Recent Water Damage Posts

Three Probable Causes of a Leaky Refrigerator

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Why is my refrigerator leaking water?

WATER FILTER

If your filter is not installed properly, or the filter is old or doesn't fit correctly with your refrigerator model, chances are there is a poor connection between the filter and the water supply. To prevent your refrigerator from leaking, check to see if water is escaping due to holes in the filter. Also, check the size and model of both the fridge and filter to ensure it's the correct part for your refrigerator.

DRAIN PAN

Examine the drain pan for any cracks, which is located at the bottom of the refrigerator. If you notice a significant amount of pooling underneath, chances are the pan has a crack and that's what is causing the leak. Replace the pan immediately if you notice any damage.

DEFROST DRAIN

One of the most common causes of a leaky refrigerator is a faulty defrost drain. When the defrost drain is blocked by food particles or ice, it prevents the water accumulated during the defrost cycle to properly drain into the pan. Eventually, water will start to build up. Without anywhere to drain, water will begin to flow right onto your floor. Remove any blockage caused by food particles or ice by flushing the drain with hot water and removing debris carefully with a wire hanger.

Source: Roto-Rooter Online

Water Damage and Wood Floors

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Water Damage to My Wood Floors

It doesn’t require a disaster of the scope of a spring flood or hurricane to damage a wood floor. Even small plumbing leaks, fire hoses or the upstairs neighbor’s overflowing tub might pose problems for porous wood floors and substructures. Whatever the cause, water causes wood flooring to warp, and can trigger mold and mildew growth that can ruin wood. Major flooding creates problems in foundations and walls that must be addressed, but the first step in mitigating the damage done by water to a building -- including its wood floors -- is to gently but quickly ventilate and dry materials.

SERVPRO® of Lake Charles uses commercial-grade machines that extract the water from the wood flooring with a powerful force.  If we are called immediately following a water damage event, there is a good possibility we can save your wood floors from buckling using the high-powered water extractors.  Don't hesitate to call right away.

Source: Homeguides

How to Flush your Hot Water Heater

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

How do I flush a hot water heater?

Ready to get started? You won’t need much. The key essentials are:

  • A hose
  • A towel
  • A wrench

This list assumes that you can run the hose somewhere to allow the water from your hot water heater can drain safely. If not, get a couple of five-gallon buckets ready to capture what you drain. You might also want to consider the bucket method if you’re water conscious. If you let the water cool first, you can use the water in your garden. Just avoid giving it to delicate plants that might not appreciate the sediment the water likely contains.

In addition to gathering your materials, there’s another key step you really can’t skip. Check the warranty for your hot water heater. Performing maintenance yourself, even simple maintenance like this, could void your warranty. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Assuming your warranty gives you the go-ahead, you’re ready to get to it.

Step one: Cut off power and water

Safety first! Make sure your water heater is disconnected from its power source before you get started. If it’s electric, that means turning off the circuit breaker at your main breaker panel, then unplugging it. If it’s gas, note the temp it’s at for later, then turn the gas control knob to “Pilot.” Make sure your water heater is completely turned off before you move forward because draining water away from the heating element when it’s working can damage it.

Then, turn off your water heater’s water supply by shutting off the cold water valve. It will be located at the top of or above your water heater along a pipe that supplies it with cold water. A 90-degree turn will usually shut off the water.

If you can, wait overnight before you proceed to step two. This will allow your hot water heater to cool off so you’re not dealing with scalding water in next steps. If you can’t, use extra care.

Step two: Prevent a vacuum

You don’t want anything funky happening with your water lines while you flush your hot water heater, so go turn on the hot water somewhere in your house. Having this water source open will prevent a vacuum from forming as the tank drains.

Step three: Get ready to drain

You’re about to empty out your hot water heater and all that water needs to go somewhere. Control it by connecting a hose to the drain valve. It will be located at the bottom of your water heater and will probably look a lot like a standard garden faucet. Tighten the hose with a wrench and drape a towel over the connection so you don’t have to deal with any spray issues.

Feed the hose somewhere the water can safely drain or put it in a bucket. Next, open the pressure relief valve towards the top of your water heater. It’s usually a lever you simply flip.

Step four: Drain it

If you didn’t let your water cool, be ready for hot water to flow quickly out of your tank. Consider gloves or towels to protect your skin. If you’re using the bucket method,  have a second bucket ready to take its place when it gets full. Alternately, you can turn off the drain valve when the water nears the top of your bucket, drain it, then reopen the valve and refill your bucket, emptying as needed until your water heater is empty.

