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How To Find A Water Leak Inside A Wall

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: This article by SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall outlines how a water leak inside a wall can be identified.

Keeping homes clean and beautiful is a priority for most homeowners. Regular maintenance work helps keep homes clean and safe. Property damage can be caused by negligence, or due to sudden accidental causes. Water damage also can be due to sudden and catastrophic reasons, or a cause that remains hidden and causes slow changes. 

Water leakage inside walls may not be noticed, as the initial signs can be very subtle. Water damage is one of the most common types of property damage in the US. Water damage can have serious consequences and water damage restoration is done by professionals to limit the complications. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall provides cleanup and restoration services after a fire, smoke, or water damage to different locations, including Schnecksville, PA. This locally owned company with national resources is the best choice for water damage repair services. In this article SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall shares some information on identifying water leaks inside walls. 

Signs of water leakage in walls 

Sometimes leakage within walls can be slow and may not be evident. Identifying water leakage early enough can help minimize the extent of water damage. The signs of leaking in walls are:

Musty Odor

Water might leak slowly, but it can cause dampness inside walls, flooring, or drywall. This can lead to a musty smell that persists. 

Mold

Mold growing in areas that are usually dry, and where there is usually no chance of moisture accumulating. 

Peeling Paint

Paint or wallpaper that bubbles or peels can be an indication of leaking within the wall. 

Warped Drywall

When drywall absorbs moisture from slow leakage the wall can get bent or curved. This warping is a sign of a slow water leak. 

Stains

Mold growing around a leaking pipe can spread to the inside surface of the wall. This can show on the outside of the wall as staining or discoloration.

Wet Spots 

Wet patches on the wall are definite signs of water leakage. However, the spots may not be at the location of the leak. Water can move down from the leaking pipe and cause wetness on the wall below the actual source of the leak. 

Wet Floors

Wet areas on the floor or damp carpeting near walls can indicate leaking within the walls.

Dripping Sounds

There can be sounds of water dripping when it runs down inside walls. These sounds are usually heard after turning off the faucet in a sink or tub, or after flushing a toilet. 

Water Bills That Seem Excessive

Most families in the US use around 300 gallons of water a day according to the EPA. An undetected leak can cause water bills to rise in a way that is unexplainable by what the household is using. 

Detecting Water Leaks in Walls

Water Meter Check

Checking the water meter is an easy way to detect water leakage. First, the water meter reading must be checked and noted, this would be the measure of water used. All faucets, showers, toilets, and any appliances that use water must be turned off. Water must not be used for at least 3 hours. During this time faucets, toilets, etc must be checked for any leaks. After this time, the water meter reading can be checked. Any increase in the reading means there is water leakage somewhere in the house. 

Moisture Meter

Moisture meters are used to measure the moisture content in materials. They are available in home improvement stores. A pin-type moisture meter helps to check moisture levels for small, precise spots. The pinless ones are used to scan larger areas. Using moisture meters requires time and effort. Professionals use both types of water meters to locate large areas of moisture and to find the exact depth at which leaks originate. 

Infrared Camera

An optical system in infrared cameras measures infrared energy and surface temperature. At wet spots, the cooler temperature displays blue or purple colors. This is a quick and non-invasive way of detecting leakages within the walls. 

Cutting Into Drywall

Drywall can be cut to see exactly what the condition behind a wall is. This is invasive and is usually a last resort. A stain or discoloration on the wall may be at a different place from the actual leak. So drywall should be cut after trying to locate the source of water leakage.

Handling A Water Leak In Walls

Preventing water leaks by regular checks and maintenance is the best way to prevent or limit water damage. Once there has been a water leak in the walls, the source of the leak must be identified, and repair work done to stop the leak. Water removal must be done and the area dried as soon as possible. The area must be cleaned. Water damage repair is best handled by experts, especially when damage is more than minimal. Mold growth is a risk, and clean-up after such water damage must focus on this too. 

Homeowners must try to prevent leakage in walls. However, when this does occur, they can always get professional help for water damage restoration. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall are experienced, skilled, and trained professionals who handle water damage repair efficiently. They use advanced inspection and extraction equipment to find water, remove it, and dry the area. For any water damage repair caused by flooding or leaks in Schnecksville, PA SERVPRO can be contacted at (610) 559-9380. Any size of water emergency in Schnecksville can be handled by the water damage specialists at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall. 

How To Prevent Flood Damage in Basements

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall Explains How To Prevent Flooding And Flood Damage In Basements.

