Recent Posts

Signs of Active Water Damage

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage is one of the more serious disasters that can happen in your home. Water in places that should remain dry can lead to severe home damage.  Also, water damage is also a likely sign of a water leak, which is not only costly in terms of repairing damages, but also in terms of your water bill. The sooner you can spot signs of water damage, the sooner you’ll be able to put a stop to any leaks and protect yourself, your home, and your wallet. Take a look at some of the signs that you might have water damage and how to spot them.  

Use Your Ears

One of the first signs of a water problem isn’t necessarily visible, but instead, it’s audible. Water makes a sound, whether it’s a slow drip or a gush. It’s never a good idea to ignore the sounds of water inside your house when there shouldn’t be sounds of water.  Listen for the sound of water running when there’s no reason for it – when the washing machine and dishwasher are off, when there’s no one taking a shower, and when no sinks are in use. If you hear the sounds of dripping or running water, follow your ears. You may track the sound down to a leaky sink or a toilet that needs a new stopper. But if the sound seems to be coming from behind the walls, under the floor, or from the ceiling, you might have a larger problem. You’ll need to examine the area where you hear the water coming from and track down its source so you can determine whether you have a leaky pipe, a leaky roof, or some other problem that may have caused water damage to your home.

Follow Your Nose

Your hearing isn’t the only one of your senses that can alert you to a water problem. Water Damage often comes with a smell – namely, the scent of mold or mildew. If you smell a musty, damp odor anywhere in your house, that’s a sign that you not only have a water problem but that you also already have some water damage.  It’s important to track down the scent of mold as soon as you notice it. Mold grows quickly, and can soon become a much bigger problem if you ignore it. It can also cause health effects. Another scent that sometimes arises in a house with a water problem is the smell of sewage. You might smell this coming from plumbing fixtures in your bathroom. Needless to say, the smell of sewage in the house is not a good sign, and you’ll want to have that looked at right away.  

Know The Visible Signs of Water Damage

If you spot a puddle or actual wet spot in some place where you know no water should be, that’s a pretty sure sign that you have some type of leak and you should look closer for further signs of damage. But the visible signs of water damage aren’t always so obvious.  One thing to look for is an area where your paint is blistering, bubbling, or peeling. For example, if you notice the paint on the ceiling bubbling, it could mean that the roof is leaking, or, if you’re seeing it on a downstairs ceiling in a two-story house, it could mean that a toilet, sink, or bathtub located upstairs is leaking.  You might also notice discolorations on your walls or wallpaper. You probably don’t think of water as something that causes stains, but water that leaks down the walls and isn’t cleaned up properly can damage the paint or wallpaper, leaving discolorations behind.  It’s worth noting that even if you happen not to smell mold, you may see evidence of it. Look for black or green spots on walls and ceilings.  Other signs of water damage include buckling or warping in wood floor planks or laminate flooring, loose tiles, deteriorating caulk, and cracks in cement. You might also notice that wooden door and window frames look swollen or warped, and that doors and windows stick in place and refuse to open or close smoothly. These are all signs that you should call a water damage restoration specialist to check out the problem and get your home on the road to recovery.

Check Your Checkbook

Even if you don’t see any other signs, if you’re losing more and more money every month to your water company, you’ve almost certainly got a problem somewhere. It’s possible for leaky pipes and water fixtures to dump water in a place where you won’t notice it or where it doesn’t cause damage – a leaky toilet, for example, won’t necessarily cause water damage if the leak is inside the toilet system. But it will cost you money. A toilet that’s leaking internally may not damage your floor, but it can drain hundreds of gallons unnecessarily, bringing your water bill higher and higher. And it’s a good idea to get a handle on that kind of leak as soon as possible, because a leak anywhere can lead water damage eventually, even if it’s not currently causing damage, and that only compounds the expense.  However, sometimes leaks that don’t appear to be causing damage actually are. If you haven’t been in your basement for a while, you might not see the water on the floor or hear it leaking down there, but it’s definitely still causing damage. And a leak that dumps water outside could be slowly damaging your home’s foundation. So if your water bill is showing signs of a leak, take it seriously and investigate, even if you haven’t noticed anything before.  Water Damage is a serious thing, and mitigating it isn’t always something that can be done on a do-it-yourself basis. If you’ve located a water leak in your  home, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County can help. Contact us right away so we can help you treat your home. 502.241.6861 

Reduce the Risk of Chimney Fires

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

There is nothing quite like the warmth and glow of a wood burning fire. Fire is one of humanities oldest tools. It has the power to heat our bodies, cook our foods, refine our metals and light the darkness. We are connected to fire at a primal level and deep down we are all mystified when we see the flames dancing between logs. Nowadays we may be lucky enough to bring that joy inside but the comfort of a cozy indoor fire brings with it, plenty of danger, especially if the fireplace and chimney are not properly inspected and maintained. Here are a few tips to keep your house and family safe from the danger of an indoor fire:

  1. Inspection

    According to The National Fire Protection Association, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” An inspector will come and make sure your fireplace is safe to use and let you know if there are any repairs necessary. If you haven’t used your fireplace in a long time, birds or other creatures may have built nests that could clog your flue or chimney chamber. Winter freeze cycles, inclement weather, and moisture combine to take an annual toll on masonry and liner materials. Year in and year out these elements can cause deterioration that will eventually require attention. Seasonal wear and tear that is left unchecked will affect the performance of your system and the longer the defects go without being addressed, the more expensive the repairs are likely to be. That is why staying on top of your systems is not only the smartest and safest choice but the most cost-effective too.