Ready? Open the drain valve and watch all that water and sediment pour out. Keep going until the tank is empty.

Step five: Flush it

Reopen the cold water valve at the top of your tank for a few seconds, then shut it off again and let the water drain. This will stir up any leftover sediment so you can fully flush your hot water heater. Repeat this process until you don’t see any more sediment coming out of your tank.

Step six: Refill it

Close the drain valve and close the pressure relief valve. Disconnect your hose. Next comes a sort of annoying step. Turn on all the hot water faucets in your house (sinks, bathtubs, showers, etc.). Having these freely flowing as you refill your tank prevents any pressure issues from arising within your water lines.

Then, turn the cold water supply back on and let your tank fill. Once it’s full, slowly reopen the pressure relief valve again to let any excess air get released. Then, close it again.

Now, head back to your faucets. Once water flow returns to steady (keep an eye out for hiccups and spurts that are indicative of air bubbles), turn them all off.

Step seven: Restore power

If your water heater is electric, plug it back into the wall before you restore power to it at your main circuit breaker. Then, turn it back on at the breaker box.

If it’s gas, relight the pilot and turn the knob back to the temperature at which it was previously set.

Listen to your water heater. You’ll be able to hear it start working again. In about 30 minutes, test that you have hot water again.

Source: Freshome

Tips for Salvaging Your Property After a Flood

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

Salvaging Your Property After a Flood

A flood is one of the worst things a homeowner can experience. In the aftermath, water damage will likely result in the loss of memorabilia and property, and in the chaos of it, homeowners may be at a loss of how to cope. The steps below offer a systematic approach to the cleanout process that may be beneficial.

1. Dry Out the Area

Whether the result of a natural flood or broken pipes, it is necessary to remove excess water and dry out your home as quickly as possible. You can rent a variety of pumps to help remove the standing water. You can also rent air movers and dehumidifiers to circulate the air and dry space quicker.

2. Tear Out Damaged Wallboard and Insulation

When the floodwater has been removed, you can assess the extent of the water damage and begin the tear out process. Find where the water line was and remove affected drywall and insulation at least 20 inches above that line, doing this will help prevent the buildup and spread of mold.

3. Discard Porous Items

Do not listen to your heart when it comes to salvaging items, especially if the flood was natural or caused by a sewer backup. Porous items, like photos, carpets and other fabrics, preserve bacteria and provide room for it to spread, allowing the contamination of other objects in your home. When cleaning up from a flood, it is better to be safe and discard porous items that contacted floodwater.

4. Consult with Professionals

Depending on the severity of a flood, it may be helpful to consult with a restoration specialist in Lake Charles, LA.. These experts will have the experience and equipment to help you wade through your belongings, and they may be your best chance at preserving and salvaging many of your personal items.

Water damage, especially when the result of a flood, can be detrimental. Between the potential loss of sentimental items and the costs of the overall repair, stress levels run high after a flood. However, if you can remove the personal element and approach the water cleanup systematically, it can be both manageable and cathartic.

Water Damage Insurance Claims Process

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage is one of the most common reasons homeowners file an insurance claim. To get your claim processed quickly, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the claims process before you need to make a claim.

How To File a Homeowner's Claim

Filing a homeowner's claim is a multi-step process. Proceeding through the steps in order will help you make sure you don't forget to do anything.

1. Read Your Policy

Your policy should explain what your responsibilities are and what types of damage are covered by your policy. This is particularly important for water damage claims, because most homeowner's policies cover water damage from sudden and accidental discharges, such as a pipe burst, but exclude damage from a flood.

2. Mitigate Your Damage

Most insurance policies require homeowners to mitigate their damages. This means that if there are reasonable steps you can take to prevent additional damage from occurring while you are waiting to get the initial damage repaired, you are expected to take those steps. An example is shutting off the water to your home when you have a leaking pipe. If you have to spend any money to make temporary repairs, save your receipts. Your insurance policy may cover these costs.

3. Contact Your Insurance Company

Call your insurance agent or the claims office of your insurance company as soon as possible to begin the process of filing your insurance claim. Ask any questions you have about your coverage and deductible. Find out how long it will be before repairs can begin. Ask if you need to get an estimate done or if the insurance company will be sending someone out. Drying your property out promptly is important, so you may want to inquire about hiring a water remediation company in Lake Charles, LA., to begin that process.

