Recent Water Damage Posts

5 Tips To Stop Water From Damaging Your Belfast Home

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

rural area flooding Water Can Quickly Damage Your Home

If your home is in an area where your home may be in danger when heavy rains hit the mid-coast of Maine, then it’s a good idea to have some plans in place ahead of these damaging events. To help you prepare to protect you home from potential water damage, your friends here at SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland have put together some tips.

Home Preparation Tips

One of the best ways that you can handle water damage as a homeowner is taking preventative steps before the rain hits and flooding happens. Prevention can significantly reduce the amount of damage done to your home, so the following tips is meant to be a basic guide to help homeowners in our area before suffering the damaging effects of flooding and water damage.

However, if you are the victim of water related damage, we are here to help. We are the area professionals who have a proven process to help you recover from what could otherwise be a devastating event. You can learn more about our water restoration services here.

Tip 1 - Seal Gaps & Cracks on the Exterior of Your Home

This first tip can help minimize the amount of water that gets into your home. The smallest cracks and gaps in your home’s exterior can let in an amazing amount of water if not properly sealed.

When looking around your home for these areas, look in brickwork and stucco, gaps in siding, as well as areas around windows, doors, pipes, cables and vents.

Tip 2 - Install Hurricane Shutters

This was one of the prevention options that we mentioned in our ‘Storm Series’ on hurricanes.

However, there does not need to be a hurricane bearing down on Maine for these shutters to provide a level of protection for your home. During winds storms, these shutters are the best way to prevent your windows from breaking.

Keeping your home windows intact, obviously prevents water damage, but also has the added benefit of preventing flying debris from causing harm to the occupants.

Tip 3 - Consider Installing a Sewer Back Flow Valve

If your neck of the woods is an area prone to flooding, keep in mind that flood waters could bring backed-up sewage into your home through the sewage drainpipe. It may be possible to prevent this by installing a back flow valve into your drain line.

The valve will automatically close a flapper--which can also be manually operated--to prevent sewage from backing up through the drain pipe.

Tip 4 - Keep Storm Drains & Gutters Clear

It’s easy to forget how important the storm drains and gutters are when it comes to protecting your home. Heck, most of us don’t even want to take the time to clean them out… and that is where the problems can begin.

If water backs up from your gutters and drains, it can cause serious damage to your roof, walls, basement and quite frankly, your entire home itself. With Fall upon us, the leaves are going to start falling and this can be a recipe for disaster.

Consider making time to clean out your gutters and make sure there are no blockages in the storm drains. If this is not something you want to do yourself, now is the time to consider scheduling one of the great local vendors in our area to come and lean them out.

Tip 5 - Keep Valuables Off The Ground

Now this tip kind of assumes that somewhere, somehow, water has made it into your home and certain areas may be flooded. Let’s face it, even the best prevention cannot guarantee that all water can be kept out of your home.

So, it’s a good idea to practice this tip year round, as you never know when your home could accidentally flood from something as unpredictable as a broken pipe.

It’s a good practice to keep your most important/valuable items, such as sensitive paperwork, certain electronics, etc. as far off the ground as possible. If flooding does occur, placing these items in waterproof bags, water resistant safes in a higher location within your home can save you future headaches.

Bringing It All Together

No matter where you live in the mid-coast of Maine, it’s possible for you to be the victim of flooding due to Mother Nature. Moreover, it’s probably more likely that your home may suffer this occurrence simply because of a busted pipe. But no matter how your home may suffer water damage, one thing is for certain… you must have it taken care of correctly and immediately.

Remember, we encourage you to make us part of your prevention plan. Call us today and ask us to put together an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your home. This will put you leaps and bounds ahead if the unthinkable happens.

However, not matter what, your friends & neighbors here at SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland are ready and able to help. We’re only a phone call away; you can reach us at 338-1850.

Tips For Preventing Flood Damage in Your Home

4/13/2019 (Permalink)

Spring rains & melting snow can cause water damage

For most of the U.S., April showers might bring May flowers, but here in Maine April can also bring along some additional, unwanted friends.  If you’ve lived in the Belfast, Camden or Rockland areas for any length of time, then you know that in April, the weather can be a bit dicey to say the least.

We all hope that old man winter has let go (although not usually) and we all hope that we get mild temps, a decent mud season and not too many black flies.

However, with all of that, we also have the melting ice causing local rivers and streams to overflow their banks, putting our homes in potential danger.  Not to mention, if you didn’t keep up with all that snow and ice buildup on your roof during the winter, you may have to contend with ice dams forming on the gutters of your house.

You may be thinking that Spring sounds horrible in Maine… we all know, nothing is further from the truth. 

However, if you are not prepared for the twists that Springtime can bring, it can be a nuisance at least and potentially a dangerous situation for your home.  If any of that water from the rain or melting snow and ice makes it into your home it can warp floorboards, create havens for mold in your walls and can damage any number of your belongings.

So, a little prevention can save you a lot of headaches… oh yea, and a lot of money…

Read on for some tips on how to prevent that damage before it happens.

1. Check Your Homes Foundation

The most common way that water will enter your home during a heavy rainstorm is through your foundation.  If it is old and cracked water that has soaked into the ground will follow the path of least resistance right into your home.

Seal any foundation cracks you find with waterproofing compounds.  If you have a basement that is particularly prone to flooding you may even want to install floor drains.

2. Divert Water Flow Away From Your Home

Start by adding directional piping at the base of your gutter drains.  This one small, moderately priced addition to the exterior of your home can save you future money and damage to your home.

Once you’ve done this, depending on the landscaping near your house, you may notice water pooling in areas you don’t want it to be.  Although this may take a significant amount of landscaping effort, providing the water with a more appropriate place to accumulate will make a big difference once the first of the Spring storms rolls in.  

Observe where the water tends to flow during small rainstorms to determine where it naturally wants to go.  If it is collecting by the sides of your home then it may be time to grade your lawn so that the water flows towards a drain or some other collection reservoir and not towards your foundation.

3. Replace Water Valves

When water levels rise it’s important to remember that some of the systems meant to move water away from your home may become backed up and do exactly the opposite.  You may want to install back-flow valves on all pipes leading to you house, especially those leading into a sewer system that is at risk of flooding.  Consider installing drain plugs as well, particularly in the basement which will likely be effected first.  

The only thing worse than a flooded home is a home flooded with sewage.  Should this unfortunate circumstance happen, SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland has professionals who are trained and armed with the proper equipment to get this hazard cleaned quickly and efficiently.

4. Install a Sump Pump

A sump pump is generally a small investment which can produce a large ROI during its first use.  The job of this electrical pump is to move the accumulating water towards your nearest storm drain. 

Sump pumps do not run constantly so they are not a huge drain on your electric.  They generally use a mechanism that switches them on once the water has reached a pre-determined level in the reservoir.

If you already have a sump pump then it is good practice to check it periodically to ensure its working properly and it hasn’t gotten clogged.  Finally, consider a backup power source in case you lose electricity during a storm.

5. Keep Sandbags or Flood Barriers On Hand

If you live need a river or creek prone to overflowing, doing this one think can save your home from immense damage.  In a flooding emergency, having sandbags or some other type of flood barrier on hand is key.

While this one measure may not be enough to completely keep all the water from getting to your home, diverting the majority of the water may be just enough to lessen the impact.

We hope you never have to experience the effects of flooding.  But if the unexpected does happen, let your local professionals at SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland help you. 

Learn more about water damage here.

You can reach us 24/7 at 207-338-1850.

Water Damage: Stop It Before It Starts

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can have many sources, from loose appliance hoses to overflowing toilets and even natural disasters. Regardless of the source, the crew at SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland can handle any size disaster.

Even though most Homeowners insurance policies cover water damage, it can be easier to prevent the damage rather than go through the stress and headache of the mitigation, repair and claims process!

Here are five tips to help prevent water damage in your home or business:

1. Be careful where you plant

Some plants and trees have very invasive roots; while all plants' root systems will grow and extend in search of water, some can be exceedingly tenacious in their hunt for moisture. If you’re not careful, they’ll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to keep roots away from any water lines.

