Water Leak Cleanup in Flemington
This before & after is from the same day in a warehouse in Flemington. SERVPRO made this water leak "Like it never even happened."
It's never fun to walk into your home or business and find that a leaking pipe or appliance flooded your property. Did you know? One small crack in a leaky pipe can pour out 250 gallons of water per day. When even a small water leak in Flemington isn't handled promptly, significant damages will occur.
What To Do When You Find A Water Leak
Need immediate help with water damage or flooding from a leak in the Flemington area? Call SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County 24/7 for rapid emergency water cleanup services.
1. Find the source of the water leak.
Sometimes it's not clear where water is coming from inside your home or business - especially when the leak is behind a wall or in the ceiling. You can check for leaks by following the flow of the water. Look for signs of bubbling, discolored or warped walls, floors, and ceilings. If these areas seem fine, also inspect your appliances. It's common for washing machines to leak from their back hoses, water heaters can leak from multiple sources, and even your furnace or refrigerator can be leaking. If you have trouble finding the source, call a plumber to help.
2. Shut off the water and stop the source.
Plumbing leaks will continue so long as the water is still flowing through the pipes - so be quick to turn it off once you find the source. For some other types of leaks, you may need to unfortunately let the water run it's course - Such as when your washing machine begins leaking while doing laundry. You can turn off the machine and the water - but it will still continue to leak until it is empty or at a level it can no longer do so. Stopping the source of water is extremely important to prevent further damages to your home or business.
3. Move any wet or water damaged materials out of the water.
This will help prevent further damage to your furniture or other belongings in your home or business, and make the clean up process easier for you.
4. Begin water cleanup - or call a water damage restoration company.
Depending on the amount of water, you may be able to handle the clean up by yourself - but this is not always wise to do.
For a small leak or water spill, you can do the following:
- Get as much water as you can up from the floor. Use a wet dry vacuum, towels, and mops.
- Set up any fans and dehumidifiers you have in wet areas to help dry them out.
If you take these steps and there is still standing water, saturated carpets, or affected hardwood floors - You should call in professional help and think about filing an insurance claim. Depending on where the leak started in your home, you may not have the tools needed to completely clean up all water and ensure that all areas of your property are properly dried.
For example: If a water pipe broke in the second floor bathroom of your home and leaked all the way down into your basement - You would not only have standing water in the basement but also water damage to ceilings, walls, and floors that can get progressively worse over time.
This kind of water damage would require flood cuts and demolition of affected areas to ensure everything can be dried out. If water damage is not addressed properly, mold and mildew can begin to grow in as little as 48 hours and continue to spread across your property.
How Can You Prevent Water Leaks?
There are some ways that you can help ensure you don't experience water leaks or flooding in your Flemington area home or business.
- Pay attention to any large changes in your water bill. If a bill shows unexpectedly high usage, this could be a sign there is an unknown leak somewhere on your property.
- Looks for signs of wear in your plumbing system. Signs include noisy pipes, moisture on walls, or rust stained water. These things would signal that your water pipes are getting old and are more susceptible to breaking or leaking.
- Invest in leak detection systems for your water heater or other appliances. It's extremely common for appliances like water heaters to have slow leaks over time that go unnoticed, especially when they are tucked away in an area of your home you don't inspect often. Some detection systems can send an alert right to your phone of a possible water leak and allows you to stop it as soon as possible.
Need Help With Water Leaks in Flemington? Call Us 24/7! 908-788-8770
SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County is a 24/7 damage restoration company specializing in fire damage, water damage, mold remediation, and cleaning services. We're here to make any disaster "Like it never even happened."
What Is A Moisture Meter & How Do They Work?
Moisture meters help determine the moisture content of a material and are used in woodworking and water damage restoration.
When your home or business experiences flooding or water leaks, you're likely to call a water damage restoration company to come out and inspect the affected areas and repair them as needed. But, how do they find all the moisture to ensure that none is left behind - especially when it seems like nothing is there? The key is in the use of a moisture meter.
What Is a Moisture Meter?
A moisture meter measures the moisture content of various materials and shows the moisture level in a given material.
How Do They Work?
Moisture meters come in two different types: pin type meters and pinless meters.
