected. Personal belongings, including furniture and clothing, are also at risk for contamination from sewer backup.
Dehumidifiers and other professional equipment can be used to remove remaining moisture and lower humidity, preventing further damage.
Disinfection and Sanitation
In order to prevent mold, bacteria and parasites from growing, your home will need to be effectively cleaned and deodorized. This can ensure protection from illnesses and eradicate unpleasant odors.
The final step of the process is to return your home to its original state. This may involve fixing or replacing damaged items, along with repairing structural damage.
Sewer cleanup may seem like a daunting task, but with the help of qualified professionals, you can restore your home quickly and safely.
24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service provided in Colorado Springs
Providing 24 hour water damage restoration service
We are available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
What to Expect From a Mitigation Company
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. Wehave the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage mitigation—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (if applicable)
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business
- When did the flooding or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site).
As a locally owned and operated franchise— we’re a part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which enables us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.
How To Prevent Dishwasher Problems
A dishwasher in your home in Colorado Springs, CO, is a modern convenience easily taken for granted. When you wake up to a leaking dishwasher, however, you may be left wondering if it could have been prevented. Here are some ways to avert potential problems and the actions to take when faced with flood cleanup.
Maintain Your Dishwasher
Relationships take work, even between you and your appliance. Every few months, spend some quality time with this helpful device by cleaning and inspecting it. Remember to unplug it before you begin.
- Look in the basin and take out any chunks of food or debris; clean the drain.
- Unclog nozzles in the sprayer arms using a toothpick for small spaces.
- Run an empty cycle with a cup of vinegar in the top shelf.
- Take out the racks, inspect them for damage and replace as needed.
Control the Damage
Unfortunately, a leaking dishwasher sometimes happens even when properly maintained. As soon as you notice a problem, usually in the form of a puddle, take immediate action to avoid further water damage. If there is an extensive amount of flood cleanup needed and the electricity is live, it may be best to wait for professionals to arrive.
- Unplug the appliance or turn off the circuit breaker to the kitchen area.
- Use towels or other materials to mop up any standing water.
- Contact a water restoration specialist to inspect the area and make a plan for swift mitigation of water damage.
- Call your home insurance agent to inquire about your policy. The claim is more likely to be covered if the machine is relatively new or kept in good condition through regular maintenance.
As a homeowner in Colorado Springs, CO, you rely on kitchen appliances to make your life easier. A leaking dishwasher can oftentimes be prevented through consistent upkeep. In the event of a leak, take immediate action to prevent further damage.