Flooding in homes can happen suddenly. Millions of homes across the US get flooded due to heavy rains, and the overflow from nearby water bodies results. However, many US homes get flooded from sources within them. Water damage can occur from failure in plumbing systems which can flood homes. Water damage can be destructive. It can have long-term effects on the property value and even the health of its occupants. Flood restoration services can be expensive too, depending on the extent of the damage.

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall provides restoration services after a fire, smoke, or water damage. This company has highly trained restoration technicians and is locally owned and operated. As trusted leaders in the property damage restoration industry, they have the training, equipment, and resources to handle a disaster of any size. They serve different local communities across Pennsylvania, including in Whitehall, PA. In this article, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall explain how to prevent flooding in basements. 

What Causes Basement Flooding?

Heavy rains: Rainstorms can cause flooding in basements.

Leaks in Plumbing: Leaks in pipes, burst pipes, and faulty appliances can flood a basement. 

Leaky Windows: Basement windows can go unnoticed and when not maintained, window wells can be filled with water that leaks into the basement. 

Cracks In The Foundation: Temperature changes, settlement, and soil moisture levels can cause cracks in the foundation. Foundation cracks are a common cause of basement flooding.

Faulty Appliances: A water heater that crosses its lifespan is at risk of bursting. Burst water heaters can rapidly flood a basement. Washing machines can leak when they are faulty too.

How To Prevent Flooding in Basements

Gutter Maintenance: Gutters must be cleaned at least twice a year. Natural debris like twigs or leaves can block gutters and push rainwater down the siding and around the home. Water that pools can get into the basement through cracks in the foundation. 

Extend Downspouts: Extending downspouts so that water is directed away from the house foundation helps direct water away from the house. Downspout extensions are available at local hardware stores and are easily installable. 

Grading the Yard: If water pools around the home when it rains it indicates poor grading. Water must be channeled away from the home. A landscaper can help to grade the lawn away from the home. 

Inspecting The Foundation For Cracks: Foundation cracks cause water to permeate the concrete. Inspecting the foundation a few times a year and sealing them can help prevent basement flooding. 

Maintaining A Gap Between Mulch and Sliding: Having a gap of around 6 inches between flower beds and the wall of a house will help move water away from the building when there is a rainstorm. 

Watering Lawns Properly: Overwatering lawns can lead to basement flooding problems. Only the recommended amount of water for the lawn and plants must be provided. Sprinklers must be placed so that they are clear of the house and must be programmed so that the lawn is not watered excessively.

Maintenance: The plumbing and appliances like heaters and washing machines must be checked and maintenance work done as needed. This will help prevent leaking and resulting flood damage to an extent.

Sump Pump Installation and Maintenance: Sump pumps must be installed and regular maintenance work done. They help to prevent large-scale flooding and are a good investment in areas prone to flooding. 

Keep Windows Covered: Window well covers will help to protect basement windows from rainwater seeping into the basement through windows. Clear acrylic window covers will offer protection while keeping water out. 

Have Power Backup: A backup generator will keep electricity, heat, pump, and septic tank operating in case of a power outage. When these don't operate the risk of the basement flooding rises.


All these steps will help to reduce the risk of flood damage. However, there can always be accidental causes that lead to flooding. Homeowners in flood-prone areas could take an insurance policy for flood damage after enquiring. Flood damage restoration is tedious and time-sensitive. A professional company will be helpful in providing flood damage restoration services. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall provides 24-hour emergency services and responds immediately to a flood or water damage. With highly trained water restoration technicians who provide advanced water inspection, extraction, and drying services, they are the best choice to handle flood damage. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall can be contacted at any time, on any day of the week for fire and water damage restoration services at (610) 559-9380.

What Causes Commercial Water Damage?

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall provides information on how commercial water damage occurs in this article.

Water damage is a leading cause of property damage. It affects homes and businesses. Water damage can be devastating in all ways, including financially. Especially with commercial property damage, the impact of physical and financial loss can affect current and future business. 

SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem,  and Whitehall provides residential and commercial restoration and cleaning services. The company takes care of cleanup and restoration necessary after a fire, smoke, or water damage. They are certified in mold and mildew mitigation too. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall is committed to helping businesses to resume functioning smoothly as soon as possible. In this article, the commercial property damage repair professionals share some information on how commercial water damage is caused. 

Business owners should be aware of hazards that lead to water damage. It is easy to expect storms or bad weather to lead to water damage. But water damage is commonly caused by unpredictable causes that do not come to mind immediately. 

Causes of commercial water damage 

Malfunctioning Sprinkler Systems: Sprinkler systems can malfunction especially if they are outdated, faulty, or neglected. Broken or malfunctioning sprinkler systems can cause water damage.

