Recent Water Damage Posts

Wet Memorial Day Weekend

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

Memorial Day Storm in NJ It is going to be a wet Memorial Day weekend!

It is going to be a very wet Memorial Day Weekend.  Hopefully, we will catch a break on Monday and be able to get out to honor our veterans.  In the meantime, take a moment to prepare for significant rain and possible flooding.  The National Weather Service is forecasting a couple of inches of rain across NJ with the potential for flooding along the coast, rivers, and low-lying areas. 

As the first heavy rains of the season approaches, here are some quick tips to check and prevent water damage:

  • Check your gutters and downspouts – if you have had any new landscaping or mulch installed check to make sure the water will flow freely away from the structure
  • Check your basement sump pump to make sure it is operational
  • Make sure items are on shelves or otherwise raised off of basement/ flood prone floors
  • Make sure the patio furniture you just put out is secured
  • Turn off the gas line to your grill

If you experience any water damage rest assured that SERVPRO will be ready to respond and provide assistance 24/7/365.

Have You Had Water Damage in Your Home?

1/28/2021 (Permalink)

Leaking Hose Water Spraying from a Leaking Hose

Have you had water damage in your home?  On average, homes experience water damage once every 11 years.  This damage is caused by a variety of sources, most of which can be mitigated through periodic monitoring and maintenance.  Here are some tips to help you find some of the routine causes.

Gutters

  • Make sure the gutters are not clogged by leaves and debris. This will cause standing water that can freeze and cause ice dams.  For more information on ice dams click on this related blog Ice Dams
  • Downspouts need to be extended far enough away from the house to prevent water from entering the basement

Plumbing

  • Look for leaks under your refrigerator. Not only does removing dirt help improve the unit’s efficiency but the water supply line to the ice maker can come loose and cause a leak that is hidden due to its location.  As a side note, I experienced a leak here about a year ago due to a mouse chewing on the supply line.
  • Washing machines often have very old and degrading supply lines. Is yours appear worn you should consider a new set which are easy to install.  Look for the ones that have a metal mesh around them for added reinforcement
  • Dishwashers also have water supply lines and can have issues similar to ones noted in the refrigerator section.

Sinks

  • As above, check the supply lines for leaks.
  • Check the drain, especially the S-trap under the sink to make sure it hasn’t wiggled loose after being bumped by items stored in this space

Humidifiers

  • One last time, check the supply lines. These units should be turned on in the fall and off in the spring at the closest valve to limit the risk of leaking during the warm weather.

If you experience water damage, call the experts at SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry at 201-441-1345.

What Type of Water Is It?

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

Water Soaked Boards Boards after water damage

What type of water is it?  No, sparkling or tap are not options when it comes to water damage.  There are 3 classifications of water when it comes to flooding: Clear, Gray, or Black.  These are not exact terms but designed to give an indication of the level of contamination within each.

Clear Water originates from water pipes such as water mains or plumbing in your home.  It is always essential to remove the water as quickly as possible but clear water is the easiest because there are reduced safety procedures involved.

Gray Water is water which may have contamination.  Therefore, a moderate degree of care and safety precautions are warranted.  This water may come from storm damage or flood damage from more natural sources.

Black Water is the most serious and dangerous.  SERVPRO technicians are trained in handling this material, along with many other biohazards.  Typical sources may include septic tanks or waste water pipes that have ruptured.  This type of water causes the most dangerous due to the microbial parts it contains and the accompanying health effects of exposure.  Don’t tackle these situations yourself.  Call the experts at SERVPRO!

You Will Thank Me One Day

1/20/2021 (Permalink)

Leaking Furnace Exhaust Water pooling from a leaking furnace exhaust

How often do you check the mechanical closet/spaces in your home?  If you’re like me, you are proud of yourself if you remember to change the air filter even once a year.  Like many issues that arise with home ownership, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 

I recently went into my mechanical closet to get a folding chair and noticed water on the floor.  “Where did that come from,” I wondered.  It wasn’t the hot water heater or near any plumbing.  It was next to the furnace (see image).  While the amount of water was fairly minimal, it would certainly result in a deterioration of the plywood flooring and create a breeding ground for mold.

