Recent Water Damage Posts
Don't let Frozen Pipes cause damage this winter!
Frozen pipes can burst and can pump out over 250 gallons of water per day
Almost 250,000 families have damage in their homes every winter, all because of water damage that results from frozen pipes.
Recovering from the damage is not as simple as calling a plumber. Extreme damage can take place as rapidly from even a small crack in a pipe (which can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day!) Consequently, damages can occur throughout a house and can affect ceilings, walls, and floors.
By taking a few precautions, you can avoid the mess, money and frustration that this process can cause.
Before the cold hits:
Insulate pipes in your home's crawl spaces and attic. These areas are most susceptible to freezing. Don't forget that the more insulation you use, the less chance your pipes will freeze.
Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for any air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes. Properly use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out and the heat in.
Disconnect water and garden hoses.
If your pipes freeze:
Call SERVPRO of LaGrange/Burr Ridge/Hinsdale to help! We are available 24/7 and can be reached at (630) 920-9334. We are experts and are prepared to help in your time of need.
Ice Dams and Water Leaks
Illustration of an Ice Dam
Tips for Removing Ice Dams
Residents in northern Illinois have been dealing with record–setting snow and even though wintertime icicles may look charming, they usually signal a serious and costly problem. Hidden behind the ice is water that can work its way under roof shingles and leak into your home or business. If left untreated, ice dams can cause serious damage to your roof, gutters, paint, insulation, drywall, structure and even contribute to mold. There are several things you can do to avoid getting an ice dam or to reduce the risk of damage after one has formed.
How do ice dams form?
Ice dams can form whenever water from melting snow re-freezes at the edge of your roof-line. Without room snow removal, an ice dam may grow large enough to prevent water from draining off the roof. This water can then back up underneath roof shingles and make its way into your home or business.
Preventing Ice Dams
- If possible, have snow removed from your roof after every storm
- Use a roof rake to clear snow from the edge of your roof upwards of three to four feet immediately after each storm. In addition to helping prevent an ice dam from forming, this will lessen the stress on your home’s roof. The amount of snow and ice your roof can support will depend on a number of factors, including the roof type and the age and condition of the structure. Keep in mind - if more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and ice has accumulated on your roof, you should have it removed by a professional.
Dealing With Existing Ice Dams
- An easy way to help snow and ice drain off of your roof is to make sure the area around your downspouts is clear. This can help prevent standing water from collecting near the gutter downspout.
- Melt the ice dam
(Fill a nylon stocking with calcium chloride ice melt, and place it vertically across the ice dam so that it melts a channel through the dam. If you try this, make sure you can safely position the ice melt on your roof, and make sure to use calcium chloride, not rock salt. Rock salt will damage your roof. Also, be aware that shrubbery and plants near the gutters or downspouts may be damaged.)
- Seek a trained professional's help removing ice
Checklist before SERVPRO arrives:
- If you cannot safely reach the roof, avoid using a ladder in snowy and icy conditions. Consider hiring a contractor to remove the ice dam.
- Disconnect the electrical and remove electronics from the affected area
- Call your insurance company! Many insurance companies will cover the damage caused by ice dams.
- Before any professional cleanup, photograph and document the damage.
- Remove standing water
- Remove mold-prone items if possible
- If possible, open the windows to circulate air or use a fan.
- Once the ice damn is removed from your roof, contact SERVPRO of LaGrange/Burr Ridge/Hinsdale to professionally clean, dry, and disinfect the area. Water damage in your home due to ice dams is an unfortunate situation, but SERVPRO of LaGrange/Burr Ridge/Hinsdale will happily clean up any damage. Protect your roof and home from the hazards of ice dams and call us today at 630-920-9334.
PREVENT FROZEN PIPES!
Frozen Pipes can burst and wreak havoc to your home...following these steps can help minimize the likelihood of a disaster from happening:
Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
- Disconnect all gardening hoses and install covers on all outside faucets
- Keep your house temperature at 68 degrees or higher, even if you're leaving the house for an extended period of time
- Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from the home to circulate
- Identify the location of the main water valve and the valve on your water heater. (Learning the location of these valves may come in handy during an emergency.)
- Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or with heating tape. This can prevent freezing, especially for interior pipes that run along outside walls
- Heat your basement and consider weather sealing your windows
- Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of your home
- If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off water supply valves to your washing machine.
Monitor Freezing Pipe Conditions:
- Allow a faucet to drip slightly (lukewarm water) in order to minimize freezing
- The first sign of freezing is reduced water flow from a faucet
- Check your faucets for water flow and pressure before you go to sleep and again when you wake up
- Check pipes around your water meter, in unheated areas, near exterior walls and in crawl spaces
- Identify cold air drafts coming in from a flue or chimney. Caulk gaps that are near pipes
If a Pipe Freezes:
- If a faucet or pipe inside your house freezes, you can thaw it using a good hair dryer. (For safety purposes, avoid operating a hair dryer around standing water.)
- To thaw a frozen pipe, heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around cold sections of the pipes
- When thawing a pipe, start thawing it nearest to the faucet. Make sure the faucet is turned on so that melted water can drip out
If a Pipe Bursts:
- Shut off water at the main valve
- If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed
- Call a plumber. Keep an emergency number nearby for quick access.
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24hr Emergency Water Damage - Helpful Hints
SERVPRO of LaGrange / Burr Ridge / Hinsdale provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration services.
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: (630) 920-9334 or (708) 482-9334
Water Damage Emergency Tips
After water damage, safety should be your primary focus:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical hazards should be considered - beware
- “Slip and Fall” injuries can take place- take caution
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
What To Do After Flooding:
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery and cushions
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
- Remove rugs from wet carpeting and hardwood floors
- Remove art objects and wall hangings to a safe, dry place
- Gather loose items from floors
What NOT To Do After Flooding:
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water
- Don't use television or other household appliances
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging