Recent Water Damage Posts

Answers to Your Water Damage Questions

5/19/2021 (Permalink)

When water damages residential and commercial properties in our area, property owners have a lot of questions.

Here are the answers to your burning questions about water damage restoration.

What happens when water floods my home or business?         

Once drywall comes in contact with water it begins to sag and disintegrate. If the water is not contained quickly and in a proper manner, the wood will begin to swell. The more time that water is spent within the contents of your home, the more likely your hardwood floors will buckle and warp. 

Why do I need to call SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon? I already wiped up the water myself.

If your property was flooded with water the most important issue to address is the water that you can't see, not the water that you wiped up in the middle of your floor. Mold and mildew love to grow in the dark cavities of your home. To prevent future health and structural effects, call 703-471-6040 and leave it to the experts.

How does a professional water damage restoration contractor handle water differently than I would?

Your normal household fan and towels won't cut it when there's been excessive water damage. We use specialized industrial air movers and dehumidifiers to handle water after a flood. Our advanced technology will be placed in a precise manner, drying your property out as fast as possible. 

How long does it take to dry my home or business?

The answer varies with every different situation. The type of water damage, the extent of the damage, how long the water was at the property, and the material that was affected. Typically water damage takes 2-3 days to dry, but if the materials have been exposed for a long period of time there may be other issues!

Is it okay to leave the equipment running all day every day? 

Without a doubt! Our equipment was created to run for extended periods of time without causing any safety problems. The equipment is placed in a precise location according to our moisture mapping - do not move it!

Do I have to use the restoration company the insurance company recommends?

No way! You are free to hire whoever you want, you absolutely do not have to use what they recommend. 

Why hire us? Once we have the information about the claim you make, we will communicate directly with your insurance agent. This way you'll be able to worry less - we know you've already experienced enough hassle.

Residential and Commercial Restoration

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon is close by and ready to respond to your cleaning or restoration needs. We are proud to be an active member of the Reston/Herndon community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

Handling Intruding Water

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

Once a water damage event occurs on your property, the first 24 hours are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon is on-call 24/7 and has the capabilities to get to your property within the first hour of the phone call. Our technicians will be on-site to help ensure that your water damage is handled properly.

Inspection

The expert technicians at SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon will first inspect the property and damages. This will help determine the extent of the water damage and will allow them to create a plan to review with you. Our customers rave about how informative and helpful our professionals are when it comes to their concerns.

Emergency Services

Once the plan has been created, our expert technicians will place our industrial-grade equipment in precise locations so that the drying process is done properly and efficiently. If any questions come up during the process, the experts will have no problem explaining the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.

Monitoring

To ensure that the process is going smoothly, a professional from SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon will monitor the drying process daily. If there are any changes or updates, our experts will be consistently communicating with you.

Emergency Water Damage Tips

  1. If you know where it is, shut off the water source so that the damage does not get worse.
  2. Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution is unsafe from electrical shock.
  3. Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. Do not enter rooms where the ceiling has begun to sag from retained water.

For more information on recovering from water damage, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon by giving us a jingle at 703-471-6040 today.

Foundation Water Damage: Know the Warning Signs

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

You can't build a strong home on a weak foundation.

Foundation water damage weakens the structure of your home, causes cracks, bowed walls, and can be as extreme as causing your home to collapse.

Here's how to identify and address the early signs of foundation water damage:

Cracks.

Cracks may appear on both the interior and exterior of a home and are a tell-tale sign of foundation water problems. On the exterior, a few hairline cracks aren't normally a concern. It is important to be aware of horizontal cracks and stair-step cracks in block walls or corners. This may indicate serious structural damage and you should consult a water damage professional like SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon. 

Standing water in a basement or crawlspace.

Water in a basement could be an indication of a plumbing issue, however it could also mean that there is water seeping in through cracks in the foundation or gutter runoff. Either way, they're both causing issues and should be addressed immediately. Seeping water is a perfect host for mold growth and can weaken wooden support structures.

