4 Appliances That Might Cause Water Damage
Washing machines are some of the most common culprits behind water damages.
We get it—water damage is the last thing anyone thinks about. After all, we’re less likely to prepare for a potential disaster than we are for an impending disaster. But the fact remains: about 1 in 50 insured homes have a water damage or freezing claim each year. So even if you don’t plan on preparing, it’s a good idea to at least be aware of potential incidents. So this week we’ll look at appliances and the ones likely to be behind the next water damage.
- Hot Water Heaters. We all like hot showers, but your water heater has the potential to flood your home with gallons of steaming water. As the heater ages, it begins to wear down, creating opportunities for it to leak or burst. Occasional inspections of this appliance can potentially prevent substantial damage to your home.
- Dishwasher. Your dishwasher might be a timesaver, but if it leaks, you’ll spend time and money trying to address it. In most cases, the door isn’t properly sealing the water inside; however, there could be other issues that might need to be addressed. As with the heater, it’s important to pay attention to any potential issues before you have a mess!
- Washing Machine. Your washing machine can have some of the same problems as your dishwasher. If parts age or are incorrectly installed, water can leak and do a number on your home. Like the appliances above, it requires occasional inspection and attention to any potential issues.
- Ice Maker. We all love iced beverages, which is why ice makers are so convenient. What’s not convenient, however, is when it leaks water and creates a breeding ground for mold or makes your hardwood floors buckle. These machines can leak for a number of reasons, but some of the most common culprits are age or damaged parts.
As you can see, your appliances—while great for improving your quality of life—have the potential to do serious damage to your home. While disasters can’t always be prevented, it helps to know where they can occur and how to respond. So if you have water damage in your home, call our disaster restoration team here at SERVPRO of Catawba County East.
What’s the Difference: Flood Watch vs. Flood Warning?
This home in Newton was flooded after we had heavy, extended rains.
After the flooding last month, many of us learned the importance of preparing for the worst. We received over 300 flood-related calls in a two-day period, and many people that initially handled the damage themselves are now facing mold growth issues.
It’s important we know how to prepare ourselves for future flooding incidents, but it’s just as important to be able to understand and heed warnings from local authorities. That’s why we’re explaining the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning.
A flood watch is a term local authorities use to inform you that conditions are right for flooding to occur. However, it does not mean that there will be flooding—only that there’s a possibility due to the weather. When a watch is announced, you should stay tuned for updates and ensure that you’re ready to act if necessary.
If a flood warning has been declared, you should begin to take action. This alert is only issued when flooding is imminent or currently happening. If you’re in a flood zone when a flood warning is issued, you need evacuate or get to higher ground.
Responding to Flood Damage
The most important thing when it comes to flooding is your safety, but that doesn’t mitigate the damage. If your home has flooding, our experts are able to extract and dry the damage. We have hundreds of pieces of equipment and over 60 fully-trained staff. If you have flood damage, call our team today!
Helping Flood Victims in Their Time of Need
Our team responded to hundreds of calls after the community was flooded! (Photo Courtesy of David Hewitt, News Topic)
“When it rains, it pours.”
No truer words were ever said when an onslaught of rain flooded much of Catawba County the weekend of June 7, 2019. The area received rain levels ranging up to 11 inches, which caused closures for many schools and roads in the county. In fact, Catawba County declared a state of emergency, allowing homeowners to claim any property damage they had as a result of the storm.
In all, our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County East responded to well over 300 customer calls in a two-day period—a volume we typically get in a span of about two months. All of our employees were called in to either answer phones or respond to emergencies. Within a few short hours of the initial calls, all of our crews and hundreds of equipment were deployed, but we continued to communicate with callers daily as we worked through our list.
As the weather and road conditions improved near the beginning of the week, our ability to respond improved, and we made significant progress as we responded to all of our customers. As of the writing of this post, we are still diligently assisting customers with flood damage.
We appreciate the patience all of our customers have shown, and we will continue to serve those that need our assistance. Although we hope an incident like this doesn’t happen again, if you ever need our help, know that you can call us 24/7!
Fire Damage Q&A: What Happens to My Belongings After a Fire?
We take great care to ensure all of your belongings are carefully packed before being sent to our warehouse to be cleaned and stored!
After a house fire, you only have one goal—to get your life back to normal. Although it can be a long and difficult operation, our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County East is available to ease you through the process. As we’ve helped many homeowners in the Newton and Conover areas overcome the journey, we’ve been asked many questions. Today, we’d like to answer one for you!
What Happens to My Belongings After a Fire?
Before we start any major cleaning on your home, one of the first things we do is “pack out” the items in the affected areas. During the process, our packout crew will inventory and box all of your belongings. Each box is assigned a unique QR code that corresponds to your home, so you never have to worry about your belongings being mixed up with another customer’s.
Some items, however, are considered unsalvageable—either because they are heavily damaged or due to the nature of the item. These items (known as “nonsals”) are still inventoried, but they are unable to be saved. Rest assured—we don’t dispose of any items without reviewing all of the “nonsals” with you!