  2. Chimney cleaning

    The best practice is to keep things simple and safe. Make sure to clean the fireplace regularly and know if it’s well built. It is also a good idea to have a professional initially inspect the fireplace and chimney even if you plan to clean and maintain it yourself. The Chimney Safety Institute recommends cleaning the chimney when creosote is 1/4 inch or thicker on the chimney walls or there is visible build up in the system. A chimney sweeping company will take their time to make sure they clean everything and keep your house soot free while doing it. The best time to schedule a cleaning is at the end of the indoor fire season as acids in the creosote, or humidity combined with creosote, can both damage the fireplace mortar. After an initial professional cleaning you should, with the right knowledge, be able to clean and maintain it yourself. Of interest… after cleaning your own fireplace, you could dispose of the ashes and creosote by sprinkling them on flowerbeds. They are a great source of calcium and other nutrients.

  3. Chimney cap

    These are a small but important piece of your chimney. Having a chimney cap installed can prevent objects, rain, and snow from falling into your chimney reducing downdrafts which lower the performance of your fireplace. These caps have side vents so smoke escapes and the mesh around the cap sides acts as a spark arrester. Chimney caps also prevent animals and other unwanted guests from making their home in your chimney during the spring and summer months. Another tip is to trim trees back that surrounds the chimney and make sure there is no debris building up on our around it. All in all, even though a chimney cap is a small and generally inexpensive piece of equipment, it can prevent numerous issues from happening. It might also save you thousands of dollars in chimney repairs or damage expense.

Experiencing fire or smoke damage can be an incredibly stressful event so be sure to take the appropriate measures in cleaning and maintaining your fireplace and chimney. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County specializes in water restoration as well as fire and/or smoke damage and we will do our best to get you and your family back on the couch for a cozy, crackling fire on that cold winter evening.

How to choose a Restoration Company for Biohazard clean up

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

How to choose a Restoration Company for Biohazard clean up

A crime or traumatic event is one of the hardest things to imagine ever happening to you or someone you know. So, when something tragic does happen, it’s an emotionally and mentally draining experience. And if the event has occurred in your commercial property, that’s even more challenging because of the cleanup involved in restoring your property back to normal and ensuring it is safe and sanitary for use again.

Whether you’re facing such an event now that has you stressed, or just considering ways to prepare yourself ahead of time for the challenges of being a property owner, there is no time like the present to learn what’s involved in the cleanup of your business should a crime or trauma occur there. These facts can help you be prepared for the worst and be knowledgeable about how to choose a reputable, compassionate crime scene and trauma cleanup-company so you can make the right decisions for your property and get back to normal life as soon as possible.

Is the company certified for crime scene and trauma cleanup?

Unlike the more common cleanup problems that a property can face, cleaning up after a crime or other trauma has occurred involves a very specific, regulated approach. For example, blood and other biohazard contaminants can pose a serious health risk if not removed and discarded of properly. And there may be other hazards in need of removal, all of which may be regulated by local, state, and federal laws to ensure public safety.

Because this type of property restoration is so specialized and demanding, it’s important to select a crime scene and trauma cleanup company that is appropriately certified by the appropriate municipal authorities. A reputable company will be able to provide you with evidence of current certification and assurances of how they remove and discard materials that may be a health hazard.

Is the company well trained, experienced, and properly equipped?

Restoring property after damage due to a crime or trauma often requires the use of specialized equipment and cleaning materials that aren’t necessarily available at your nearest store. A professional crime scene and trauma cleanup company will have everything they need to do the job right. This includes special cleaning agents to handle hard-to-remove stains, as well as ridding the residue that may be left behind from products such as fingerprint powder, evidence-gathering chemicals, pepper spray, and tear gas.

At SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County, our professional technicians have years of combined experience and training in the use of state-of-the-art equipment to help ensure that your property is properly, thoroughly cleaned so you can rest assured in a job well done.

Does the company assist you with documentation for financial assistance and file insurance claims?

You might not realize it, but property insurance policies often offer coverage for a variety of emergency cleanup scenarios, including crime and trauma-related events. And many municipalities and government agencies offer financial assistance and victim relief funds for disaster cleanup because it’s a public health issue. This can include not just floods and other natural disasters, but crime, suicide, and violence related issues as well.

A good crime scene and trauma cleanup company can help point you in the right direction as you locate the various types of financial assistance that may be available to you in your situation. And they should be willing and able to promptly provide you with any documentation you need to file financial assistance, insurance claims, and related paperwork.

Need Help Fast?

When you’re facing an emergency such as a crime or trauma on your property, you need swift assistance in getting things cleaned up and back to normal quickly, so you can go about your life and business again with peace of mind. The professional, experienced, caring team at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is here to assist you in doing just that.

