Recent Water Damage Posts

How To Know When It Is Time for a Plumbing Overhaul

3/16/2021 (Permalink)

collapsed ceiling in a home due to water damage Collapsed ceiling due to water damage in Louisa, VA.

How To Know When It Is Time for a Plumbing Overhaul

Many people ignore the home's plumbing system until it is too late. This often leads to repeated repairs for leaks, pipe breaks and similar issues. The problem with this approach is that some plumbing issues can lead to significant water damage in a home. Supply line damage is one example of a problem that could release hundreds of gallons into a home in Louisa, VA. Though this water is likely to be clean water, it still has the power to inflict damage on flooring, walls, insulation and furniture. In some situations, a complete plumbing system overhaul might be the best solution.

Signs of Big Trouble
An occasional bathroom leak is fairly common and nothing to cause undue alarm. However, if the plumbing system experiences frequent breaks, especially in difficult-to-access locations, a replacement system might be in order. Still, it is important to carefully assess the situation by considering the following factors:

  • The age of the plumbing system
  • The lifespan of piping materials
  • The condition of the joints and fittings
  • The presence of corrosion

Each type of piping material has an expected lifespan. Supply line damage is rarer in PVC, copper and cast iron piping that is less than 50 years old. Brass and galvanized steel piping wear out more quickly.

A Reasonable Solution
While avoiding a supply line leak is important, a major replacement of plumbing is a big job. It can make sense to look for reasonable opportunities to replace plumbing components. For example, remodeling projects are great times to include a plumbing upgrade, especially if walls are being removed.
If major supply line damage does occur, calling in a water damage restoration company is the best way to avoid significant harm to a home. Trained technicians will remove standing water quickly and dry out the home to prevent future damage such as mold growth. Avoiding water damage is a worthy goal as is minimizing the consequences of a water disaster.

Preventing Water Damage During Construction

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

Group of construction engineer team in standard safety uniform work planing in construction site Prevent water damage during construction in Locust Hill, VA.

If you are a contractor, you probably want to avoid water issues, like a broken pipe that requires costly and time-consuming fixes, such as hiring a water pipe repair person. To protect your projects from requiring a water cleanup company, you should take the proper preventative steps. This means being proactive.

Identify Water Sources

Water leaks can sometimes happen when you are testing a building's systems and will require that you fix them with appropriate water pipe repair measures. The most common sources you should watch include:

  • Water distribution fixtures
  • Roof drains
  • Sewer hookups
  • HVAC fluid systems
  • Fire sprinklers

Create a Plan
To avoid performing a water pipe repair, contractors should take the potential water sources and create a plan to mitigate threats. These methods of mitigation should also be included in your project budget since they are necessary precautions.

Use Water Damage Prevention Tools
When building, there are water damage prevention tools that can limit the amount of damage a site sees. It is recommended that contractors use at least two of the readily available tools to reduce water damage.

Conduct a Shutdown Inspection
To ensure that the building is safe, a shutdown inspection should be conducted every time your crew leaves the site in Locust Hill, VA. This inspection should be conducted according to a checklist that incorporates potential threats and your mitigation plan. It should also be conducted if a storm is approaching.
All project staff should conduct their part of the checklist before leaving the site. The responsibility can be handed to one staff member to ensure completion if necessary. However, this may not be feasible on larger projects. It is also a great idea to train new employees on the preventative measures used to reduce water damage and why they are necessary.
By incorporating these strategies, contractors can reduce the amount of damage they experience from flooded worksites. This is because they know where the potential threats are and plan to deal with them using the proper tools. Additionally, contractors should perform a shutdown inspection to ensure a site is waterproofed before leaving it.

Understanding the Different Levels of Sewage Damage

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Dishwasher causes water damage Category 2 water damage comes from a dirty water source

As a homeowner, it’s important to be prepared for various types of damage in your home, including sewer backup. Whether you’re dealing with a flooded toilet or a faulty dishwasher, you should recognize that you’re in the middle of an emergency situation. If you ever have to deal with sewage in your residence in Burr Hill, VA, you need to reach out to professional experts in sewer cleanup to address this issue quickly and thoroughly. They will know the proper approach based on the type of contaminated water or sewage damage level found.

Exploring Different Levels of Water Contamination

Sewage damage is categorized based on three different levels or types of contaminated water:

  • Clean Water (Category 1): This describes damage from a clean source such as a leaky faucet or broken pipe.
  • Gray Water (Category 2): This describes contaminated water that comes from overflow from a house appliance or a toilet containing some urine. Gray water may contain microbes.
  • Black Water (Category 3): Severely contaminated water that contains sewage, harsh chemicals and microbes such as sewer backup or flooding is referred to as black water.

When clean and gray water are left untreated, they may degrade into gray and black water, respectively. Items that experience damage from Category 3 or black water usually cannot be salvaged. It is important to address any contaminated water damage with a comprehensive sewer cleanup approach that can only be offered by professionals.

Understanding the Professional Difference
Sewage backup in your house is a serious matter. Professional restoration specialists have the equipment and know-how to quickly and fully address any damage. The aim of a full restoration process is to bring your residence back to pre-damage conditions as soon as possible.
It is not recommended that you attempt to clean sewage backup yourself. Trust your home to sewer cleanup experts who are focused on fully addressing the problem, including damage that may be hidden from view.

An Ounce of (Water Damage) Prevention

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

leaky faucet Check your appliances for leaks!

