Recent Water Damage Posts
Pipe Break Damage
When the weather gets too cold in the winter up here in the northeast pipes tend to freeze up. Which can be an irritable situation that no one likes to deal with. Temperatures getting into the low twenties and teens can cause pipes to freeze up and halt utilities from traveling through the pipeline to where they need to go, especially water pipes. Frozen pipes can be bad, but the thawing of the pipe can be the most horrific part of cold weather affecting pipes. Heat and cold will cause the expanding and contracting which will then lead to a rupture in a pipe. Depending on how big the pipe is and what type of utility passing through it, you may have a major mess on your hands (and feet). If you experience anything similar to this you should call SERVPRO. We have the know-how, manpower, and equipment to get the job done right. We want our customer's water damage to be "Like it never even happened.”®
Understanding The Three Categories of Water
When dealing with water damage in your home or place of business, there are different types or classifications of water that we can use. Using this classification system, we can determine what health risks are associated with the water, and properly prepare to bring with us all necessary safety equipment and uniforms. In this blog article, we are going to focus on three types: Clean, Gray, and Blackwater.
Clean Water: This is water that does not contain contaminants. It includes broken water lines, malfunctioning appliances, toilets holding tanks, snowmelt, and rainwater. Over time, however, clean water can progress and become gray water within 48 hours, if left untreated.
Gray Water: Gray water does contain a slight chemical or biological contaminants, and may pose a health risk. Gray water can discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, showers, aquariums, and waterbeds, or come from a clean water source that leaked through a ceiling. It can also be clean water that was left untreated (and became gray water). Gray water can also progress to the next stage (Black Water) if left untreated within 48 hours.
Black Water: This water is a health risk as it is highly contaminated. Blackwater is presumed to contain multiple potentially harmful contaminants including fungi, bacteria, chemicals, viruses, and more. Black Water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Blackwater should always be treated by a trained and certified professional.
For any type of water damage, it is always best to treat it quickly so as to avoid further contamination and the risk of mold growth. There can be many dangers associated with attempting to clean water damage on your own. If ever you spot any type of water in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Southern Monroe County. We are faster to any size disaster and will have our highly trained team over to your house or place of business within the hour! Remember, it's best to not wade into any unknown water source without the proper protection. Give us a call 24/7 at (570) 424-2290
SERVPRO of Southern Monroe County is an IICRC-Certified Firm.
Southern Monroe County Residents: We Specialize in the Flooded Basement Restoration!
A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Storm sewer backup
- Sanitary sewer backup
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
- And many more
Have Questions about Basement Flooding?
Call Today - 570-424-2290
If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Southern Monroe County and letting our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.
We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
- We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
- We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
- We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
- Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
- We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
- Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment
Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 570-424-2290
What to Do When Your Basement Is Flooded
What to Do When Your Basement is Flooded
A flooded basement is no small hazard. Even a single inch of a flooded basement in a 1,000 square foot home can cause $10,000 worth of damage. Six inches of water can easily double that cost.
If you come down the stairs to find water in your basement, here’s what you should do.
The Dangers of a Flooded Basement
Be careful before you charge into a wet basement. There are a few hazards you should check for:
- Electrical Shock: Loose wires can conduct electricity through the water. Before going into the water, turn off your home’s breaker switches.
- Gas Leaks: Issues with your basement can lead to gas leaks. If you smell gas at all, then leave the home and contact your gas utility company.
- Pollutants: If your flood is a sewer leak, then be careful before entering the water. Sewer water can contain bacteria that transmit the disease. Wear protective items like suits, gloves, safety glasses, and face masks. And be ready to call in the professionals
If the Flooding is Caused by Plumbing
When the flood in your basement is caused by plumbing, it falls into two different types. Leaks will fill your basement with cleaner, mostly clear water. If you see this, then try to get to the water main to turn it off.