A pin moisture meter takes measurements by inserting the pins into the wood or material being tested. These work by measuring the electrical resistance against the moisture content in the material. When the material is wet, electricity flows more easily between the two pins, compared to when it is dry. This is how the meter gives it's reading. After taking this measurement, it's presented as %MC (percent moisture content) (Delmhorst).
Pinless moisture meters use a sensor pad which is placed flat against the surface being measured. The sensor sends electromagnetic waves in to the material it is placed against, and then works similarly to pin meters without inserting anything into the material or walls.
Using a digital meter will make reading the %MC as easy as possible.
How Are They Used?
A moisture meter is used to determine if a material is too wet or has a high level of moisture. Many materials, such as wood, paper, and drywall are sensitive to high moisture levels and may begin to structurally deteriorate and produce mold growth when moisture is left unaddressed.
These tools are used constantly in the water damage restoration industry. When it comes to water damage, you want to be sure that all moisture is dried out from any affected materials - but there needs to be a way of measuring that!
Here at SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County, we use moisture meters during every water damage inspection. The moisture tester provides an accurate moisture reading that helps the Project Manager to identify wet materials, areas in need of demolition or drying, and allows them to monitor the drying process.
Water Damage? Call SERVPRO For A Free Inspection - 908-788-8770
SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County is a 24/7 emergency damage restoration company specializing in fire, water, mold and COVID-19 services. Help is only a phone call away - We're always Here to Help.
How To Clean Up Fire Extinguisher Powder
SERVPRO performed fire extinguisher powder clean up in a local apartment building, making it "Like it never even happened."
An after-fire cleanup can be a large undertaking. Soot and smoke damage may cover walls, smoke odors may linger, and there may be fire extinguisher residue from putting out the fire by yourself. Portable fire extinguishers are incredibly vital in stopping the spread of a fire in it's tracks, but cleaning up after using one can be a challenge if you don't know the proper steps!
There are a few different types of fire extinguishers, but here we will focus on the most common type: Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers.
How Do They Work?
These kinds of fire extinguishers work by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle. The fire triangle is the relationship between oxygen, heat, and fuel that produce a fire. This type of extinguisher interrupts the triangle by using a multipurpose dry chemical that creates a barrier between oxygen and the fuel element of the fire, effectively putting it out.
The chemicals most often used in these kinds of extinguishers are monoammonium phosphate and sodium or potassium bicarbonate. This is mentioned as these chemicals are corrosive to metals and can lead to damage when not cleaned up quickly (Koorsen).
Be sure that you are using the correct class of Fire Extinguisher to put out your fire. Explore the different classes and which one you should use here.
Tips to Cleaning Up Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher Powder
- Wear protective equipment before cleaning. Fire extinguisher residue is usually non-toxic, but regardless, the powder may cause skin or eye irritation. It's best to wear gloves, a mask, and safety glasses to avoid inhaling particles or getting them in your eyes.
- If possible, shut down the ventilation system in the affected area. This helps to not re-disturb the powder that has settles on to floors, walls or furniture, and makes it easier to clean up.
- Sweep or vacuum up any settled residue. If any residue is stuck or left behind, make a solution of 50% isopropyl alcohol and 50% water, and spray it on to the affected area. Let the solution sit for a few minutes, wipe it with a wet cloth, and then vacuum again.
- Properly dispose of the fire extinguisher powder. You should put all residue from the vacuum cleaner or dustpan in to a sealed bag and dispose of it normally in a trash can. This step will help to contain the mess and be sure not to spread the residue around the building.
- Clean the affected areas of leftover residue with warm, soapy water and a damp cloth or sponge. This is important to make sure that any leftover residue doesn't damage any surfaces or furniture over time. Be sure to wash any curtains or other upholstered items as well.
- If the fire extinguisher was used in a kitchen or food area, be extra cautious with cleaning. It's highly important to be sure all the residues are gone from cooking or eating utensils, and are not on fresh foods or produce.
Once you have cleaned up from discharging your fire extinguisher - Congratulations! You've successfully put out a small house fire and avoided the need for extensive fire damage restoration. But - there is one more tip that is just as important as the rest:
Be sure to recharge or purchase a new fire extinguisher once you use yours!
You don't want to be caught without a fire extinguisher if there is a fire again in your home or business.
Need Fire Cleanup? Call SERVPRO - 908-788-8770
SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County is a 24/7 damage restoration company specializing in fire damage, water damage, mold remediation, and cleaning services. We're here to make any disaster "Like it never even happened."