I had my HVAC contractor come and the cause was a tiny hole in the exhaust flu.  When the weather turned cold the moisture in the exhaust condensed and ran back down the flu, leaking out onto the floor.  I paid $99 for the service call to have it repaired.

The lesson: check your mechanical areas periodically to look for signs of water, mold, or other mechanical issues that could result in more significant issues if not addressed.  You will thank me one day…

It's Just Water

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage to seemingly dry wall Water damage visible when viewed through a Thermal Imaging Camera

It’s just water, but it makes a huge mess!  Even a small leak can create a massive amount of damage and pose serious health concerns for the long term.  It is important that those cleaning up water damage have the proper training and equipment.  This is not a job for your typical general contractor!

The cosmetic aspects of a remediation project are fairly obvious to identify but what about what you can’t see?  Water saturated insulation, flooring, and sheetrock can be a breeding ground for harmful mold that may not become apparent for a long time.  This growth may also cause health issues including respiratory and auto-immune issues.

One way SERVPRO uses technology to assess the extent of water damage is with a Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC).  This roughly $2,000 piece of equipment uses varying colors to show heat changes, making dampness visible.  A local handyman or general contractor will not have this type of technology.

Wet areas in the building material do not warm and cool the same way adjacent dry areas do and this makes them visible when looking through a TIC.  The photo shown here is from recent water damage at a local school here in NJ.  To the naked eye the area shown appeared to be undamaged.  However, when viewed as a thermal image the pattern of water soaking into the material from the flooded floor above becomes apparent.  Had this area not been removed and replaced it could have created mold issue for the staff and students.

Don't Ruin Your Vacation

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Oh, I'd like to be that van! Oh, I'd like to be that van!

Are you looking forward to going on vacation again?  Our family’s “Spring Break Trip” looks like it is going to be cancelled due to Covid, so my wife (Happy Birthday!) wants to take a road trip to FL.  I love vacation but I always have that voice in the back of my head wondering if I set the alarm, locked the doors, and did my wife unplug the hair straightener (yes honey, I love you, and it’s your birthday, but this is a legitimate concern).  But, what else am I forgetting?  What about Water damage?

Before you leave, it is important safeguard your home from possible water damage. Here are some easy steps to protect your home and prevent vacation from being cut short due to a disaster.

Take a proactive look before you leave

Check for leaks in your plumbing, focusing on the pipes and connection you can see inside your house. The weakest points are places where hoses connect to taps or household appliances. Check under sinks for signs of leakage and rust and around water heaters, dishwashers, furnaces, and washing machines

Turn off the Water Supply

Shut off the water supply to the home and the hot water heater itself.  Not only are hot water heaters a major culprit of water damage but there is no need to keep 75 gallons of water piping hot while you are away.  Even a small leak, from a toilet supply line for example, can cause a massive amount of damage if not detected quickly (See our Facebook post from 12/4 at Simple toilet leak - NJ).You may also choose to, additionally, shut off the valves at your toilets, appliances, washers, and dishwashers.

Are There Different Types of Water Removers for Damaged Homes?

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

black submersible water pump SERVPRO Provides Advanced Water Removal Equipment to Mitigate Damage to Hackensack Area Properties

Our SERVPRO team utilizes a full inventory of restoration and recovery tools to help your water-damaged Hackensack home. 

Meeting the needs of a water-damaged Hackensack property means understanding the changes from one site to the next. A pipe burst from freezing temperatures requires different tools and approaches than a leaking fixture underneath a sink. We have a comprehensive inventory of recovery tools to help.

Because water damage in Hackensack homes can be so destructive when not thoroughly addressed, we rely on multiple types of tools to manage various aspects of this restoration. Among the most pressing of these is removing standing water and trapped water in structural elements throughout the property, as this can lead to damaging situations like microbial growth and deterioration. Some of the different extractors that our professionals use include:

  • Electric Submersible Pump – Electric pumps are among the most common option for our restorers, offering quiet and continuous operation. Typically deployed with standing water depths of two inches or more.
  • Self-Priming Trash Pump – When solids and small bits of debris are a possibility in the water, these powerful pumps can help manage the standing water threats.
  • Light Wands – Attachments for wet vacuums are necessary for water removal, as many of the impacted areas are not highly accessible. 
  • Weighted Extractors – Stand on units use our technicians' weight to force moisture to the surface of carpeted floors for extraction. Drying in place is a key element to salvaging wet carpets.