The other kind of plumbing flood is when the sewer backs up into your basement. One smell and you’ll know if it’s from a sewer. If this is the case, then you don’t want to use anything that uses the drain. Don’t flush the toilet, the washing machine, the dishwasher, or anything else. It will only add to the sewage backing up in your basement.
If you do have sewage backing up into your basement, then be sure to call your local utility company as soon as possible to report it.
If the Leak Is from Outside of Your House
Runoff, rain, snow, or heavy weather can easily lead to flooding in a basement if it's not waterproofed correctly. If this is the case, then try to find the source of the leak as soon as possible. This could be something simple, like a leaking vent window, or something complicated like a leak through the foundation.
If you can’t easily find the leak, then call in the professionals.
Call Your Insurance Company
Different insurance companies handle flooding claims differently. When you call to file a claim, your insurance company will go over any clean-up procedures, specific contractors to use, and other information.
If your home or business needs water restoration services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Southern Monroe County at (570)-424-2290
Subtle Signs of Water Damage
Sometimes water damage and its source are easy to identify. For example, when a pipe bursts or a major storm causes flooding. Sometimes the problem can be more subtle, which can lead to more damage over the long term if you don’t recognize a problem before it becomes a potential disaster.
If you’re concerned there may be a water problem in your home or business, here are five common, but not-so-obvious signs to look out for.
If you see pale yellow or brown stains on your ceilings, wall, or floors, that may indicate the presence of a slow, but steady leak.
Many times, water stains will form directly under the water source. However, sometimes water will run along wire, pipes, or other materials, and then the drip can cause stains far from the source. Make sure you figure out the cause of the water damage you see.
Mold grows where there is sufficient wetness for it to thrive, so if you have a mold problem, there’s a water problem.
Sometimes materials in your home will become mold-infested if they’ve become wet and have never been able to dry sufficiently. This can happen to fabric, wood, insulation, and perhaps even your floors, ceilings, or walls.
A musty smell can be one of the first signs of a water problem, even if you can’t yet see any leaks.
Be on the lookout (or smellout) for any sudden changes in odor. Take note if it gets worse after a rainstorm or while you’re taking a shower or running the dishwasher.
Weak Wall, Floors, or Ceilings
Water will weaken your building materials. You might notice that your walls are becoming softer or “spongy,” your floors might be bowing, there may be a crack in your ceiling or a bubble in your paint or wallpaper.
A sudden large leak might cause a major, obvious problem, but if the leak is slow these issues might come on gradually over weeks or months. The sooner you notice, the sooner you can address the root cause.
Higher Utility Bills
If you have a sudden and unexpected surge in your utility bill, that might be an indication of a water problem.
While slight fluctuations month to month are normal, be on the lookout for a sudden rise in the water bill, especially if there’s no corresponding increase in your sewer rates. If there isn’t a reason you can think of why your water bill might be high this month, it may be that there’s a water damage issue.
Here at SERVPRO of Southern Monroe County, we know just how disastrous water damage can be to a home or business. That’s why we’re passionate about helping the people in this community do what they can to prevent water damage before it becomes a major issue.
However, if you have water damage SERVPRO can help you identify and address the source of the problem and ensure that it won’t turn into an expensive catastrophe for your home or business
Tips to Reduce Chance of Water Damages
Water damage can be devastatingly stressful to a homeowner. You can feel helpless and overwhelmed. Although calling a professional is the first step we always recommend, there are some things you can do to help reduce the damage while you wait for professionals to arrive.
- Shut off the water source if possible
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the home or building
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping or blotting with towels
- Remove lamps and other tabletop items and wipe wood furniture with a towel
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying
- Place foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet flooring
- Remove any paintings, electronics, or anything else that is sensitive to moisture and put them in a dry area of the house
Taking the above steps can really help decrease the amount of damage to your home after a water leak. There are also a few practices that you should avoid after water damage because they can cause more damage or harm to yourself or your family.
- Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist, such as when electric outlets, switches, or circuit breakers are exposed to water
- Leave books, newspapers, or other colored items on wet carpet or furniture
- Leave wet oriental rugs or other colored rugs on carpeting
- Use a household vacuum cleaner to remove the water because of the risk of electric shock
- Use TV’s or other electrical appliances while standing on a wet floor
- Turn on a ceiling fan in rooms where the ceiling is wet
- Enter a room where the ceiling is wet and sagging
- Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily throughout the house
- Use personal fans if the water in the home is contaminated
The most important “do” is to call a professional, trained water mitigation specialist SERVPRO Restoration
How to protect your home from water damage
Water damage is one of the most common and costliest disasters your home can experience, costing billions of dollars annually. Safeguard your most important asset against water damage with the right insurance coverage and the following practical advice.
Water damage and insurance
Different types of water damage are insured by different types of policies.
Homeowners' and renters' insurance provides coverage for burst pipes, wind-driven rain, and damage resulting from ice dams on your roof. Generally speaking, water that comes from the top down—such as rainfall and burst sprinklers—is covered by a standard homeowner's policy.
Some policies cover sewer and drain backups, but many do not; however, you can purchase a sewer backup rider for your homeowners' or renters' coverage.
Typically, water that comes from the bottom up—such as an overflowing river—is covered by a separate flood insurance policy, which can be purchased from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and from some private insurers. If you live in a flood-prone area, learn more about appropriate coverage.
Properly maintaining a home is one of the best ways to prevent water damage from water disasters.
Prevent basement water seepage
- Reseal your basement. Water in the basement is often caused by cracks in building foundations or floor slabs. If you notice water seepage after heavy rain when you've never had a problem, it may mean that your once-waterproof cement floors and basement walls have deteriorated. Painting vulnerable areas with water sealant can prevent seepage.
- Make sure water drains away from the building. Seepage is exacerbated by soil that has settled in a way to make water flow toward the building. After a storm, and especially if the ground is already saturated, rainwater that flows towards the building goes down the outside of the foundation wall potentially through any cracks.
- Install a backwater valve. Though less common than other causes of basement water, sewer backups are messy. Learn more about your sewer responsibilities and install and maintain a backwater valve, which allows sewage to go out, but not come back in.
Maintain and understand your indoor plumbing systems
- Inspect appliance hoses and faucets. Make it a practice every year to check hoses leading to water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerator ice makers. You may also want to invest in a water leak monitoring and shut-off system that can alert you to any leakage issues. Immediately replace any hoses that have cracks or leaks, and replace them all every five to seven years.
- Inspect showers and tubs. Check the seal and caulking around showers and tubs to make sure they are watertight and reseal if necessary.
- When away on vacation, shut off the water supply to the washing machine and never leave the house while the washer or dishwasher is running.
- Know the location of the main water shut-off valve in your home. A damaged hose or a burst pipe can send water racing into your home. Being able to locate and shut off the main water supply quickly will save stress, money, and time.
- Install an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system. This will protect against the increased pressure caused by freezing pipes and can help prevent your pipes from bursting.
- Check plumbing and heating pipes. Look closely for cracks and leaks and have any necessary repairs made immediately.
Repair and protect your home's exterior
- Caulk and seal windows to guard against water seepage.
- Inspect your roof for missing, damaged, and aging shingles and make necessary repairs.
- Check your downspouts. Remove debris that may have accumulated in downspouts and rain gutters. Position downspouts so that they direct water away from the house.
- Check sprinklers and irrigation systems to be sure they are not creating water damage to the walls and foundations of the house. Turn off and drain outside faucets to protect against frozen pipes.
- Install gutter guards to prevent gutter clogs and keep water flowing away from the house instead of accumulating on the roof.
Protect your possessions
- Store off-season and other bulk belongings in waterproof bins, especially in areas where there are plumbing pipes or that are prone to dampness, such as basements and attics.