How to Avoid A Candle Fire in Your Home
Not practicing correct candle fire safety may pose a significant risk for fire damage to your Flemington area home.
Candles are often used decoratively, to enhance the ambiance of a room, or even as a light source when the power goes out. But, when candles are not used in line with proper safety guidelines, they can start a fire in your home. According to the NFPA, roughly 8,000 home candle fires are reported every year and cause $278 million in property damage.
Whether it is large or small, a fire can cause a huge amount of damage to your home. Even if a fire is put out within minutes, soot and smoke may cover your walls, furniture, and floors, creating a huge mess to clean up.
To prevent fire damage in your home and stay safe, it's best to practice these candle safety tips.
Tips to Prevent Candle Fires
- Keep candles at least 12 inches away from any flammable materials. 60 percent of candle fires start because the burning candle was too close to things that could burn, such as curtains, bedding, furniture, or decorations (NFPA).
- Avoid placing a lighted candle in an area it can easily be knocked over. Children and pets often run around homes, and if a table is bumped or a dog's tail knocks it over - it can easily start a fire. Don't place candles on coffee tables or within reach of children.
- Don't leave lit candles unattended. This may be the biggest tip for fire safety - Anything can happen if you leave a candle unattended. It's always possible for a candle to combust or "explode", get knocked over, or light a curtain blowing in the breeze on fire. Also, if a candle has been burning for a long time, it's possible for hot wax to splatter and cause a fire.
- Never fall asleep with a candle lit! Roughly one third of candle fires start in bedrooms - many due to homeowners falling asleep. This is also similar to leaving the candle unattended.
- If a candle fire starts - DO NOT try to put it out with water. Hot, melted wax may splatter and worsen the fire and burn you. Using water to put out a candle fire may also result in the glass candle holder exploding due to the rapid change in temperature. The best way to put out a candle fire is to snuff it out or smother it, similar to a grease fire.
- Place matches and lighters out of the reach of children. Children should not light candles or be around candles unattended. If they cannot light a candle, they cannot cause a fire.
- Throw away candles that have little to no wax back. When a candle burns this low, it heats up the container or holder that it is in much more than when it is a fresh, new candle. This puts it at risk to crack or explode, and light nearby combustible material on fire.
- Be mindful of the manufacturer's safety instructions on the candle. They may advise for how long the candle can be burned or if there are any other hazards associated with it.
- Be sure to place candles on heat or fire resistant surfaces. Some surfaces are more likely to get hot and indirectly start a fire, or are highly flammable if wax splatters.
- Be extra careful of candles around the holidays. December is the peak month for candle fires, and is correlated with holiday decorations. Almost three times as many fires that are started by candles on Christmas than the daily average for the rest of the year! (NFPA) With homes crowded with family, decorations, and lit candles, disaster can strike quickly if you are not vigilant and practicing the above tips.
If a candle fire starts in your home - keep your family safe and evacuate if you are not able to quickly put it out. Your belongings and home can be replaced - but lives cannot!
Damage From A Candle Fire? Call SERVPRO - 908-788-8770
SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County is a damage restoration company specializing in fire damage, water damage, and mold remediation. No matter the damages, we can make it "Like it never even happened."
Flooded House Cleanup: The Guide
When flooding hits your home, SERVPRO will be there to make it "Like it never even happened."
Here's the scenario: You and your family leave town for the weekend to visit family and relax. But, on your way home you get a call from your neighbor. "You know that big storm that was supposed to come through? The creek behind your house overflowed and now your house is flooded..."
A call like this can throw any sense of relaxation out the window in a moment's notice - and around 14,000 people in the United States experience a water damage situation like this every day.
Whether your flood damage is caused by hurricanes, tropical storms, broken pipes or even faulty appliances - the situation can quickly become overwhelming. But, that's why we've put together a guide on how to get your flooded home back to normal.
If you need emergency house flood cleanup services, call SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County 24/7 - 908-788-8770
The Guide To Cleaning Up Your Flooded House
Think: Safety First!
The CDC recommends to protect yourself from exposure to floodwater regardless of the source of contamination. Flood water may contain downed power lines, human or animal waste, hazardous chemicals, sharp or large objects, and even animals like rats or snakes. Being exposed to these dangers or contaminates can cause infections, skins rashes, gastrointestinal issues, tetanus, or physical harm. If you must enter flood water, wear proper protective gear, such as rain boots, chest waders, and gloves.