4. Complete Claim Forms and Other Paperwork

Your insurance company may mail your forms or allow you to complete them online. It may also ask you to submit other documentation. Return the requested materials as soon as possible. The longer you take to furnish the requested documentation, the longer it will take to process your claim.

5. Prepare for the Insurance Adjuster

In most cases, your insurance company will send an insurance adjuster to inspect your home and estimate the amount of damage. Take photographs of your damaged property and make an inventory of everything that was damaged. Gather together any receipts or other documentation that proves the value of your damaged property.

6. Keep Your Receipts for Relocation Expenses

If your home is uninhabitable because of the damage, keep your receipts for the cost of hotel rooms or rent for the period of time you are unable to live in your home. You may also be reimbursed for other additional living expenses, so keep the receipts for anything you had to spend money on because you were unable to occupy your home.

Filing an insurance claim for water damage can sometimes be confusing, but your insurance professional should be able to answer any questions that you have. Promptly and correctly filing your claim is critical for getting your home restored as quickly as possible.

Frozen Pipes and What You Need to Know

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Sometimes cold temperatures in Lake Charles, LA., can lead to a number of problems for homeowners. One of which may include frozen pipes. A hard freeze can even lead to broken pipes or water damage in your home. Here are some things you may want to know about what to expect when your pipes freeze.

What To Do When Pipes Freeze

If you have a frozen pipe in your home there are a few things you can do

  • Call a professional for help
  • Keep your pipes open so the water has a place to go when thawed
  • Apply gentle heat, like a hot towel or blow dryer, to the frozen area of the pipe

Why Pipes Freeze

During a hard freeze, the temperature outdoors can drop so low that the cold can permeate the pipes. Any water inside will then expand. If there is not enough room inside the pipes, then the pressure can cause cracks which will lead to leaks when the water thaws. A water damage professional can help with repairs to your home if the leak causes damage.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Fortunately, there are a few prevention steps you can take to prevent the freezing of your pipes and subsequent water damage. These steps include draining the water from pipes that may freeze such as a sprinkler line, and disconnecting any hoses from your home. You may also want to close any indoor valves that supply water to outdoor lines. If the weather is especially cold you may want to let your faucets drip a little as moving water is less likely to freeze. It’s also a good idea to keep your home’s temperature above 55 degrees.

When a hard freeze occurs, the water in your pipes can freeze and cause some damage to your home. A professional can help with any repairs and cleanup you may need. If you know that the temperature is likely to get to freezing point, you may be able to take some steps to protect your pipes.

Knowing that you are covered by your Insurance

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

Your homeowners' policy is likely designed to take care of accidents that were unable to be foreseen. While it can secure against most of the things that can go wrong with your home in Lake Charles, LA., you may need additional insurance for certain issues. Sometimes your basement flood can be covered, and sometimes it cannot.

What Isn't Covered?

There are several things your homeowners' policy probably doesn't insure:

  • Flood damage
  • Issues resulting from negligence or improper maintenance
  • Backup of municipal sewer lines
  • Repair of the flood's source

You may have to purchase additional insurance coverage for some of these issues. The cost of some of the repairs, however, such as repairs done by restoration professionals for problems caused by poor maintenance, will probably have to be paid out of pocket.

What Is Covered?

If the accident that causes the damage is sudden and unavoidable, such as a water heater that breaks and causes a flood, your homeowners' policy will probably protect you. If your floor or a wall needs to be replaced, your dwelling insurance can take care of it. If items are ruined in the flood, the personal property clause in the policy can help you pay for their replacement after the deductible is met.

What Additional Protection Is Needed?

If you experience frequent flooding in Lake Charles, LA., it is a good idea to purchase flood insurance. Water backup coverage can help you when your basement is flooded by a backed-up sewer line or a clogged pipe outside your home. Talk to your insurance agent about other options that may be helpful for you to have to protect your home.

If a sudden accident causes a basement flood, a lot of the damage is probably insured by your homeowners' policy. Some special circumstances might require further coverage, though. It is important to make sure you understand your policy and have the right one in place before a problem occurs.

Prep for Hurricane Season

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

Here Are Some Preparation Tips

As a property manager, you have a lot of responsibilities. One of them is storm preparedness. Hurricanes in Lake Charles, LA., can be dangerous, so you need to make sure your building is ready for excessive rain and winds. 