- Never store valuables or memorabilia where there is a risk of destruction from water. Water and dampness also bring with it the threat of mold damage.
- Keep belongings stored on shelving off the floor in basements. In case of water seepage or sewer backup, they're less likely to get damaged.
- Keep an up-to-date home inventory. Having a comprehensive list of your possessions will save time, trouble, and stress in case of loss from water damage.
Why You Should Hire a Professional to Find Your Leaks
Whenever you have a problem with your home, the first impulse is usually to tackle the problem yourself. Sometimes this can be the right choice, and the problem’s easy enough to solve on your own. Other times it’s much safer and smarter to call in the pros from the beginning.
Tracking down tricky leaks is one of those times. Sure, some leaks are easy to track down, but water has a way of traveling odd paths. So once finding a leak gets tough, then it’s time to call in some help. And here’s why:
They Know Where to Look
Water can travel strange paths before it finally comes out into your home, and you might be surprised how far it can come. That discolored spot on your basement ceiling could actually be caused by a leak in your roof or your wall on the opposite side of the house.
Professionals have tracked down hundreds, even thousands of leaks over the years. That experience gives them a wide variety of usual suspects to check, and a good number of unusual ones, too.
They Know What to Look For
That slight, turquoise line along your copper pipe? That’s where water has run along the outside and caused the copper to oxidize. It’s a sure sign that a leak is sending water traveling on the wrong side of the pipes.
Pros know these and dozens of other signs. What looks like a bit of dirt to you might indicate a serious leak in your roof, foundation, or wall. Or it might just be some dirt. A professional will be able to know the difference for certain.
They’ve Got the Right Equipment
Most of us can only use our eyes or sense of touch to lead us to water, but not the professionals. They have a wide variety of specialized equipment that can sense moisture and humidity through walls or probe underground for water deposits using ground-penetrating radar.
This equipment can be expensive to buy and tricky to use. They have years of experience using the equipment, and the know-how to put it to good use.
They Know How to Fix It
Once a professional has found the leak, they’ll know the best way to fix the leak, and will usually be able to take care of the work themselves. The truth is, any professional who comes to repair the leak will have to track it down anyway, even if you have a good idea where the leak is.
By using a professional in the first place, you remove that step from the process, saving you money and getting the leak repaired sooner.
Top 5 Ways to Protect Pipes From Freezing
Temperatures around East Stroudsburg are beginning to dip below freezing. With freezing temperatures comes the risk of frozen pipes.
Here are the Top 5 ways to protect your pipes from freezing this winter:
1) Pools and Sprinklers Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
2) Outdoor Valves Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
3) Home Insulation Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
4) Pipe Insulation Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
5) Pipe Relocation Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
Source: Red Cross
Top 5 Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes
With freezing temperatures creeping their way into Monroe County, now is the time to consider the risk of frozen pipes. Taking steps to prevent pipes from freezing is a lot easier than dealing with the mess after your pipes freeze.
Here are the Top 5 ways to prevent pipes from freezing:
1) Garages Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
2) Kitchens and Bathrooms Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
3) Faucet Drip When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
4) Thermostat Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
5) Extended Leave If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Source: Red Cross
5 Steps to Thaw Frozen Pipes
If you follow the proper steps to protect your pipes from freezing, then frozen pipes shouldn't be an issue. But drastic weather always has the potential to be an issue.
If you find yourself with a partially or completely frozen pipe, here are the five steps you should take:
Step 1) If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
Step 2) Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
Step 3) Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
Step 4) Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
Step 5) Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
STEP 6: SERVPRO
If you experience any water leaks or other damage from frozen pipes, call SERVPRO at 570-424-2290. We specialize in cleanup and restoration after any sort of leak, especially frozen pipes. We are available 24/7 and we are always HERE TO HELP!
Ice Dam First-Aid
A major cause of water damage in the winter is ice damming. If you suspect you may have an ice dam on your roof, there are steps you can take to help minimize the damage.
- Remove snow from the roof. This eliminates one of the ingredients necessary for the formation of an ice dam.
- A "roof rake" and push broom can be used to remove snow, but may damage the roofing materials.
- In an emergency situation where water is flowing into the house structure, making channels through the ice dam allows the water behind the dam to drain off the roof.
The are all temporary solutions. If you are having an issue with ice damming, a long-term solution needs to be sought.
How to Prevent Sewage Back Up After A Flood
Tips to prevent sewage back up into your home after a flood:
• Plug all drains in the basement and drastically reduce water use in your home.
• Do not use the system if the soil is saturated and flooded. Conserve water as much as possible.
• Septic systems with pump chambers can be clogged by silt during times of flooding, take measures to prevent any silt from entering the system.
• Do not open the septic tank for pumping while the soil is saturated, this can lead to silt entering the drain field.
• Avoid any work on or around the disposal field while the soil is still wet or flooded to prevent ruining the soil conductivity.
• If the septic system backs up into the house check the tank for outlet blockage, as flooding will cause fats and grease in the tank to float and potentially clog the outlet tee.
• Ensure any electrical or mechanical devices in the system avoid contact with the flooded system until it is dry and clean.
• Mud and sediment have a tendency to clog filters and aerobic plants during a flooding event, these systems will need to be washed and racked to prevent clogging.
Source: PA DEP
SERVPRO can come in to clean flood water, or a sewage back up. No matter how much or what kind of water has flooded your home, SERVPRO can clean it up, disinfect, and make it "Like it never even happened."
What To Do After Flood Waters Recede
What To Do After Flood Waters Recede
• Do not drink well water until it is tested. Contact your local health department.
• Do not use the sewage system until water in the soil absorption field is lower than the water level around the house.
• Have your septic tank professionally inspected and serviced if you suspect damage. Signs of damage include settling or an inability to accept water. Most septic tanks are not damaged by flooding since they are below ground and completely covered. However, septic tanks and pump chambers can fill with silt and debris, and must be professionally cleaned. If the soil absorption field is clogged with silt, a new system may have to be installed.
• Only trained specialists should clean or repair septic tanks because tanks may contain dangerous gases. Check your local phone book for a list of septic system contractors who work in your area.
• If sewage has backed up into the basement, clean the area and disinfect the floor. Use a chlorine solution of a half cup of chlorine bleach to each gallon of water to disinfect the area thoroughly.
• Have the septic system pumped by a qualified contractor as soon as possible after the flood. Be sure that both the tank and lift station are pumped. This will remove silt and debris that may have washed into the system. Remember: The tank should not be pumped during flooded or saturated drain field conditions. At best, pumping the tank is only a temporary solution. Under worst conditions, pumping it out could cause the tank to try to float out of the ground and may damage the inlet and outlet pipes.
• Do not compact the soil over the soil absorption field by driving or operating equipment in the area. Saturated soil is especially susceptible to compaction, which can reduce the soil absorption field’s ability to treat wastewater and lead to system failure.
• Examine all electrical connections for damage before restoring electricity.
• Be sure the septic tank’s manhole cover is secure and that inspection ports have not been blocked or damaged.
• Check the vegetation over your septic tank and soil absorption field. Repair erosion damage and sod or reseed areas as necessary to provide turf grass cover.
Source: PA DEP
Call SERVPRO immediately after any flooding or sewage back up in your home. SERVPRO will come in, clean it up, disinfect, and make it "Like it never even happened." The sooner you call, the faster the process can begin.
What Causes Ice Dams - Part I
What is an ice dam?
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.What causes ice dams?
There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover and outside temperatures that leads to ice dam formation. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof's outside surface must be above 32 degrees F while lower surfaces are below 32. For a portion of the roof to be below 32, outside temperatures must also be below 32. When we say temperatures above or below 32, we are talking about average temperature over sustained periods of time.
