Recent Water Damage Posts
Why Do Garbage Disposal Units Leak and Cause Water Damage?
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak explains how to identify and resolve a garbage disposal leak.
Any household appliance that involves water can leak and cause water damage, including garbage disposal units. The garbage disposal is a household invention that makes life in the kitchen more convenient and less time-consuming. The first models came into production in 1940; today, nearly half of all US households have a garbage disposal hidden away under the kitchen sink. Occasionally, the unit will leak, which can cause water damage to flooring, baseboards, and the cabinet. Unresolved water damage can lead to a mold infestation that could spread throughout the home.
How to Spot a Leaking Garbage Disposal
A leak under the kitchen sink can go undetected for weeks or months, especially if the leak is minimal. Detection is difficult for many reasons. The area under the kitchen sink is usually cluttered with cleaners, garbage bags, rags, brushes, sponges, and other kitchen items. The door to the cabinet is kept closed, and the area under the sink is rarely illuminated. The cleaners and other products under the sink often mask any unusual odors that might indicate a leak.
A plumbing expert offers the following tip on how to detect a leaking garbage disposal unit: “Prior to testing the garbage disposal for leaks, unplug it at the wall outlet and turn off the power from the breaker box to prevent electrical shock. Then insert a watertight sink stopper into your sink drain and wipe the unit dry with a clean cloth. In any handy container, mix a few drops of food coloring into a few cups of water, and pour the dyed water onto the sink stopper to help you locate the leak.”
Some signs there may be a leak under the sink from the garbage disposal, from the sink itself, or from connections to the dishwasher include:
- A musty, mildew smell is detected under or near the cabinet.
- Items under the sink are regularly wet or moist.
- The flooring in the sink area and in the bottom of the cabinet is wet, warped, soft, or covered in mold and mildew.
- A dripping noise can be heard when the sink is filled with water or when the garbage disposal has just been used and flushed.
- An inspection of the joints, connections, and fittings yields evidence of moisture being deposited under the sink.
Six Common Causes of Garbage Disposal Leaks
- Worn out or deteriorated gaskets
When a leak is discovered under the sink near the garbage disposal, check the gasket located between the rubber seal and the flange. Discharge indicates the gasket is defective.
- Leaky sink flange
The sink flange is found at the highest point of the garbage disposal, where the unit meets with the sink and drain. A leak at this juncture signals a defective flange. The cause may be weak or damaged putty.
- Loose drain lines
The garbage disposal can leak from the drain lines. Inspect the junction of the appliance with the drain lines.
- Loose seals or pipes
Activity under the sink and around the garbage disposal unit can result in seals and pipes being damaged. Constantly bumping the pipes or the unit can cause leaks.
- Dishwasher connection issues
A garbage disposal leak might be from the dishwasher connection to the drainpipe. A garbage disposal unit attaches to the dishwasher because the dishwasher disposes of food waste into the garbage disposal unit.
- Split or cracked unit
If a leak persists after repairs, the problem may be a catastrophic failure of the garbage disposal. The only solution for this leak is to replace the old unit with a new one.
What to Do If Water Damage Has Occurred Due to a Garbage Disposal Leak
A leak under the sink through the garbage disposal is considered gray water. An undetected leak can cause structural damage and create unsanitary conditions that may pose a health risk to the household. Also, the dark, warm, moist area under the sink is a prime location for mold growth.
When water damage has occurred due to a leaking garbage disposal unit or an appliance connected to the unit, the fastest and safest way to deal with the issue is to call in certified, experienced, and well-equipped water damage restoration technicians. They can determine the extent of the leak and any risks involved in drying and cleaning the affected area. In many cases, homeowner’s insurance covers this type of water damage. The staff and technicians at SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak can manage both the insurance claims process and the cleanup and restoration project from start to completion.
For more information about water damage restoration in Corsicana, TX, contact the SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak office by phone at (972) 937-1494. Email the office at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com
How to Restore Hardwood Floors That Have Suffered Water Damage
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak explains how to deal with water-damaged hardwood floors.
SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak has been providing water damage restoration and other restoration services to local residents and businesses for over twenty years. Centrally located in Ellis County, the team of specialists can typically respond to a disaster in thirty minutes or less. This fast response is especially important when solid hardwood flooring has suffered water damage.
Hardwood Floors: Beautiful Flooring That Needs Special Attention
The benefits of hardwood flooring are recognized and appreciated throughout the world of interior design and construction. Real hardwood floors are an elegant addition to any home or business, and the options are endless to suit any taste or décor. The solid feel, unique textures, and wide variety of stains make the product useful for virtually any setting. Whether the goal is to achieve a touch of elegance or convey a rustic ambiance, hardwood floors are a great option. Solid hardwood flooring is not only beautiful and durable, but it also adds real value to a home or place of business.