What Tools Get Used for Thorough Drying?

Drying is ultimately one of the most necessary elements of any water restoration project. While air movers and dehumidifiers remain the foundational blocks of this phase, we can also use special tools like positive and negative pressure systems, floor mat drying systems, and portable heaters.

Water restoration does not have to be overwhelming for homeowners. Our SERVPRO of Hackensack / Little Ferry team is standing by 24/7 to help when you call (201) 614-2600.

SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry - 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

5/22/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Residential Home Water damage in a customer's home.

SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 201-742-5920

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

·        Your name and contact information

·        Your insurance information (if applicable)

·        The street address of the water-damaged home or business

·        When did the flooding or water damage occur?

·        What caused the water damage (if known)?

·        Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry

SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

How to Clean Up the Water Damage After a Burst Pipe

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

Copper pipe with large hole A frozen pipe like this one can send gallons of water into your home, ruining floors, walls, ceilings, and possessions.

A burst water pipe can be disastrous. You could end up with a flooded floor and severe water damage to your costly possessions and property. It can be overwhelming.

Here at SERVPRO Hackensack / Little Ferry, we know how important it is to act fast when you’re dealing with a burst pipe. Unfortunately, the cold weather season is when burst frozen pipes are most common. So, we want to make sure you’ll be prepared.

Here’s what needs to be done to effectively clean up the water damage:

Shut Off the Water

Once your pipe bursts, water will flow continuously until you shut off the water supply. To do this, locate and turn off the main shutoff valve, typically located in a basement or utility room.

Repair the Pipe and Restore the Damage

Remove Damaged Items

Usually a plumber will come and take care of repairing the damaged pipe. This needs to be done before any restoration work can begin.

Your next step is to remove any wet and damaged items from the area. If there are any wet items you want to try to salvage, try to start drying them as quickly as possible. Damaged items should be disposed in order to prevent mold growth and contamination. 

It’s also a good idea to move any additional furniture and/or any important personal items away from the affected area, just in case.

Remove Water

Extract the standing water from the area as quickly as you can. 

You can start with a wet-dry vac, just be sure to keep emptying the storage tank so that it won’t overflow.  SERVPRO has professional-grade equipment that will extract even what a wet-dry vac can't.

Pro tip: NEVER use a vacuum cleaner, as they are not meant to deal with water and could pose an electrical hazard.

Dry

Once as much water is removed  as possible, the drying process is begun by using both fans and dehumidifiers.

SERVPRO uses commercial-grade fans, as these will dry out the area faster, which is important in order to minimize the total damage.

Pro tip: if a carpeted area got flooded, make sure to lift the carpeting off the sub-flooring in order to speed up the drying process. Unfortunately, your carpet padding will unlikely be salvageable, but at least it’s relatively inexpensive and simple to replace.

How You Can Prevent Winter Water Damage

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

Winter can be a prime time for water damage, especially during days when temperatures change, causing ice and snow to start to melt. Or - what happens if freezing temperatures cause one of your pipes to burst?

Here at SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry, we’ve seen how water damage can be especially disastrous to homes and businesses during wintertime, and we know the most common causes of winter water damage. Luckily, if you know what to look out for, you can proactively prevent many of the worst kinds of water damage.

Here are five of the most common causes of winter water damage, and what you can do to keep your property and belongings safe.

Bursting Pipes

  • Sudden drop in temperatures causes a pipe to break open. Make sure your pipes are insulated.
  • Small leaks that grow larger unnoticed over time. Make sure to check your pipes for signs of damage or wear and tear. 
  • Check that hoses and supply lines are tight to prevent slow leaks.
  • Turn off water supply to outside lines during the winter.

