Recent Water Damage Posts

4 Signs of water damage in your home

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Signs of water damage can vary depending on the experience. It can range from slight discoloration of certain items to major structural damage that should be apparent. 

1. Warped Wooden Fixtures

If water damage has leaked into the home or business for some time, you will notice warped wooden fixtures if applicable to your building. Water damage has a way of removing stability and causing entire wood fixtures to warp or change over time. This sign of water damage may take some time to set in, but it is a common sign and one that is hard to miss.

2. Discoloration on Wood or Carpet

One of the most common signs of water damage is discoloration of certain items such as flooring. If you have hardwood flooring, you will likely notice black splotches if you are experiencing water damage. Carpet can be more difficult to spot if the carpet is a darker color. 

3. Musty, Old Smell

Sometimes the signs of water damage don’t come visually. If you are smelling an old, musty, damp smell in your home, this is a sign of water damage and mold. Mold growth can start fairly quickly after any water damage event.

4. Cracking, Bubbling, or Flaking

Sometimes the water damage can remain hidden and damage things such as ceilings after prolonged exposure. If your ceiling is cracking, bubbling up, or flaking, this is a very common sign.

Once you notice this sign of damage, it is highly recommended you contact a water damage remediation company.

How to tell if there is water damage inside of your walls

5/15/2021 (Permalink)

Staining on ceiling These clients noticed staining on their ceiling which lead to finding a leak in their upstairs bathroom.

If your building has been exposed to a flood, hurricane, or another disastrous event, contacting a water restoration service will provide you with quick, effective remediation. While most of the water damage will be immediately apparent, water within the walls is a subtle issue to be wary of. The following guide highlights some signs of this issue, so you know when to contact a professional.

3 Signs of a Water Leak Behind the Walls

1. Stains

Water stains can appear on the ceiling and interior walls, and they may look like brown rings or discolored paint. The visual changes are caused by the wall's saturated materials. If there were existing water signs on the walls or ceilings, monitor them in the following weeks to determine if they're darkening or growing.

2. Musty Smell

If water leaks within the walls and is absorbed by the surrounding drywall, sheetrock, or wood paneling, you'll likely detect a musty, slightly dank odor. If you notice this scent emanating from the interior, it's crucial to contact a water restoration professional immediately. This is because the scent is often a sign of mold growth, which can put your family at risk of health effects.

3. Peeling or Bubbling

Noticing water stains can be challenging if your walls are painted or covered with wallpaper. However, you can identify damage by checking the wall covering's condition. The adhesive on wallpaper won't effectively stick to a saturated wall, and the moisture will cause coats of paint to bubble.

If you are experiencing any of these signs, give SERVPRO of Oldsmar/Westchase a call today!


What to do when your home floods

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

Broken pipe Winter Storm Uri caused a broken pipe in this home's ceiling.

No matter the source of the flood here are are the first steps you should take to prevent further damage.

Identify the water source. If your home is flooded from the inside, like a pipe bursting, make sure you turn off your main water to lessen the damage as quickly as possible. If your home is flooded from the outside, hurricane, sewage, heavy rain, be mindful of your family's health and safety.  Outside flood water could be contaminated with bacteria or sewage that could cause illness if ingested. Your water could also be an electrical hazard if the flooding is high. Make sure to call an electrician to assess damage. 

Call your insurance and document damage. Once you are safe and have identified the water source, call your homeowner/flood insurance company. Explain to them what's happening and file a claim. Then call a professional water mitigation company. As you are waiting for the mitigation company to arrive, if you can safely document damage, you should start. Take pictures of the standing water and any and all furniture, flooring, wall coverings, etc. that are impacted. Professional mitigation companies can work with your insurance to make sure your home is properly dried and keep mold from growing. If you try to dry your home yourself, you run the risk of being denied coverage for your insurance claim or not drying the walls enough and mold could grow.

The faster you start removing water from your home, the less damage is done. If you're dealing with a flood in your home or business, give us a call (813)543-0053. SERVPRO of Oldsmar/Westchase is always here to help!