Contact Information
You should have an emergency contact list for everyone on your property. The list should include:

  • Names
  • Individuals with special needs
  • Email addresses
  • Cell and home phone numbers

Documentation
Once the hurricane is over, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. The insurer can often help you with storm-related expenses, including remediation and cleanup services.
To expedite the claims process, you should take time-stamped videos or photos of your property prior to the storm. The pictures should document the exterior of the premises and any common areas. Store the images off-site or back them up digitally so you can show them to the claims adjuster.

Maintenance
Cleaning the exterior of your property is important for storm preparedness. Before the storm arrives, you should empty the dumpster and secure any large outdoor items. Be sure to trim trees close to the building, as well.

Staff Delegation
As the hurricane approaches, make sure all of your staff members know their responsibilities. Front-desk workers, managers and engineers should remain on-site for as long as possible so they can assist everyone in the building. Once the winds increase, essential employees should work together to mitigate damage to HVAC systems, water pumps and other important equipment.
If a mandatory evacuation is put into place, none of your staff should stay on the premises. Before your employees leave, give them a phone number or email address that they can contact to find out about returning to work. As the property manager, you should be the last person to evacuate the property.
Storm preparedness is a necessary part of property management. The above tips should help you secure your building and keep everyone safe.

For more information on recovering from water damage, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Lake Charles by giving us a jingle at (337) 478-1133 today.

Managing the damage caused by water intrusion

6/4/2021 (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 Lake Charles 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 Lake Charles 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 Lake Charles 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 Lake Charles by giving us a jingle at (337) 478-1133 today.

Busted Pipes? Here's what to do:

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

Three Steps to Take When You Discover a Broken Pipe

A broken pipe can cause extensive damage within a matter of minutes. Bursting pipes can swiftly flood a commercial property in Lake Charles, LA.. This damage may be significant even if someone is on site when a pipe breaks. Severe flooding can take place if a pipe break occurs while a building is unoccupied. A property owner, manager or any occupant who discovers a broken pipe can take three steps to minimize damage.

  1. Contact a Plumber

Plumbers have the tools and expertise necessary to fix broken pipe. It may take some time for a plumber to arrive. In the meantime, there are several measures that can limit the extent of damage caused by a pipe break.

  1. Shut Off the Water Supply

Bursting pipes tend to be supply lines. It is possible to slow and eventually stop the flow of water by turning off the main water valve. This valve is typically located on the water pipe where piping enters the structure. A valve is often located near the water meter. Building owners and managers are likely to be aware of this location. It is a good idea to inform occupants who may be in the building at other times about the location of this valve. Relieve remaining pressure in pipes by turning on a faucet.

  1. Try To Limit Damage

Collecting water in containers can limit the extent of damage to building materials. Try to use garbage bins or other containers with wheels that will be easier to move than heavy containers which require lifting. It is also a good idea to start removing water with any equipment available on site, such as towels, mops or a wet vac.

After bursting pipes have been fixed, a property owner or manager should immediately arrange for mitigation and restoration. Contact a company that specializes in commercial water damage in Lake Charles, LA.

How to Avoid Water Damage

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Water can enter your home in many ways and end up damaging the foundation. To fight back against water intrusion, take preventative measures both on your home’s interior and exterior. Here are essential tips to safeguard your home’s exterior from water:

       Roof

  • Check your roof to ensure the shingles, flashings or tiles aren’t missing, broken, cracked, curled or damaged in other ways.
  • Make sure the vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, and evaporative coolers are properly installed and in good shape.
  • Check for leaks around rooftop air-conditioning units, vents for exhaust or plumbing, or other specialized equipment.
  • Cut tree limbs that hang above your roof so they don’t cling to shingles and trap moisture. Leaves or twigs can also clog your gutters.  

       Gutters and Downspouts

  • Ensure these are clean, free from debris, and in good condition so that water can flow freely.
  • Install metal screens to prevent leaves, twigs, silt and other debris from clogging the gutters and drainage holes.
  • Ensure downspouts direct water at least five feet away from your home’s foundation. Install downspout extensions if needed.

       Doors and Windows

  • Check for leaks near the corners of your doors and windows. Signs of leaks include peeling paint, paint discoloration or swollen frame.
  • Protect exterior doors and windows from the sun, rain, and snow by installing overhangs above them.
  • Close your doors and windows to check for a tight fit. Look for cracks between the sash and frame of your windows.
  • Repair or replace damaged flashing or weather-stripping around windows.

