Recent Water Damage Posts

Tips To Protect Your Business From Disaster

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Flash light, sleeping bag, bottled water, first aid, portable radio, matches, medicine, band aids, whistle, blanket. Emergency kit supplies.

When severe weather strikes, you are undoubtedly worried about protecting your business. A tornado, hurricane, or severe downpour can cause flooding and physical damage to your building and affect your ability to sustain your regular business practices. Designing a custom emergency response plan can be invaluable if your Dacula, GA, business experiences a serious disruption.

Your Business Continuity Plan

Having a plan that addresses all types of potential damage is essential to your company’s risk-management strategy. These steps may help you create a solid plan that protects you.

Identify the risks particular to your business, such as a nearby flood plain, coastal hurricane vulnerability or a basement that often floods.
Assess the potential impacts on your staff, your property and your daily operations for each risk category.
Outline preventive measures that address each risk area, such as flood-prevention maintenance or fire-safety planning.
Formulate the specific steps to be followed by you and your staff in case of an emergency.
Regularly review, update and test your business continuity plan with live drills.

A well-designed plan can give you and your workforce a better chance of working together to prevent damage and minimize property loss.

Emergency Preparedness Tips
As part of your plan, you may want to keep an emergency kit on site. The kit might include items such as water, flashlights, extra batteries, protein bars, and a medical first-aid kit. It is also important to make sure you have fire extinguishers placed throughout your building. Many businesses find that a local fire department or disaster remediation service will happily offer your staff training in fire extinguisher operation, evacuation procedures and other preventive measures. For more detailed information about continuity planning and disaster preparedness, you can consult government resources like Health and Human Services or Federal Emergency Management Agency.
This brief overview may help you formulate a business continuity plan that can both protect your business and your peace of mind. Disaster preparedness may not be at the top of your list, but it can make a big difference when your property and your bottom line are threatened by an emergency.

3 Ways To Prevent Bursting Pipes in the Winter

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Insulation covers with the words COVER UP THE PIPES Insulate your pipes

Ways To Prevent Bursting Pipes In The Winter

Throughout the winter, homeowners in Suwanee, GA, know they must prepare adequately to prevent a house flood. Causes for bursting pipes include:

  • Frozen pipes
  • High water pressure
  • Old plumbing systems

The aftermath of a burst pipe can be devastating for your home, causing severe water damage to your property and hours of water cleanup. During colder times of the year, you can ensure your pipes are protected from the frost by taking these steps.

1. Insulate Your Pipes
Installing insulation around your pipes before winter begins protects them from freezing temperatures. Insulation keeps the cold air from affecting any exposed or external plumbing. Though it may seem costly initially, a layer of insulation keeps your pipes protected for years after having it installed, saving you from the more expensive repairs and water damage restoration service needed after bursting pipes.

2. Open Your Faucets to a Drip
Due to the freezing cold temperatures, burst pipes are more frequent during the winter. Frozen water inside of the pipes increases the water pressure. The increased pressure builds and eventually causes the pipes to burst. Keeping the water running at a drip relieves the water pressure inside of the pipes, keeping them from bursting.

3. Open Cabinets in Bathrooms and Kitchens
Allowing the warm air in your house to travel around water supply lines, which are located in your kitchen and bathroom, can keep them warm enough to prevent freezing inside the pipes. This avoids any burst water supply lines. To protect water supply lines during the winter, open the cabinets where this plumbing is located so your heated air can reach them.
Avoid having to call a plumber to fix a broken pipe by taking preventative measures before and during winter. Preparing for the winter can ensure your plumbing is protected from freezing temperatures and save you the cost of repairs from bursting pipes.

5 Tips for Dealing With a Toilet Overflow

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet Toilet overflow in Buford, GA

Here Are Five Tips For Dealing With This Type Of Problem

When dealing with sewer damage in your Buford, GA, home, you may be wondering what steps to take. Whether it’s overflow from a sewer main maintained by the sewage company, or a blockage that led to a flooded toilet, there’s some important things to remember about dealing with a toilet overflow.