Burst Pipes: Pipes can burst to cause water damage in residential or commercial buildings. It is important to ensure water keeps flowing when the temperature falls so that the water does not freeze. When water freezes it expands, which can cause pipes to rupture. This can lead to flooding in a building within minutes. 

Broken Equipment and Appliances: Appliances and equipment can break or develop faults. When sinks, toilets, washing machines, dryers, etc back up, they can cause water to leak. In commercial buildings, these leaks can go unnoticed depending on when and where the leaks occur. 

Sewer Lines Back-Up: Sewer lines can back up, and there is a risk of the building being exposed to black water. This can be toxic and damage furnishing and devices. Business owners must be vigilant about maintenance in the building to help prevent commercial water damage.

HVAC System Malfunction: HVAC systems are essential in commercial buildings to maintain a comfortable temperature and air quality. Clogging or leaking occurring in HVAC systems can cause water damage. HVAC systems need regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent this.

Damaged Windows: Rainwater and moisture can seep into buildings through windows that are broken or need to be recaulked. Even if the water is not enough to cause flooding, it can cause water damage to building materials like drywall, and lead to mold growth.

Roof Leaks: When roofs are old or sustain damage, they let in elements they are supposed to protect buildings from. Leaky roofs can result in water damage during heavy rains or snowstorms. 

Natural Disasters: As mentioned above, extreme weather can lead to flood damage or water damage. 

Businesses can take steps to avoid commercial water damage. Though commercial property insurance can offer financial protection, water damage can force businesses to close or relocate, if necessary, for a while during water damage restoration. Despite the caution, commercial water damage can happen. In such instances, quick and thorough water damage restoration is essential. Delaying water damage restoration can worsen the extent of water damage and lead to complications like mold. This is why hiring a company to handle commercial water damage restoration is helpful. 

The staff at SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall is trained at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility. The company also has IICRC industry certifications. They are equipped to handle residential and commercial restoration services. The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division has specialists who are qualified and positioned to handle any size disaster. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall has personnel with the training, experience, and equipment to handle flooding or water damage emergencies in small offices or big box stores. They can be contacted at (610) 559-9380 for commercial restoration services for any kind of property damage. 

SERVPRO of Easton: Top Reasons Why You Need Professional Smoke and Odor Removal

4/16/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary:  SERVPRO Talks about fire recovery and the importance of professional smoke and soot odor removal to restore your property to its original state. 


SERVPRO Fire Recovery Guide | Smoke and Soot Odor Removal

After a fire, residential and commercial properties find that smoke and soot odor removal quickly becomes one of the top priorities in fire restoration services. While many people may not regard smoke and soot odors the same as fire and water damage, its force is just as damaging, costly, and concerning. 

If your home or business has been damaged by fire, here are the top reasons why smoke and soot odor removal is better left to professionals. 

Soot Can Cause Further Damage

Soot is a corrosive agent and letting it sit for even a short time can cause further damage to your property. It can cause walls, ceilings, flooring, and other surfaces to discolor, tarnish or pit metal, and become trapped in wood, carpeting, draperies, and other softer and more porous materials, among other problems. If left too long, the discoloration can become permanent. 

Soot isn't Grime

Soot is not just a grimy mess. It is made of tiny particles that contain acids, chemicals, metals, soils, and dust. The makeup of soot depends on the materials that were on fire, so cleaning soot requires the knowledge, tools, and processes necessary to remove it without causing more damage. While present, soot continues to off-put gasses and chemicals into the air. 

Soot Exposure Can Be Dangerous

Soot is made of tiny toxic particles that can invade the body through the skin or by breathing the contaminated air. Touching or breathing soot can lead to potential health effects. To avoid these health effects, hire professionals to make sure that soot-affected areas get properly cleaned and sanitized. 

Professionals Have the Right Equipment 

During a fire, tiny soot particulates invade the structure and if not removed, can be recirculated indefinitely by movement, fans, and HVAC systems. SERVPRO of Easton has specialized tools to remove the soot and proper protective gear to handle affected areas. 

Professionals Can Help With an Insurance Claim

Did you know that your structure does not have to have suffered a fire to be fire damaged? If your structure was next to or in the contamination zone of another structure fire, forest fire, or wildfire, and suffers damage from smoke and soot, it may be covered by insurance. Professional soot and smoke removal companies in Easton can help ensure that the damage is properly cataloged which helps insurance companies process claims. 

Soot and Smoke Odor Removal Companies Save Time and Money

Removing smoke and soot odors from the home requires a lot of specialized equipment and techniques to restore indoor air quality following a fire. A mask, mop, and bucket simply are not enough and not effective. Using the wrong products and techniques can cause additional damage and delays. Restoration companies specialize in removing soot and smoke odors quickly so you can return to normal operations as quickly as possible. 