Windows and doors are jamming.

Excess water absorption in a building can cause frames to warp, which means that there is probably a waterproofing problem. Excess outside moisture can also cause your entire foundation to shift, leading to much bigger issues that will need to be addressed.

Mold Patches or Rotting Wood

As we've stated before, mold needs two things to grow: a source of moisture and organic material. If you can't spot the mold with your eyes, you'll without a doubt be able to smell the distinct mildew scent. Mold remediation should be enacted as quickly as possible once you discover mold. Mold could result from a crack or opening in the foundation that's allowing water to seep in.

Flooded soil.

If your gutters or other drainage systems are not doing their job properly, it can cause water to redirect back to your foundation instead of away from your house. If you see pools of water around your home, the wet soil will increase the likelihood that water will penetrate the foundation of your home.

It is important to keep track of your preventative maintenance on your home. Most importantly, if you suspect you have foundation water damage the best thing you can do is call SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon at 703-471-6040.

Whose Water Damage Is It?

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage is a pain; no matter what the source of cause.

Just think about the damage, the time, the money, the inconvenience, having to miss work; the list goes on.

Maybe the water damage has just begun. Or maybe the water damage is reoccurring, but you are just now noticing. Which means you may have to worry about mold too!

Now, imagine a scenario where you and your home are affected by water damage; but the source is coming from your neighbor!

This happened to a recent customer of ours.

The apartment above had a slow continuous leak coming from their cold supply line for the washer. This caused the apartment above to have water and mold damage to their floor. It also caused the apartment below to have the same damage but to their ceiling.

Which one is worse...?

Your home has damage and damaged someone else's home? (You have to deal with an upset neighbor and paying double).

Or...

Your home is damaged by your neighbor? (You have to go to your neighbor just to find out what is going on and make sure they pay for the damages) SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon is trained to help with such situations.

Ice Dams

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Ice dams when snow melts.  The water runs down your roof and refreezes forming icicles. This only occurs when part of your roof warms to above 32 degrees F, warm enough to melt the snow, while the roof edge remains below freezing. When snow builds up on the roof the heat from inside the house will warm and melt the snow which runs down the roof side and refreezes. 

The water pools up and freezes back up under the shingles.  In some cases it can go mas high as 6 to 10 feet up the roof. Later as it melts, it drips through the roof and into your walls or worst yet your ceiling. 

Damage can be serious; Can cause peeling paint, rot, mold and more. The problem is most common after a heavy snow.

Hose Bib Winterization

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

To prevent damage to your home drain your outside hose bibs during the winter months!  If you don't you run the risk of water freezing in the pipes; then when the exterior hose bibs are turned on, they will attempt to push water through, breaking the pipes and flooding inside your walls. Last spring several Fort Belvoir families were inconvenienced by these burst pipes and the ensuing repairs. Your hose bibs have been equipped with anti-siphon devices to prevent your pipes from storing – and subsequently freezing – excess water.

***** Always disconnect hoses from the exterior hose bib faucets. *****

If you use your faucets during the winter months make certain to drain the hose bib of any excess water. 

If you do not expect to use the outdoor faucets during the winter months, we advise that you drain the hose bibs and shut off the water line from inside your home.

This simple process can save you a lot of aggravation and money.

Smoke Detector Checks Are Key

7/31/2019 (Permalink)

Checking the batteries and the status of your smoke detectors regularly is so much more important than the average home owner thinks it is.

We know they are checked before you rent or buy a house.  We know they are checked when you sell a home.  These legal steps have been added for your protection, so get in the habit of taking the extra steps necessary of checking them periodically and log it somewhere.

One of the first items mentioned when a residential fire happens if there is an injury or fatality; is that the smoke detectors were or were not operable. Something so simple can save hundreds of dollars in damage and maybe even a life.  

Some states have now required detectors that have sealed batteries guaranteed active for 10 years, Maryland recently enacted the law.  Take the time to check the status of your detector and test it on a regular basis. 

