Recent Water Damage Posts

Ask SERVPRO: Does Insurance Cover "Winter Damages?"

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

You’ll want to review your policy or contact your insurance agency to know for sure what is or isn’t covered. However, most standard homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for winter-related storm damage that occurs as a result of wind, snow, ice, freezing rain, and low temperatures.

However, most standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not provide coverage for flood damage. If your home suffers from snowmelt or other winter-related flooding, you may not have coverage unless you have a separate flood insurance policy in place.

If you have a summer home and leave your home unattended during the winter, you may have some additional coverage issues. Some policies may have exclusions for damage that occurred from not being winterized properly or being left unoccupied for a certain period of time.

While your insurance may provide some coverage for winter storm damage, the best option is to take steps to prevent damage from occurring.

  • Clean your gutters and downspouts so that melting snow can flow freely away from your home
  • Inspect and repair roof shingles and flashing to prevent water damage
  • Trim tree branches on your property
  • Apply weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows and inspect storm doors and windows for broken glass
  • Drain water from pipes leading to exterior faucets and remove garden hoses
  • Insulate pipes that are susceptible to freezing
  • Have your heating system cleaned and inspected. 

Give us a call if you suspect your home or business has been affected by winter storm damage. We can guide you through the process and make the stressful experience “Like it never even happened.” 

Ask The Experts: Dry Rot Explained

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Dry rot can happen to any time or wood and in any climate. It can ruin the structure of your home and is most commonly found in attics, basements, and under sinks.

What causes dry rot?

Despite the word “dry” in its name the fungus that causes dry rot grows when the moisture in the wood exceeds 20% or when the wood is exposed to sitting water and extreme humidity. Dry rot can leave wood weak and brittle.

The primary clues to look for in dry rot:

  • Yellow tinge to the surface
  • Deep cracks in the wood
  • Wood will crumble

Since moisture is necessary for the fungus to grow, you can typically find dry rot when:

  • After a flood or natural disaster
  • After a plumbing accident or water damage
  • In humid climates
  • When wood is not properly dried

How can I protect my home from dry rot?

  • Have a roofing company inspect your roof annually to check for leaks or holes that can let water in and cause dry rot.
  • Make sure your gutters are installed properly and are directing water away from your home.
  • Check your plumbing to make sure you don’t have any noticed leaks.
  • Make sure your ventilation in bathrooms, kitchen and attics is working properly and can remove excess moisture from your home.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Western Lake County?

Properly restoring your home after a water damage event requires specialized equipment and products. This advanced equipment helps us to remove the water, even hidden moisture, quickly and efficiently. We then dry the structure with powerful dehumidifiers. We provide emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

SERVPRO of Western Lake County Can Help You With Your Water Emergency

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

We live where we work; we might just be your neighbors. This connection ties us to our community and desire to help. Being local also allows us to respond faster than anyone else to your emergency. This fast response can prevent damage from getting worse and leading to additional problems.

All SERVPRO of Western Lake County employees specialize in water damage restoration. We have extensive water damage restoration training, and our process emphasizes regular monitoring and documentation of the drying process from beginning to end. Along with our training we also have the best tools in the business.  advanced equipment help us to remove the water, even hidden moisture, quickly and efficiently. We then dry the structure with powerful dehumidifiers. Finally, our technicians will clean the affected area with professional grade cleaning and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety.

When a water disaster strikes your home or business, give us a call at (219) 922-9300 and we will make it “Like it never even happened."

Flooding Damage in Crown Point, Indiana & What To Do About It

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding is a phenomenon that can humble a homeowner. The power of water is always intimidating to face. Take it slow and assess your situation before moving forward.

Why Is It Flooded?

A basement flood can come from a lot of different places. Oftentimes those sources are out of your control. If the flood is weather related, you will need to wait until the storm has passed and your yard is no longer flooded before you can do anything about your basement. Some common examples of sources of flooding are:

  • Heavy rain or storm
  • Pipe rupture
  • Appliance malfunction
  • Improper basement sealing

What Can You Do?

The first thing you should take care of is stopping the flow of water, if possible, by turning off the main water line. Then you can minimize the hazard to your safety by turning off the electricity and wearing protective gear like boots and gloves. You can rent submersible pumps from hardware or construction stores to get all the water out of there. Be sure to point the loose end of the pump away from the house, preferably into a storm drain. Then you will need thoroughly dry everything so that you don't end up growing mold, as well.