When major flooding hits your home, you should also be sure to turn off the electrical power and gas to avoid electrocution or explosions. If your fuse box is in a flooded area or you're not sure where it is, call an electrician for help. Be sure to not use any electric tools or appliances while standing in flood water.
Be sure that your home is also structurally sound before going in after a major flooding event. Look for signs of structural damages, such as buckling walls or floors, cracks in foundations, or any other signs that a structure in the home may collapse.
Find and stop the source of water.
Obviously, the faster you're able to stop water from entering your home, the easier your clean up efforts will be. If flooding is due to a faulty appliance or a burst pipe, the best step to take is immediately turning the water off in your home.
When house flooding is due to natural disasters like hurricanes, there is sometimes a period where you just have to wait the storm out before anything can be done. This is because as long as it continues to rain and flood waters rise, water will continue to enter your home. Sometimes the most you can do is make it easier for water to drain once rains have stopped.
Contact your insurance company to file a claim.
There are many kinds of house floods that are covered by your standard homeowner's insurance policy, including flooding from broken pipes, faulty appliances, ice dams, sewer lines backing up, or storm drains overflowing. Flood insurance does get spotty, and to be covered by flooding from heavy rains or rivers you may need supplemental coverage.
If you're unsure if your house flood will be covered by your insurance claim, a Project Manager from SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County can come out and help review your policy, let you know if damages will be covered, and even help you file your claim correctly.
You should also be sure to document your damages for the insurance company. Take photos of everything to be correctly reimbursed for non salvageable items and the flood damage to your home.
Remove standing water as fast as possible.
Time is of the essence when it comes to removing water from your home to prevent mold growth. If your home has been flooded for a few days, you can expect the growth of mold. Mold will begin to grow in as little as 24-48 hours after flooding or water damage occurs if moisture is not handled quickly and properly.
If water isn't too high, you can try and get some up with a wet dry vacuum yourself or use a portable sump pump to remove water. In major flooding situations, it is not likely that you will be able to get rid of feet of water in your home. In these cases you can sometimes call the Fire Department, but you can also call a flood cleanup company to pump the water out.
Make sure your home is completely dried out.
This step is extremely important to prevent the growth of mold or mildew as well as structural deterioration in your home. To ensure your home is completely and properly dried out, you must be sure to get all the "hidden" water out of your home.
"Hidden" water can be behind walls, under floors or tile, or even in light fixtures. To get to these sources of moisture to dry them, you usually have to take the trim off walls and make flood cuts to the drywall so the interior of the wall is able to dry. Flood cuts depend on the amount of water that flooded your home.
You may also need to remove tiles, carpeting, or other types of flooring to get down to the subfloor and make sure that it will also be dried. If water has reached the subfloor, it is very important to dry it out to ensure structural issues do not appear over time.
After making any needed flood cuts to walls or ceilings and taking up wet flooring, you should set up fans and dehumidifiers to remove moisture from affected areas. Household fans and dehumidifiers are usually not sufficient to dry a home after major flooding. In that case, call a restoration company that uses commercial grade air movers and dehumidifiers. Many times you can also rent similar equipment at hardware stores.
Clean and disinfect flood affected areas.
You want to clean up any left behind debris, dirt, or other residue from the walls and floors of your home. Depending on the source of the flood water, this step may be even more essential to keep your home healthy.
You also need to sanitize after your house floods to help prevent mold growth. Sanitizing after flooding helps to kill mold spores and prevents them from thriving and spreading in the moist environment.
Restore and rebuild.
Once your home has been properly cleaned and remediated, you are able to move on to restoration and rebuilding. Areas where flood cuts were performed, ceilings taken out, or where flooring has been removed will need to be reconstructed and painted once again. Hopefully by now insurance will have also paid you out to restore or purchase any items that were not able to be saved from flooding.
House Floods Can Be Overwhelming.
The whirlwind of emotions that can follow even a minor flooding event in your home can many times be overwhelming for even the most prepared homeowners. After all, who is really prepared to lose all their belongings in a flood?
SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County is Here to Help after you home floods.