   Walls

  • Check and repair cracked or broken siding boards, bricks, stone or other masonry, as well as structural sheathing.
  • Seal any openings from wiring, plumbing, phone, cable, and heating and air conditioning lines with foam or caulk. Repair any damaged or unpainted wood surrounding these openings.
  • Check for signs of termite activity on the walls and the wooden structures around your foundation. Termites can eat wood, plaster, and even metal siding.
  • Ensure that the exhaust vent doors properly open and close.
  • Remove any shrubs and other landscaping features from along the walls.
  • When irrigating the garden, avoid directing water towards the house to prevent excessive water near the foundation.

For professional water damage repair or mold removal service, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles @ 337-478-1133

Unanticipated Water Damage

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO 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 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 has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it is the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call us, we will ask questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring. This includes how many trained SERVPRO professionals we may need.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask 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)?

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here for you 24/7 all 365 days of the year. Call us at (337) 478-1133.

Secondary water damage and how you can minimize it:

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

To avoid future restoration needs, be sure to consider every water problem as a true threat to your property. Even small water damages have the possibility to cause serious structural issues over time. A small amount of water has the potential to ruin flooring, paint jobs, wallpaper, plaster, or drywall.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to help. We have the equipment, training and experience to find unseen water and help minimize any potential secondary damages occur.  We respond quickly, inspect the area to assess the extent of the damage, and use the appropriate equipment to ensure the structural materials are restored to normal moisture levels.  These skills that we provide make a difference in reducing the immediate and secondary damage that a flood may cause.

There are also some immediate steps that YOU can take to help contain water damage:

-Dehumidify the area as well as possible. 

-Remove as much water as possible by mopping

-Move wet contents to a dry area, such as outdoors, to protect surfaces from the affected contents.

When every minute matters, call us at 337-478-1133 and SERVPRO of Lake Charles will respond to your call quickly, efficiently, and prepared with knowledge to make it “Like it never even happened.”

The Right Approach to Handling Water Damage

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

people with rubber boots Water damage restoration must be handled professionally and quickly.

Steps To Mitigate the Damage

There are a lot of things you never want to experience as a homeowner in Lake Charles, LA.. Major water damage is definitely one of them. Without a prompt, effective response, the results of the flooding could be catastrophic. You could lose precious belongings and possibly your entire home. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to mitigate the damage.

Call a Professional Company
Cleaning up after water damage could be overwhelming. It may seem like a hopeless task. Your best move is to call a trusted water removal company to minimize the damage in your house. The pros offer the following advantages:

  • Experience cleaning up after residential floods.
  • The right equipment and tools to thoroughly restore your home.
  • Proven techniques and expertise to tackle even the biggest jobs.
  • Timely arrival and completion of the cleanup.

Get Your Valuables out of the Way
If a sewer backup sends black water into your house, get out immediately and do not get near it. However, if the flood starts from broken pipes, it is clean water, so you can feel safe around it. In this case, you should get affected materials out of the way so they can start to dry. If there are items such as furniture, clothing or electronics near the water, move them to higher ground. It will also help to pull up any wet carpet.

Reduce the Risk of Mold
By itself, water can ruin materials in your home. After the water cleanup and restoration, you'll want to dry the area as well. This will minimize the chances of mold growing in your house, as fungal growth occurs in moist, humid places. After drying the affected spots in your house, disinfect all surfaces where the water touched.
Nobody wants to cope with water damage, but there are things you can do to prevent problems from getting more severe. As long as you're proactive and involve the pros, you can overcome these troubling issues.

Water Damage Restoration in Lake Charles, Louisiana

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

water damaged floor Lake Charles' premiere restoration specialist

At SERVPRO of Lake Charles we specialize in water damage and fire damage restoration. Our goal is to mitigate these types of damages in your home or business. There is no job too small! 

Our trained crews and office staff work closely with your insurance company to insure that your house or business gets the attention in needs most in your time of trouble. 

Whether it is a busted pipe, flood and storm damage, roof leak or sewage back up you can count on us to restore your property in accordance with industry standards. 

There are right ways and wrong ways to mitigate property damage and we strive to operate at the highest levels of excellence.

If you need a quote or just want to ask questions please do not hesitate to call!

Secondary Damage after your Home Floods

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

mold damage in home Water damage can lead to secondary damage, like mold growth. Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles to mitigate the damage before it gets worse.

Flooding in the home is a scary enough prospect in itself, but many fail to realize that simply removing the water is only half the battle. Floodwaters are capable of producing secondary damage such as black mold, a potential health hazard and a definite threat to any residence in Lake Charles, LA.. That’s why it’s vital to take immediate action when this type of disaster occurs. Quick removal of water diminishes the threat of extended high humidity, the condition which allows harmful mold to take shape.

