Recent Water Damage Posts

Water Damage Clean Up Is Not a D.I.Y. Project

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

We live in the Do-It-Yourself era. Home improvement stores and television shows promote it all the time. Heck, there is an entire television network dedicated to DIY programing. Many projects can be tackled by the weekend DIY pro. It can be a great way to reduce home improvement costs. Many people find pleasure and satisfaction in these projects. Today, we want to talk about a project that we recommend you not try to tackle yourself and that is water damage.

Depending on the source of the water intrusion, you may be dealing with various pathogens that can cause serious illness or death. Sewer backup is an example of a category 3 contamination.  Category 3 should never be handled except by a profession with the proper personal protective equipment to protect themselves and the proper training so other parts of the structure are not cross contaminated. Another example of a category 3 loss is flood waters from storms and swollen rivers and creeks.

Even lesser category losses can be harmful and need to be handled with care. Washing machine and dishwasher discharges are example of category 2 losses but can contain contaminates that can cause a reaction or illness. The time in which water sits is also a reason for concern. Even a category 1 loss such as a sink supply line busting, if let to sit for a few days can rapidly progress to category 2 or 3 as bacterial and microbial growth begins.

Mold is always a potential issue no matter the level of contamination of the water. This is where it gets tricky for the DIY person. People usually get blindsided by mold growth not from the moisture they seen and thought they took care of but by the hidden moisture. The carpet may feel dry to the touch a few days later but the pad may still be holding moisture, or the subfloor. Drywall will “wix” moisture up from a wet floor like a straw. Many times, moisture left on the backside of sheetrock is the beginning of extensive mold growth. Don’t chance it. SERVPRO has the training and technology to detect all moisture and properly dry all affected areas.

In the long run it will save you a lot of money. Money that can be used for all of the great DIY improvement projects you love.  

4 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

3/12/2019 (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's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several 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)?

What is In Flood Water?

3/12/2019 (Permalink)


Not all water damages are the same. Many of our friends have found that out after recent flooding. The cleanup caused by recent flooding in much different than say a burst pipe you may have experienced in the past. In this blog we will look at the different water types.

What we call “clean” water when referring to water damage is water from a broken supply line for example. Clean water is pretty self-explanatory; it comes from a clean source. Rain water CAN be considered clean water if it is an isolated incident not related to wide spread flooding.

The second type of water is “grey” water. Grey water is slightly contaminated water. A good example of grey water is drain from a dishwasher. Keep in mind that water types can change. Clean water left too long without cleanup becomes grey water as bacteria and other contaminates can begin to grow.

The final classification is “black” water. Black water is highly contaminated as it is the result of encountering sewage, chemicals, or harmful bacteria. The tragic flooding we experienced this spring would be considered black water. Yes, we said earlier rain water was considered clean but as this water flowed out of control through farms and cities it picks up contaminates. Flooding to this extent has mixed with local sewage systems, as well as been in contact with an endless list of chemicals and contaminates.

SERVPRO always recommends you leave water damage cleanup to the professionals but we cannot stress enough how harmful black water can be. The type of water determines our protocol for proper cleanup. When handled improperly, it is easy to contaminate other areas of your home or business and instead of mitigating damage you may accidentally increase it. Black water should always be left to the pros.

Water you don't see can cost you money.

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Water is the single most amazing substance on the planet.  Over 70% of the planet’s surface is covered by water. Our bodies are made up of over 60% water. Life as we know it is not sustainable without water. If you’re in the water damage restoration business what may amaze you the most is water’s incredible ability to travel. Water has an uncanny ability to travel around, over, and through about anything. For this fact, we at SERVPRO often talk about the water you don’t see. Hidden moisture can cause serious damage to your home or business and even your health. That is why even perceived “small” water damages should be handled by professionals.

To protect your investment you really need to view every water intrusion as a real threat.  SERVPRO has the experience, training, and the tools to properly scope water damaged property. Today we want to focus on the basic tools we use track the moisture.