Worn Out Chimneys

  • Damage to the brickwork of your chimney could cause leaks inside the chimney itself or to your attic or basement. Check for loose mortar between the brick, and also be on the lookout for any signs of water stains.
  • Your chimney liner and a cap could also allow leaks because they can wear out over time. Make sure you check them periodically.

Worn Out Caulking

Most doors and windows are sealed with caulking, which is there to prevent drafts and inclement weather from entering inside. However, as temperatures rise and fall, caulking will naturally expand and shrink and eventually wear out over time.

It’s a good idea to check your caulking for cracks and damage at least once a year, ideally before the worst of the winter weather hits. 

Worn Out Roofing

If the seams and flashing on your roof are worn out, this could lead to leaking and water damage when snow starts to melt.

Ice Dams on the Roof

Perhaps the most common cause of winter water damage is from ice dams that form on the roof. Many people don’t even notice as ice and water repeatedly thaw and refreeze and start to form an ice dam along the edge of the roof.

One of the tell-tale signs of an ice dam is a group of icicles hanging down. In order to prevent ice dams, you can add extra insulation to prevent dramatic temperature swings on your roof. Check for water stains in the wood, and make necessary repair to prevent future leaks.

Keeping up on your home repairs and regular inspection of your pipes, roof, chimney and gutters will give you an advantage when the cold weather strikes. If you still need us, we are open 24/7 always available.

Don't Forget Your Plumbing

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Washing machine with open lid Washing machine hook-ups are a major plumbing issue, especially if the hose is broken, loose or damaged.

Many homeowners overlook issues that could develop into significant plumbing problems, and maybe even expensive water damage.

An easy visual inspection or simple test is often all it takes to ensure your plumbing is in good working condition and catch any problem before it becomes as major catastrophe.

Here’s a checklist of 4 common plumbing problems, and what you can do to prevent them from becoming a problem for you:

Washing Machine

Did you know that the average washing machine will use up to 40 gallons of water each cycle?  With that much water pumping through, you want to be sure to check both the supply and wastewater lines about once a quarter.

Sinks

One of the biggest wear-and-tear problems for sinks are the seals and washers which will deteriorate over time. 

You’ll want to check under the sink cabinets for any signs of leaking, which could include dampness, deterioration, or odors.

Toilet

When your toilet starts to wear down, it could lead to higher monthly water bills, or even potential flooding and major water damage.

In order to inspect your toilet, remove the tank lid and flush and make sure all the components (like the flush valve and flapper) are all in good working condition.

One easy way to check for a toilet leak is to add a couple drops of food coloring into the tank.  After a few hours, check the bowl – if you see the dye color, then you know there’s a leak problem.

Showers & Tubs

Showers and tubs are often the most heavily used plumbing fixtures in a home, so it’s important to make sure everything is working properly.

Make sure to check faucets, drains, and shower heads on a regular basis. You’ll also want to check the seals. If caulk deteriorates, it could lead to a mold problem behind your walls.

If you see any signs of damage or corrosion, or if you decide you’d like a professional opinion, our team of experts here at SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry can help make sure you minimize any water damage. And if you do need more advanced help, know that we have all the specialized training and equipment necessary to handle even a large-scale water emergency.

How to Properly Clean Up Following a Washing Machine Flood

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

Washing Machine in a basement with wet floor underneath from leak Incorrect installation of this washing machine caused a flood in a finished basement.

It’s easy to throw your clothes into the washing machine, set it, and forget it. Washing machines generally work so well, we can feel totally unprepared and thrown off guard if there’s a malfunction.

Unfortunately, the damage that can be caused by a broken washing machine can be severe.  One load of laundry generally uses about 30 gallons of water, which is enough to fill a typical bathtub. All it takes is one broken hose or damaged seal, and you can have a huge water problem on your hands

Here at SERVPRO Hackensack / Little Ferry, we want to make sure you’re prepared to deal with a washing machine flood, so that you can minimize any long-term damage as much as possible.

Here’s your step-by-step guide for how to properly clean up after a washing machine flood:

Stop the Water at its Source and Turn Off Your Washing Machine

When your washing machine starts to malfunction, the first thing you want to do is cut off the water supply and unplug the machine.