No one in Louisa, VA, wants to experience gushing water in home spaces, or pooling water on adjacent areas, such as a porch or patio. Water damage is ruinous, work intensive and costly no matter where it occurs. And while no one can predict a malfunctioning dishwasher or a broken pipe, you can take a number of easy-to-do steps to lessen the chances of an emergency requiring water damage repair and restoration services. Maintenance is the operative word. Keep in mind that standard homeowner's insurance covers water damage, but not if that damage resulted from a lack of proper maintenance.
To keep your home water damage-safe, here are some basic preventive measures.

Check appliances regularly for leaks or gathering moisture. Make small fixes—a broken pipe and pipe cleanup, for example—to ward off big repairs stemming from outright flooding or mildew, mold and structural damage.
Replace old, brittle washing machine hoses prone to cracking.
Ensure your home's water pressure is not so high that it puts undue stress on pipes and hoses.
Track water bills to spot gradually increasing or spiking costs that can indicate hidden leaks. 
Shut off the water main valve when your home is unoccupied for a long period.
Test your sump pump for operability.


Disconnect water hoses in winter to prevent frozen pipes that can burst and damage your home's interior.
Clean gutters and downspouts to free them of blockages that can harm the house foundation.
Inspect the roof and repair missing or cracked shingles to prevent leaking water in home interior areas.
Repoint loose chimney mortar and repair cracked bricks—another water entry point.
Keep landscaping clear of utility pipes to stop tree roots from splintering a water pipe.

Prevention is a proven strategy for all homeowners. It goes a long way toward avoiding the anguish and expense of finding unwanted water in home interiors—especially yours.

4 Ways To Know if You Have a Shower Pan Leak

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a shower cabin with glass wall that is damaged Shower pan leak

Four Ways To Determine If You Might Have A Water Leak Coming From Your Bathroom

If you have a bathtub leak, fixing it quickly will lessen the amount of time the water can damage your property. Many homeowners in Louisa, VA, suspect a water problem but do not know how to discover where the water could be coming from. Here are four ways to determine if you might have a water leak coming from your bathroom.

1. Check Ceilings for Rings
Even tiny water leaks can lead to damage over time. If you suspect a bathtub leak and have a room underneath your bathroom, check its ceiling for signs of water damage. Water rings, discolored paint, and sagging ceilings are all signs of water damage coming from above.

2. Look for Warped Walls and Floors
Water can break down and weaken fibrous material. Drywall, baseboards, and sub-floors can all become less stable when water damage occurs. Check your walls and floors for any signs of warping or peeling.

3. Test the Shower Pan
Test your shower pan for leaks by closing off the drain and marking the pan with a piece of tape. Next, fill the basin up to the level of the tape. Leave the water to sit for 24-72 hours. At the end of the waiting period, the water level should still be in the same place it was originally. If the water level has gone down, you may have a shower pan leak.

4. Smell the Bathroom
Leaks can lead to moisture problems, which can lead to mold and mildew overtaking your bathroom. If you cannot see the mold, but suspect a moisture problem, try closing the door for an hour or two. When you re-enter the room, notice if there is an unexpected musky smell. If so, you may have mold or mildew hiding where you cannot see it.
A bathtub leak is a fairly common problem that needs to be taken care of quickly to avoid further damage. Luckily, a professional water remediation company can fix the source of the problem and return your home to its pre-leak condition.

Results of a Broken Toilet Supply Line

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

Injectadry system on hard wood floors. We were able to save these 80 year old white oak floors!

This homeowner went out of town for vacation, while they were away the toilet supply line broke. This is a common occurrence and can easily be avoided by turning the main water supply valve off when leaving the home for several days.

SERVPRO of Louisa, Orange, & Madison was contacted by a local insurance agent asking if we could save these floors. Prior to contacting our franchise, another competitor had been to the home and had proposed that these floors needed to be removed and could not be saved.

Our crew arrived the same day and we set up the Injectadry system with rescue mats. We also placed a couple fans and a dehumidifier. After 3 days of drying, we removed the moisture from the floors, the floors had no cupping and were left in preloss condition. 

The homeowner was extremely pleased to know we were able to save the 80 year old white oak floors that were just refinished 2 months prior to the loss. This is another example of how SERVPRO training separates us from the competition, we always try to restore before we remove, if possible! 

Broken Pipe

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

Water ran from the upstairs laundry room through the sofit and froze on the outside of the home Frozen water from a large loss

This picture depicts what happens when several hundreds of gallons of water run through the exterior walls of a home and the water freezes to the outside. Unfortunately for this home owner, the tenant had vacated the home, the pipe broke almost immediately after leaving, then the loss was not discovered for 10 days. The meter was read when the tenant vacated, it was then read the morning SERVPRO responded to provide services, we discovered that approximately 1,249 gallons of water ran through this home in almost 10 days! We performed a fair amount of demolition, set our drying equipment, and dried the home in a timely fashion. Just a tip to all our readers, if you vacate a home for an extended period of time, shutting the main water valve to the home will help to avoid such a disaster. 

When a Pack Out has to be performed before mitigation

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

Contents throughout a flooded basement Contents throughout this flooded basement

This photo is an example of a flooded basement that was fully affected, however the basement was completely full of contents. What do you do when you have this much content in a flooded basement?

SERVPRO of Louisa, Orange & Madison Counties provides pack out and content cleaning services. We carefully document, wrap and protect each large item and box all smaller items. Once the home is packed out, the contents are transported to our climate controlled warehouse where we unwrap, clean and process the affected items, then wrap and protect the items again to be delivered back to the client once all repairs are performed.

This photo shows a job where we performed the pack out services, then we mitigated and dried this basement before any microbial growth began. Once the repairs are performed in this home, and we deliver all of the customers household goods, this basement will be back to preloss condition, or as we say " Like it never even happened".