Recent Water Damage Posts

The Whys and Hows of Flushing the Water Heater

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Whys and Hows of Flushing the Water Heater Flushing a water heater comes with plenty benefits

Benefits of Flushing a Water Heater

If you happened to read the owner's manual for your water heater, you probably know that an annual flush is an important part of maintaining your heater. Many homeowners choose to do this themselves, but some like to complete the task on their own. Before reviewing the steps for completing the flush, consider some of the important benefits:

  • Prevent future damages
  • Honor warranty requirements
  • Extend the life of the water tank
  • Reduce the cost of operating the heater
  • Improve efficiency
  • Put a stop to noises, such as banging, crackling, and popping

When the heater is flushed, a lot of sand and scale are drained, so the tank is as likely to rust. As debris is drained from the bottom of the tank, it makes room for more water and improves your family's access to ready hot water.

Risks of Delay

If you don't get the water heater flush, you risk facing serious problems. In some cases, sediment may show up in the water coming from your faucets. After a couple of years without flushing the water heater, you may experience a decrease in water pressure or go through the frustration of a burst pipe. (If this happens, you should immediately contact a water remediation specialist to avoid the serious issues that come with water damage.) In some cases, the tank will simply stop working.

How to Flush the Water Tank

There are several steps to flushing the heater:

  1. Make sure you have a drain handy or a large enough receptable to collect all the water and sediment in the tank.
  2. Turn the heater thermostat knob to the off position.
  3. Turn off gas or electricity to the heater.
  4. Turn off the cold-water supply.
  5. Open the hot water at your sink.
  6. Open the pressure relief valve.
  7. Attach your garden hose to the drainage spout.
  8. Turn on the spigot and let the water drain out.
  9. Turn the cold-water spigot on and let it run until the water coming out of the hose is clear.

Once you're happy with your results, put things back to the way they were originally. Your Washington Township, NJ, home requires a lot of maintenance, but flushing the water heater is one chore that won't take all weekend. Plus, it comes with plenty of great benefits.

3 Ways To Prevent a Dishwasher Leak

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Ways To Prevent a Dishwasher Leak Call SERVPRO of Warren County today!

Dishwashers can be reliable appliances if properly maintained and used as directed. Here are three ways to prevent a leaking dishwasher from causing water damage.

1. Schedule Regular Maintenance

Have an appliance repair specialist inspect a dishwasher at least once a year to ensure that the appliance is functioning properly. Some of the most common causes of leaks are easily preventable. These causes can range from the appliance not being level to a broken door, bad door seal, loose hose connections, bad pump seals, worn gaskets, or a defective tub. Any of these issues may cause an insurer to refuse to cover a claim due to negligence.

2. Use Dishwasher Detergent

Only use detergents formulated for use in dishwashers. These cleaning solutions are designed to remove food residue without creating suds. Dish soap makes too many suds and can cause damage or leaking. This type of soap is also not as effective at cleaning dishes in a dishwasher. It may be necessary to clean the dishwasher to get rid of excess suds before using it again after dish soap has been used.

3. Look for Signs of a Leaking Dishwasher

Inspect the floor in front of the unit after a cycle to see if any water has escaped from the door seal. It is also a good idea to take a closer look twice a year. Remove the kick plate at the base while the appliance is running and check for any signs of dampness with a flashlight. If you see moisture, contact an appliance repair specialist to prevent damage from becoming more severe. Dishwasher leaks may involve contaminated Category Two gray water and require disinfection.

These methods can help to prevent a dishwasher from causing water damage at a home in Hackettstown, NJ. If a leaking dishwasher damages a kitchen, contact a restoration service that specializes in flood cleanup.

Help Commercial Irrigation Systems Keep the Water Outdoors

4/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Help Commercial Irrigation Systems Keep the Water Outdoors When irrigation water makes its way indoors, the irrigation system gets expert attention.