3 Times You Should Trash Your Carpet

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Machine extracting water from carpet If a leak or pipe break soaks your carpeting, contact a professional water restoration service

Why Should I Replace My Carpet?

Dealing with wet carpeting is one of the most difficult aspects of a home flood. Whether your carpeting can be salvaged depends on the type of water: Is it clean water from a supply line or pipe break, or floodwater from a storm surge? Time is also a key factor: how long has the floor been wet? In many cases, restoration specialists can clean and restore your carpeting. However, there are some situations in which you should always replace your carpet.

1. It’s Been Exposed to “Black” Water
“Black” water, also called “category three water”, is highly contaminated water that may contain organic matter, bacteria, chemical pollutants, and/or other toxins. Examples of black water include floodwater from rivers or lakes or sewer backups where feces is present. Carpeting that has been saturated with black water is impossible to safely restore and should be replaced.

2. It’s Been Wet for 72 Hours or More
Time makes an enormous difference in your carpet's restoration outlook. Even clean water from a supply pipe break will mix with dust and chemicals in your carpeting and mold spores in the air. Bacteria and mold multiply rapidly and can begin to spread throughout flooring materials in a matter of hours. Replace carpeting that has been wet for 72 hours or longer.

3. It’s Dry Now, but It’s Starting To Smell
DIY attempts to clean wet carpeting often result in some moisture left behind. Mold spores and moisture can remain hidden deep in the subfloor and padding. The mold spreads throughout these surfaces and infects your carpeting from underneath, and you may notice a musty or sour smell. Restoration is no longer an option at this point, and you should replace the carpet.
If a leak or pipe break soaks your carpeting, contact a professional water restoration service in Lake Fern, FL, right away. The sooner professional cleanup efforts begin, the more likely that your carpeting can be saved.

How To Fix a Leaky Toilet

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe A leaking toilet is a relatively easy household repair to make

Toilets are typically very sturdy and dependable household fixtures, but even they tend to break down from time to time. Neglecting to fix your leaking toilet can lead to serious water damage. Follow the below steps if your home in Lake Fern, FL has a leaky toilet.

Step by Step Toilet Repair

The good news is that repairing an leaky, old toilet is a relatively simple process, even if you don't have any plumbing experience.

Disconnect the water to the leaking toilet by using a wrench to shut off the supply valve. Make sure the valve is closed before draining all the water from the tank and bowl.
Remove the caps covering the closet bolts. Use a wrench to remove the hex nuts. These are located at the base of the toilet.
Carefully grasp the toilet by the bowl and lift using your legs. Set it down on an old towel, blanket or cardboard sheet to prevent water damage on your bathroom tiles.
Check the closet flange for damage. Scrape off all the old wax gasket.
Loosen the screws that secure the flange to the bathroom floor before sliding a repair strap underneath.
Center the new wax gasket on the closet flange.
Connect a brand new water supply tube to the threaded fill-valve shank. This is located on the bottom of the toilet's tank.
Apply downward pressure on the rim of the toilet bowl in order to compress the gasket. Tighten the closet bolts before continuing to apply pressure.
Trim the tops of the closet bolts using a close-quarter hacksaw. Tighten the nuts and then replace the caps.
Reconnect the water supply tube to the shut off valve. Open the valve and flush the toilet. Make sure to carefully check for any leaks.

A leaking toilet is a relatively easy household repair to make. Doing so is essential when it comes to preventing water damage and all the subsequent problems that come along with it. Contact water remediation experts if the above process does not effectively repair your toilet leak.

How To Contain the Formation of Black Mold

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo on picture, standing water on the floor of an office Water damage in a Fox's Corner, FL commercial building

Black Mold Can Lead To Severe Consequences For Your Business

Excess water and high humidity can ruin office equipment and furnishings at your Foxs Corner, FL, business. They can also lead to secondary damage from black mold. Common causes of excess moisture include

  • Broken pipes
  • Fire suppression
  • Roof damage
  • Faulty insulation
  • Poor air circulation

A professional mold remediation service can do the following to ensure a clean environment for you and your employees.