Special attention is required to keep solid hardwood flooring functional and beautiful. Even with the advent of scratch-resistant urethane sealants, hardwood floors need to be kept clean of grit and sand. Throw rugs and runners in high traffic areas keep the floors in pristine condition.
The chief enemy of hardwood flooring is water. Excessive amounts of water left puddled on the floor can cause serious damage. By immediately wiping up spills and by staying vigilant for water leaks and water damage, homeowners can prevent their flooring from being permanently damaged.
Main Causes of Water Damage to Hardwood Floors
Hardwood flooring is very popular in kitchens and adjacent rooms such as a laundry room, den, or great room. To maintain design continuity, hardwood flooring is an option sometimes selected for bathroom flooring.
However, a burst water supply line to the refrigerator, dishwasher or washing machine can spew seven to ten gallons of water per minute, dumping hundreds of gallons of water per hour onto the beautiful hardwood flooring. A slow leak from a water heater or leaky pipe may go unnoticed for days or even weeks, causing serious damage to the flooring.
The bathroom is the wettest room in a home. On a daily basis, water is sprinkled, splashed, and poured onto the flooring, and condensation from showers or baths collects on bathroom walls and floors. In addition, a toilet overflow on hardwood flooring can create a biohazard. In any case, watching out for water damage is vital to maintaining the beauty and usefulness of hardwood flooring.
Four Signs of Water-Damaged Hardwood Flooring
Since water is the number one enemy of hardwood flooring, homeowners need to be able to recognize the telltale signs of water damage to their floors.
#1. Discoloration and stains appear on the flooring.
Excessive and unchecked water and moisture will leave stains on the flooring. Over time, the moisture will damage the urethane coating and discolor the stain. Puddle-shaped stains on the floor indicate a high-spill zone or the presence of an intermittent leak.
#2. The flooring is soft and squishy underfoot.
Moisture can collect under the flooring and be absorbed by padding. If the padding is non-absorbent, the water can be absorbed by the flooring, causing the floor to swell. The water-logged material will feel soft underfoot and may even make noises when pressure is applied. If left unaddressed, the subflooring can warp and rot.
#3. A musty, moldy smell is detected.
A musty, moldy smell with no obvious source may indicate the presence of water or moisture under the hardwood flooring. The smell may indicate a mold infestation, dry rot, or stagnant water.
#4. Warping, bubbling, or peeling wood is a prominent sign of water damage.
When water or moisture saturates hardwood floors, a form of warping called cupping occurs on the individual boards. Cupping occurs when the unfinished underside of the flooring absorbs more water than the top finished portion. The water-logged underside expands more than the top, resulting in a cup-shaped warp.
The good news is that the flooring is not ruined unless the boards separate from the subfloor and pull up the fasteners used to secure the boards to the subfloor. At that point, the only solution is to tear out and replace the wood.
Do not sand the hardwood flooring while it is warped and cupped. Once the flooring is entirely dried out, the cupping will all but disappear. Sanding a floor before it is fully dried may result in crowning, which is the opposite effect of cupping.
What to Do When Hardwood Flooring Suffers Water Damage
Act fast to prevent advanced secondary water damage when a hardwood floor suffers water damage. If the spill is small and manageable, immediately mop up the excess water to prevent further seepage under the flooring where the unfinished portion of the boards can absorb the moisture and become warped.
Call in professionals who have the training, expertise, and equipment to quickly and thoroughly remove water and moisture from the flooring. SERVPRO technicians extract water from under hardwood flooring using special equipment and strong vacuums designed to remove excess water from the flooring. Industrial-grade fans and dehumidifiers complete the drying process. Within a day or two, the floor is completely dry, and life can return to normal. SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak can handle the entire project from start to finish, even if the floor needs to be removed and replaced. The staff at SERVPRO is accustomed to working with the insurance company in order to eliminate stress for the homeowner.
For more information about the Ennis, TX, water damage restoration company, contact the SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak office by phone at (972) 937-1494 or by email at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.
How SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak Provides Water Damage Restoration for Commercial Facilities
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak is the right choice for a facility that has suffered water damage. SERVPRO can leverage industrial-strength resources to restore an industrial-sized disaster.
SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak is the best choice for operations managers and corporate disaster recovery teams when water damage sidelines a manufacturing unit that provides critical supply chain parts, chemicals, services, or data. An industrial-sized disaster requires an industrial-strength response. SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak can leverage the needed response that can bring a production facility, distribution center, call center, or data management complex online and up and running in hours, not days. The production line, supply network, or information grid need not grind to a halt when a vital cog goes offline or dark.
Commercial Water Damage Restoration: Four Factors to Consider
When it comes to a commercial property damage situation, the SERVPRO team of professional technicians minimizes the disruption to a business while delivering superior results. In any business, industry, or service sector, results matter. Decision-makers need to consider four critical factors when determining who to call when a commercial property damage disaster occurs.
- The knowledge and expertise to handle any commercial property damage restoration
The restoration crew should be able to provide services for a variety of different facilities, whether the project involves a manufacturing unit, retail store, call center, apartment complex, restaurant, or daycare.
- 24/7 availability and a quick response
The SERVPRO facility in Ennis is within thirty minutes of most of its clients. In one hour or less, a service team can be onsite to inspect the site, assess the damage, and begin the cleanup and restoration process.
- The necessary equipment on hand to begin the restoration process
Time is money. Delays in the restoration and recovery process while waiting for a needed piece of equipment to arrive can dramatically increase secondary costs to the damaged business. Property managers, operations managers, and disaster response teams need to know that the property damage restoration company can step up to any challenge. Every hour of delay can cost a business thousands of dollars in labor costs and lost production profits. The restoration expense may be a fraction of overall losses from a commercial property damage disaster.
- The ability to leverage industrial-sized resources
Facility disaster response managers need to know that the restoration company they have chosen to address property damage restoration needs can scale quickly to meet any size incident. SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak is a restoration force multiplier that can scale to meet any size commercial disaster. The knowledgeable and experienced restoration specialists can be mobilized and on their way to the site in minutes.
No business is too small for SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak to serve. The economic impact of the damage is not necessarily measured in square feet. A disaster at an IT management facility, a call center, or a logistics terminal can slow down or shut down dozens of businesses or ancillary supply chain units. A small fire that set off the sprinkler system at the corporate office can send international shock waves throughout the company.
Plan Ahead With an ERP: Emergency Ready Plan
An actionable readiness plan is a pivotal factor in successfully overcoming a commercial property damage disaster. The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) sets the industry standard for commercial disaster preparedness. The COE and onsite operations managers who are tasked with having a crisis readiness plan in place and actionable can look to SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak to formulate a proactive, responsive, and effective disaster response that will have the business up and running as soon as possible. Shaving minutes off of the response and recovery time converts to minimized losses and maximized ROI.
SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak has the training and expertise to address any size business or type of commercial venue, including:
- Small office buildings
- Large office/High-rise office buildings
- Apartment buildings
- Small retail stores
- Large retail/Big-box stores
- High-rise residential
- Manufacturing and industrial
The company’s services include:
- Commercial water damage restoration
- Commercial fire damage restoration
- Commercial mold remediation
- Commercial storm damage cleanup
- Disaster recovery team
For more information about water damage restoration in Ennis, TX, contact the team of professionals at SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak by phone at (972) 937-1494. The company can also be reached by email at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.
Is This a Spill? Or is it Water Damage?
If you are a homeowner or a property owner, then you probably have had or will have a water damage event at some point. Accidents and circumstances that lead to water damage can be alarming, and most people don’t know where to start if they haven’t experienced a water event before. Knowing ahead of time what constitutes water damage and what the potential for costly damages can be in such an event can save you a lot of anguish, and possibly money, when the time comes.
There are times when you can just mop it up and go on, but there are other times when you need to call the professionals, such as SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak (972-937-1494).
What is Water Damage?
Water damage is a term used to describe harm to your floors, walls, ceiling, and belongings caused by an unintended intrusion of water. Such water intrusion can result from many sources, but your first concern is to determine whether this is truly water damage that needs to be mitigated by professionals. We use that term, mitigate, a great deal in the restoration business. But in case it is new to you, it means “to moderate or counter the effect of something" – usually something damaging.
You do NOT have damage if
- Water splashes onto the floor in the bathroom when someone is showering.
- A glass of water is spilled on the carpet in your living room.
- Water sloshes onto the kitchen cabinets and floor during hand-washing dishes.
In the above examples, you can just wipe up the spilled water with a towel. In the case of the carpet, you would need to soak up as much of the water as possible to allow the carpet to dry quickly.
You DO have damage if
- You left your bathtub water running and forgot about it until you noticed water running into the hallway or came back to find standing water in the bathroom.