To disconnect the water, you can either turn off the water valves to the machine, or just shut down your main water supply to stop the problem as quickly as you can.

You’ll also want to make sure your machine is fully unplugged to prevent the risk of electrical shock while you clean up the water.

Remove the Water

Next, you’ll want to remove as much water as you can.

You may need buckets, or at least a mop and towel to soak up standing water.  You can also use a wet/dry vacuum to pull water up from porous materials like rugs and wood.

Dry Out the Affected Area

You want to dry out the affected area as quickly as possible.

Remove & Dry Your Clothes

Once you’ve dried the flood mess, you can turn your attention to the clothes you left in the machine.

Now is the time to remove and dry these items.  You may find that there was also flooding inside the machine.  If so, you’ll want to clear out any standing water and make sure the inside of your washing machine dries.

Dispose of Anything that Can’t be Salvaged

Unfortunately, some of your items may have been destroyed by the flooding.

Now is the time to dispose of items that cannot be restored

Sanitize the Affected Area

Once the affected area has been cleared out, it’s time to sanitize.  A flooding problem can lead to a risk of mold growth and/or the spreading of contaminants.  So, it’s important to use a disinfectant. 

If you’re worried about potential mold growth, you can use a solution of one-part water to one-part bleach to sanitize the area.

Restore, Rebuild, and Replace, If Necessary

Once everything has been cleaned, it may be necessary to rebuild or restore what got damaged in the flooding.

You may need to paint the walls or install new carpeting.  There may even be need to address your building structure to make sure the flood won’t have a long-term effect on the integrity and stability of your building materials.

If you need any help with clean up and/or restoration after a washing machine flood, know that SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry is here to help. 

You can give us a call anytime 24/7 at: 201-441-1343.

Your Checklist to Prevent Potentially Expensive Plumbing Problems

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

How often do you think about your plumbing?  It’s easy to take for granted that you can turn on a tap and water will just start flowing, no problem.   

Unfortunately, many homeowners overlook issues that could develop into significant plumbing problems, and maybe even expensive water damage.

Because we know how difficult it can be to deal with a major plumbing leak, we want to make sure everybody knows about proper prevention.  The good news is that an easy visual inspection or simple test is often all it takes to ensure your plumbing is in good working condition and catch any problem before it becomes as major catastrophe.

Here’s a checklist of 4 common plumbing problems, and what you can do to prevent them from becoming a problem for you:

  1. Washing Machine

Did you know that the average washing machine will use up to 40 gallons of water each cycle?  With that much water pumping through, you want to be sure to check both the supply and wastewater lines about once a quarter.

Be on the lookout for any signs of wear-and-tear or damage – a tiny drip leak could quickly turn into a major water hassle.

  1. Sinks

One of the biggest wear-and-tear problems for sinks are the seals and washers which will deteriorate over time. When that happens, you may not only be dealing with wasted water but a potential mold problem too.

You’ll want to check under the sink cabinets for any signs of leaking, which could include dampness, deterioration, or odors.

  1. Toilet

When your toilet starts to wear down, it could lead to higher monthly water bills, or even potential flooding and major water damage.

In order to inspect your toilet, remove the tank lid and flush and make sure all the components (like the flush valve and flapper) are all in good working condition.

One easy way to check for a toilet leak is to add a couple drops of food coloring into the tank.  After a few hours, check the bowl – if you see the dye color, then you know there’s a leak problem.

  1. Showers & Tubs

Showers and tubs are often the most heavily used plumbing fixtures in a home, so it’s important to make sure everything is working properly.

You’ll want to check all the metal components like faucets, drains, and shower heads on a regular basis. You’ll also want to check the seals. If caulk deteriorates, it could lead to a mold problem behind your walls.

If you see any signs of damage or corrosion, or if you decide you’d like a professional opinion, our team of experts here at SERVPRO Hackensack / Little Ferry can help make sure you minimize any water damage. And if you do need more advanced help, know that we have all the specialized training and equipment necessary to handle even a large-scale water emergency.