Address the Source
Unless your business has experienced a flood or a burst pipe, it can be challenging to know the source of excess water and humidity. Commercial buildings often experience hidden leaks from toilets, faucets and inferior structural materials. Poor ventilation that doesn't provide proper airflow is another culprit. Knowing the cause of a black mold problem is the first step toward fixing it.

Remove the Water
Water can quickly overtake a space after events like fires and floods. Any water extraction and drying method should occur within 48 hours to avoid secondary damage from toxic mold.

Clean the Air
Mold spores floating in the air can be invisible, but a musty odor is a sign that they exist. Mold remediation services can purify the air with methods that include

Air Scrubbing
Portable machines draw the air through powerful HEPA filters, removing contaminated particles and mold spores, and pump clean air back into the environment.

Ozone Treatment
Superficial deodorizers do not eliminate the presence of mold spores in the air, nor do they effectively address odor. The most effective methods to remove foul mold odors include ozone treatment, which employs oxygen that contains three molecules rather than the usual two. The third molecule seeks and attaches itself to the air contaminant, leading to its destruction, thus eliminating the odor.
Black Mold can spread quickly and lead to severe consequences for your Foxs Corner, FL, business. By performing regular inspections and maintenance of your building's physical structure, you can avoid potential damages.

How To Reduce Your Home Flooding Risk

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Sandbags Outside Front Door Of Flooded House Home flooding in Foxs Corner, FL

Home flooding and the resulting damage account for a large share of homeowner’s insurance claims. Basements and crawl spaces bear more risk than most other areas of your home because water seeks the lowest points. This discussion on minimizing residential flood risk may help you prevent a basement flood and an expensive, disruptive cleanup process.

Sources of Home Flooding 

Part of preventing water-related property damage is understanding the potential sources of the problem. These are the primary scenarios that can cause residential water damage.

  • A broken water pipe or leaking appliance
  • A failed sump pump
  • An overflowing bathtub or toilet
  • Storm-related flooding
  • Municipal failures such as dam breaches or water main breaks

While homeowners tend to associate extreme weather with home flooding, both internal and external water sources can be the culprit. A malfunctioning sump pump can turn a minor rain storm into a basement flood in a matter of minutes. Empowering yourself with knowledge about flood risk reduces the likelihood that you will experience a home flood event.

Flood Risk Reduction
A risk assessment for home flooding will help you make some decisions about proper preventive measures. Your homeowner’s insurance agent or local flood remediation service can help point out vulnerable conditions in your location, elevation, structure and climate. This will help you determine what measures could reduce your risk.
Based on the outcome of your risk assessment, you can develop a custom flood prevention plan that includes preventive repairs and maintenance, emergency preparedness and household readiness. For instance, maintaining perimeter drainage routes can prevent a basement flood. Involving your family in emergency evacuation drills reduces risk by preparing residents to act quickly in an emergency. It is smart to sign up for any local or national emergency notification services, so you will be aware of any major threatening events.
The best plan for preventing a flood in your Foxs Corner, FL, home is to survey your property for weak points and address them. A little bit of preventive maintenance and some household preparedness could mean the difference between a muddy back yard and a completely flooded first level.

How To Deal With Water in a Light Fixture

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Have you ever seen water in light fixtures? While the problem can occur in commercial properties frequently because of warehouse-style properties, it is a strange sight in residences, but it is not impossible. Dealing with a flooded light fixture is two-fold: you need to deal with any electrical problem and resolve the water loss. There are at least three steps to ensuring your safety and restoring your home.

  • Turn off the power and water supply
  • Call a professional
  • Clean, dry and repair the area

Turn Off the Power and Water

Supply Water and electricity do not mix. Touching any wet surface with an electrical current running through it is dangerous and ill-advised. If you have water in your lights, the first place to go is the circuit breaker box to shut off the power supply. After the electricity is off, find the water valve supplying the leak and shut it off too.