1. Contact a Professional
One of the first things to consider any time you have a sewer problem in your home is to contact a local water damage restoration service. These professionals are trained to deal with a number of water damage types, including sewage backup. They will have the tools and training needed to do so safely.

2. Wear Safety Gear
Sewage is classified as black water meaning that it carries contaminants such as chemicals or bacteria. This is why it’s important to wear protective equipment any time you deal with it. This may include masks, gloves, shoe covers, and clothing covers.

3. Remove the Water
One of the first things you will see your sewer damage restoration team do is remove the water before additional problems can arise. They may use special pumps or vacuums for this job, and pay special attention to tights spaces where water may be hard to get at.

4. Dry the Space
Once the water is removed it is important to dry the space. This is to help prevent water from soaking in and causing additional problems such as swollen wood or mold.

5. Sanitize the Area
Because sewage is contaminated, after it is removed and the area dries, the space will need to be sanitized. Your restoration teach will use a variety of cleaners designed to work on the different affected surfaces.

It’s important to remember that sewer damage can be tricky to deal with. This is why it’s highly recommended to contact a professional restoration service for help. These professionals will have the correct safety gear needed for dealing with the problem so that they can remove the water, dry the area, and correctly sanitize the space. Soon your home can look “Like it never even happened.”

Performing a Water Heater Flush

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Hand attaches hose to a home water heater to perform maintenance Performing a flush is an excellent way to keep your water heater properly maintained

Steps To Perform a Water Heater Flush

Proper water heater maintenance can help prevent unnecessary damage and repairs, as well as keep your device functioning properly for years to come. Performing a water heater flush is an essential, yet simple, task. Follow the steps below to perform a successful flush for your home in Sugar Hill, GA.

1. Deactivate the Machine.
If you have a gas model, simply extinguish the pilot light. If you have an electric model, go to the circuit box and deactivate the line supplying the heater.

2. Prepare the Drainage Area and Connect the Garden Hose.
Designate a specific drainage area for your flush. The area you choose should be able to handle a significant amount of warm water flow, without running the risk of flooding your property. Connect one end of your garden hose to the heater's drain valve before running the opposite end into the designated drainage area.

3. Drain Your Tank.
Open your drain valve to let the water out. Allow it to flow for several minutes. During this time, you should head into your kitchen and activate the warm water faucet in your sink. This helps the water drain more smoothly. After a few minutes, turn off the supply valve. The water should gradually begin to slow before stopping altogether. Reopen the valve to run one more quick flush before shutting it off again.

4. Close the Valves and Refill the Tank.
Close your valves and turn your water supply back on. During this time, keep a close eye on the running faucet in your kitchen. You'll know that your heater's tank is full again once the water begins to run smoothly from the faucet.

5. Reactivate the Heating Element.
Refer to step one to reactivate your heater's power. You have now performed a successful water heater flush.
Performing a flush is an excellent way to keep your water heater properly maintained, ensuring that you'll be able to use the device for years to come. For more information or assistance maintaining your device, contact water remediation experts.

3 Common Sewage Issues Found in Commercial Buildings

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Roots and baby wipes from a clogged sewer drain. Tree roots growing in the sewer line is a common reason for sewer backup problems

Here Are Three Common Issues

One of the biggest repair headaches for business owners in Rest Haven, GA, is when the plumbing goes awry. It's more common for these mishaps to occur in older buildings, but sewage disasters, such as a blocked sewer system, can happen at any place and time. Knowing the signs of an issue before it gets worse is key to saving your property and your bank account.
Here are three common issues. You'll want to know how to identify them before the problem is so large that you need to call the disaster pros.

1. Sewer Lines
Unfortunately, sewer lines aren't made to last forever. Cast iron sewer lines can last up to 25 years, which isn't long when you consider a building of that age is still fairly young. When a sewer pipe breaks there are several telltale signs, the most obvious being odor. Other telltale signs of a sewer line break would be regularly clogged drains and indentions in the landscape.

2. Blocked Lines
Sewer lines can also cause trouble when they become blocked. Unlike a break, you may have an opportunity to catch the problem before it causes damage. An obvious sign of a blocked sewer line is the sound of water bubbling. If you hear the sound of water bubbling, a toilet overflow is just waiting to happen, so act quickly at the first sign of a blocked line.