Professionals Get the Job Done Quickly

Aside from the hassle of dealing with the smell, there are some important reasons to hire a professional who gets the job done faster. 

  • If the walls aren’t cleaned correctly and swiftly, the smoke and soot stains from a fire can become permanent. 
  • If left untreated or in the area for too long, building occupants could be breathing harmful chemicals. 
  • Some fire policies now have a forty-five (45) day limit on when an insured can report smoke, soot, or ash damage.

Looking For Professional Smoke and Soot Odor Removal in Easton? 

Never attempt smoke and soot odor removal alone. Local water and fire damage restoration experts SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall provide the swift and reliable services you need. For residential or commercial services in Nazareth, PA, and surrounding areas, call (610) 559-9380 or email SERVPRO5770@SERVPROofeaston.com today.

SERVPRO of Easton Provides Simple Steps to Avoid Flood or Restore Flood Damages

4/16/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO explains Snowmelt Flood Damage, How to Avoid it, and Why Swift Restoration is Essential to Health and Safety. 


Snowmelt Flood Damage Cleaning and Restoration Services at SERVPRO

As warmer weather approaches, one of the first things home and business owners should worry about is minimizing flood damage caused by snowmelt. The areas of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall average more than 45 inches of rainfall and 30 inches of snowfall per year. Not being ready for that volume of water can lead to significant flood damage. When you have water damage, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall responds quickly to help minimize damage and begin the restoration process. 

How to Minimize Snowmelt and Flood Damage

A commonly overlooked result of heavy snowfall and ice accumulation during the winter is the potential water damage that can occur when the snow melts. Runoff from rain and melted snow, or things like frozen pipes and ice dams, can quickly overwhelm drainage systems and end up damaging your property. You can minimize flood damage by taking a few proactive steps. 

Move the Snow

Move piled snow as far away from the property’s foundation as possible and to an area where it will not cause damage. 

Clean the Gutter System and Downspouts

Remove debris that can clog the system. Cleaning gutters will help direct water to the proper places and away from the building structure. It is advisable to use snow melt tabs to break down snow and ice stuck in the gutters. To prevent large amounts of water from snowmelt runoff or spring rainstorms pooling close to your property, attach a sloped leader to your downspouts. These extensions carry the water farther away from the structure, minimizing the risk of water or flood damage.

Remove Excess Snow

It is possible to prevent the need for water damage restoration and encourage water flow by hiring a contractor to remove excess snow from the roof.

Seal Cracks in Your Foundation, Doors, and Windows

Water is a powerful and destructive force against your property. Because of this, it is important to secure entrances and exits, windows, and cracks in the foundation against water intrusion. Once water enters, it begins to degrade the materials and can cause other problems that pose potential health effects, such as mold. 

Install a Sump Pump

If you do not have a working sump pump, have one installed, or take time to inspect your existing pump. Ideally, this device should prevent flooding and flood damage to your basement or foundation, but it must be running optimally. If the pump has a battery back-up, install new batteries for the season, and make sure the pump and drain are in good working order. Pour water into the pit to test its functionality. 

Pay Attention to Weather Forecasts

A  rainstorm or a rapid increase in temperature that causes snowmelt can overwhelm a structure’s ability to shed water away from the roof and foundation and lead to serious water damage. 

Snowmelt Flood Damage Dangers to Structures

Snowmelt flooding occurs yearly in localized areas and can devastate a business or homeowner. Here are just a few of the damages caused by cold weather water and its effects.

Roof Damage

The accumulation of snow on the roof adds weight that can cause small cracks to the roofing system. With temperature fluctuations, the water can get into those cracks and then expand the cracks with the next freeze. When temperatures rise and the snow melts rapidly, water can seep into the cracks and make its way further into the roof structure causing roof rot, and other problems. 

Damage Caused By Ice Dams

Ice dams, or the dam at the edge of the roof near the eaves, prevent snow melt from draining off the roof properly and can cause standing water. The standing water can cause problems such as roof rot, leaks, damaged shingles, as well as damage to gutter systems, ceilings, walls, studs, and insulation.  

Moisture Attracts Pests

One of the lesser considered problems with flood damage is attracting pests. Pests such as mice love to find weak areas in the foundation or structure to make their way into a building. Once inside, they can cause untold damage to insulation, wiring, and more. 

Flood Damage Restoration Near Me? Call SERVPRO.