- A pipe under your sink broke allowing water to run into the surrounding area for an extended period before you found it.
- A pipe under your sink dripped continuously for an extended period soaking the inside of your cabinets and perhaps the surrounding flooring and walls before you noticed it.
- Your hot water heater leaked or burst, emptying its contents into your home.
- Water is accumulating anywhere in your house, but you cannot identify the source.
The potential causes of water damage are too numerous to list, but the point is that you cannot simply use a towel to soak up the water in these cases and expect to have no further damage. By the time the water intrusion is discovered in each case, the water has had the opportunity to seep under and into flooring and floor coverings, behind baseboards and into drywall, and into other porous materials in the area. And in a case as acute as the water heater bursting, you will find the amount of water it holds will quickly spread into adjoining rooms soaking everything in its path.
This is when professional water extraction and drying equipment is necessary to mitigate the water damage. Simply soaking up the water and then leaving structural materials to dry on their own will almost certainly result in damaging and costly mold growth, besides the visible damage from swelling, paint peeling, and stains in porous materials.
A water disaster is alarming and upsetting to a property owner when it occurs. But our team of professionally trained and experienced technicians at SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak sees these cases and much worse daily, and we are ready to rush to your assistance.
If you are unsure as to whether your water emergency requires the assistance of professionals, is it is better to be safe than sorry.
Call SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak at (972) 937-1494. We will check your walls, floors, ad all affected spaces for moisture to determine if you need professional water extraction and drying to mitigate damage.
Rest assured that we are ready to make it "Like it never even happened."
What You Can Do To Help In The Event of a Damaging Water Event
When you find a water leak in your home or place of business, rest assured that SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak (972) 937-1494 is ready to rush to your assistance. Water Damage is our specialty! But while you are waiting for our technicians to arrive, there are several steps you can take immediately to prevent further damage.
- Stop the leak. Find where the water is coming from and turn the water off at that point. You may be able to isolate the leak by turning the water off at a specific pipe or fixture. If not, you will need to cut the water off at the main line.
- Soak up the water. If there is standing water and it is manageable, remove it to prevent it soaking into your floors and surrounding structures. Sometimes the amount of standing water is of such an extent that you will not be able to remove it yourself but will require SERVPRO’s special extraction equipment to remove it fast enough to prevent damage.
- Move small items out of the water. Small, valuable items, such as ornamental items, boxes of stored items, or small pieces of furniture will continue to soak up water if they are allowed to stand in it. Move them away from the water if possible.
- Try to identify the source of the water leak. It might be something obvious, like a broken connection behind the toilet or a supply line to the dishwasher or washing machine. If you suspect the damage is at the main waterline level, make sure to contact your water company right away.
When SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak technicians arrive at your property, they will extract any remaining standing water and assess the extent of moisture in the flooring, walls, cabinets, furniture, etc. They will then place air movers, dehumidifiers, and possibly other specialized equipment to begin the critical process of drying the wet area to prevent damage to materials and the growth of dangerous mold. Most water damage jobs require that the equipment runs for several days to dry the property to be assured no mold growth will occur.
SERVPRO technicians will visit your home every day while the drying process is taking place to monitor equipment and check on the moisture content remaining in the floor, walls, etc. In between those visits are 24 hours during which the actual drying occurs. Again, there are steps you can take to ensure that your water damage dries as quickly and hassle-free as possible.
- Don't move the equipment. Our technicians place equipment in strategic locations to create a cylinder of airflow that leads back to the dehumidifier to maximize the effectiveness of the drying equipment. You should not move or reorient the machines, rather leave them where we place them if at all possible. We understand that at times the optimal placement creates an inconvenience. If you must move a machine, please place it as close to its original position as possible to maintain the airflow we were hoping to accomplish.
- Leave doors closed on affected rooms. If the water damage is in a single room, our technicians may close the door to that room to assist the drying process. It helps immensely if the room is contained and the air in that room is constantly cycling through the dehumidifier. For this reason, we ask that any rooms with equipment remain closed if possible.
- Leave thermostats up a bit. These rooms with equipment will probably be slightly warmer than the rest of the house, which is a good thing. Warmer temperatures allow for more condensation to transfer into the air, which makes it easier to remove the moisture via the dehumidifiers. While we do not expect you to live in persistent heat, allowing the temperature in your home to remain a few degrees higher will promote quicker drying.
- Most importantly, leave the machines on. We realize that, depending on the amount and location of our equipment, the machines can be loud and intrusive to one’s daily life. While we strive to be as minimally invasive as possible during water mitigation, with equipment sometimes needing to be placed in living rooms and kitchens, there is no way around it – the situation can be annoying. However, turning off the equipment only prolongs the drying time, and therefore, the cost of the drying job. The equipment must be allowed to run until the affected material is dry in order to meet our goal of preventing damage and mold growth.