3. Tree Roots
While pipes will give out over time, their life can be cut short when tree roots force their way in. Tree roots can break and block sewer lines — the worst of both worlds. Fortunately, once you've identified the issue, you can take preventative maintenance precautions to make sure blocked sewer lines don't occur again.
Knowing the signs of impending and already occurring sewer issues can save you headaches and money. Be sure to check your insurance policy so that you know what sewer problems your coverage will handle should you run into one of these problems.

4 Steps To Take With a Contaminated Water Problem

6/12/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded water in the stairs of a home Blackwater in a home is high on the list of a homeowner's biggest worries

Four Things To Do Right Away

When water leaves its proper place and spills out onto floors and walls, it is always a cause for concern. When that water is filthy, either with raw sewage or other nasty substances, the problem quickly becomes a legitimate emergency. Blackwater in your home in Dacula, GA, should be addressed as soon as possible. Here are four things to do right away.

1. Keep Family and Pets Safe. Make sure everyone is out of the room that contains the dirty water. You never know what substances are in the water and what effects they could have on a person's skin, eyes, or health. Pets might wander in the room and drink the water and spread the tainted water throughout the rest of the home.

2. Call in Professionals. A sewage cleanup requires special knowledge and equipment. Certified technicians from a water mitigation company will use personal protective equipment to work on the problem, and they will use equipment designed to safely remove black water. They will place an emphasis on cleaning or replacing all materials that have been contaminated by the dirty water. In some cases, they will use advanced techniques such as a flood cut to restore areas of drywall and insulation that have received damage.

3. Fix the Problem. Whatever caused the category 3 water (the most unsanitary category of water) to overflow into the home, the situation should be fixed so it doesn't happen again. A licensed plumbing contractor might be needed.

4. Contact Insurance. Depending on the situation, your home insurance policy could cover the cost of cleanup and the replacement of damaged items. Your insurance agent can provide details of your coverage.
Blackwater in a home is high on the list of a homeowner's biggest worries. At first, the problem might seem insurmountable. With the right actions, though, you and your home can be on the way to a quick recovery.

4 Ways Businesses Can Conserve Water

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

Ways You Can Prevent Potential Water Damage

In day-to-operations, it can be easy to forget that water is actually a scarce resource, that can be especially so when a Hamilton Mill, GA, business faces water issues. With potential rate increases and more people using that resources, businesses can make an impact by lowering consumption. Many of these easy solutions can also prevent potential water damage.

1. Check for Leaks
While sometimes they are obvious, leaks can be quite tricky. Checking the water bill for an increase in usage is one way to confirm there might be a hidden problem. If there has been an increase, consider getting your plumbing professionally inspected.
2. Conduct an Audit
Every business is different, as is how they use water. Local water companies often work with businesses to help them determine more efficient ways to use water, as well as tips to enhance existing systems.
3. Go Low-Flow
For businesses operating out of an older building, it may be time for a water upgrade. Newer sinks and toilets are designed to limit water waste. Low-flush toilets typically only use 1.6 gallons per flush compared to 5 gallons for older models. There are also low-flow faucets and other minimally expensive parts that can help you save on your water bill.
4. Landscape
Along with reducing irrigation needs, rethinking landscaping can also solve numerous water issues. Incorporating swales can direct stormwater runoff to a rain garden or other landscaping, reducing the need for watering the plant. Changing to native plants that require minimal maintenance also minimizes water consumption. Adding stone, pebbles or pervious paving will add a welcome aesthetic while reducing water use and preventing water damage that could result in needing a flooding and mold remediation and restoration professional.
Instead of dealing with water issues, such as high bills and leaks, set aside time to get the internal structural workings of your business optimally running. Even a few small changes can make a big difference.

These 3 Building Materials Are Vulnerable to Water Damage

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall Water loss in a property causing mold growth

Three Buildings That Are Vulnerable to Water Damage

Water is one of the primary resources in the world, but it can be destructive too. A broken supply line, for example, can cause devastating damage to some building materials, such as swelling wood, and also forge a habitat for mold and other nasty bugs in your home. Here are three building materials that are susceptible to water damage after extended exposure.