Cold weather and winter storms can cause significant damage with no warning. Regardless of the type of storm, the highly-trained team at SERVPRO of Easton can handle any size flood damage event and provide rapid response. For residential or commercial flood restoration services in Bethlehem, PA, and surrounding areas, call (610) 559-9380 or email SERVPRO5770@SERVPROofeaston.com today. 

SERVPRO: Reasons Why Water Damage Restoration is Not a DIY Project

4/15/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO explains why it is best to use professional water damage restoration services, tools, and technologies to recover after water or flood damage. 

Top Reasons to Hire Water Damage Restoration Companies in Easton

With all the DIY resources online, you may be wondering why to hire a commercial water damage restoration expert in Easton. If you have suffered water damage at your commercial property, attempting to clean and restore it yourself can do far more damage than good.

Here are the top reasons hiring a professional water damage restoration service is the best option to get your property, life, and operations back on track.

Hidden Moisture

Water is a swift and powerfully destructive force. While it is possible to get the surface level water removed using DIY techniques, it very rarely is actually dry. The hidden moisture that remains continues to cause damage. Professionals use powerful extraction and drying technologies, to ensure that the water is gone and that the property is safely returned to its normal condition. 

Experts Can Identify Extent of Damage

One of the most important parts of water damage restoration is understanding how water damage works and identifying areas of damage. Materials like wood, carpet, and insulation can soak up the water and take it deep below the surface and into walls in a matter of minutes. Water restoration experts use water sensors to detect moisture and then extraction, drying, or removal techniques to solve the problem. 

Proper Clean-Up Safeguards Health

Without proper water restoration, the water that remains can continue to pose health and safety hazards. Moisture breeds mold, bacteria, and fungus, and can continue to break down other materials within the structure. 

Professionals Have the Right Technologies

Anyone that has had extensive water damage knows that a mop and bucket is no match for the job. Once water is introduced to the environment, getting it out fast is the first order of business. The longer it sits, the longer it has to get deep into walls and flooring where it can cause health hazards and structural damage. Professionals have the team and technologies it takes to remove the water as fast as possible.

The Clean-Up Process Can Pose a Health Hazard

There are three types of water in water restoration—clean, gray, and black water. While clean water does not pose any health risks, gray and black water can carry disease pathogens. Water restoration companies are equipped with high-grade extraction vacuums, pumps, dehumidifiers, fans, filters, and the proper safety equipment needed to remove water that may pose a health hazard. 

Get Correct Insurance Payout

Hiring a professional restoration company makes it easier to meet all of the insurance requirements needed to get a proper payout.  Professional water damage restoration companies in Easton can help ensure that the damage is properly cataloged which helps insurance companies process claims. 

It Saves Your Time and Money 

A water restoration service has the experience and tools needed to get your property back to normal as quickly as possible. Faster recovery means you can resume life or operations much more quickly. It also means that water has less time to cause damage, which equals decreased costs. 

Professional Water Restoration is Fast

Water damage needs swift attention or the remaining water can cause even more damage to the home or business. Standing water breeds bacteria, breaks down material, creates a breeding ground for mold, damages walls, and more in a matter of hours. SERVPRO of Easton understands that emergencies don’t always happen during business hours and offers 24/7 emergency service so you get the water restoration help you need fast. 

Looking For Professional Water Damage Restoration in Easton? 

Available 24/7, local fire and water damage restoration experts SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall provide the swift and reliable services you need. For commercial restoration services in Walnutport, PA, and surrounding areas, call (610) 559-9380 or email SERVPRO5770@SERVPROofeaston.com today. 

Signs of Sewage Backup

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: The signs that indicate sewage backup are listed by SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall.

Flooding can cause thousands of dollars of property damage to buildings. The cost of flood damage restoration depends on various factors. One such factor is the type of water causing the flood. Sewage water is contaminated and its removal and cleanup are more expensive compared to less contaminated water. It would be better if homeowners monitor and maintain the plumbing and sewage lines to prevent flooding from these as much as possible. This article lists the signs of sewage backup. With their experience in flood damage restoration, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall understand that preventing flooding if possible is best. In case of any flood damage, especially when the damage is severe, they provide exceptional water damage restoration services.

Sewer lines have a main line running from the house to the street. Secondary lines connect each drain to the main line. Sewage backup can occur due to blockage in the pipes. This can be due to different reasons like:

  1. Oil or grease that is poured down kitchen sinks that build up and clog the drain.
  2. Flushing anything not supposed to be flushed like paper towels, feminine hygiene products, or toys.
  3. Wear and tear of sewer lines over time.
  4. Tree roots that grow and invade pipes.
  5. Rainstorms can cause a backup in the public sewage system that leads to blockages and backup in sewage lines.