Water Nightmares

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage occurs when excess water begins to pool in areas where it shouldn’t. This issue may arise due to bursting or leaking pipes, faulty or malfunctioning household appliances, or a natural disaster or weather related issue. One appliance that frequently causes water damage in homes is the washing machine. Homeowners leave washing machines unattended to complete other chores throughout the house or even fall asleep until the next morning. DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE! In some instances, washing machines may fail to transition from the “filling stage” and continue to fill with water until the water is shut off. This causes water to overflow from the machine and begin to fill the house.

It only takes minutes for water to quickly spread throughout the property, saturating everything in its path. Water may be absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings, furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets, and photographs, books, and other paper goods may swell and warp.  If you are unfortunate enough to have to face water damage in your home, don’t do it alone. Contact SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon, your regional flood specialist, at 703-471-6040.

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Water Damage and Category type

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration sets three categories of water that cause damage in buildings. They are summarized as follows: 
Category 1 Water - Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as "Clean Water". Category 1 water may become contaminated if it mixes with soils or floor coverings, building assemblies, etc... Time and temperature can promote growth and amplification of microorganisms in water can cause Category 1 water to degrade.


Examples of category 1 water are: a broken water supply line (including the toilet), and tub or sink overflows. 

Category 2 Water - Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants.  These contaminants can cause discomfort or sickness when exposed or consumed. This water type carries micro organisms and is nicknamed "Gray water."

Examples of catagory 2 water are:  toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, dishwasher water discharge, and washing machine water discharge. 

Category 3 Water - Nicknamed "Black Water" and are grossly unsanitary. These indoor water sources  contain unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness.

Examples of type 3 water are:  water sources from sewage, seawater, stream or river water, ground surface water or standing water. 

Category 2 Water that is not promptly removed and remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back-ups that originate from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.

Knowing the classification of your water may help you understand personal safety concerns and the necessary material and debris removal anticipated.

Turn off your main water valve before going on vacation!

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

Even a broken or frozen water line to the toilet can cost thousands in damages!

Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than a phone call alerting you to catastrophic damage to your house, or returning to a home that has been sitting in water due to a broken/frozen pipe or a hot water heater that defaulted into a flood. Turn off your main water valve before going on vacation! 

If you are traveling during the winter it is also a good idea to drain the lines too.  It is easy to drain the lines by simply turning on a faucet on the main floor or in the basement.  If you do not know where your main valve is, ask your plumber.  It is also a great idea to make sure that the valve works.

If for any reason you are not able to turn it off yourself sometimes the water company will shut it off for you.  This simple act can prevent thousands of dollars of damages.

Tips for Homeowners: Preventing Water Damage to Your Home in Reston/ Herndon, VA

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Home flooded in Reston, VA

Avoid the cost and hassle of severe water leaks! Follow SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon's simple tips to prevent water damage in your home.

  • Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid costly gutter damage. Defective, clogged downspouts can cause severe water damage to your home- including rot, mold, and basement flooding. Be especially cautious after heavy rain and snow storms to ensure that your spouts are properly secured and that no residual water remains to seep into your house.
  • Disconnect idle water hoses. This protects your home against busted pipes, damaged walls, and flooded floors.
  • Maintain appliance pipes and hoses. In our professional restoration experience, defective pipes and leaky hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss. Be sure to replace yours regularly to prevent significant water damage.
  • Install a water detector. A water detector will immediately alert you at the sign of water damage. Our professionally trained restoration crew suggests that homeowners install this device close to areas most prone to water damage i.e. water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, toilets, etc. This prevention method will protect both your home and your pockets from the physical and financial costs of water remediation.
  • Monitor your water bill and water pressure. Too high water pressure can cause erected pipes and hoses. Likewise, irregular water bills can point to problems with the water flow in your home. Act immediately on any signs of water damage or leaks to prevent mold, mildew, and other water disasters.

If you have any questions, or if you need our help in protecting your home against water damage, contact us today at (703) 471-6040. Our heroes are ready to help 24/7!