Your Guide to Drying Carpeting after Flooding and/or Water Damage

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

If your home or business has been damaged by flooding or a water leak, your carpeting may be a soggy, water-logged mess. When this happens, it’s imperative to dry the carpeting quickly in order to prevent damage to your walls, sub-flooring or any other structural elements of your building.  The good news is: the drying process is one you can often start on your own until the professionals get there.

Here at SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry, we know how devastating water damage can be to a home or business. As a leader in professional restoration services here in this community, we want to help make sure you mitigate any damage that may occur to your property due to a water problem.

Here’s your step-by-step guide to start drying your wet carpeting in order to prevent further damage:

Identify and Stop the Source of the Water Problem

There’s no sense in doing the work to dry out your carpeting if will just continue to get flooded. While you’re working on figuring out the cause of your water problem, see if you can find a way to at least prevent further water damage.  

Remove Any Standing and/or Excess Water

Once there’s no more water coming in, your next step is to start to remove any standing or excess water.

A useful tool is a wet/dry shop vac which can be used to suck up excess water from a saturated carpet. 

Separate the Soaked Carpeting from the Floor

Once you’ve removed most of the water, now you will want to separate the carpet off from the floor.

Begin along a wall, pulling away from the tack strips and moving across the room. Be careful not to use too much force in handling your carpeting, as wet carpeting is more fragile than normal and more likely to tear.

Once you’ve pulled up the carpeting, you’ll want to dispose of the carpet padding. (Carpet padding is typically inexpensive and generally easier to just replace than to try to dry out).

Dry, Dry, Dry!

Once the carpeting is separated from the flooring, it’s time to do your best to dry both completely.

It’s often useful to move the carpeting to another totally dry area. Use high-powered fans and/or blowers on both the flooring and the carpeting.  Although a household fan may work in a pinch, if you can rent a professional-grade blower, the process is typically much faster and more likely to end with a positive outcome.

It is also useful to use a dehumidifier to remove the excess humidity and speed up the drying process, however typical models are not sufficient enough on their own.

Clean the Floor and Sub-Flooring

Make sure to thoroughly sanitize the subflooring to prevent mold growth and odors. Ideally, a medical grade sanitizer is best in this kind of situation, but you can also try a solution of one-part bleach to one-part water.

Bring In Professional Restoration Services

Because SERVPRO has specialized equipment that can do a job faster and more efficiently, even if you start with extraction and dehumidification, it is in your best interest to call the professionals who will do the job completely and safely.

How to Prevent Water Damage: Everyday Tips and DIY Tricks

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage can be unpredictable. However, there are steps you can take to help prevent it. In fact, it can be quite easy to make sure your plumbing and HVAC systems are in good working order. 

Here at SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry, we’re proud to be leaders in cleaning and restoration services here in this community. Our team of advanced technicians has all the specialized knowledge, training, and equipment necessary to handle any size disaster.  But rather than cleanup after a disaster, we’d like to help you prevent major damage from occurring in the first place.  

Here are some ways you can prevent water damage on a day-today basis, both when you’re at home and traveling away for an extended period:

Everyday Water Damage Prevention Tips

If you’re careful about what goes down your drains, you can help prevent cracks and damage to your pipes that might otherwise lead to leaks and water problems.

  • Be careful what goes down your toilet. It’s a good idea to flush only human waste and toilet paper. Note: even “flushable” wipes can clog toilet drains, especially in bulk.
  • Make sure not to pour grease or coffee grounds down drains as these can clog pipes and sewer lines.
  • If you have a drain clog, try using a drain snake rather than a chemical cleaner as a snake is typically both more effective and less hazardous.

DIY Water Damage Preventative Maintenance

Here are some easy DIY steps you can take to inspect and maintain your water supply.  If you do notice signs of wear and tear or incorrect operations, be sure to call professional services soon before a small problem turns into a major home disaster.

  • Clean your gutters regularly and be sure to check them after heavy storms to make sure water is flowing properly.
  • Once a year, make sure to visually inspect your plumbing - including any toilets, sinks, tubs, washing machines, or dishwashers – and look for any signs of damage or leaking.
  • Flush your sinks with baking soda and vinegar to help prevent clogs. You can use lemon juice to eliminate any odors.
  • Consider investing in a sump pump in case of flooding and be sure to check it regularly to make sure it is in good working order.
  • Pay attention to your water bill each month. An unexpected increase may indicate that water is leaking somewhere.