It is normal to ignore sewer lines until sewage backup occurs. Paying attention to the following signs can help to identify sewer backup, and rectify it before it causes flood damage.

Toilets That Flush Slowly

When the water swirls slowly down the toilet bowl after flushing it indicates a problem with the sewer. If normal plunging by the homeowner does not rectify this, it indicates the problem is with the main sewer line.

Several Clogged Drains

When multiple drains are clogged it indicates a problem with the sewage line. The lowest drains get blocked first. When rarely used drains are clogged it is of more concern.

Foul Smells

A properly working drain will not cause odor. A foul smell or stench from a drain indicates sewage blockage.

Water Backup in Other Drains

Water backing up in a drain when another is being used can be a sign of a clogged up sewer pipe. Gurgling from the shower when a toilet is used is such a situation.

Bubbling

A bubbling drain, after flushing a toilet or running the sink for instance, is easy to spot. It happens because air gets trapped and causes bubbles when wastewater is being pushed against a clog in the drain. If bubbling is noticed it must be checked. If bubbling happens repeatedly that means the sewage line has a block.

Tree Roots

Slow flowing drains and gurgling sounds from toilets can indicate tree roots are invading a sewer line. This is especially so in older homes with sewer lines made of clay or porous material. Surrounding tree roots can grow into the sewer pipes and expand to rupture the pipe.

Sewage in the Cleanout Pipe

A capped pipe that provides direct access to the sewage line is the cleanout pipe. It is usually located outside or in the basement. A backup in the sewer line pushes wastewater back up, and through the cleanout pipe. This accumulates in the cleanout pipe, and as backup builds it can spill out. Sewage water from the cleanout pipe in the basement or yard, or standing water in the cleanout pipe point to a problem with sewage backup. The cleanout pipe can be checked when other signs of a sewage backup are present. If there is a leak of sewage water in a basement it might need to be tackled by professional flood damage restoration services to limit the damage.

Flooding caused by a sewage backup is more complex to clean up as the water is contaminated. Preventing sewage backup is ideal. But in case of this happening a flood damage restoration service like SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall can provide reliable and professional water damage restoration by trained and certified personnel. They can be contacted on (610) 559-9380. A professional company like SERVPRO will ensure that flood damage is handled quickly by professionals with expertise who use technologically advanced equipment. This means the flood damage is handled as safely and as efficiently as possible.

How To Identify Signs of Roof Damage After A Storm

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: How homeowners can check for damage to roofs after a storm is shared by property damage repair experts, SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall.

Storms can be very destructive. There are different types of storms like blizzards, hailstorms, thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, derecho storms, etc. They can cause property damage incurring costs depending on the severity of storms and the extent of the damage.

Types of Damages Caused by Storms

  1. Wind Damage

Strong winds can weaken and compromise roofs, especially over time.

  1. Hail Damage

Hail storms can penetrate shingles or wooden shakes leading to leaks, and water damage.

  1. Water Damage

Exposure to water can result in water damage from the roof to the foundation of a building. It compromises the structural integrity of a house and can lead to mold formation.

  1. Impact Damage

Latent damage that occurs over time and is not always immediately noticeable is impact damage. It causes premature aging of the structure.

Damage to the roof is common after storms. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall shares some signs of storm damage to a roof. Identifying damage and promptly performing storm damage restoration is important to minimize the extent of damage and the cost of repair.

Signs of Roof Damage

Homeowners must wait until the storm has passed and it is safe to check the roof from outside. Attempting to walk on the roof is too dangerous and should be avoided. Instead, the following signs can be checked for.

  • Leaks or signs of water damage in the attic indicate a leaking roof.
  • The yard and house exterior must be checked for fallen tree limbs, missing parts of a fence, damage to outdoor furniture, and signs of hail damage to flat surfaces like patios and decks which can indicate a probability of storm damage to the roof. Shingle or metal pieces from the flashing of the roof on the premises show that the roof has sustained damage.
  • Cracked windows and dents on home gutters and roofing accessories like gable vents, may indicate the roof has been damaged.
  • The roof can be checked from the ground while walking around the house or from windows of the house that give a good view of different parts of the roof. Noting down and taking pictures of signs of storm damage like dents or missing shingles. This can help in documentation and may help in the insurance claim process.

    - Signs of Wind Damage
    Missing shingles, shingles that are missing granules after a storm, cracks or tears in rubber roofing, damage to the chimney, like missing bricks, a leaning chimney, damaged or missing chimney cap, leaks after wind that was accompanied by rain are all signs of roof damage.