As a professional storm damage and flood cleanup company, we have the experience and resources needed to restore your home to pre-damage conditions even after a major disaster. We accept all insurance carriers, provide free estimates, and will guide you through the entire restoration process to put your mind at ease.
Need Help? Call SERVPRO 24/7 - 908-788-8770
How To Deal With Storm Damage in Hunterdon County
Above is damage to a local Flemington home due to a fallen tree.
When tornadoes, hurricanes, microbursts, or even snowstorms come through Hunterdon County, they can cause thousands of dollars worth of storm damage to your home or business. These damages can quickly become overwhelming and require help from a professional storm damage cleanup & restoration company.
Here, we will go over the types of weather damage and what you should do when it strikes your home.
In need of immediate assistance? Call SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County 24/7 - 908-788-8770
Types of Storm Damage
This type of damage results from things hitting your property. That can be anything from falling trees or tree branches, strong winds from hurricanes or tornadoes slamming large items into your home, or even fallen power lines. One fallen tree has the power to demolish an entire building - Impact damage can cause the most destruction to your home or business.
Strong winds can cause impact damage to your home, but they can do a lot of damage on their own as well. When winds are strong enough, they can lift the roof shingles of your home and result in a considerable amount of wind damage to your roof. Strong winds also have the ability to peel back the siding of your home.
If you suspect roof storm damage to your home, it’s a good idea to have a company come out to do a roof inspection to be sure no repairs are needed. It’s important to address wind damage, even when it seems small, to ensure that no rain enters through exposed areas and causes water damage to the structure.
When rains are heavy enough for a prolonged amount of time, many times many homeowner’s basements flood. When heavy rains are also paired with wind or impact damage, homes are also at risk for flooding.
Severe storms can produce hailstones sometimes as large as a softball. Since hailstones are heavy, abnormal in size, and have rough edges, they can easily puncture your roof or dent your siding.
Signs of damage from a hailstorm are split shingles, dark-colored impact marks, or visible roof felt. Acting on these signs once you identify them can save you costly water damage repairs in the future!
A lightning strike to a tree or power line can cause impact damage to your home, but it can also cause damage on it’s own. If lightning strikes your home, it can be at risk for a fire, as well as resulting smoke damage or even water damage from the firefighting efforts.
What To Do After Storm Damage
Wait until it is safe to go outside. You should wait until the storm has passed to see if there’s any damage to your home. If something has majorly damaged your home, you will likely know without going outside to see it.
Inspect for damages. Look for signs of roof storm damage, pulled back siding, or any water leaks inside your home. Take photos of any damages for your insurance company.
If needed, turn off the power and the gas. This is usually only necessary in major flooding situations or if lightning strikes your home. This step is important to keep yourself and those who come to help safe.
Contact your insurance company. Review your homeowner’s policy to see if your damages will be covered. Your insurance company can also advise you on the next steps you should take. If needed, our Project Managers can help review your policy, let you know if your damages will be covered, and even help file the claim.
Call a storm damage restoration company to prevent further damage to your home. When you have water leaks, flooding, or holes in your roof due to weather damage, you’ll need to address the issues quickly.
A storm damage company can tarp and holes in your roof, board up any broken windows, and begin emergency water mitigation services as needed. SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County provides these services 24/7, and can even handle the rebuilding afterwards.
Is Storm Damage Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?
The standard homeowner’s insurance policy does cover most types of storm damage. That includes wind, hail, lightning, and impact damage. These damages are covered because they are unpredictable and there are no steps you could’ve taken to prevent these events from happening.
Covered becomes spotty when it comes to water damage or flooding. Water damage that resulted from the damages covered above will be covered by your insurance company. But, many times flooding is not covered by your policy. If flooding isn’t caused by any of the covered damages, it will likely not be covered unless you have supplemental flood insurance.
Basement flooding from storms is usually not covered because it is groundwater. This type of flooding can be avoided by installing a sump pump, floor drains, or waterproofing your basement - that’s why it’s not covered.
Storm Damage? Call SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County 24/7 - 908-788-8770
Tips To Dry A Water Damaged Carpet
Above is one tactic to dry a wet carpet.
When you experience flooding in your home - whether it is from a toilet overflow or broken pipe - the damages can quickly become overwhelming. Something many homeowners struggle with after water damage is figuring out how to dry their wet carpets, whether or not it can be saved, and preventing carpet mold.