Who Should You Call?

If you don't have any experience with pumps, it's probably a good idea to call a professional water damage remediation company. They have specialized knowledge and tools to thoroughly remove all signs that there was a flood. They can handle every aspect of the situation, including pipe repair. They will also know exactly what will need to be thrown away, and what can be restored. You should also call your insurance to find out if they will cover the costs.
Each and every flooding scenario is different, depending on the circumstances of its origin and the capabilities of your household. Exercise precaution and don't make any hasty decisions. Your basement is counting on you!

SERVPRO Tips: Minimizing the harmful damage from water

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Here are some great tips on dealing with water damage! Don't forget through...the best tip of all is make sure you call SERVPRO should disaster strike! 

  • Don’t treat flood water (regardless of source) in unwanted places lightly.
  • Water that comes in from the outside of your home can bring in harmful bacteria from outside into your home.
  • Even if your basement only has an inch of water in it or is even damp it is the perfect breeding ground for mold.

Even if your damage seems like it just affected your carpet water can wick-up onto your walls and get them wet risking the growth of mold if not treated properly. If your walls are made of drywall water can wick-up as much as 30 inches!

Here are some great tips on minimizing water damage to your basement. You will thank us we promise! 

1) Call your insurance company and report your        loss right away.

  • Have them assign a water mitigation company to your claim or call SERVPRO as soon as possible to take care of your mitigation needs and let your adjuster/agent know you have already called someone out.

2) Disconnect the power, unplug any electronics and remove electronics, furniture, and moveable items to areas that are dry.

  • Remember, the faster you get items out water’s way the more likely you’ll be able to save them.

3) Get rid of the water.

  • If your sump pump is the issue, have a plumber out right away to fix the sump pump and/or replace it and this will take care of any standing water.
    • Note: You will still need a mitigation company to extract the water from your carpet.
  • If you have a broken pipe, spigot, or a toilet overflow, shut off the water immediately. Have a plumber out right away to fix the issue.
  • If you have a wet/dry vac you can use this to suck up the standing water. Be sure to plug it into outlets far away from water and do not use an extension cord as the connection could short out and give you a nasty shock.
  • If you have several inches of water you may want to consider renting or purchasing a submersible pump to remove the water while you are waiting for the mitigation company to arrive.
  • Pull wet carpet away from walls to prevent wicking up the drywall. This will minimize the damage to your walls

The faster that you can react and follow these tips as well as get a mitigation company out to your home the better chances you have of saving your flooring, drywall, and personal items, keepsakes, and the less time your home will be in disarray.

So give us a call if disaster strikes! We are faster to any disaster and are ready to make things "Like it never even happened."

Don't be a vacation water damage statistic!

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Don't be a homeowner to come home from a vacation with a wet house! Turn off the water!

Frozen and broken water pipes are not thought of as a catastrophe or anywhere near the same scale as a natural disaster, but damage from water is the most prevalent, yet least recognized catastrophe. In fact, frozen and broken water pipes rank No. 2 only behind hurricanes in terms of both the number of homes damaged and the amount of insurance claim costs in the U.S. In most cases, pipes break during freezing weather.

As temperatures fall, water expands and causes localized pressure. When the pressure becomes too great, a break occurs. This may create a pinhole leak, hairline break or large crack.

Damage from frozen and broken water pipes can be a homeowner's nightmare.  When a pipe bursts, water gushes from the pipe like a fire hydrant turning a basement into a lake within a few minutes.  Water from frozen and broken pipes causes the most damage while people are away from home or while they're on vacation and their home is vacant.  Make sure you turn off the water before you leave so you can return to a safe and clean home!  SERVPRO can help repair any water damage if you come home to a flooded house!

When Icicles Attack Your Home

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Now that old man winter is here to stay, it's time to think of the snow buildup that is happening on your roof top.  While roofs covered in fresh snow can make a pretty wintery scene, it can also do much damage under the blanket of snow and into your home.  The snow starts to melt and then re-freezes which causes more stress to the roof of your home.   As the ice slowly melts over time, water seeps beneath shingles, under the tar paper, and eventually into the plywood beneath, causing damage to your roof, fascia and soffit.