1. Dry Wall

High humidity is the number one enemy of drywall in Hamilton Mill, GA. It makes the material weak, smelly and slowly ruins any finishes on it. On top of that, it can result in mold buildup and other nasty surprises. However, if the water damage on the drywall is not extensive, a restoration expert can salvage it using specialized equipment to reduce repair costs. Other possible causes of water damage include:

  • Flooding
  • Burst pipes
  • Sewage backups
  • Rain

2. Cabinets and Sub-floors

Unfortunately, there is no way to repair swelling wood. Cabinets, for example, balloon easily after exposure to water. That results in deformity and splitting, which leaves no other option except replacing them.
Laminate flooring is made of the same materials as cabinets, which makes it susceptible to the same fatal swelling syndrome. The only difference is a tiny layer of protection that does not cover the entire piece. These unprotected areas can absorb any liquid that stays on the floor long enough, which results in curving.

3. Wood

In most houses, wooden frames support the walls and hide the water and electrical systems. Any leaks in these spaces could result in a mold buildup or even a short circuit. That means water pipe repair should be done immediately when you spot a problem. Also, have an expert check out the water damage in that particular area of the house.
Knowing how water causes swelling wood, enables mold growth and produces structural damage is important for homeowners to understand. Pay attention to storm and flood warnings and keep an eye out for sewage backups or the need for water pipe repair. Always stay on top of any water damage to avoid the development of unpleasant situations.

How To Prevent Toilet Overflow

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Clogged toilet A clogged toilet can be a pain to deal with

Dealing with a clogged toilet in Buford, GA, can be messy and frustrating. It can be particularly irritating when it is happening on a regular basis. Toilets are simple machines, and while they are typically easy to fix, it doesn't take much to clog them. Here are some things to keep in mind to help keep your toilet from overflowing.

Don't Flush Anything But Toilet Paper

One of the main causes of a clogged toilet is stuff getting flushed down it that shouldn't. This may include:

  • Wet wipes
  • Feminine products
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Tissues
  • Paper towels

Stick to only flushing toilet paper down the toilet, and you this can help reduce the frequency of clogged toilets. Some wet wipes say they are flushable, but they do not break down the same way as toilet paper. They should be used sparingly, or not at all. Anything you use other than toilet paper should be thrown into the trash to prevent toilet overflow.

Limit Toilet Paper Use

Toilets are often clogged due to the use of too much toilet paper. While toilet paper shreds in water, too much of it can cause a clog. Try to limit use to six or seven squares, and if you need to use more, flush first.

Talk to Kids About Proper Toilet Use

Children often want to put things down the toilet that don't belong. They don't understand that there are consequences of flushing these things down the toilet. Make sure they don't try to flush things like toys, hair ties, socks or anything else that can cause a toilet issue. Explaining why can help discourage them from putting anything in the toilet that shouldn't be.
A clogged toilet can be a pain to deal with, but following these simple steps may make it less likely to happen. If you are still experiencing toilet issues or have a sewage flooding issue that you can't clean up on your own, calling your water cleanup expert can help get things back to normal for you.

How To Salvage Wet Building Materials From a Basement

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flooded basement in Suwanee, GA

A flooded basement is a disaster, and it’s best if cleanup starts as soon as possible. Water affects materials differently, and unfortunately, not all can be salvaged. If the right procedures are used, however, your residence can look as good as new. Learn the proper way to handle swelling wood, wallpaper and carpet during flood cleanup.

Causes of a Flood

The first thing you can do is locate the source of a flood and ensure that no more water is coming into your basement. Common causes include the following:

  • Broken or clogged supply line
  • Hot water tank or sump pump failure
  • Gutter problems
  • Leaky seals on walls or floors

Residential restoration in Suwanee, GA, is available to fix the problem and prepare your house for the rainy or snowy season. If you’re not handy with tools, then the experts can examine the flooded area and make the right tweaks to stop water leakage for good.