Here, we will outline some tips and tricks for when you're dealing with a water damaged carpet.
Tips To Save A Wet Carpet
- Stop flooding as soon as possible.
The less water that continues to flow into the room, the less cleanup and damage there will be.
- Move items out of the affected area.
It will be much easier to begin the drying process once furniture or other wet materials are moved out of the way.
- Use a wet-dry vacuum to remove as much water as possible from the carpet.
You can usually rent a wet dry vacuum at a place like Lowes or Home Depot, but this equipment is also handy to keep around the house for these exact types of situations. If the carpet is extremely saturated, a household shop vacuum will likely be unable to extract all or a majority of the water from it.
If you find this is the case while taking this step - it may be better to completely remove the carpet, or to call a water damage restoration company to save it using a commercial grade water extractor.
- Pull up a portion of the carpet to check for moisture.
To pull up the carpet, start in a corner and grab the carpet with pliers and pull to detach it from the tack strips that keep it in place along the walls. Then, use your hands to pull it up a bit more.
From here, inspect the padding underneath the carpet (if it has one). Check to see if it is also wet. This padding usually cannot be saved, even if the carpet is.
After inspecting the padding, pull a portion of that up as well to take a look at the sub floor. Has the water reached it? If so, you will have to worry about more than just drying out your damp carpet. A water-damaged sub floor requires professional restoration to prevent it from rotting out or deteriorating over time.
- Inspect for mold while looking for moisture.
Mold can begin to grow on a saturated carpet in as little as 24-48 hours after getting wet. If you did not address the moisture immediately, it's extremely important to check for the growth of mold or mildew. If you find mold, you will likely have to throw the carpet away.
It's also important to check the sub floor for mold as well, especially if moisture has migrated down to it. If you find mold on the sub floor, you will likely need to call a mold remediation company before putting down a new carpet - or else mold will infest the new one as well.
- Begin the drying process.
There are a few options for drying out a wet carpet. If there is no padding underneath it and the sub flooring is concrete, it can be sufficient to set up fans and dehumidifiers on top of the carpet - but this way may be the most likely to put you at risk for the growth of mold.
The most popular way to dry out a carpet is to "float" it. Here, you would pull up a corner of the carpet (remove the padding if there is any), and then position a fan underneath the carpet in the corner that you pulled back. This way, you can be sure that the carpet is fully dried underneath as well as on the surface, and that the floor underneath it is properly dried as well.
After setting up fans, you should also set up dehumidifiers to remove any other lingering moisture in the affected areas. Be sure to empty the tank every so often so that it doesn’t leak and ruin your efforts.
If you find that you're having a hard time getting the carpet dried with your own household equipment, you likely need to call a water damage restoration company to come and dry it out completely and properly for you. Companies like SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County have commercial grade equipment that can get the job done much more quickly.
- Clean and sanitize all flood affected areas.
This step is important to prevent the growth of mold or mildew, as well as the development of unwanted musty odors in your home.
How long does it take for carpet to dry?
Well, that depends on a number of different factors, including the type of carpeting, how thick it is, how wet it is, and whether or not there is padding underneath. With household equipment, it will take considerably longer to dry out a carpet - but regardless you shouldn't expect it to only take a few hours to dry. If you call a water restoration company, you can expect your carpet to be completely and properly dried in about three days.
If my carpet smells, should I spray it with an air freshener or other odor removing sprays?
The answer is no, you should not. If your carpet smells after you've dried it out, then that's a big sign mold is likely growing in the carpet fibers or underneath it. Spraying it with odor removing sprays will just let the mold problem get much worse, and eventually your home will smell even more.
Will insurance cover a flooded carpet?
This is hard to answer because it depends on the cause of your water damage. If the damage was caused by something like a broken pipe, a detached washing machine hose, or your HVAC system leaking, it will likely be covered. Times where it may not be covered is if the flooding is directly your fault or is from something like groundwater entering your home.
What To Do If Your Basement Floods
Cleaning up after basement flooding can be overwhelming.
When you have the misfortune of walking downstairs and finding your basement flooding, it can be overwhelming. Where do you start? Who do you call? Are your contents submerged in water? How do you dry out a basement fast? Don't worry - we will walk you through the steps on how to clean up a flooded basement here!