    - Signs of Hail Damage
    Pockmarks on the shingles of the roof, areas of missing granules on roof shingles, round ball-like indentations on the exteriors of the home.

    - Signs of Damage by Debris
    Debris like tree branches on the roof, cracked or missing shingles, missing granules on shingles, or a big pile of shingle granules at the bottom of a downspout after a storm.

After the initial inspection of damage (further inspection can be done by a professional), and documenting signs of damage noticed, a storm damage restoration specialist can be approached. The insurance provider must be contacted. 

A property damage repair company like SERVPRO Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall can provide all restoration services needed after storm damage. Commercial and residential property can sustain storm damage that needs water damage cleanup and restoration, mold remediation, and structural repairs including repair or restoration to the roof. All these services may be provided by SERVPRO Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall which is a trusted leader in the water restoration industry. They can be contacted on (610) 559-9380 for fast service by a team of highly trained water restoration technicians for disasters of any size.

The Causes, Signs, and Management of Ceiling Water Damage

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: This article by SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall explains what causes water damage to ceilings, its signs, and what can be done after it happens.

Water damage can be very dangerous to homes, commercial property, and belongings. Statistics say 1 in 50 insured homes has a water damage (including damage related to freezing) claim each year. Water damage can be very costly. It involves water removal, cleanup, drying, disinfection, and repair and restoration costs. It also depends on many factors like the extent of water damage, the type of water causing the damage, and the cost of labor and materials in the area.

Water damage can be caused by weather conditions like thunderstorms, clogged gutters, leaky pipes or appliances, blocked drains, etc. Water damage can affect buildings in so many ways. There can be damage to almost anything including the foundation, walls, floors, furniture, furnishing, electronics, etc. Property damage restoration companies help to restore the property to pre-damage conditions. In this article SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall gives some information on ceiling water damage.

Ceiling water damage results from excess water seeping into the ceiling. This usually happens from a leak above. This kind of water damage can lead to mold growth and structural weakening. It can even lead to a collapsed ceiling and extensive property damage.

Signs of Ceiling Water Damage

  • Bubbled or peeling paint on the ceiling
  • Discolored and rancid water leaking
  • Water stains, moldy or brown patches on the ceiling
  • Recent cracks forming in the ceiling
  • Sagging or bowing of the ceiling
  • Swollen walls and door casings
  • Dripping from the ceiling
  • Beads of water along the wall

Causes of Ceiling Water Damage

  • Plumbing leaks can lead to water from rooms above to drip into the ceilings of the rooms below causing water damage.
  • Roof leaks and damage after storms can lead to water damage to the ceiling. Signs of water damage from leaking roofs include damp drywall, wet wood beams, and water or excess moisture in the attic. Roof leaks can cause discolored spots in the ceiling called water spots.

Results of Ceiling Water Damage

  1. Unpleasant appearance

Peeling paint and plaster, discoloration of the ceiling, damaged wallpaper and trims, and a sagging ceiling are all caused by ceiling water damage. This creates an unappealing look.

  1. Mold

Mold can grow after water damage to the ceiling and this can spread all over the house.

  1. Fire Risk

Electrical wiring can be exposed to water content in the ceiling. This is a fire hazard.

  1. Risk of Falls and Injury

Water-damaged ceilings can leak, forming puddles on the floor. This is a fall risk, especially if there are little children or older adults.

  1. Increased Utility Bills

Ceiling water damage can affect the insulation and this affects its performance, contributing to a rise in electricity bills.

What To Do After Ceiling Water Damage is Noticed

Water damage to the ceiling can spread to other parts of the house. Steps must be taken to prevent this. Furniture or other objects must be removed if water can drip on them from above. Containers can be placed to collect the water to prevent the floor from getting wet. Drywall can absorb and spread the water. So localizing the leak by using a tarp or making a hole for water to come out helps to stop the spread and limit the water damage.

An inspection must be done to identify if there is an internal ceiling leak or an external ceiling leak. This must be done with caution to avoid any danger like exposure to asbestos, lead-based paint, or mold, and risk of falls from ladders or due to weak structures. If the source of water can be controlled or repaired, that must be done first.

Homeowners might be able to handle minimal ceiling damage by themselves. The leak or source of water must be identified and stopped, the wet ceiling must be dried, damages to the ceiling must be repaired, and when complete it must be sealed and painted. But for any more damage or for homeowners who find this difficult it is best to get assistance from a water damage restoration company.