Restoration Techniques

Cabinets, shelves and subfloors are often composed of plywood or particleboard. This leads to swelling wood that has to be torn out or replaced. It’s an opportunity to give the living space a new look and turn a negative situation into a positive one.
Drywall and real wood, on the other hand, can be dried and saved with the right machinery. Water stains on wallpaper can be cleaned by patting the stains with a warm water and dish soap mixture to remove impurities, then applying a bleach and water solution. You can also save carpet by extracting the moisture with fans and dehumidifiers.
Despite basement water often being dirty, experts have several techniques to suck away the damaging liquid. With a little time, your home can become the shelter you need it to be.
Make sure to complete water pipe repair and replace swelling wood as soon as you become aware of a basement flood. Many parts of a flooded area can be brought back to prime condition.

4 Steps to Take When Filing a Water Damage Claim

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

Furnished room and the floor is wet Water damage in a Sugar Hill, GA home

The Following Steps Should Be Taken When Filling a Claim

If an appliance broke or a pipe burst in your Sugar Hill, GA, home, then you should file an insurance claim right away to help cover the costs of repairs. Because this process can sometimes be complicated or lengthy, it is best to be prepared and know what you should do ahead of time. The following steps should be taken when filing a claim.

1. Call Your Agent

The first thing you should do is to call your insurance company to inform them of the water damage. Doing this quickly will allow them to process the claim sooner. Because many companies have a set period during which you can file a claim after damage has occurred, it can prevent your claim from being denied as well.

2. Go Over Your Policy

Not all policies are the same, and it may have been a while since you’ve read yours, so it is a good idea to go over the details. Make sure you know what is covered and what is expected of you during the process.

3. Take Pictures

An insurance claim adjuster will need to inspect your house and the damage, but you can help out with this while you wait. Take photos and make a list of areas and items that have been affected. The adjuster can use these when working on your claim.

4. Start on Mitigation

Something else you may want to do while waiting is to begin temporary repairs to keep the damage from getting worse. Allowing the flood to sit will cause secondary damage and can contribute to mold growth. Move items to a dry location and block off the area to keep water from spreading.
Following these steps can help you get the most from your insurance claim. This will help with the costs of cleanup and repairs done by a water damage remediation company. This can include removing water from the building, replacing materials such as drywall and carpeting, and salvaging damaged belongings.

Claiming Gradual vs. Sudden Water Damage

8/24/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage on concrete wall Water damage in a Rest Haven, GA home

When it comes to making an insurance claim in Rest Haven, GA, many homeowners believe any water damage should be covered under their policy. Here is a closer look at gradual water damage in comparison to sudden occurrences and why many insurance companies may deny your claim.

No Time To Lose

The major reason why an insurance company will deny a water damage claim is due to chronic conditions. These types of issues include:

  • Leaking roof
  • Dripping pipe
  • Toilet tank crack
  • Punctured plumbing in walls
  • Rusted fittings
  • Old or worn gaskets

If left unchecked, these situations can cause persistent damage, which is then the homeowner’s responsibility.

Unfair Affair?

It might seem unfair that companies can deny an insurance claim because the homeowner didn’t notice the damage initially. It’s important to remember that insurance is meant as a safety measure against sudden occurrences and accidents.

Not noticing a problem right away doesn’t count as an accident, so claims against gradual damage will usually be denied. However, here are some situations when gradual damage does fall under your policy leading you to contact your insurance company right away.

Gradual Accident

If you had an accident at your home like major flood or storm damage that has led to water issues, there can be cause for a gradual damage report. The initial cleanup is usually taken care of by the original claim, but what happens when hidden leaks result from that accident later on down the line?

In these circumstances, it’s possible your claim will be accepted if you can prove gradual damage was caused by the original accident. A weakened pipe might not burst until months later, or a small leak that went unnoticed during the first cleanup can be overlooked until it causes real problems.

Make sure you investigate all gradual damage quickly, especially if you’ve made an insurance claim in Rest Haven, GA, after an accident in the past. You never know what difficulties can arise over time, and it’s better to take care of water damage early to prevent a real disaster!

4 Tips for Fixing a Flooded Basement

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Buford / Suwanee / Hamilton Mill for your flooded basements.