  •         Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture. They can detect moisture in drywall, carpets, moldings, and other building materials. This tool is used to map out the full extent of the affected areas. What may appear dry or be dry to the touch may be affected and this tool helps us find all the moisture.
  •         Moisture Meters are used to actually measure the amount of moisture in the materials. This is a vital part in determining a drying strategy. Moisture meters are used throughout the drying process as areas are monitored daily to document the progress in drying.
  •         Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. SERVPRO techs use this information to create an environment in which materials can dry. As with the meters, this tool is used throughout the project to measure and document the progress of drying.

With a full and complete understanding of the severity of a water intrusion SERVPRO can eliminate the possibility of secondary damage resulting from a flood. A call to SERVPRO brings immediate action with our full arsenal of tools to prevent the further spread of water and the possibility of further damage such as rot an

Winter Temps in Spring? Be Prepared

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Be safe and disconnect hoses if temperatures near freezing.

Even for standards, this winter and early spring has been crazy! The official first day of spring was a weeks ago but you will be able to tell that by the nighttime low temperatures in this weekend’s forecast.

Everyone is in a scramble to cover outdoor plants and flowers to try to save them from the unusual cold temps. There is probably another thing you need to protect. Your outside faucet. As the temperatures have warmed over the last few weeks many of us have embarked on outdoor projects in the yard. Many of us have de-winterized the outside faucet and have connected hoses to complete chores.

Now a full weatherization like you do in the autumn with an insulated cover is probably not necessary but you do need to make sure your outside hose has been disconnected. The water in the connected hose is directly affected by the elements. When it freezes it can put pressure on the plumbing it is connected to and can lead to big time problems.

void Washing Machine Disasters

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage from a malfunctioning washing machine are common.

According to the US Census over 85% of American homes have a washing machine. Washing machines are viewed today as an essential part of life. They provide an efficient and sanitary place to clean our clothes and other soiled textiles. But is your washing machine a ticking water damage time bomb?

Home floods resulting from a malfunctioning washing machine is in the top ten categories for water damages according to insurance carrier’s data. Over half the time the water supply line into the machine is the culprit. The life span of a washing machine supply line is less than 9 years. How old are yours?

There are other parts of the machine that can malfunction. Pump malfunctions or drain hoses being disconnected can result in a serious water intrusion. The average cost of a claim from a washing machine when the customer is home and catches the problem relatively quickly is just under $5,000. These accidents don’t always happen when we are home, if the property is unoccupied the results can cost into the tens of thousands of dollars to fix.

So, what can you do to prevent these kinds of losses?

  • Make sure the drain hose is firmly secured and cannot easily be jarred free from the drain.
  • If your supply hoses are more than 5 years old think about replacing them. Especially if they are made of rubber. The metal braided hoses are much more durable.
  • Don’t snug your washing machine to close to the wall. Being to close to the wall may cause kinks in the hoses. While water may be allowed through the restricted area it causes a stress point for the hoses exterior to break down.

Water Damage Statistics

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage

Water Damage Statistics

Water damage covers a broad range of potential loss. Homeowners understand that wear and tear will occur in any circumstance; however, there are a variety of unforeseen events that may trigger water damage. Natural disasters are often given the most blame for water damage, and they should, considering that the majority of damages due to water stem from some sort of outside environmental factor.

Nevertheless, water damage may come in a variety of forms. Understanding the sources of this type of damage is important to not only potentially preventing an incident, but more importantly, to understand where you stand in the eyes of your insurance provider. Water damage in homes most typically comes from the following causes:

  • Frozen pipes
  • Leaking pipes
  • Leaky roof
  • Broken washing machine hose
  • Plumbing problems
  • Insulations issues

The water damage statistics below will highlight the widespread nature of this issue. While many people do not view this as a common occurrence, water damage accounts for a significant number of homeowners insurance claims. The following are some of the most interesting water damage statistics:

