Recent Water Damage Posts
Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Home
It pays to take your time and do your research when making big purchases.
Buying a home is no small purchase. In fact, most people spend 20 years paying off their home. That’s why we want you to be well-informed as you make a decision of a lifetime.
Beware of Flood Zones
The first item you should focus on is location. Is the home in a flood zone? Are there any bodies of water nearby that could threaten your home? Particularly, if you’re moving to a new area, it’s even more important to do your own research on the area to ensure you’re aware of any potential problems.
Look for Water-Related Problems
Next, you should be aware of the ground the home sits on. Will water go toward the house or away? The answer should always be away. Be particularly cautious if the home is located at the bottom of a hill. The last thing you want is for your investment to become a money pit as soon as it starts raining. Landscaping can a quick fix in some cases, but not always.
Get a Second Opinion from an Expert
We highly recommend hiring a home inspector to give you closure that the home is structurally sound and won’t give you problems. The most expensive thing to renovate in a home is everything behind the walls (bathrooms and kitchens are the worst cost-wise). So even if the floors have been redone and the cabinets have been replaced, don’t be too quick in making a decision.
What You Need to Know About Sewer Backup Coverage
Be your own advocate and ask your agent about your sewer backup coverage today.
Insurance can be a tricky concept to understand. There’s just so much to know that it’s no surprise that we miss details here and there. One detail we want you to be aware of is your policy regarding sewer backup. Every insurance policy is different in this matter, and we strongly recommend consulting with your agent to ensure you are covered.
It's Becoming More Common
Sewer backup happens all too often when it’s least expected. In fact, sewer backups are increasing at an annual rate of 3%. That’s an alarming percentage because it’s happening in homes that haven’t encountered it for 30 plus years, and it’s also happening in homes that are fairly new. The fact is no discrimination is involved when life decides to throw something unexpected your way.
Protect Your Home
One way you can protect your home is to add a sewer backup endorsement to your policy. It’ll only cost you $40 to $250 annually depending on your home and location, and it covers thousands of dollars more than the included coverage. Please note this is different from water backup coverage.
It is Your Responsibility
According to Insurance Information Institute, “Most homeowners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral—that is, the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main (which is usually located in the street) and the building.”
Causes of Increased Sewer Backups:
- Aging sewer lines
- Combined pipelines
- Tree roots
- Sanitary main blockages
Let's Talk Cost
A typical sewer backup can cost anywhere from $500 to over $5,000 in repairs and cleaning. It is heavily dependent on whether or not the sewer backup occurs in a finished basement or not.
Start the Conversation
We hope this information encourages you to spark up a conversation with your agent because it’s easily overlooked. Even one of our employees found out she didn’t have coverage when she joined our team, but now she’s all set with the additional coverage.
Additional Sources: https://budgeting.thenest.com/
Ultrasonic Cleaner to the Rescue
The Ultrasonic Cleaner is like no other piece of equipment.
Our brand-new toy—I mean equipment—keeps impressing us even after the holidays. The Ultrasonic Cleaner is a unique machine that is used to restore fire and water damaged items.
With the help of sound waves, the Ultrasonic Cleaner is able to create millions of tiny vapor bubbles that instantaneously implode. This collection of energy is then able to produce the tremendous energy needed for the most efficient cleaning process. The time-saving capabilities have been jaw-dropping.
Without the owner’s manual, we’d probably bypass the science behind the entire process altogether and settle for the simpler explanation: it’s magic.
If you want to truly be impressed, take a peek at all of the items this machine can restore:
- Electronics – televisions, VCR, DVD, telephones
- Antiques – silver, crystal, metals, finished wood, ceramics
- Specialty – delicate or intricate objects
- Kitchen Appliances – coffee machines, toasters, food processors
- Computer – monitors, keyboards, CPU’s, printers
When you find yourself in a disaster, don’t be quick to throw away your belongings. Odds are, we can bring them back to their previous state. Give us a call at (319) 268-1521.
Drying water out behind items with the Injectidry System.