7 Steps For A Flooded Basement Cleanup
1. Think safety first!
You should never enter a flooded basement without making sure it is safe to do so. If there is a large amount of standing water, you should be sure to turn the power off first. Make sure that there are no exposed wires touching any water, and see if any electrical appliances are submerged in water.
If your circuit breaker is in the flooded area or you're not sure how to cut the power, call an electrician for help.
2. Get the right protective gear before entering any floodwater.
This is important in case the water has come from a contaminated source, such as an overflowing river or a sewage pipe. Find rain boots, gloves, and even chest waders if the water is high enough. But - if the water is more than an inch or two, we would recommend calling a water cleanup company that's equipped to handle major flooding in your home.
3. Assess the situation - Find the source of your flooding and see what has been affected.
Finding the source of the water will help to guide your next steps. If flooding is due to heavy rains, you should wait until the storm has passed and water has stopped flowing to start cleaning up, or else your efforts will quickly be ruined.
If flooding is due to something inside your home, such as a burst pipe, leaking washing machine hose, furnace, or any other broken appliance, turn off the water fast. 250 gallons of water can leak from a 1/8-inch pipe crack in just one day! This step will prevent even further damages.
After you find the source of the water, see what it has affected. Is the whole basement flooded, or just a certain area? If it is a finished living space, is the carpet saturated? Can it be saved and dried out, or should you just rip the wet carpet out and throw it away? Look to see if any of your contents have also been affected, and decide what to throw out accordingly.
Move any other contents out of the affected area to make your clean up efforts easier.
You should also inspect for any signs of mold, especially if water has been in the basement for a long period of time. Standing water and humid air creates the perfect environment for mold spores to grow and spread quickly into an infestation in as little as 48 hours.
4. Begin the water removal process.
The best way to approach this is to use your sump pump if you have one. It will pump the water out of your basement itself. But, if it isn't working or you don't have one, use a wet dry vacuum to suck up most of the standing water from the floor. After you get most of the water up, you can use a mop and bucket or even towels to tackle the puddles of water leftover.
If there's more than an inch of water in your basement, it may be best to call a flood cleanup company to handle extracting the water for you. Commercial grade extractors can get the job done much more quickly and fully than a wet dry vacuum.
5. Start the drying process.
Set up any fans or dehumidifiers you may have in the most water damaged or flood affected areas. This is incredibly important to prevent the growth of mold, mildew, or unwanted odors in your home.
Unfortunately, household fans and dehumidifiers are not always strong enough to get your basement completely dry, especially if it suffered from major flooding. In these cases, call a professional flood damage company like SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County. They use commercial grade air movers and dehumidifiers that will dry the basement in three days - and can use moisture meters to ensure no moisture is left behind.
6. Clean & sanitize basement walls and floors.
This last step is important to keep your home sanitary and further help prevent the growth of mold. This step is especially important if the water was from an unsanitary source that could possibly make you ill when you come in contact with it. SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County cleans and sanitizes all flood affected areas with antimicrobial to accomplish this last step - something that may be overlooked when cleaning up yourself.
7. Take action to prevent flooding in the future.
You don't want to do all this work or pay money to only have your basement flood again a few months later. If your basement is naturally prone to groundwater seepage, consider contacting a waterproofing company. If you can't waterproof it, be sure to move appliances on to cinder blocks or migrate them to another floor of your home to prevent them from being submerge if flooding strikes again.
If your flooding was due to something like a clogged floor drain, failed sump pump, crack in your foundation, a broken pipe, or anything else along these lines - be sure to get it fixed so it doesn't happen again.
If an inadequate drainage system outside your home was an issue, take steps to navigate water away from the foundation from your home. This can be done by just extending the downspout of your gutters so water runs off further away from your home, rather than seeping into your basement.
When Should I Call A Professional?
There are definitely situations where you can clean up water in your basement by yourself. But, when flooding covers the entire floor or is more than an inch deep - it's best to call in a professional flooded basement company. These companies can ensure that all water is removed, the basement will be completely and properly dried out, and that it will be cleaned & sanitized to prevent mold & mildew.
Need Help? Call SERVPRO 24/7 - 908-788-8770
SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County is a 24/7 water damage company. We provide all customers free estimates, direct insurance billing, and guidance throughout the entire restoration process.