Ice buildup in your gutters prevents the flow of melted snow to your down spouts for proper drainage. The stacked up ice and snow causes the run off to flow over the lip of your gutters and create long icicles.

Clearing the snow the first 3 to 4 feet of the roof after every snow fall with a roof rake will go a long way in helping to protect your home this winter from the formation of ice dams.

Should you have any water damage to the inside of your home or would like assistance in properly removing of the snow to your roof, please contact SERVPRO for all your needs. 

We are faster to any disaster and ready to make things "Like it never even happened."

Preparing For Spring Water Damage Risks

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

The first half of the year tends to be some of the wettest in Indiana. From the frozen, saturated ground of late winter to the constant rain storms of spring, dealing with the water and trying to keep it out of your house can be a constant battle. So what do you do if your home should be the unfortunate victim of water damage this time of year? Below we will go over the steps you should take to lessen the water damage and get your home restored quickly.

First let’s go over a few ways to prepare your house in the unfortunate case that you do have water in your home.

  1. Know where your water shut off is. If the water is coming from a broken pipe – often due to freezing – you can stop the flow of water immediately before further damage is done
  2. Always store your valuables up high in your basement. Plastic bins are also a great way to keep the water away from your most precious items

Let’s say water is coming in; what do you do?

  1. Take Pictures of the Damage It’s important to take pictures of the water damage before trying to clean things up or remove the water. If you have a flooded basement or flooded first floor, be sure to take pictures of all the water damage. This can be important and helpful when filing an insurance claim. If the water damage came from a burst pipe, be sure to take a picture of the pipe.
  2. Don’t Use Electricity in Water Damaged Areas If you should suffer extensive water damage, you may want to cut off the power to the whole house. However, if your circuit box is in an affected area, like a basement, do not touch or attempt to check the circuit box. If your circuit breaker is in a dry area, then you may want to make sure the circuits to the water damaged area have been tripped. If they haven’t, you may want to flip them off to reduce any risk of electrical shock.
  3. Start Removing the Water If you can get the water out of your house, start doing it as quickly as possible. Contact us and we will get out to you to help. The longer the water sits in your home, the more time it has to damage your home. Standing water can soak further into your drywall, insulation and wood framing leading to more damage from the water which can quickly lead to mold growth and damage.
  4. Get the Air Circulating To help reduce the risk of mold damage, it’s important to get the air circulating. If the weather is nice, you can open your windows and doors to allow the outside air to blow through the home. You can also employ fans and blowers to get fresh air circulating around the water damage. If you are in a basement or an area that is particularly damp, you can also use dehumidifiers to draw the moisture out of the air. This can all help to reduce any further water or mold damage to your home.

We are ready to help 24/7 and will help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

7 Secret Weapons for Surviving the Worst of Winter

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

Winter can be magical, but it's also fraught with danger. Frigid temperatures can make water freeze and expand, causing pipes to burst. Ice buildup on the roof, if unnoticed, can damage both the roof and gutters. Slick black ice between the house and your car can turn that short walk into a hazard! 

You can protect yourself from winter's brutal assault with a handful of sensible purchases and repairs, according to Daniel O’Brian, technical expert for SupplyHouse.com, an online retailer of plumbing and heating components. Scroll through this list of seven useful products that can help you get ready for anything Old Man Winter dishes out this season.

1. Heat Tape

 

Homeowners often shut off the water supply to outside spigots in late fall, but some indoor pipes—such as those located in unheated basements, crawl spaces, or even under sinks in poorly insulated houses—can still be at risk of freezing. And dealing with a pipe that freezes and bursts involves much more than a simple fix. You could find yourself spending thousands of dollars to repair water damage.

“If relocating pipes or draining them during the winter is not an option, heat tape is a relatively easy way to prevent pipe freezing,” O’Brian says. Electric-powered heat tape, such as Easy Heat’s 50-Foot Pipe Tracing Heat Cable (available from SupplyHouse), securely wraps around metal or PVC pipes, and its self-regulating thermostat varies the heat output to keep your pipes from freezing or getting too hot—even in subzero temperatures.

2. Radiant Heat Mats

 

Icy driveways and sidewalks lead to wintertime falls—and visits to the emergency room. Fortunately, safety doesn't have to involve spreading toxic chemicals or plant-killing salt on paved surfaces. “Approved electric radiant heat mats can be used outdoors not only to save time shoveling, but also to create safer environments with less ice, fewer slips and falls, and less need to salt and condition the surface,” O'Brian says.