The snow on a roof surface that is above 32 will melt. As water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32 and freezes. Voila! - an ice dam.
The dam grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it, but it will limit itself to the portions of the roof that are on the average below 32. So the water above backs up behind the ice dam and remains a liquid. This water finds cracks and openings in the exterior roof covering and flows into the attic space. From the attic it could flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the ceiling finish.
Source: UMN Extension
What Causes Ice Dams - Part II
Nonuniform roof surface temperatures lead to ice dams.
What causes different roof surface temperatures?
Since most ice dams form at the edge of the roof, there is obviously a heat source warming the roof elsewhere. This heat is primarily coming from the house. In rare instances solar heat gain may cause these temperature differences.
Heat from the house
Heat from the house travels to the roof surface in three ways: conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction is heat energy traveling through a solid. A good example of this is the heating of a cast iron frying pan. The heat moves from the bottom of the pan to the handle by conduction.
If you put your hand above the frying pan, heat will reach it by the other two methods. The air right above the frying pan is heated and rises. The rising air carries heat/energy to your hand. This is heat transfer by convection. In addition, heat is transferred from the hot pan to your hand by electromagnetic waves and this is called radiation. Another example of radiation is to stand outside on a bright sunny day and feel the heat from the sun. This heat is transferred from the sun to you by radiation.
In a house, heat moves through the ceiling and insulation by conduction through the slanted portion of the ceiling. In many homes, there is little space in regions like this for insulation, so it is important to use insulations with high R-value per inch to reduce heat loss by conduction.
The top surface of the insulation is warmer than the other surroundings in the attic. Therefore, the air just above the insulation is heated and rises, carrying heat by convection to the roof. The higher temperatures in the insulation's top surface compared to the roof sheathing transfers heat outward by radiation. These two modes of heat transfer can be reduced by adding insulation. This will make the top surface temperature of the insulation closer to surrounding attic temperatures directly affecting convection and radiation from this surface.
Heat loss by air leakage
There is another type of convection that transfers heat to the attic space and warms the roof. Air beginning inside the house and going through the penetration in the ceiling, from the light to the attic space, is heat loss by air leakage. In many homes this is the major mode of heat transfer that leads to the formation of ice dams.
Exhaust systems like those in the kitchen or bathroom that terminate just above the roof may also contribute to snow melting. These exhaust systems may have to be moved or extended in areas of high snow fall.
Other sources of heat in the attic space include chimneys. Frequent use of wood stoves and fireplaces allow heat to be transferred from the chimney into the attic space. Inadequately insulated or leaky duct work in the attic space will also be a source of heat. The same can be said about knee wall spaces.
So it is primarily heat flowing from the house that is causing the nonuniform temperatures of the roof surface leading to ice dams.
Source: UMN Extension
Preventing and Dealing with Ice Dams
Preventing and dealing with ice dams
Ice dams can be prevented by controlling the heat loss from the home.
- Remove snow from the roof. This eliminates one of the ingredients necessary for the formation of an ice dam. A "roof rake" and push broom can be used to remove snow, but may damage the roofing materials.
- In an emergency situation where water is flowing into the house structure, making channels through the ice dam allows the water behind the dam to drain off the roof. Hosing with tap water on a warm day will do this job. Work upward from the lower edge of the dam. The channel will become ineffective within days and is only a temporary solution to ice dam damage.
- First, make the ceiling air tight so no warm, moist air can flow from the house into the attic space.
- After sealing air leakage paths between the house and attic space, consider increasing the ceiling/roof insulation to cut down on heat loss by conduction.
Evaluate snow load
Both of these actions will increase the snow load that your roof has to carry because it will no longer melt. Can your roof carry the additional load? If it is built to current codes, there should not be a structural problem. Roofs, like the rest of the home, should have been designed to withstand expected snow loads.