Finally, we take all of the salvageable items to our warehouse to be cleaned and deodorized. In addition to our proprietary cleaning products, we also have an on-site textiles cleaning facility. We’re able to restore virtually any salvageable items to its pre-disaster condition!
Your Disaster Restoration Company
House fires can destroy a lot of sentimental items, but at SERVPRO of Catawba County East, we have the resources and the experience to restore most—if not all—of those possessions. After 10 years, we’ve learned what it takes to help those in need and to make it “Like it never even happened.” So if you have a fire or other disaster and need our help, call us today!
Common Sources of Water Damage
There are many potential water damage sources, so it's a good idea to be aware of the most common ones!
Water damages often occur when and where we least expect them. And while many people never expect an incident to happen with them, about 1 in 50 insured homes have a water or ice damage claim each year. That means it’s a good idea to be familiar with the most common culprits behind water damages.
- Appliance Leaks/Malfunctions. Perhaps the most common kind of water damage we experience is a result of old or faulty appliances. Dishwashers, washing machines, and even water heaters have the potential to release a lot of water. While some incidents are more abrupt than others, it’s a good idea to check your appliances for signs of wear!
- Rain intrusion. Rain is good for the plants but terrible for the inside of your home. That’s why it’s important to take preventative steps to prevent it from intruding in your home. First, clean your gutters, which serves as a first line of defense against flooding. Then check for any cracks or areas of known leaks and patch them so they don’t prevent further issues.
- Burst/Leaky Pipes. Pipes are a great conduit for transferring your home’s water, but they can also be the reason your house floods. For example, when the temperatures drop below freezing and poorly insulated sections freeze, the built-up pressure can actually cause them to burst once they thaw. Pipes can also leak due to age or damages, so be sure to periodically inspect yours.
It can be difficult to detect when and where you’ll have your next water damage, but regular inspections of your home and appliances can possibly lead to prevention. But if you do have water damage, call our team at SERVPRO of Catawba County East at (828) 465-6504!
3 Things NOT to Do if You Have Fire Damage
Soot can be difficult to clean, but disaster restoration professionals are trained and equipped to do so!
Fires aren’t just destructive—they’re stressful. In the immediate aftermath, you’re still trying to comprehend the damage, the next steps, and every other facet that comes with enduring a fire. Calling a disaster restoration company is a great step towards the recovery process, but it’s important to know there are some things you shouldn’t do if you want to mitigate any lasting damage.
- Don’t try to clean soot damage on your own. Some people like to take the restoration process into their own hands. We understand—you want things to be back to normal as soon and as cheaply as possible. But attempting to clean up on your own can make things worse. Soot is very difficult to clean, and in some cases, it’s virtually impossible. Unfortunately, attempting to clean any soot damage on your own can cause soot to set in and cause needless damage to items and structures. Leave all of the cleaning to the professionals!
- Don’t touch anything (especially with dirty hands). As we mentioned, soot is very difficult to clean, but it’s virtually impossible once soot sets into any materials. If you touch anything in the home, you could cause the soot to set, or you could touch something else and transfer the soot. If at all possible, don’t touch anything, but if you must, be sure to wash your hands afterward!
- Don’t turn on your HVAC system. During a fire, smoke and soot particles will travel through your home, including your duct system. Even after the fire is extinguished, the particles will still be resting in the vents. Before you use your HVAC system, you’ll want to have a professional duct cleaning. Otherwise, you’ll just spread the particles throughout the home again!
In order to quickly restore your home, it’s important to avoid actions that can potentially add more damage. If you do have a fire, immediately call your local disaster restoration company. With their help, you’ll be able to get back on your feet in no time!
What to Do if You Have Water Damage
When you have water damage, our professionals quickly respond and start the mitigation process!
Although it seems like it will never happen to us, the harsh reality is that 1 in 50 homeowners will have water- or freezing-related damages each year. Yet many of us are unprepared when rain intrudes our basement or our water heater bursts. Fortunately, as disaster restoration experts, we’re here to lay out exactly what you should do.
- Address the water source. One of the first things you should do after discovering water damage is to address the water source. Even if you were to address the damage, if the root of the problem is not addressed, the damage will only return. In some cases, this may require a plumber or some other expert. In any event, if there’s flooding, first be sure to shut the power off in the affected rooms!
- Call your local disaster restoration company. Once the source of the problem is addressed, you should contact your local disaster restoration company. They will extract water and speed up the drying process to help you get your home back to normal and to prevent mold growth. The faster they are called, the better!
- Contact your insurance. Though you may decide to pay out-of-pocket, if you think you’ll need your insurance, it’s a great idea to contact them. They will be able to connect you with resources and guide you through the process as you reclaim your home!
- Begin extracting water. Even though a disaster restoration company is on the way, the faster you can address water damage, the better. Whether you have to use buckets or some other container, it’s a great idea to begin removing the water from your house. Once the experts arrive, they’ll take over from there.