If this option sounds good to you, be aware that radiant heat mats need to be installed at the same time as the sidewalk (or driveway) is poured—which puts them out of the running for many homeowners. But investing in a high-quality heat mat, such as the Suntouch ProMelt Mat (available from SupplyHouse), can really pay off. Embedded just beneath the surface of the concrete, these mats keep the concrete surface dry and ice-free all winter. Having radiant heat mats offers the added benefit of keeping shoes dry and clean, so less mess gets tracked into your home.

3. Roof and Gutter De-Icing Cables

A picturesque blanket of snow on the roof can pose an ugly risk if it begins to melt and then refreezes, resulting in heavy ice buildup along the edge of the roof and in the gutter. These accumulations, known as ice dams, can damage roof shingles and lead to leaks, and cause the gutter to tear away from the house.

Securing a heated cable, such as EasyHeat’s 240-Foot Roof and Gutter De-Icing Cable (available from SupplyHouse ), to the roof can offer that ounce of prevention you need. “Roof and gutter de-icing cables are positioned strategically in areas prone to ice dam formation and use heat to melt snow and ice before it can build up and cause a dam,” he explains.

4. Unit Heater

 

Maintenance and repair work doesn't stop just because temperatures have dipped below freezing. But it can be hard to work on the car or finish up a project in your workshop when your fingers are numb from the cold. “With a proper gas or electrical hookup, unit heaters offer a relatively easy way to condition areas such as garages and workshops,” O’Brian says, making the garage a comfortable work space all year long. Installing and running a heater can help raise the indoor temperature to around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which is sufficiently warm for most types of projects or mechanical work. Even better, these units don't need to take up valuable floor space. Some units, such as Modine’s Hot Dawg Natural Gas Power Vented Heater (available from SupplyHouse), come with angle brackets to suspend the unit from the ceiling.

5. Whole-House Humidifier

You're probably familiar with the effects of dry air, such as chapped lips, irritated skin, and worsened breathing problems for those with asthma. Dry air can have similar consequences inside the home. “Forced-air heating systems can especially dry out indoor air, which is harmful for wood floors and furniture,” O’Brian says. Increasing the moisture level in your home during winter via a whole-house humidifier can alleviate these problems. A unit like General Aire’s Drain-Type Power Humidifier (available from SupplyHouse) connects to your home’s HVAC system (professional installation is required). Then, as your furnace sends warm air through the ducts, the humidifier infuses the air with soothing moisture. 

6. Frost-Free Sillcocks

Exterior faucets are notorious for freezing and breaking in winter. One solution is to turn off the water supply to the faucets and bleed the lines so they can’t freeze. A better solution would be to replace your standard outdoor faucets with frost-free sillcocks, such as Bluefin’s Frost-Free Anti-Siphon Sillcock (available from SupplyHouse). In a frost-free sillcock, unlike a standard exterior faucet, the valve that shuts off the water sits at the end of a long pipe so it's situated inside your house, where it’s less likely to freeze. Once the frost-free sillcock is in place, you won’t have to turn off the water supply for the winter—you’ll be able to run water whenever you need it, no matter how cold it is outside.

7. Leak and Freeze Detector

 

Pipes typically have the greatest risk of freezing and breaking during “the first freeze of the season, or in areas where freezing temperatures aren't very common,” O’Brian says. Don't get caught off guard! Install a leak detector wherever a pipe or an appliance, such as a water heater, is apt to freeze or leak.

“Modern detectors go beyond just sounding an alarm,” O’Brian says. “They also provide mobile alerts so that damage can be minimized.” When freezing temperatures approach or if a leak is detected, the Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Leak and Freeze Detector (available from SupplyHouse) will sound an audible alarm. It also connects to your home's wireless router and can be configured (via the mobile app) to send an alert to your smartphone so you can take action before a small leak evolves into a disaster. Powered by three AAA batteries, the detector should last about three years.

Article from BobVilla.com

Dyer & Schererville 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

1/18/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lake County is located in Griffith, IN and provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Dyer, Schererville, Griffith, Highland, and Munster.

Body:

SERVPRO of Western Lake 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 -
(219) 922-9300

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 Western Lake 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 Western Lake County

SERVPRO of Western Lake 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.