With you, the customer, and our technicians working together, we will have your job dry and cleaned up as quickly as possible so that you can get back to your usual routine.
In the unfortunate event that you do experience a damaging water event, don’t hesitate to call the experts at SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak. Our technicians will make your property “Like it never even happened,” as quickly as possible. Call (972) 937-1494.
Burst Attic Water Heater
An attic water heater broke, and caused a leak that damaged the room in the house below it.
When the water heater located in this home's attic burst, water rushed out of the unit and pooled. It wasn't long before the ceiling could no longer hold the weight of the water, and it crashed down onto the living room below. Drywall, dust, insulation, and water rained down onto the home owner's furniture, belongings, and carpet.
Thankfully, they called SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak, and we were able to get to their home quickly, remove the debris, extract the water, dry out the property and their belongings, and get it to "Like it never even happened."
Should you or someone you know experience water damage at your home or business, please call SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak, and let us get your property back to pre-damage condition quickly!
Prevent Water Damage with Simple Toilet Maintenance
When one thinks of water damage, torrential rainstorms, flooded dams, and clogged drainage systems spring to mind. However, when water damage suddenly disrupts your daily routine, it is more likely to come from a much more innocuous source — the lowly toilet. We at SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak are always ready and eager to hurry to your aid in the event that you find yourself with water damage due to an overflowing toilet that has flooded any area in your home, large or small. But we know that you are better off to avoid this kind of headache altogether, and following a few tips for proper toilet maintenance can help you to do so.
Clean your toilet regularly. A mild cleaner, such as baking soda, vinegar, or a mild soap will do the job without the risks of harsher chemicals. Cleaning the toilet gives you a more hygienic, better smelling bathroom, while also providing the opportunity to notice any leaks around the toilet.
Check the toilet’s interior mechanisms at least once each six months. Make sure that all parts are in good shape and working properly, that the flapper is sealing completely, and that the fill valve stops at the appropriate water level.
Fix a small leak (or running toilet) immediately. You might not even notice this type of leak if you aren’t looking for it, as it is silent and leaves no puddle. (The leaking water flows into the bowl and down the drain.) This type of leak can run gallons of water through your tank in a day causing a substantial increase in your water bill. To test for this type of leak, place a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank (above the bowl). Wait half an hour, then check the water in the bowl. If any color shows up in the bowl, the tank is leaking. You can get a flapper kit from the hardware store and replace it yourself, if you are a do-it-yourselfer.
Teach every family member how to properly care for the toilet. Teach them what can be flushed and what cannot, how to avoid clogs by using just the right amount of toilet tissue and no more, and how to keep the toilet clean. Teach these things beginning when a child first starts using the “potty.”
Buy the right kind of toilet paper. Commercials tout the benefits of thick, soft, fluffy paper, but a paper that is built to break down quickly is much easier on your toilet system. This is especially true if you are on a septic system where everything that is flushed must be broken down. But even if you are on a municipal sewer system, using too much of the hard to break down paper can cause clogs in the lines inside your home.
Have a flange plunger handy. For simple clogs, a bucket of hot water and a plunger is often all you need. Just turn off the water at the emergency shutoff valve behind the toilet and use the plunger to dislodge the clog. If the plunger doesn’t work, try an auger.
Do not use “drop-in” tablets in your toilet tank for cleaning. These products can cause damage to the rubber flap and other mechanisms, resulting in a leak.
Do not use chemical drain cleaners on a clogged toilet. They can damage fixtures and pipes, kill off the good bacteria in septic systems causing problems in the functioning of the system, are harmful if they come into contact with skin or are inhaled, and are just not something you want to add to your water system.
Do not place a brick in the tank to save water. Newer toilet tanks use 1.6 gallons with each flush. This is the amount that is needed to move waste out of the toilet and through the system. If you have an older tank, consider replacing it. Many new models have two flushing handles, one for liquid waste only and one for solid waste. This type toilet uses the minimal amount of water needed, while still efficiently moving waste through.
Do not flush anything but human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Nothing else is designed to break down and safely flow through the system — NOTHING.
Using these tips can help your toilet to serve you trouble-free for many years. But in the event that you do suffer water damage from a leaky toilet or any other source, remember that SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak is nearby, ready to assist you with cleanup and restoration. Call us at 972-937-1494 and let us make it “Like it never even happened.”