Water Damage Prevention When Traveling

If you’ll be traveling away on vacation, here are steps you can take before you leave to help prevent any water problems while you’re away.

  • Adjust your HVAC settings to a lower setting while your away to prevent pipes from freezing during cold weather.
  • Consider turning off your water supply and draining your pipes.
  • Ask a neighbor to check on your house every few days to make sure there aren’t any developing problems.

While it’s not always possible to prevent water damage, these tips can help minimize your chances of having to deal with a major water-related emergency. And if something should happen, know that SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry is available 24/7 to help deal with any size water damage problem, large or small. 

Know Your Water

1/16/2019 (Permalink)

The dictionary definition of wastewater is "any water that has been affected by human use." But did you know that there are different grades of wastewater? The longer you wait to take care of your water issue, the more damage can occur - to your home, your possessions and even your health.

CLEAN WATER

Floodwater that does not pose an immediate health threat is known as clean water. Clean water floods can result from malfunctioning appliances, toilet holding tanks, and melting snow and rainwater. Clean water home floods are generally safe for you to clean up yourself, but remember--time is an important factor. Standing clean water can become greywater if left untreated.

GREYWATER

Greywater refers to wastewater that is not contaminated with fecal matter. As far as household wastewater goes, greywater could include water from bathtubs and showers, appliances such as dishwashers, a weather event, an overflowing plumbing fixture or appliance or even a broken pipe.

When flooding occurs, it can saturate carpeting, furniture and drywall. If you experience a home flood with greywater, wear protective gear, and keep children and pets away from the flooded area. If the flood is extensive, such as several inches of water in the basement, it is advisable to hire professionals to safely clean up and decontaminate the area. Cleanup must begin as soon as possible as greywater can become blackwater if left untreated.

BLACKWATER

Blackwater is wastewater contaminated with human waste, flood water, or water contaminated with chemicals.

Blackwater floods are the most dangerous and the most destructive, and must be cleaned and mitigated immediately. Because of the unsanitary conditions of the water, items such as carpets, upholstery and drywall are often unsalvageable. Contact with blackwater can cause illness in both humans and pets.

Having water damage in your home is never a pleasant experience, and oftentimes it is destructive, and disruptive - affecting multiple rooms, floors, levels – of a home, office or multiple dwelling. Knowing whom to call and when, could mean all the difference in keeping contamination and damage to a minimum.

Remember that you can call SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry 24/7. We will be there to survey and clean up your water damage quickly and get you back to your normal routine as quickly as possible.

What to Do About Ceiling Water Damage

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

It’s bad enough having to deal with freezing rain and snow outside – what’s worse is having to deal with an indoor leak that causes ceiling water damage.

Whatever the cause, it’s critical to repair ceiling water damage quickly. A water damaged ceiling could compromise the structural integrity of your home, or lead to mold growth that could impact the health of you and your family.

Here at SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry we understand how frustrating it can be when you’re dealing with ceiling water damage. Our experienced, friendly restoration professionals are available anytime to help you get your home back to normal as soon as possible.  We offer:

  • 24/7 Emergency Service
  • “Faster to Any Size Disaster” Restoration Services
  • Locally Owned & Part of a Network of Over 1700 Franchises Across the Continent
  • Advanced Restoration Equipment & Highly Trained Technicians
  • We can even help you work with your insurance!

To help you deal with ceiling water damage in your home, here’s a helpful step-by-step guide:

Identify the Water Source

Before you can clean-up and restore water damage to your ceiling, you first need to find and stop the source of the leak.

What if you can’t find the exact source of your leak?  This is just one way that SERVPRO restoration professionals can help! Give us a call and we’ll find the source of your leak ASAP so you can get your house back to normal.

Stop the Leak

Once you’ve figured out the source of your leak, it’s time to stop the water flow and repair your ceiling. The method of stopping the leak depends on the source. 