Water damage is stress-inducing, but it’s not the end of the world. If you follow the above steps and work with the involved parties, you can get back your home and your life back to normal.
Common Sources of Mold Growth in Conover-area Businesses
Mold growth is never welcome in a business setting, but if you know where to find it, you can take preventative measures!
No business owner wants to discover mold growth has affected their operations. It can hinder employee performance, cost money, and, depending on the industry, can halt operations altogether. Fortunately, mold growth isn’t inevitable if you take some precautions, particularly in areas where it commonly occurs.
- Areas that previously had water damage. Mold needs moisture to grow—among a couple of other requirements. When a property has water damage due to a busted pipe or a leak, water tends to invade porous materials (such as wood or drywall). When this hidden water is not adequately dried, mold will likely grow. If you know you have water damage, be sure to have a professional come out and dry it immediately!
- Inside your air duct system. We often get calls from commercial properties that discover mold is growing in their HVAC system. Because of the dust and dirt particles, mold has an abundance of food in duct systems. But when the building has high humidity or water leaks into the system, the spores will activate.
- Around water sources. We’ve established that mold spores need water to activate and grow. That’s exactly why you’ll find mold growing near water sources such as sinks, water fountains, and similar spots. We’ve found this to be more common in restaurants, but it can be prevented with proper cleaning and drying.
Businesses are just as prone to mold growth as the average homeowner, but because it can be costly and affect employees, it usually poses a more urgent threat. If you discover mold in your Newton or Conover commercial property, you should call SERVPRO of Catawba County East today!
Testimonials from Our Customers
One of our customers sent us a thank-you card for the work we did on their home!
When we go to a customer’s home or business, we strive to offer the best customer service possible. We ensure our employees are highly trained and believe in going above and beyond. That’s why we are humbled when customers send us letters or visit our office to share how grateful they are that they called us. Below are some testimonials that we feel exhibit the values we try to instill in our employees!
“Today we had two gentlemen come to our home to inspect a mysterious leak. The two men that came were David and Richard, and they were awesome. My mother and I both commented that we have never been treated so lovely by any repair person. I will recommend both SERVPRO and these gentlemen to anyone in need, and thank you all. The leak ended up being something besides a pipe or things they are used to seeing. Yet these men stayed until they found the source of the problem. They truly cared, and again I am thankful beyond words to know people like this still exist in the world. God bless and thank you for the thorough customer service and honest help.”
– Virginia B. of Hickory, NC
“Cannot say enough about the level of professionalism and service I received from SERVPRO of Catawba County. We had a water leak from our ice maker. Every step of their service from restoration to repair to clean up was fantastic. We had sub floor repairs, hardwood floor repair/ refinishing, dry wall, paint and more. There cleaning crew was amazing and my house has never been so clean! All the contractors they supplied were excellent. They even worked out payment details with our insurance company. The attention to detail at every step was amazing. SERVPRO scheduled everything with special attention to making it work with my schedule. The teamwork they provided was outstanding in every way. They made a very painful/difficult situation, painless. If I could give them 10 stars, I would. Thanks to all at SERVPRO of Catawba County for you care, attention and service.”
– Cathy S. of Conover, NC
“We are very satisfied with SERVPRO and your employees. They are a really nice group and we had lots here to help us. All very friendly, kind, courteous and personable. Always checking if it was okay before doing something: use an outlet, leave their jacket inside, etc. Never complained about their duties. They appeared happy to be here and we were happy to have them. We hope they know how much they were and are appreciated.”
– Audrey M. of Morganton, NC
“Our project was very large, but everyone we worked with was very professional and work with us on our schedule. We are very pleased with the work that was done. You can't even tell there was damage.”
– Philip A. in Lenoir, NC
If you’ve ever had an experience with us, we hope to hear from you as well! We encourage you to leave us a review on Facebook, Google, or directly on our website!
How to Prevent Your Home from Flooding
Rain can cause a lot of damage when your home is not adequately prepared. Act now and prevent flooding!
Flooding can destroy property and induce a lot of stress. But because it isn’t a common occurrence in our area, most homeowners don’t take the steps to prevent it from happening to their home. But as disaster restoration professionals, we have a few tips to help!
- Clean your gutters. If rain is the culprit, your gutters are your first line of defense. When your gutters get a buildup of leaves and other debris, this prevents them from functioning and can lead to flooding.
- Seal any known cracks or vulnerabilities in the structure. In some cases, we’ve had customers who’ve called us because water flooded in through a previously known vulnerability. The best way to prevent these incidents is to address them before a storm arrives.
- Landscape your property. If your home is positioned at the bottom of a slope, rain will likely buildup and pool around it. To prevent this, you may need to do some landscaping or install some sort of draining system.
Flooding can be devastating, but in some cases, it can be prevented (or at the very least, the extent of the damage can be minimized). But if you do have flood damage, SERVPRO of Catawba County East is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”