Fixing A Flooded Basement

A basement flood may have many causes; a broken or leaking pipe, a broken water heater, toilet overflow or storm floodwaters, or even a misplaced outdoor hose. While you would not allow any of these to happen on purpose, accidents - and life - will happen. What comes next? How do you start to put things back together?

Steps to Restoration:

1. Remove the water
2. Drying it out
3. Dispose, clean, disinfect
4. Rebuild

Water Extraction

The first thing to do is to remove the water. You may be able to clean a small amount of water by using a shop-vac or other means. For water a few inches or deeper, do not enter the area until the gas and electricity are shut off and then, only if it is clean water such as from a pipe break.

Because of the contaminates that could be present in basement flood waters or sewage water, you’ll want to call a water remediation company in Buford, GA to help remove water safely, dry everything thoroughly, and do an assessment of the structural materials. They can help you understand the ins and outs of insurance coverage, cleanup and restoration issues as well.


Sheetrock may need to be replaced if it is dirty water, as will carpet and other porous building materials. Dispose of unsalvageable items. Those exposed to clean water may be savable if properly dried out. Fans and heaters may help with the drying process.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Non-porous surfaces can be cleaned and disinfected. Other items may possibly be washed or dry-cleaned. An ozone generator may be needed to reduce odors.


Once the drying and cleanup is complete, refinishing can begin. Replace damaged insulation or wiring, sheetrock and woodwork. Repaint or touch up as needed, and install new carpet or flooring at this point.

A basement flood is not a fun ordeal on any level. With some common sense, elbow grease and the proper help, your flooded house can again become your home.

How do I get water out of my house?

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage in a downtown home in Buford, GA. SERVPRO was there to help with the proper equipment.

Water can be something that comes in our home when we don't want it in there. When it does it is important to understand what needs to happen to get it cleaned and restored back to pre loss condition.

How to get your house back to normal.

  1. When you have a water damage small or large, it is important to get all of the water extracted immediately. If the water sits, it can start to cause secondary damage, like mold.
  2. Once all of the water is removed, drying equipment can be placed throughout the house. The equipment needs to run non stop until the monitoring shows the house is dry.
  3. Once the drying process is complete, the home can start to be put back together. SERVPRO has the ability to complete the job from start to finish.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime. SERVPRO of Buford / Suwanee / Hamilton Mill is prepared to respond quickly and avoid further damage to your house. 

What Issues Can Affect Your Business the Most?

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

It’s important to inspect the pipes in your workplace regularly to avoid this issue that can affect your business.

When you take a look at your business operations, you do everything you can to build a sustainable, profitable organization. Some things can cut away from these ideals—and they don’t often have anything to do with your products or even how talented and hard-working your staff is. Disasters in the workplace such as flooding from damaged pipes can be costly to any company.

It’s important to identify the potential water issues in your building so you can avoid these emergencies.

The Ramifications

Flooding in the workplace can do much more harm than causes annoyances and messes. Water problems can turn your company upside down if you don’t respond quickly.

Here are some possible consequences:

• Loss of equipment and crucial data.
• Unsafe environment for employees.
• The need to temporarily relocate or even suspend day-to-day work for a time.
• Significant costs on water removal and cleanup.

Biggest Culprits

There are many causes for floods and other water concerns in your Buford, GA workplace. The most common is leaking pipes. This issue can occur when pipes get old and start to weaken. It’s important to inspect the pipes in your workplace regularly, especially if your building is getting along in years. Pipe leaks can send water into the walls or on the floors gradually over a long period without you even noticing.

Sewage Problems

If you notice a foul smell coming from areas of your building, or if toilets start to back up, you know you probably have something potentially worse than damaged pipes: You may be dealing with a backed-up sewer. This can introduce dangerous black water into your facility. If this happens, call a professional water cleanup team immediately.

Old Roof

Make sure you inspect the roof each year, or more regularly if you feel so inclined, to check for weak spots or missing tiles or shingles. A damaged roof against a big rain storm is not a good combination.

Be aware of these potential problems so you can prepare and respond appropriately. You don’t want damaged pipes to put a damper in your business operations.