When the weather is hot and dry, it’s refreshing to see a lush green lawn and vegetation. Some businesses spare no expense on professional landscaping and irrigation. They care about their outward appearance. Working behind the scenes is a person whose job it is to keep the irrigation system running properly. That person’s job includes:

  • Monitoring the effectiveness of the system.
  • Adjusting the irrigation system for changing weather and landscape conditions.
  • Avoiding excess water usage or waste.
  • Dealing with system-related problems.

Incoming Water Pressure Is the Source of Many Irrigation Problems

Irrigation systems don’t just happen. They begin with a design. The planned water pressure is an important part of this design. It is the basis for the number of zones, the placement of the zones, and the number of sprinkler heads in each zone. Over time, water pressure may change. Fortunately, equipment is available to increase or decrease incoming water pressure as needed.

Reduced Water Pressure Within a Zone Requires a Shovel

If a zone exhibits low water pressure, it means that there is either a broken or blocked water line. Deductive reasoning can help solve the problem. A very wet spot or small stream could indicate the location of a break. A map of the zone and identification of the working sprinkler heads might help locate a blockage. Tree and shrubbery roots are common causes of disruption in older systems.

Faulty Sprinkler Heads Can Waste Water and Cause Damage

When a sprinkler head works properly, water goes where it does the most good. Malfunctioning heads water sidewalks, parking lots, streets, pedestrians and passing traffic. Sometimes your system even discovers a way to water the indoor areas of the business.

When irrigation water makes its way indoors, the irrigation system gets expert attention. The indoor water damage can benefit from a different type of expert attention. Water and mold damage professionals are available nearby in the Mount Hermon, NJ area. They are ready to address your water damage problem regardless of the severity or cause.

Proper Cleaning and Disinfecting After A Sewer Backup Is Critical

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Proper Cleaning and Disinfecting After A Sewer Backup Is Critical Cleanup must begin immediately to prevent worsening.

Proper Cleaning and Disinfecting After A Sewer Backup Is Critical

There are many things that are unpleasant in the normal course of life in Mount Hermon, NJ. We accept them. We deal with them. We move on. A flood inside your home involving sewer cleanup is not one of those normal things, but there is still hope to deal with it and move on. Sewage flooding can take place for a number of reasons, but a flooded toilet or sewer backup are the two most likely culprits, and they must be taken seriously.

Special Handling

Sewer cleanup differs in a couple of ways from a washing machine leak or broken pipe. The water is what is called “black water” and contains raw sewage, which is an immediate hazard, meaning the following must happen.

  • Cleanup must begin immediately to prevent worsening.
  • You must disinfect and sterilize the area thoroughly.
  • You will need to replace carpets and other flooring and possibly some furnishings.

The three stages of flood water include clean water, where a pipe has broken or rain floods in, for example. The water is not contaminated and drying things out is the first priority. Then there is gray water, which may contain viruses or bacteria and comes from things like the dishwasher or washing machine flooding. The last and most serious is black water, which can contain sewage, microbes or harsh chemicals. This last one is the reason why cleanup should begin without delay.

There really is no choice for doing it yourself in the case of sewer cleanup, as the risk for further contamination is high, the source needs to be determined and stopped, and disinfecting will require some strong chemicals and potential replacement of floors and other structural materials. Call a plumber and a professional emergency restoration service in Mount Hermon, NJ immediately. They can make sure that all traces of residual contamination are eliminated and will be able to work with your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance to ensure that the job is done right.

Can My Carpet Be Saved After Water Damage?

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Can My Carpet Be Saved After Water Damage? Hot water extraction on carpet in Washington Township, NJ

If your home in Washington Township, NJ, has recently gone through water damage that affected your carpets, it doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be replaced. In the case of a pipe break, they could possibly be saved.

Types of Carpet Cleaning Services

When looking for a professional residential restoration company, you should be able to find a list of the types of services they provide. These may include the following treatments:

  • Bonnet cleaning: This method is gentle enough for short-piled carpets.
  • Hot water extraction: All types of carpeting can benefit from this cleaning technique.
  • Dry cleaning: This may be necessary when there are color-fastness issues.
  • Showcase premier cleaning: Known as one of the most thorough cleaning methods, it’s best for highly-soiled flooring.
  • Deluxe precondition and rinse: This will deep-clean and restore your carpets.