Drying out behind wet cabinets after a rainstorm.
Time is of the essence when drying out the areas you can’t see or easily get to after a heavy rain storm floods a basement in Waterloo, Iowa. When water gets and sits behind cabinets it creates the perfect conditions for fungi to grow as well as deterioration of wood materials!
The Injectidry system is the way to disperse and circulate air BEHIND things to dry it out. It utilizes a regular air mover by attaching the large “lego look-alike” piece to the front and adding as many hoses as necessary to spread the air around. The hoses focus the air to specific cavities that are wet. SERVPRO of Black Hawk County drilled holes in the kickplate area of the cabinets to permit the hoses to be positioned for directional air distribution.
The finished basement was restored by the use of the Injectidry system instead of demolished due to hidden water.
New Skills to Better Serve YOU
Here are some of the many certificates received by our versatile technicians.
We are proud to share that some of our technicians have undergone training recently and are now certified in new areas!
Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT)
Jake Barkow, Devon Burgess, and Nicole Webb received certificates as Water Damage Restoration Technicians (WRT). The training was a 3-day process where they took the time to learn how to handle different losses.
For instance, in a water loss, they first have to determine what category the water belongs to. The different categories indicate the level of contamination the water has been exposed to.
- Category 1 – Water comes from a clean source and does not pose a substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure.
- Category 2 – Water contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans.
- Category 3 – Water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents.
Crazy right? Who would’ve thought there were different categories for water.
Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT)
Brett Armfield, Lana Bruhn, Autumn Kelly, and Nicole Webb all received a certificate as a Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT). Extra snaps and claps go to Nicole for doing both certifications back-to-back!
Once a technician receives additional training, they are now more versatile and able to take on more responsibilities and leadership roles. For example, our current Project Managers started out as technicians and kept receiving training. With time and mentoring, they both landed leadership roles at SERVPRO in Black Hawk County.
Things to do Before You Leave for Vacation
Rest easy soaking up the sun on a beach and know your house is a little safer while you're away.
Let’s be honest, a lot of terrible things can happen to your home, and you have 100% no control over it. A pipe bursts. A heavy rain comes. Whatever it may be, you are not in control.
There is also a small list of things you DO have control over, and you should take advantage of it before leaving for vacation this year. Follow these steps and rest easy while soaking up the sun on a beach.
1. Turn off the main water supply.
Now, why would you want to do that? Well, if we’re thinking of the worst-case scenario, you’ll probably have a leaking supply line the minute you step out the door for your week-long vacation. Greaaaat. Just what you wanted. But wait. If you shut off the water supply, the amount of water leaking is significantly lower. Best of all, it only takes a few minutes to do.
2. Check the sump pump.
Another scary thought is sump pump failure. That’s why you should check it before departing. Try dumping a bucket of water in and wait. Your sump pump should turn on and everything should be hunky dory. But if it doesn’t turn on, that’s a red flag.
3. Unplug Electronics.
Just do yourself a favor and unplug everything that isn’t plugged into a surge protector—as long as it’s switched off. Even then, unplug the surge protector if you want to be extra careful with unexpected power surges. You’ll also save money by doing this, so that’s neat.
4. Don’t turn your air off completely.
As tempting as it may be to save some money by turning off your air while away, try to resist. The reason you want to keep your air on is that your home needs air circulation; otherwise, heat can build up and effect wood floors and other surfaces alike. Setting your thermostat to 85 degrees will keep your electronics cool and will save you money too. You’re basically preventing your house from becoming a giant oven.
5. Check your gutters.
Downspouts should release water at least 10 ft. away from your house. If this is not the case for you, maybe an extension is in order.
6. Have a trusted friend check on your house, even if you don’t have any pets.
Nothing beats having a human being keep an eye on your home while away. Feel free to give specific instructions like, “Go check our basement to make sure there is no water in the furnace room.” They’ll care as much as you care, so be clear as to what you’re concerned about.
Keeping your home safe is our top priority, so please, take precautions before leaving for vacay and have a wonderful time.