  • Almost 40 percent of all homeowners have said that they have experienced loss from water damage
  • About 93 percent of all water damage can be prevented
  • Water damage is the second most frequently filed insurance claim in the United States
  • 250 gallons of water is released a day due to a 1/8-inch crack in a pipe
  • About 20 percent of all insurance claims related to water damage of some kind
  • Billions of dollars in property losses are spent each year as a direct result of water damages

Those homeowners with an understanding of the prospective damages associated with water are much more likely to stop problems before they become major issues. Hopefully these water damage statistics were able to shed some light on the vast complications that may arise from water in the home. If you or your family has experienced water damage and are looking to file a claim, contact Arguello, Hope & Associates for more information.

To get started today, simply fill out a Free Case Review form on this page.

Water Damage Insurance Coverage

First and foremost, homeowners must maintain an understanding of exactly what is and is not covered under their current insurance policy. Without this knowledge, homeowners will be left in shock when disaster strikes and they must pay for these damages out of pocket. Besides purchasing a flood policy for protection, you may be able to add coverage to your existing policy. These additions may cover things such as the following:

  • Mold remediation (varies on state)
  • Backup of drains or sewers
  • Plumbing water damage
  • Air conditioning damages
  • Water heater damage

Prevent Water Damage to Your Furnace This Winter

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Every winter, especially if you live in a cold climate, your home is under assault from the elements. Eventually, that constant assault can cause your home’s systems to fail. One common result of these failures is water damage. And while any type of water damage is bad, there are certain types of damage that can be worse than others. That’s especially true in the winter.

Perhaps no system in your home is more important in the winter than your furnace. Without it, you’d be in big trouble. So while the impact of home water damage is bad no matter how you look at it, having your furnace damaged when the temps are freezing outside can be catastrophic. So let’s talk about things you can do to protect your furnace from water damage should the worst case scenario happen to you this winter.

Furnaces are hidden from view for a reason. They’re not exactly focal points of a home you want people’s eyes drawn towards. Whether it’s in a crawl space, basement or mechanical closet, it’s typically in a place you naturally don’t find yourself visiting very often. One way to help protect your furnace from water damage is to create an elevated platform upon which the furnace can sit. If it’s the case your furnace is found in an unfinished basement, you can simply pour a concrete block and install the furnace there. If it’s in a closet, it may make more sense to create a wooden box to hold the furnace. In either case, having the additional 18-24″ of height can typically protect against most types of home water damage.  Granted, in massive flood events this isn’t going to have much effect, but then again there isn’t much you can do from a preventative stand point when mother nature decides to take charge.

Who are you going to call?

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Your water damage is new; who do you call? If I were you I wouldn't call a new company, call one that's been around and has the experience your looking for.

SERVPRO has been around since 1967 with over 1500 franchises. To say SERVPRO knows " a little bit about water damage" is an understatement. 

SERVPRO is an expert in water damage. Our professionals go through extensive training and certification to make sure your getting the most up to date techniques available.

SERVPRO's leadership has earned the trust of the insurance industry, homeowners, commercial property managers and even the Pentagon.

Rain, rain go away or at least stay outside

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Rain is great for your yard but not to get inside your home.

Many people wake up from a rain storm to a wet basement. It may be from the foundation or could be a pipe leakage, sub pump failure. Many things could have happened and you will want to determine how it happened to get the right person out to repair.

In all the cases though you are going to want to call an expert in helping you to dry out your basement. That expert would be SERVPRO

We can get right to work in getting the water up , drying the structure etc. SERVPRO has the knowledge as to what can be dried and saved and what is better off being throw away. 

Did you know that organic materials like paper, fabric, wood, leather can start to grow mold in as little as a day? Let SERVPRO help you save as much as possible of your things.