2. Clean out roof gutters

Even though it's very easy to put this particular chore off for another day, it can be worth it to perform routine cleaning and maintenance on your gutters If you’re seeing lots of leaves, birds’ nests, sticks, and other debris, your gutters are not going to be operating at peak efficiency. On a rainy day or during a Spring thaw, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. Simple, routine maintenance can help prevent water from unnecessarily flowing into your home.

3.  Keep an eye on your water bill

"Out of sight, out of mind": Most of the water pipes in a home or business are hidden behind walls or underneath floorboards, which means most people don't typically think about them...until there happens to be an issue. Since they tend to be hidden, you might not know there’s a leak until the damage is already done. The best way to monitor the situation is to keep an eye on your monthly water bill. If the bill seems uncommonly high or is trending upward despite your normal usage, it could be a solid indicator of a leak somewhere in your structure.

4. Use a drain snake instead of unclogging chemicals

Regardless of what you do, clogged sink or shower drains are going to happen from time to time. When these problems inevitably crop up, most people typically reach for a chemical drain cleaner. Although these products tend to be very effective and convenient, they are also comprised of caustic chemicals that will also damage your pipes. Regular use of these substances can eventually cause holes to form in your pipes, which obviously leads to leaks.

A good alternative to chemical drain clears is a drain snake. They're easy to use, readily available at any hardware store and are more than capable of taking care of normal clogs. Plus, you won't have to handle dangerous chemicals.

5. Never pour grease down your sink

It is always best to avoid pouring grease down your kitchen sink. Regardless of what you to do to "treat" it - such as flushing it with hot or cold water or using detergent to break up the grease - it can still congeal and cling to your pipes, causing serious damage and blockage over time.

The best course of action is to pour your grease in an empty disposable container and either let it sit; once it hardens, toss it in the trash.

No matter how many preventative measures you take, disasters will still unfortunately strike. When you do find yourself in the middle of a water damage, don't hesitate to reach out to the experts at SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland!

Call Us Today – (207) 338-1850

Protect Your Pipes: Winterization Tips

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Winter may be officially upon us, but it's never really too late to prep your home. Colder temperatures can be extremely damaging to your home if you're not prepared.

Contrary to popular belief, pipes don't typically burst at the point where water freezes, but somewhere between the freeze and a closed faucet. When the pressure builds due to ice blockage, it has nowhere to go but through the pipe walls, which can quickly lead to extensive water damage. Winterize your home plumbing, stop frozen pipes before they happen and prevent expensive water damage by properly insulating the plumbing pipes in your home.

1. Pipe insulation

Your pipes are more susceptible to freezing damage when temperatures drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Pipe insulation provides you with a first line of defense against cold temperatures and frozen pipes. For pipe winterization, add a thicker layer of insulation around your pipes.

Insulate the pipes in all unheated areas, as they are most likely to freeze. Wrap the pipes in insulation tubes made of polyethylene or fiberglass. Measure the outside diameter of your pipes to make sure you purchase the correct size of tube. Wrapping pipes in heat-tape prior to insulating adds an extra layer of protection, but make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid damage.

2. Keep a dripping faucet

On nights when the temperature is expected to drop below freezing, turn on faucets along the exterior walls to create a small, steady drip; doing so will allow the water to move and flow, helping to keep it from freezing. This also eliminates pressure that can build between the faucet and an ice blockage, so even if a pipe freezes, it may not burst. 

3. Open cabinets

You can stop frozen pipes by introducing more heat. Open all sink-based cabinet doors along exterior walls to allow more heat to reach the pipes.

4. Fix exterior cracks

Note any cracks or holes along the outside walls and foundation of your home. Filling holes and cracks with spray foam insulation and caulking can help stop the cold air from coming into contact with your water pipes during extremely cold weather.

 No matter how many preventative measures you take, disasters will still unfortunately strike. When you do find yourself in the middle of a water damage, don't hesitate to reach out to the experts at SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland! Call us at (207)338-1850 today!