Water Extraction versus Evaporation
Weighted extraction "Ride On"
There are two ways that excess water can be removed from your property after a water damage loss, Extraction and Evaporation. A much larger volume of water can be removed by extraction in a much shorter period of time.
It is a pretty simply process to test, pour a few ounces of water on the counter top in two different areas. Set up a fan blowing across one area to utilize air movement to speed up evaporation. Use a sponge or dry cloth on the other area. Needless to say, this will prove the point. The same is true during a water damage loss to your home or business.
At SERVPRO of Black Hawk County we utilize both methods to get your property dried up as quickly as possible.
For extraction, we use several pieces of equipment including hard floor wands and carpet extraction machines, including this "ride on" weighted model pictured. Strong suction and downward pressure allows us to get water out of carpet and pad. This process is the most effective on free or surface water.
Once the water has been soaked into other materials such as, hardwood floors, drywall or wood, extraction becomes less effective and we concentrate on evaporation.
Evaporation uses a combination of air movement, dehumidification and sometimes heat to remove water that is bound or soaked into hard to dry materials.
Whether you have excessive surface water immediately after a storm or other water event or you have water that has become bound in building materials, SERVPRO of Black Hawk County has the tools and knowledge to make it "Like it never even happened."
Content and picture provided by SERVPRO of Dubuque, 2017.
Freeze Drying can save your valuable documents and important papers when they have been damaged by water!
SERVPRO'S Large Scale Vacuum Freeze Drying Document Chamber.
SERVPRO Strong! That’s what I call our relationship with the rest of the SERVPRO franchises! We are unique in the fact that we all work together, sharing resources to better serve you!
One resource is large scale and portable document drying chambers. SERVPRO of Dubuque, Iowa offers a document restoration service. It’s true other restoration companies have this service, so what is the difference?
For starters, they have one of the only HIPAA certified document response crews in the area. If an event causes documents to get wet, response time is critical to stabilize the documents before they begin to degrade. Once the documents are frozen to stabilize them, we have plenty of time to discuss restoration options with the client.
The most effective method of restoration is vacuum freeze drying. The documents are brought under extreme vacuum to very low temperatures and sublimation will remove the moisture directly into a gas form.
SERVPRO of Dubuque has a large freeze drying chamber located in the Midwest, as well as access to one of the only mobile drying chambers in the country. The mobile unit can be delivered to a client’s building and the restoration can take place there. They are one of the only restoration companies that can accommodate this request.
Here is a list of items that can be salvaged using vacuum freeze drying:
- Books and manuscripts: coated papers, maps, parchment, pulp paper, drafting linens, text books, reference books, manuals
- Business/Personal records and documents: legal/bank/company files, patient and medical records, x-rays, engineering and architectural plans and drawings, catalogues, reference materials, certificates, contracts, passports, transcripts, tax records
- Historical and collectible items: archival documents, rare documents, maps, stamp collections, money collections
- Keepsakes: photographs, leather and hide items, newspaper articles, recipe books, cards, scrapbooks, baby books, wedding albums, yearbooks, baskets, awards & achievements
- Textiles: embroidery and needlework, silks, tapestries, flags
- Artwork: acrylic paintings, linen drawings, water colors.
SERVPRO of Black Hawk County utilizes these services. From a single file cabinet filled with personal financial documents to a warehouse full of documents, it can all be handled.
When you have SERVPRO of Black Hawk County cleaning and restoring your home or business, you will have a multitude of resources available to you! That’s the SERVPRO strong way!
Content provided by SERVPRO of Dubuque, 2017.
Its The Water You Don't See That Causes The Most Damage! SERVPRO of Black Hawk County is available 24/7 for your water damage issues.
Standing water in the kitchen and flowing into the living area after a broken pipe flooded this home.
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Black Hawk County provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Faster To Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Black Hawk County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – SERVPRO OF Black Hawk County
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
About SERVPRO of Black Hawk County
SERVPRO of Black Hawk County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.