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Broken Water Pipes

Every home and business has water pipes, sewer pipes and lots of other pipes, and unfortunately they can leak and break and create quite a mess!

One thing that you need when this happens is a company to come to your aid — fast! When a flood happens in a home, there are many causes, such as a broken pipe, or maybe the hot water tank breaks, or sometimes the sump pump fails and the basement fills up with water. A flooded basement is not fun to come home to after a weekend away. Isn’t that when these things seem to happen?

Have you ever thought of turning off your water source when you leave for a long vacation? You might consider it, doing so if you don’t have someone staying at your home. Even though water damage companies can quickly put things back in order for you, it’s best you don’t go through the experience at all!

But accidents happen. When you do have the unfortunate luck of a broken pipe or water coming into your home, you can, of course, clean it up yourself. But a professional water damage restoration company specializing in flood cleanup jobs has the professional equipment to quickly remove the water and then dry out your house so you don’t have to worry about mold or mildew starting to grow.

Have you heard the horror stories about mold growing after a pipe breaks, a roof leaks or some other catastrophe? Some of these stories are true. Don’t let this happen to you. When disaster strikes, you need quick, professional and capable help.

Basement Water Damage

Basement water damage can be a very damaging and costly problem. The damage can be much more sweeping than just your contents and property in the basement – particularly if not handled quickly. Fortunately there are precautions you can take to either reduce or eliminate this situation from occurring.

In cities such as Chicago, St Louis, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Denver as well as many other old cities, basements will be found in just about every house and commercial or industrial building and all are susceptible to water damage if not maintained properly. Below are some pointers to help you avoid this situation from occurring  in most non-cataclysmic scenarios.

  • Be sure your sump pumps are working and inspected regularly. Sump pumps are often neglected due to their hidden locations. Have a plumber test your sump pump periodically and ensure your sump pump pit is free of mud and debris. Mud can clog up any pressure switches on the pump and debris can hang up the floats. Also make sure that the correct sized piping is run out of the sump pump and out of your home or office – not garden hoses, etc. that cannot keep up with what a sump pump is designed to do. When rain storms come, you’ll want them to be in great working order and taking the full load it’s designed for.
  • Window wells- If you have window wells, make sure they drain quickly if they have drains. If they are just rock filled window wells, check them periodically to ensure they do not fill with water. Water of only a few feet filling a window well will break the glass and enter your basement. Window well covers are a great and cheap precaution to making sure rain water is diverted away from the well itself.
  • Gutters – Make sure your gutter extensions run at least a few feet away from your your home or buildings foundation to not sink back straight into the ground, making it’s way back to your sump pump pit eventually. Also make sure your gutters are clean so the water flows where it is supposed to.
  • Floor drains.  If you own older buildings or homes, you will have floor drains in your basement that attach directly to your sewer line. This is the most common access point for sewage water to come in. First, make sure a sewer and drain technician maintains your sewer line at least on an annual basis to make sure waste water flows free and clear to the city main sewer. For unfinished basement, you can install standpipes that will hinder water from rising out of the floor drain unless the water is rising very high, at which point everyone should leave the basement immediately.
  • When installing appliances such as dishwasher and washing machines, leave it to someone who doesn’t not cut corners and does it right,.  As small as a dishwasher and washing machine may seem, an alarming amount of water can gush from these two sources damaging wood floors, articles and furniture.
  • Water Heaters should also be inspected regularly to ensure its integrity. the common water heater will hold 40 gallons of water – this can do a lot of damage if it lets loose.
  • Pipes. In  winter weather, one of the most common forms of water damage is freezing pipes. A pipe will burst due to the cold and the water will flow, and continually flow destroying the wall and anything around it. The first thing to do if this does happen is to turn of your water, every home has a main water shut-off valve. Turn it off immediately. to prevent such occurrences, keep your heat on. Even if you are on vacation, leave your home heated as this is one of the most common times pipes burst…when you are away.
Although this doesn’t cover everything, particularly major weather events, it should protect you from the every occurrences of water damage.

Toilet Flooding

Toilet flooding? As much as we’d not like to think about it, this is a common source of water damage in any home or building…the reasons why will remain in our imaginations. But what do do?

Luckily, this is a simple fix. First, if you find a toilet overflowing, something often overlooked is the risk of slipping…make sure have good footing. This is way more common than you think. There are two quick handles for this:

1.  Most toilets will have a water shutoff valve located in the wall behind the toilet, to the left or right of the toilet. Turn the knob quickly to stop the water getting fed into the toilet.

2.  In the rare event that the valve is not accessible or there is no water shutoff valve, lift off the back of the toilet – the lid. Look into the water tank (the water is clean in there so don’t worry) and find the rubber circular flap…and then push it down. This flap when raised is where the water drains from the tank into your toilet bowl. That should do it.

One of these two methods will handle most every forms of toilet overflow so you can handle the blockage causing the water to damage your home. If you have a basement toilet that will not drain, it is possible that you may have an ejector pump (a sewage pump that pumps your waste water to a higher pipe for release to your main sewer line) that has quit. In this event you’ll have to get the pump repaired or replaced.

And don’t flush big wads of paper towels kids!

Sewage Damage – Dead Giveaway of a Sewer Backup

If you wake up one morning and have a bunch of water in your basement, the question of course gets asked, “Where’s it coming from?”

Well, Water Damage can come from many sources, but sewage damage can be particularly damaging and just plain gross. Some signs are obvious, some are not.  Here are some telltale signs of whether or not you’ve had a sewage backup:

  • The water is black and murky
  • Repugnant Odors
  • There is toilet tissue, female products or other solids floating in the water
  • Water is coming up from a floor drain – if you have an overhead sewer system, you may see water coming up through the floor drains in the event the pump has burned out, in which case you will get a new pump or repair the one you have.
  • You see tiny black flies with jagged wings
Now, the first thing you’ll need to do is call a sewer and drain technician/plumber to come and handle the source of the problem – Do not attempt to handle it yourself as the source could be under your house all the way out to the city main sewer line and you are not equipped to handle this. Also, your home is now contaminated by god knows what, let the professionals come in and do their job.
Next, you should call a Water Damage Restoration company that handles sewage damage (not all of them do) and have them to decontaminate, remove and repair your home and save what articles and content can be saved. In the event that this is a residential home backup, your next call should certainly be to your insurance company to make sure you have this covered to minimize all of your out of pocket expenses.