Plans showing design details to meet expected snow loads are usually required to receive a building permit. The plans for your home may be on file at your local building inspection office. To help you understand the plans, or if you cannot find plans for your home, you may want to contact an architectural engineering firm. A professional engineer should be able to evaluate the structure of your home and answer your questions about the strength of your roof.
Natural roof ventilation
Natural roof ventilation can help maintain uniform roof temperatures, but if the long-term actions described here are done effectively, then only small amounts of roof ventilation are needed to maintain uniform roof surface temperatures. If heat transfer has been reduced substantially, then snow will build up on the roof and cover natural roof ventilation systems, reducing attic ventilation rates. Natural attic ventilation systems are needed to dry the attic space and remove heat buildup during the summer.
Mechanical attic ventilation NOT recommended
Mechanical attic ventilation IS NOT a recommended solution to ice dams. It can create other attic moisture problems and may cause undesirable negative pressure in the home.
Any person on the roof during the winter or performing work on the roof from below is risking injury and risking damage to the roof and house. It is important to contact professionals to carry out this job.
Whenever a house is tightened up, ventilation systems, exhausting devices and combustion devices must have enough air to operate safely and effectively!
Hire an energy professional
Weatherization contractors, (also "Energy Management and Conservation Consultants" or "Insulation Contractors") are professionals who can deal with the heat transfer problem that creates ice dams. A blower door test should be used by the contractor you hire to evaluate the airtightness of your ceiling. In addition, they may have an infrared camera that can be used to find places in the ceiling where there is excessive heat loss.
Interior damage should not be repaired until ceilings and walls are dry. In addition, interior repair should be done together with correcting the heat loss problem that created the ice dam(s) or the damage will occur again.
Source: UMN Extension
Preventing Ice Dams in New Homes
Preventing ice dams in new homes
The proper new construction practices to prevent ice dams begin with following or exceeding the state code requirements for ceiling/roof insulation levels.
The second absolutely necessary practice is to construct a continuous, 100% effective air barrier through the ceiling. There should not be any air leakage from the house into the attic space!
Recessed lights, skylights, complicated roof designs, and heating ducts in the attic will all increase the risk of ice dam formation.Effects of ice dams
Moisture entering the home from ice dams can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. These biologicals can cause respiratory problems. It is important that the growth of mold and mildew be prevented. This can be done by immediately drying out portions of the house that are wet or damp. See immediate action steps listed earlier to get rid of the water source. Action needs to be taken to clean the home environment and maintain its air quality.
Source: UMN Extension
Where in the world did that water come from?
When it comes to water loss, always expect the unexpected. What may look like just a little stain on the carpet could be a whole carpet pad and underlayment soaking. This will destroy your floor all the way down to the subfloor. When you experience a water loss you must act quickly pick up the phone and call SERVPRO. Once the team hits the site leave it up to the pros to get it done on time and on budget. The team at SERVPRO strives to support and supply great services to the area. The focus is and will always be "customer first". Once we make the customer feel comfortable with us then they can begin to relax and watch the magic happen. From extraction to the final walkthrough you will be amazed at the professionalism and cleanliness of SERVPRO's crews. When in doubt call SERVPRO and we will make it "Like it never even happened."
Water Certification Value at SERVPRO
Here at SERVPRO Southern Monroe, we strive to keep our team up to date with all the most recent and most valuable certifications from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The SERVPRO team looks forward to all of these pieces of training because to all of us at SERVPRO our main goals is to provide the best value and satisfaction to all of its valued clients. One of the main things the team learns at these pieces of training is to do the job the right wy the first time while following all OSHA regulations when it comes to safety. This ensures the customer that the team they bring in to do the work is qualified not just in the mitigation or repair but also in all the best Standards of Practice to make sure the job site is a safe environment for the team working but also anyone else on the job site.