Prepare For It

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane Preparedness for Drinking Water Utilities from SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville

Drinking water utilities need to take precautions in advance of the arrival of a hurricane. Public water suppliers in the possible path of the storm should prepare for high winds, storm surge, torrential rain, flooding and extended power outages. To help utilities provide continuity of service to its customers before, during and after the storm, the following actions are recommended:

  • Water Storage - Fill your storage tanks to help you meet demand during a power outage and to help anchor your tanks during high winds and inundation.
  • Back Up Power - Fill fuel tanks for your generators. Exercise each generator under load to be sure it is running properly and power transfer is reliable. Assume a lengthy power outage. Estimate the time that you will be able to meet demand with the back-up power, fuel and water storage you have on hand. Identify several possible locations where fuel can be procured in case your primary supplier becomes unable to deliver.
  • Continuity of Operation - Contact all essential employees to place them on alert. Make sure that sufficient staff will be on duty throughout the expected storm duration. Provide enough food and clean water for staff working extended shifts. Have them bring extra dry clothes, and consider providing sleeping arrangements so that extended duty staff do not become overly tired.
  • Chemical and Fuel Storage - Check tanks to be sure you have enough essential chemicals (e.g. disinfectant) to get you through the storm. Check tank anchoring to be sure they are protected from wind damage and buoyancy forces (floating or overturning) should they become inundated.
  • Water Sources - Identify sources that may become inundated. Prepare to remove sources from service, prior to inundation, that may be susceptible to damage from inundation or intrusion by flood born pathogens or salt water.
  • Emergency Communications - Check your emergency communications equipment to be sure it is in good working order. Charge all batteries, or replace with fresh ones. Distribute communication equipment to appropriate staff.
  • Public Communications - Be prepared to provide public information as needed. Check contact information with local radio and television stations. If you do not have storage and/or dedicated backup power sufficient for 3 days, consider pre-preparing water conservation advisory notices that can be issued if needed.
  • Vehicles - Fill vehicle fuel tanks to be sure they are ready for use in response to the storm. Provide essential equipment (radios, instruments, tools, safety equipment, lights, ropes, etc.).

The Four Classes of a Water Damage

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

4 Classes of Water Damage

Classes of water 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. There are four IICRC water damage classifications, they are as follows:

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.

Preventing Water Damage During Business Closures

8/13/2018 (Permalink)

Knowing your responsibility as a property owner before beginning the recovery process after a flood can help you.

There are plenty of reason you might need to close your business in College Park/Hyattsvile. When you're away, your site might be at risk for catastrophic flood damage. Water pipe repair is costly, so consider doing some preventative work if:
• You operate seasonally
• You were recently the victim of a fire or other premises damage
• Your location was shut down by legal authorities
• You're moving to a different location and selling your former property
• You temporarily suspended operations for an update or remodel

Regardless of the reason you decide to shutter your shop, the last thing you want is to come back to a disaster area. Here are a few steps that could prevent water damage while you and your staff are elsewhere.

Keep Your Equipment Working

One of the easiest ways you can safeguard your location against water damage is by maintaining your flood control equipment. Sump pumps are by far the most common water management tools, so check your pump batteries and ensure proper mechanical operation before you leave for any amount of time.

Close the Valves

You could also shut off your main water control. It's always a good idea to be familiar with these control valves: Quick reactions to a broken pipe can save hundreds of dollars in water pipe repair costs down the road.


Insulation is usually considered as prevention against freezing. However, you might be able to get something out of insulating your pipes even if you aren't afraid of them bursting. A little bit of insulation could control minor leaks, protecting sensitive equipment or interior finishes.

It's relatively easy to make sure you have a clean and dry site to come back to, not a flooded one. These are not steps you want to perform every time you leave. However, if you are planning on being gone for more than a few days, these simple processes could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on cleanup and water pipe repair. For more information, visit

Water : Clean Vs Contaminated

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville. Consider the following steps to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water:

 ·         Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.

·         Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock.

·         Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

·         Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.

·         Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.

·         Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

Damage from Contaminated Water:

·         Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.

·        Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.

·         Do not turn on HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.

·         Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.

·         Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

Note: If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medical evaluation. Consult your local health department or physician.