COVID-19 Defensive Sanitizing in Hunterdon County
Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – A Defensive Cleaning Program
Let us help you get back to business.
As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
Extensive training and specialized products
As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities.
From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.
3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify
When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.
- Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
- Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials. In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible.
- Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.
Call today for a FREE Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Consultation
We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.
Call SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County today at 908-788-8770 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.
* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience. Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.
What Are the Different Ways of Removing Water from My Clinton Home?
Our SERVPRO team has experience and is equipped with the tools to effectively remediate the water damage in your home. Call right away.
Our SERVPRO Team Has Multiple Tools for Efficient Extraction and Drying Suited to Different Circumstances.
Much of the successes that our SERVPRO team has seen over the years in Clinton can get traced back to our ongoing commitment to utilizing the best tools and strategies for extraction, drying, and cleaning. Every water loss incident comes with its own set of unique obstacles for our responding technicians to overcome, and we can do this through the use of advanced technologies.
From thorough, whole-house drying to water extraction in your Clinton property, the tools make the process more efficient or more complicated to perform. With ongoing training and education in the restoration niches, our professionals can better determine the best devices and equipment in water recovery. Efficient extraction and drying reduces costs for homeowners and can reduce irreparable damage to the contents of the residence as well.
What Tools Get Used for Removing Standing Water?
Extraction and drying must be one of the first steps to recovery of your Clinton water-damaged home. Standing water can deteriorate sensitive materials like drywall and wood flooring within short periods, so it is vital to get water removal efforts started as soon as possible. The choice in these machines and attachments involves the affected materials, the size of the damaged area, and the severity of the standing water itself. Some of the options include:
- Submersible Pumps
- Wet Vacuums
- Specialty Tools
The mentioned specialty tools can include many of the attachments and standalone devices that our SERVPRO team uses for removing trapped moisture in materials. Carpets, for example, can benefit from the use of our carpet wand while tiled floors might do better with the squeegee wands that we can also attach to bigger units like the wet vacuums.
What Types of Submersible Pumps Does SERVPRO Use?
Submersible pumps can be the backbone of effective extraction and water removal efforts. Choosing equipment that can work efficiently reduces the time that restoration takes. Choosing the right type of submersible pump is critical to this process, as choices can get made based on the presence of solids, the depth of the standing water, and how accessible the damaged areas might be. The three primary types of pumps our SERVPRO team uses are:
Electric pumps are among the most common choices, especially in clear-water incidents where debris and solids are not a threat within the standing water. These pumps often run on a traditional 110V power supply, making them versatile in home uses where available outlets exist or allow them to run more easily along with other tools and equipment off a single generator.
What Can Wet Vacuums Do for Water Damage?
While submersible pumps can often get used to reduce the water down to manageable depth, wet vacuums are vital to take it the rest of the way. When standing water is less than two inches in depth, wet vacuums and their respective attachments can be vital in finishing the work of removing surface water. Here are some of the advantages of using a wet vac for water removal:
Submersible pumps lose their prime and functionality once the depth of standing water in a residence has reached a specific point. Removing surface water in this manner exposes flooring and other saturated materials to our technicians for cleaning, debris removal, and focused drying efforts.
Numerous attachments can get used with wet vacuums that make them an even greater asset to water restoration and recovery teams. Carpet wands attached to powerful wet vacuums can help to remove the majority of trapped water from the fibers of your carpet. Likewise, light wands can help to reach inaccessible areas.
One of the most significant advantages of choosing wet vacuums for extraction is the versatility and mobility of these units. Most of the machines are lightweight, making them excellent restoration tools for multiple-story extraction needs.
Can a Soggy Carpet Get Saved?
Carpets are an everyday construction staple to area homes, and it can sometimes be a challenge to preserve these materials after a water loss incident. It does not take long for the surface layer to become completely saturated, allowing penetration to the padding and subflooring levels beneath it. A probing moisture meter can determine the extent and spread of moisture and water damages. After the use of a carpet wand to remove a large portion of the trapped water, we can utilize drying practices like floating the carpet with a positioned centrifugal air mover between the top and padding layers of the carpet floor system to dry both simultaneously. While it is not always possible to restore and protect damaged carpets, we do have methods that can often work.
Water losses can be devastating if they do not get addressed quickly in your home. Our SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County team can help 24/7 when you call (908) 788-8770.