A company like SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall has highly trained technicians, and the most advanced specialized equipment to handle any water damage. They offer residential and commercial restoration and cleaning services required after a disaster of any size that leads to fire or water damage. This company offers 24/7 emergency services and helps manage insurance paperwork and processes in Northampton, PA, and surrounding areas. Customers looking for restoration services by trained and certified professionals with a compassionate approach can contact SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem, and Whitehall on (610) 559-9380 or via email at SERVPRO5770@SERVPROofeaston.com

What is Water Damage and its Classes and Categories?

2/4/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: What water damage is, its causes, and types are outlined by SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall.

Water damage is a common cause of property damage in the United States. Industry estimates place the number of people experiencing a water damage emergency at homes or workplaces at 14,000 a day. Insurance companies pay billions of dollars every year on claims related to water damage and subsequent mold. Household water leaks cause a trillion gallons of water loss a year. 

The figures above reveal why water damage is something to be aware of and prevented, as far as possible. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall explains what water damage is.

According to Wikipedia, water damage describes the possible losses caused by water intruding where it will enable the attack of a material or system by destructive processes like the rotting of wood, mold growth, bacterial growth, rusting of steel, swelling of composite woods, delamination of materials like plywood, etc. In general, any destruction of property interiors or external structures of a building from a water related source is water damage.

Water damage can affect buildings in many ways. There can be floor warping, discoloration of walls, mold formation, vermin infestation, and even weakening of foundations. Water damage is sudden and can cost a lot to repair and restore. Hence, quick and professional water damage restoration services are important to limit the damage and expenses.

Causes of Water Damage

Leaking pipes

Blocked gutters

Faulty sump pumps

Faulty appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters, or AC units

Malfunctioning sprinkler systems

Clogged drains from a kitchen sink or bathroom

Leaking Roof

Severe weather like thunderstorms and hurricanes

It must be noted that from the perspective of insurance, flood damage is considered different from water damage. Damage resulting from floods is covered by separate insurance that homeowners in flood-prone areas can choose to purchase. Water damage also has to be sudden and accidental. Insurance claims typically will not cover water damage caused by negligence and poor maintenance of homes.

Classification of Water Damage

The class of damage a water damage incident falls into is determined by the degree of damage to the property. There are four classes of water damage.

Class 1

Class 1 water damage is caused by uncontaminated water and minimal water absorption, affecting either a portion of a room (less than 5% of the total square footage including floors, walls and ceilings) or an area where materials have low porosity and the room has a slow evaporation rate. 

Class 2

An entire room is affected but only 5-40% of the entire square footage of the room (floors, walls and ceilings). There is the presence of porous materials such as carpet and carpet padding which absorb water needing extraction. Water may have wicked up the wall less than 2 feet, and there is moisture in structural materials. This class of damage has a fast evaporation rate and the time required to dry the area will increase.

Class 3

More than 40% of the total square footage of the impacted area is affected. There is significant water absorption in the flooring, insulation, subflooring, structural materials, and water has wicked up the walls at least 2 feet.  Class 3 water damage has the fastest evaporation rate. Water removal will take longer and may require special equipment to dry sufficiently. This class of water damage usually results from an overhead source such as a burst pipe in the ceiling or water intrusion from the roof.

Class 4

Class 4 water damage means a significant amount of water has had time to be absorbed into low porosity materials like plaster, hardwood flooring, and concrete. Water removal in this class of damage is complex and water damage restoration will require specialized equipment and takes more time to remediate than the other classes.

Categories of Water Damage

Based on the level of contamination of water causing damage within a building, there are 3 categories of water damage.

Category 1 Water - here the source of water is sanitary or considered to be minimally contaminated, hence referred to as clean water. This includes tub or sink overflows, and broken water supply lines.

Category 2 Water – water causing damage contains contaminants that can lead to discomfort or health effects if consumed. This is called gray water. Water is usually from appliances like dishwashers or washing machines, water beds, aquariums, or toilet bowls with urine (no feces).

Category 3 Water – is grossly contaminated water called black water. Black water is highly unsafe and should not be consumed or handled without proper safety measures in place. This water includes sewage, seawater, water rising from rivers or streams, storm surge, toilet backflows, etc.

Water damage restoration is best started as quickly as possible. Water damage affects property, possessions, and treasured keepsakes. Apart from the damage to furniture, appliances, electronics, and documents, even the structure of buildings can be damaged. 

Water damage affects homeowners physically, financially, and emotionally. SERVPRO of Easton, Bethlehem and Whitehall understands the stress that comes with water damage and the associated disruption caused to the life of a homeowner or business owner. Their highly trained staff offers professional water damage restoration services. They can be contacted on (610) 559-9380 or via email at SERVPRO5770@SERVPROofeaston.com