Remove Damaged Ceiling Materials 

Proper drying is essential to fix ceiling water damage.  If water is left to stand for extended periods of time, it can lead to mold and mildew growth that can cause further damage and potential health risks.

Restoring ceiling water damage doesn’t have to be a painful process. Calling SERVPRO insures that this will be done correctly and professionally with minimal damage to the rest of your home or business.

What to Do if Your Water Heater Leaks

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Finding out that your hot water heater is leaking is never a pleasant experience.  But this minor emergency doesn’t have to become a major disaster.

Here’s a list of steps you can take to minimize the damage from a leaking heater:

Confirm that it is, in fact, your water heater that’s leaking.

If there are puddles on the floor, check to see where they originated from.

Turn off the water.

If you do have a leaking water heater, the next recommended step is to turn off the water.

Your hot water heater should have its own shut off valve.

If your valve is broken, you may need to shut off the water to your home.  If you need assistance, reach out to your local expert professionals.

Cut the power.

Whether you have a gas or electrically powered water heater, your next step is to shut off the fuel source that powers your heater.

A gas tank should have its own dedicated shut-off gas valve. You want to make sure the gas is off so your heater will be safe to work with. If you have an electric tank, you can shut off the power at the breaker. 

Try to determine the location and cause of the leak.

Now that the water and power are off, you will be in a better position to assess your situation and try to determine the location and course of your leak.

  • Check the pipes that connect to your heater for any loose fittings. This may just require quick tightening with a wrench. 
  • Check your pressure relief valve. If the temperature or pressure is too high, this could be causing valve leaks. Your water heater should be around 120 degrees Fahrenheit and the pressure shouldn’t be over 80 PSI.
  • Check the drain valve to make sure it doesn’t need replacing.
  • Check the bottom of the water heater itself -- it may be that the tank itself is cracked and needs to be replaced.

If you determine that it is your tank that is leaking and the leak is serious, you may want to drain the tank to minimize further water damage.

Hopefully, the leak from your hot water heater hasn’t caused too much water damage. But if you need professional assistance, the restoration pros at SERVPRO Hackensack/Little Ferry are here to help. We’re equipped to handle any size water damage restoration needed for either residential or commercial buildings.

A Simple Step-By-Step Guide for Dealing with Water Damage

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

It’s a homeowner’s nightmare: water damage. An extensive water problem in your home can feel overwhelming.  

If you’re staring at a pool of water in your home and wondering what to do next, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you start getting everything back to normal:

Call for Professional Water Damage Restoration Services ASAP

The simple fact is, the quicker you bring in professional help, the better your chances of minimizing the long-term damages and costs.

SERVPRO of Hackensack / Little Ferry is a locally owned and operated organization of highly trained technicians with the expertise and advanced technological equipment needed to clean-up and repair your water damage fast.  We’re ready to respond to your emergency situation immediately, and we will oversee and document the entire process until your home is fully restored.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Once help is on the way, check your homeowner’s insurance to see if your water damage will be covered.

You’ll want to act fast in order to make a claim.  It’s also a good idea to take photos to document the evidence.

Remove Any Items You Can

When you’re dealing with water damage, don’t forget: safety first.

If it is safe to do so, remove any items you can from the affected area.  It’s a good idea to gather any loose items from the floor, especially colored rugs, or other colored materials that might leave a stain. Prioritize the removal of any valuables as well as any wet items like cushions or upholstery that can be taken out to dry.

Dry Out the Damaged Area

If it is safe, start drying out the wet area.

Mops and buckets can be useful to remove excess water quickly. Also wipe down any wood or porous objects that may be more sensitive to water damage.  Open windows and doors to allow maximum air circulation. 

While a wet-dry vac can be a useful tool to deal with minor flooding, NEVER use a vacuum cleaner to remove excess water.

If you have a water damage emergency, the professionals of SERVPRO Hackensack / Little Ferry are available to help 24/7. 

As part of the service, SERVPRO of Hackensack / Little Ferry will also help you manage the insurance paperwork process.

Bergen County area residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

1/18/2017 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more