Quick Removal Diminishes the Threat


Lasting Effects

While it’s certainly important to eliminate standing water when flooding occurs, it’s only the first step in a complete recovery process. Professional restoration is frequently requested for this purpose, as commercial technology allows both for rapid water removal and proper analysis of the situation afterward. The next recommendations will go toward preventing secondary threats such as:

• Rotted wooden building materials
• Growth of harmful black mold
• Warped or swollen flooring

Remember, floodwaters need not make direct contact with a surface in order to affect it, and not all signs of moisture remain visible to the naked eye.

Tools of the Trade

Any number of solutions may be employed to inhibit mold formation and other moisture-related issues. Many restoration teams utilize tools such as industrial air movers and high-strength dehumidifiers to ensure that the environment is totally free of unwanted moisture after a flood. Microbial growth begins quickly and is usually very difficult to address once a problem has begun, so make moves quickly should disaster strike.

Protect Your Investment

No one wants to pay for unnecessary services, but when it comes to your home, the investment’s worth it. Black mold resulting from high humidity often ends up costing homeowners much more than handling the problem correctly from the start, so don’t fall victim to secondary damage. If flooding should affect your home, consider calling in the pros—it may just be a case of paying a little now instead of paying a lot later.

Water Damage Types and Classes

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

person in rubber boots Water damage has several classes.

In the spirit of educating the south western Louisiana communities, SERVPRO of Lake Charles wants to make sure that you know what class of water you may encounter. 

The Classes of Water Damage Losses are determined by the rate of evaporation based on the type of materials affected by water damage to your property. Determining the Class of Water is an important first step and will determine the amount and type of equipment utilized to restore your business. Here are four IICRC water damage classifications:

Class 1 - Slow Evaporation Rate 
Water losses that affect only part of a room or area, or losses with lower permeance/porosity materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, vinyl composition tile or VCT, concrete). Little or no wet carpet or cushion is present. Minimum moisture is absorbed by materials, releasing moisture slowly.

Class 2 - Fast Evaporation Rate 
Water losses that affect an entire room or carpet and cushion. Water has wicked up walls 12" - 24". There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, concrete).

Class 3 - Fastest Evaporation Rate
Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and sub-floor in the entire area are saturated.

Class 4 - Specialty Drying Situations
These consist of wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, stone, and crawlspace). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which requires very low specific humidity.

Tips to help prevent pipes from freezing

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

frozen pipe rupture Water damage can ruin you home or business this holiday season. Be proactive and learn the facts.

If you have suffered a water loss from a busted pipe then you know how difficult it can be. SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to help prevent this type of water damage.

The three central causes of frozen pipes are quick drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostats set too low. You can prepare your home during the warmer months.

  • Insulate pipes in your home's crawl spaces and attic, even if you live in a climate where freezing is uncommon. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. Remember, the more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be.
  • Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes. Be sure to use products approved by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and only for the use intended (exterior or interior). Closely follow all manufacturers' installation and operation instructions.
  • Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
  • Before winter hits, disconnect garden hoses and, if possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
  • A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you're asleep, but further drops in the temperature - more common overnight - could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

Flooding can happen fast

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

In Lake Charles, we can experience storms that can rain 8 inches in 3 hours. Consequently, our drainage systems will be tested. In this type of event it is important to be prepared. If you do not have flood insurance you may want to look into it for your home or business. The price can vary depending on where you live. Hopefully you will never need it but in the event that you do the cost is absolutely worth it. 

Raising furniture up off of your floors and placing sandbags at every entrance or threshold of your home or business can help avoid disaster. Another good idea is to have a restoration company in mind. When a storm happens we can slammed with phone calls. Calling sooner rather than later will ensure that you get attention quickly. 

Please give us a call if you have any questions!

Water Damage: if you skip the steps you're not drying

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Like many things in our life drying out your water damaged home or business is a process that has specific steps that must be executed in a certain order. If you skip any of these steps you are likely to prolong the process and risk creating secondary damage like mold growth or weaken structural materials.

The very first step is making sure that the source of the water has been shut off (stop the bleeding). This may require you calling a plumber or if you have the where-with-all to do it, taking a T-Square out to the shut off valve and turning it off your self.

The next step is to call SERVPRO of Lake Charles. Our highly trained staff will carefully explain the process and its order of operations to you and your insurance company. Once everyone is on the same page we begin the mitigation effort utilizing specially calibrated drying equipment.

Give us a call if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment.