Call a Professional

Dealing with water in light fixtures is not a common problem and is likely not something you are equipped to handle. Contact any of several water mitigation companies in [City, State], to resolve your issue safely and effectively. They can also inform you of any preventative steps to take to avoid the recurrence of this unusual problem.

Clean, Dry and Repair the Area

Whether or not you hire a mitigation service, the affected area needs cleaning, drying and repair. Drying the socket is not enough to ensure the problem's resolution. In most cases, plumbing behind the ceiling and insulation needs replacing, which also leads to the discovery of ceiling damage and likely electrical repair after inspection. If you notice water in light fixtures, do not wait to correct the problem. Contact a professional to inspect the affected area and determine the correct method for restoration. If you're lucky, the ceiling will only require minor repairs.

Signs That You Have a Shower Leak

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

Some water problems in your home are obvious and severe. Others are subtle and gradual. In either case, you need to take care of the matter as soon as possible to mitigate the damage. You could have a bathtub leak and not even know it for weeks or even months. There are some clues that this problem persists. Once you identify a leak, follow the right steps to repair it.

Check the Faucet

Most people in Oldsmar/Westchase, FL, have experienced the annoyance of hearing a consistent drip from a sink. It's worst late at night when you're trying to sleep. Constant dripping can occur in tubs and showers too. It's a telltale sign that you have a bathtub leak. The dripping can look or sound like this:

  • A small, steady stream of water

  • Dripping that occurs every few seconds Water coming out of the faucet even when the valve is firmly shut

The Outside of the Tub is Wet

If there is a poor seal in the tub or shower, or if the grout is don't doing its job, water can easily escape and get onto your floor. When you shower or bathe, if the outside of the tub is wet, there could be a sealing problem. You can set some towels or newspaper outside the tub and fill it up. If by doing this you see water on the item, there could be a crack in the tub. There may be a weak seal somewhere too. This can occur in the form of a shower pan leak as well.

Drainage Problems

Sometimes, leaking can occur because of poor drainage. While bathing, if you notice the water level going down, the drain assembly is likely not sealed correctly. You may also hear the water escaping. A bathtub leak can lead to flooding. You can call a trusted flood cleanup company to help, but you can also follow these steps to prevent major damage.

5 Signs of Commercial Water Damage

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Large crack in a reinforced concrete foundation and brick wall Foundation crack in Keystone, FL

Five Signs of Water Damage

Most commercial property owners know that a blocked sewer can lead to a toilet overflow, which is why routine cleaning and inspections are necessary. However, not all water damage is so obvious. Most water damage experts in Keystone, FL, will tell you there are at least five other signs of water problems.

  • Foundation cracks
  • Staining
  • Odors
  • Landscaping issues
  • Utility bill

Foundation Cracks
When a pipe breaks under a building’s foundation, it can cause soil displacement. The shifting soil contributes to less support under the facility’s structure, causing the foundation to shift and sink, which results in cracks. If you notice cracks that appear to grow and widen, you may have a serious water loss problem.

Water stains on ceilings or walls are also a sign of water loss. You may have a leak in the roof, or some water lines may have sprung pinhole leaks. Whatever the cause, the sudden appearance of stains is concerning.

If you smell foul odors coming from drains, you may have a blocked sewer main. Commercial properties have many people entering and using the bathrooms and sinks daily. It is impossible to know what is being flushed or discarded, which is why sewer inspections are necessary.

Landscaping Issues
Many commercial properties still tie into old cast-iron pipes. These pipes are prone to deterioration and collapse. If these lines collapse, you may notice a dip or sunken area in your property. Collapsed sewer lines can also lead to odors inside and outside of your facility.

Utility Bill
Sometimes, you will not see any significant damage to your property. Minor leaks or breaks may not lead to staining or cracking right away. Instead, monitor your water bill. You may see an unexplainable increase in your costs.
A blocked sewer leading to an overflowing toilet is not the only sign of water loss in a commercial building. Focus on the five signs of water damage, and contact an expert when anything seems awry.