A typical carpet cleaning should include extracting the moisture, sanitizing the area and drying it. These procedures should bring most carpets back to life, depending on the condition they're in.

How To Know Whether To Restore or Replace Your Carpets

Carpets are highly absorbent, so when water damage occurs, it’s normal to replace them with new flooring. However, if the cause of damage is from a clean water source such as a pipe break, it’s possible to have it cleaned and restored to its original condition. In some cases, the carpet may be even cleaner than before, which could improve your family’s health.

In the event of gray or black water contamination, your carpets should be replaced since it’s highly likely that the water will contain bacteria that can affect your home and health. The longer that your carpeting is saturated, the more likely it could lead to mold, mildew and unpleasant odors.

If there is a pipe break in your home that has damaged your carpet, you may be able to rescue it through a professional restoration service. Although you may be able to clean some of the affected areas yourself, it’s always a good idea to contact a team of professionals who can ensure that your carpets will be safe from any further damage.

What to Do When Your Basement Has Flooded

12/30/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What to Do When Your Basement Has Flooded Flooded basement in Washington Township, NJ

What Steps Should You Take?

When you own a home in Washington Township, NJ, there's always a danger that your basement can become flooded, whether from a broken pipe, a bad storm or other causes. The aftermath can be overwhelming, especially if it's never happened to you before. When there's a basement flood, it's important to take care of the problem quickly before more damage occurs. 

1. Call the Insurance Company

Hopefully, you have insurance coverage for flooding. Call your agent and find out what you can expect to be reimbursed for. This can be helpful if the flooding is severe, and you need to call on a water remediation company to assess the situation and do the necessary work to get the basement back in order.

2. Protect Yourself

If basement flood has reached above the electrical outlets, there can be danger of electrocution. Even if there's only an inch or so of water, you should wear rubber boots just to be safe.

If the amount of water is manageable, and the electrical service panel is in the basement, set down dry lumber or a use a step stool to get above the water and shut off the basement circuits. Then plug in a wet/dry vacuum into an upstairs outlet and use it to get the excess water out of the basement. For more severe flooding, you may have to rent a heavy-duty pump.

If there are gas appliances in the basement, you should turn off the gas at the meter. The meter can be found outside the house. Turn the stub on the side of the meter with a wrench, making it perpendicular with the pipe.

3. Call a Professional

The best thing to do may be to call on a professional water remediation specialist. They are specially trained to handle the aftermath of a basement flood, and can check for any secondary damage such as mold. While you may want to handle it yourself, these experts can make sure your basement is dry, clean and sanitary, and completely restored to the condition it was in before the flood.

How Long Does the Average Water Damage Cleanup Take

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How Long Does the Average Water Damage Cleanup Take Water remediation in a Washington Township,NJ home

If you have to deal with bursting pipes in your Washington Township, NJ, home, you may want to know how much time the job will take before you start. While your residential water remediation team could give you an idea of the length of your cleanup, it's important to remember that special factors might change the timeline. Some things that could make your project take longer include the following:

  • Wood floors
  • Mold growth
  • Sewage leak

Barring these special circumstances, the average home flood recovery takes between three and five days. Check out this guide to figure out why a water cleanup takes this long.

Remove the Water

The first step in the process is to remove the moisture from your home. Depending on the type of water damage you have sustained, you may need to drain standing floodwater, soak up minor leaks or simply reduce the humidity in the air. To properly get rid of the problem, your experts will have to determine the source: bursting pipes or a leaky roof, for example. This allows them to stop the flow so they will not have to dry out your home more than once.

Repair Damaged Areas

Once the professionals fix the broken pipe and remove the water, they move on to the restoration portion of the cleaning. This step may include scrubbing personal possessions. It could also involve ripping out and replacing damaged building materials. Essentially, repair teams remove the affected elements of your home in preparation to put everything back the way it was before.