When a Storm Event hits call us Immediately

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes, resources, like time and materials, become limited. This is why it is imperative to call SERVPRO of Lake Charles immediately. We will get inundated with calls from people that are getting on our list for response. 

Our staff of highly trained technicians will respond and get started asap. In order to facilitate such a service we must first get you scheduled. 

Also, depending on the size of the storm, we may decide to invite SERVPRO's from Texas and other neighboring states into the area to aid in disaster recovery. 

This is why it is important to contact us as soon as you can.

Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles if you have any questions or concerns or if you need a quick response to your mitigation issues.

Expectations from Your Insurance Company after Residential Water Damage

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Insurance companies have lots of rules and regulations. One very important requirement is that you attempt to mitigate damage after you experience a loss in your home or business.

Let's say that you leave for work one morning and sometime during the day the water supply line to your ice maker ruptures and floods several rooms in your house. When you return from work the water damage will be so extensive that you will most likely feel overwhelmed. It is important to remain calm and not to panic.

You will address the obvious things like turning off the water at the curb, soaking up water with towels and calling your insurance company to file your claim. Once these steps are complete it is recommended that you hire a water restoration company like SERVPRO of Lake Charles to begin the mitigation process.

What many people do not realize is that SERVPRO does more than just dry your home out. They gather a detailed drying report that your insurance company uses to determine whether you immediately attacked the problem or let it exacerbate.

Please don't hesitate to call us: (337) 214-4962

For more information on Lake Charles click here.

For more information on Sulphur click here.

For more information on Westlake click here.

How to Prevent Water Damage

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water can enter your home in many ways and end up damaging the foundation. To fight back against water intrusion, take preventative measures both on your home’s interior and exterior. Here are essential tips to safeguard your home’s exterior from water:

       Roof

  • Check your roof to ensure the shingles, flashings or tiles aren’t missing, broken, cracked, curled or damaged in other ways.
  • Make sure the vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, and evaporative coolers are properly installed and in good shape.
  • Check for leaks around rooftop air-conditioning units, vents for exhaust or plumbing, or other specialized equipment.
  • Cut tree limbs that hang above your roof so they don’t cling to shingles and trap moisture. Leaves or twigs can also clog your gutters.  

       Gutters and Downspouts

  • Ensure these are clean, free from debris, and in good condition so that water can flow freely.
  • Install metal screens to prevent leaves, twigs, silt and other debris from clogging the gutters and drainage holes.
  • Ensure downspouts direct water at least five feet away from your home’s foundation. Install downspout extensions if needed.

       Doors and Windows

  • Check for leaks near the corners of your doors and windows. Signs of leaks include peeling paint, paint discoloration or swollen frame.
  • Protect exterior doors and windows from the sun, rain, and snow by installing overhangs above them.
  • Close your doors and windows to check for a tight fit. Look for cracks between the sash and frame of your windows.
  • Repair or replace damaged flashing or weather-stripping around windows.

   Walls

  • Check and repair cracked or broken siding boards, bricks, stone or other masonry, as well as structural sheathing.
  • Seal any openings from wiring, plumbing, phone, cable, and heating and air conditioning lines with foam or caulk. Repair any damaged or unpainted wood surrounding these openings.
  • Check for signs of termite activity on the walls and the wooden structures around your foundation. Termites can eat wood, plaster, and even metal siding.
  • Ensure that the exhaust vent doors properly open and close.
  • Remove any shrubs and other landscaping features from along the walls.
  • When irrigating the garden, avoid directing water towards the house to prevent excessive water near the foundation.

For professional water damage repair or mold removal service, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles @ 337-478-1133

What secondary damage can occur after water damage to your home or commercial property

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

What Secondary Damage can occur after water damage in your home or commercial building? 

After water leaks or flood damage, if not properly dried and treated, a home or business can develop mold from the moisture left on: wood, tile, carpeting, windows, concrete, and/or other materials/items that were affected.  SERVPRO of  Lake Charles strives to prevent secondary damage every time we remediate water damage. Building material and flooring are dried and treated to prevent mold and other allergens/contaminates using specialized equipment and cleaning products.

If water damage is not properly treated, the perfect environment is created for mold spores to grow in your home and to contaminate the air that is breathed.

Should you ever suffer water damage due to: a water heater leak, sink overflow, fire, refrigerator leak, excessive rain, storm damage, leaky roof, flood damage, or any other reason water has invaded your home or business, please know that SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to help.  