Flooded house headaches
One of the worst things to come home to after a long day of work is your floor flooded due to water damage. The roof leaks, a pipe bursts, the sub pump fails. Either way, you have a big issue on your hands now. The floor is beginning to get wet and the water keeps coming. Your next move should be to call SERVPRO and get a crew out there as soon as possible. The team at SERVPRO will make sure they get there on time and are ready to take action right away. Once on site, the customer can relax knowing that our IICRC certified water techs are on the job and are going to restore their house back to new in a matter of no time, When in a bind Call SERVPRO.
Power outages + no sub pump = Flooded basement
OVER 5 FEET OF WATER!
With all the snow finally laying on the ground it's starting to cause some major flooding in crawlspaces, roads, sidewalks and even some streams are beginning to overflow. This has caused residents without power to experience so very mad conditions. in the picture attached you can see what happens when you have flooding in your basement for 7 days and the water level reaches almost 5 ft in depth. The team at SERVPRO got the call and made an emergency service call to the residency the homeowner was worried her whole house was going to be underwater in no time. The team showed up with high powered firefighting pump to begin to get rid of the water. At almost 90 gallons a minute the team pumped out over 13,000 gallons of water in under 4 hours. The homeowners were overjoyed when they saw that the basement was not flooded anymore.
Water Damage and Restoration
Water Damage Repair and Restoration
When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals respond immediately and use advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. They closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly.
Please refer to our Water Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals
Have Questions? Call Today 1-800-SERVPRO
Why Choose a SERVPRO Franchise Professional?
They’re Faster to Any Size Disaster
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are dedicated to responding immediately to water emergencies. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.
They're Highly Trained Water Damage Specialists
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals specialize in water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. They have extensive water damage restoration training with an emphasis on monitoring and documenting the drying process until completion.
- Water Damage Restoration Technician
- Applied Structural Drying Technicians
They Use Advanced Water Restoration Equipment and Techniques
Their advanced equipment helps to detect hidden moisture, extract the standing water quickly, and thoroughly clean and dry your home and belongings. They finish the job with professional deodorization and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety.
The Water Damage Restoration Process
Every water damage situation is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” water damage emergency.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
Step 2: Inspection and Damage Assessment
Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction
Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification
Step 5: Cleaning and Sanitizing
Step 6: Restoration
Common Water Damage Scenarios
Water damage can have many sources, from loose appliance hoses to natural disasters. Regardless of the source, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can handle any size disaster.
Best Ways you can avoid water damage in your home
When it comes to water damage you can never be too prepared. When it comes down to it if you take the right steps to prepare you will not have any problems. Some ways t protect your home from this type of devastation is to always make sure the seal on your windows is secure , by just making sure the windows are closed and locked you can avoid the possibility of a big storm opening the window and causing water to seep into the house. Another sure fire way to make sure your house is protected is to make sure that your house is properly draining the rain water correctly. From time to time water can get underneath the roofing and cause water damage in the insulation and then that can come into your home ruining your ceiling and indoor contents
Call Us For Your Next Water Damage
House flooded with water by a storm.
Disasters can be a very difficult time for you and your family. Here at SERVPRO of Monroe and Pike Counties our certified production team can help ease the pain in your time of hardship. Flood waters can provide hazardous risks to those exposed. It is important that you contact trained professionals that can properly restore your home while also utilizing industry standard drying equipment.
If you come across flooding in your home it is in your best interest that you do not try to handle it on your own. Flood waters are breeding grounds to some very dangerous bacteria. If you come in contact with these spores you could potentially become very ill. Here at SERVPRO of Monroe and Pike Counties we have the proper protective equipment to handle the job.
In the aftermath of a catastrophe you may feel as though your home may not recover from the loss. At SERVPRO our professionals make it their priority to provide restoration services so that your home is safe to live in.
Monroe County 24-Hour Emergency Water Damage Service
SERVPRO of Southern Monroe County is 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.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today – 570-424-2290
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. SERVPRO of Southern Monroe County has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect:
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)?
About SERVPRO of Southern Monroe County
SERVPRO of Southern Monroe 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.