Return the House to Normal

The final step in the cleanup is to make sure your home is returned to normal. This could mean staining floors or painting walls. Remediation can help you get your home looking like new relatively quickly. You shouldn't have to live with the effects of a flood for the foreseeable future.

Bursting pipes can affect your home in a wide variety of ways, but these disasters don't have to affect you for long. Most cleanup processes can be completed in less than a week.

When Is a Flooded Basement Covered by Insurance?

8/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage When Is a Flooded Basement Covered by Insurance? There are some things even the most DIY homeowner cannot fix, and sometimes insurance doesn’t cover repairs for a basement flood.

A basement flood is a pretty big catastrophe, but it’s not the end of the world. Insurance companies cover some extent of the damage, depending on the cause and the type of insurance coverage you have. Here’s how to figure out if your basement flood is covered and what to do if it’s not.

Consider the Cause

The following causes are usually included in homeowners insurance coverage:

? Accidental (e.g., fire)
? Sudden (e.g., explosions)
? Damage to the home from something broken inside (e.g., water damage from a ruptured water heater or a burst pipe)
? Weather damage
? Fallen tree damage
? Vandalism
? Theft

All of the above are included under dwelling coverage. Other forms of damage are not covered by most homeowners insurance policies:

? Poor maintenance of appliances and utilities
? Failure to repair faulty appliances and utilities
? An outside sewer, drain or sump pump causing water backup
? Flooding, particularly if it’s from an outside source

It will also not cover the cost of replacing faulty appliances and other sources of damage. To get a better idea about specific damages that will be repaired, contact your insurance provider.

Other Types of Insurance Coverage

Some homeowners get additional personal property coverage. It pays for damages to your belongings by covered risks. Like health insurance, you would end up paying a deductible before coverage begins, and the deductible amount depends on the coverage you want.

Another common add-on policy is flood insurance, since traditional insurance policies don’t cover this form of disaster. The federal government provides this type of coverage. While most people understand that high-risk areas need flood insurance, it’s easy to assume that low and moderate-risk areas might never experience a basement flood or a flooded house. Similarly, there is an add-on for water backup coverage. It might pay for the cost of replacing furniture or removing water.

There are some things even the most DIY homeowner cannot fix, and sometimes insurance doesn’t cover repairs for a basement flood. A professional cleanup and restoration service in Phillipsburg, NJ, can resolve any remaining issues quickly and efficiently. For more information, visit

3 Parts To Check When a Commercial Toilet Keeps Running

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Your Washington Township, NJ, commercial building’s toilets need to run efficiently for the comfort of your employees and customers. However, when a plumbing issue like a toilet overflow happens, it can be unpleasant for everyone. This problem may be caused by a variety of issues, but some can be fixed without the assistance of a plumber. If a toilet keeps running, there are several parts you can check before you call in a flood damage and cleanup service to ensure your bathrooms are properly dried and deodorized after an overflow.

1. The Gasket

Once you turn off the water, the first step to take is to open the winter flushometer. This is the part that causes a commercial toilet to flush efficiently. Use a screwdriver and a wrench to remove this unit’s lid. The gasket is usually located directly under the lid. If it contains a lot of debris or buildup, carefully remove and clean the gasket thoroughly.

2. The Weep Hole

A commercial toilet’s weep hole controls its suction, so when it gets clogged, this may affect water flow and cause a continuous flush. When you remove the toilet’s gasket, take a close look at this small hole. Clean it carefully with a slim tool and ensure all the sediment and other debris is cleared out. This may stop a toilet from flushing constantly and prevent a future toilet flood.

3. The Flange Cover

If this part is loose or corroded, it may be affecting the unit’s proper operation and contribute to a toilet overflow. Note how much water you find under the cover. If there is enough to run over when you remove it, there may be a leak in the gasket or the cover might be faulty, and one or both could need replacing.

When your Washington Township, NJ, commercial building experiences a toilet overflow, it can be embarrassing and unpleasant. However, you may be able to repair it by checking and cleaning a few important parts inside the unit to prevent future floods.