Reasons to Have Water Damage Professionally Dried

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

If you’ve recently had a severe water intrusion due to leaking pipes, flood or other causes, you might be thinking that you can handle it on your own. Keep in mind, though, that cleaning up water damage goes beyond wiping away the residue and letting everything dry. While we understand that you want to save money and maybe you’re a DIY type of person.  But water damage can cause serious health problems if not cleaned properly. Can you see beyond the baseboards and carpet to know what you’re missing?

The following are some of the advantages of hiring SERVPRO of Lake Charles

Safety

A lot of people fail to realize how dangerous standing water can be. Depending on the source it could contain bacteria and pathogens, causing you to get sick just by touching it. You could potentially contaminate unaffected areas of your home or business by walking through contaminated water damaged areas.

Hiring SERVPRO of Lake Charles is a smart choice since we have been trained to know what needs to be done and how to do it safely by IICRC standards. In addition to that, we have the necessary equipment and experience to get the job done right. Getting it done right is important because getting it done wrong or incomplete could cost more money down the road.

Mold prevention

Hiring the professional services of SERVPRO of Lake Charles is beneficial, as you can be sure that the cleanup will be done properly. This gives you an assurance that you will not face any issues later on.

Mold growth is one of the biggest problems with water damage. Any dampness left in porous materials can create an environment that is susceptible to mold growth. Protect your home from the development of mold by hiring professionals, and having it dried properly.

We use hydrosensors, moisture meters, and infrared cameras to assure we find all the wet materials created by a water damage event. Routinely check common areas that could potentially leak water, such as around the water heater, under sinks, and around toilets. Especially for areas that are not used routinely. Notify a professional if you find areas of concern.

Fast service

Clean up should be done immediately, preferably within the first 24 hours. Be aware that mold can start to grow within 48-72 hours after porous material are water damaged. Your home can even be a breeding ground for bacteria, mildew and other contaminants if surfaces stay wet for over 48 hours.

In the event of water damage, it should be in your best interest to hire a professional company as soon as possible. Water damage problems can become very serious if left untreated.  Our phone 337-478-1133 is monitored 24/7/365.  We will call you back within an hour and be on site within four hours for emergency services.

Protect your belongings

Water from leaks, pipe bursts or floods can easily destroy your belongings, furnishings and even your home. While some of your things may be destroyed by water almost immediately, hiring SERVPRO of Lake Charles increases your chance of saving more of your belongings. We know that some things insurance money could not replace.

Preventing Water Damage

8/14/2017 (Permalink)

Water can enter your home in many ways and end up damaging the foundation. To fight back against water intrusion, take preventative measures both on your home’s interior and exterior. Here are essential tips to safeguard your home’s exterior from water:

       Roof

  • Check your roof to ensure the shingles, flashings or tiles aren’t missing, broken, cracked, curled or damaged in other ways.
  • Make sure the vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, and evaporative coolers are properly installed and in good shape.
  • Check for leaks around rooftop air-conditioning units, vents for exhaust or plumbing, or other specialized equipment.
  • Cut tree limbs that hang above your roof so they don’t cling to shingles and trap moisture. Leaves or twigs can also clog your gutters.  

       Gutters and Downspouts

  • Ensure these are clean, free from debris, and in good condition so that water can flow freely.
  • Install metal screens to prevent leaves, twigs, silt and other debris from clogging the gutters and drainage holes.
  • Ensure downspouts direct water at least five feet away from your home’s foundation. Install downspout extensions if needed.

       Doors and Windows

  • Check for leaks near the corners of your doors and windows. Signs of leaks include peeling paint, paint discoloration or swollen frame.
  • Protect exterior doors and windows from the sun, rain, and snow by installing overhangs above them.
  • Close your doors and windows to check for a tight fit. Look for cracks between the sash and frame of your windows.
  • Repair or replace damaged flashing or weather-stripping around windows.

   Walls

  • Check and repair cracked or broken siding boards, bricks, stone or other masonry, as well as structural sheathing.
  • Seal any openings from wiring, plumbing, phone, cable, and heating and air conditioning lines with foam or caulk. Repair any damaged or unpainted wood surrounding these openings.
  • Check for signs of termite activity on the walls and the wooden structures around your foundation. Termites can eat wood, plaster, and even metal siding.
  • Ensure that the exhaust vent doors properly open and close.
  • Remove any shrubs and other landscaping features from along the walls.
  • When irrigating the garden, avoid directing water towards the house to prevent excessive water near the foundation.

For professional water damage repair or mold removal service, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles @ 337-478-1133