Contact us today. 502.241.6861

Preventing Basement Flooding with Landscaping

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

Landscaping can add some serious curb appeal to your home, whether you enjoy shrubs and flowers or a more zero scape look, each home is unique. Landscaping gives each homeowner a chance to create the look they desire and show off their creativity. The downside to some landscaping choices is that they can contribute to water entering your home, usually into the basement. In fact, some flooding problems may be directly related to the landscaping around your house. Here are a few things you can do to your landscaping to prevent flooding.

Grade Your Lawn the Right Direction

Landscaping that grades towards your house instead of away from it may lead to flooding in your basement. You want to make sure that you are directing the water away from your home when it rains. One way you, as a homeowner, can prevent this is to install a dry creek bed in your yard that can provide a path for water to flow away from your house.

Determine How Water is Entering the House

If you notice that you have water in your basement after a rainstorm, investigate where that water is coming in. A possible culprit could be your sump pump. If the sump pump is not dispelling water far enough away from your home, you could be experiencing water intrusion. Also, foundation cracks can be the cause of water entering your basement.

Direct Downspouts Away from the Home

Downspouts should properly direct water away from your house. If your downspout is too short, it can cause water to pool near your foundation which can lead to water intrusion. During a rainstorm, you can go outside to ensure that the water coming from the downspout is flowing away from your home. If needed, you can extend the downspout, given you have the space.

Leave a Gap Between Mulch and Siding

Mulch can be a great option for landscaping however, if you choose this material, you may want to consider leaving a gap between the mulch and your siding. Mulch soaks up moisture so when that rests on the siding of your home, it can cause that siding to rot over time. Leaving as little as a 6-inch gap can help prevent this.

Next time it rains, step outside and do a walk around the perimeter of your home. Check the landscaping you have around your house and see if you notice any areas of pooling water or perhaps a downspout that you can tell is not leading the water where it should be.

Checking the surroundings of your home as a preventative measure, before you have a flood, can save you and your home in the long run. If your home has already experienced basement flooding, contact the Mitigation experts here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

What to Do During and After a Commercial Fire

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

Preparing for a home fire is a wise investment, however how many of us prepare for a fire at work?

Below, the fire damage experts from SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County explain what to do during and after a commercial fire.

Safety Steps for Employers & Employees

Contrary to popular belief, fire alarm and a fire sprinkler system are not directly connected. This means that when the fire alarm goes off, the sprinkler system will not necessarily activate at the same time. Moreover, some buildings simply don’t have a fire sprinkler system.

The fire alarm is your primary warning to evacuate the building.

Don’t assume that because the sprinklers aren’t activated that no fire exists. Because commercial buildings lack the compartmented features of a house, the fire has the potential to grow much larger, much faster.

Once the alarm sounds, help inform others that may not hear the alarm. If you’re not working on the ground floor, do not attempt to use an elevator.

Look for the closest stairwell exit. Hold your hand to the door knob (don’t touch it), to check for heat.

If the doorknob feels warm, there may be fire on the other side. If possible, find another exit.

Once outside, do not attempt to go back inside the building. If someone is missing, wait for emergency responders to arrive.

Some commercial fire alarm systems will contact emergency services automatically. Once it’s safe to do so, call 9-1-1 to ensure that help is on the way. Inform first responders of anyone who might still be inside.

How to Handle Fire Cleanup

Burned or damaged buildings are vulnerable to break-ins and other offenses. Once the building has been cleared for re-entry, it’s critical that anything valuable is removed. This includes the personal belongings of employees as well as expensive business property.

Once the valuables have been removed, damaged and destroyed property must be carefully documented. You’ll also need to contact your insurance company.

Business owners who want to be sure they’re getting the most out of their insurance policy trust SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to document and negotiate with the insurance companies.

In addition, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County can repair damage, clean, and sanitize a fire-damaged work space as well as restore it to like-new condition—this includes expensive property contents like furniture, electronics, paper documents and more.

Avoid the impulse to clean up the property before a thorough investigation has been completed. Insurance companies will want documentation of everything in your claim. If you clean up evidence, you could lose money in the claims process.

Stay Informed; Be Prepared

Every minute counts when it comes to your business. One of the best ways to avoid further damage after a commercial fire is to stay informed and be prepared.

In addition to coordinating a fire safety plan with employees, knowing who to call and when can save you time and money on commercial cleaning and restoration.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is available 24 hours day, 7 days a week . We’ll be there when you need us, so you can get back to work faster after an unexpected disaster.

Call us today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.232.5213

Things to look for in an Emergency Restoration Company

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

When your commercial property suffers damage due to disaster, it’s vital to initiate comprehensive disaster management services to get your business back in working order as fast as possible.

Fires, floods, and severe storms can seriously damage your commercial property. Following a disaster, prompt professional restoration services can reduce the compounding problems that are sure to arise when moisture isn’t dealt with fast.

  • Fire incidents—produce soot and damage due to smoke as well as moisture from firefighting
  • Storms and floods—leave behind moisture and can create mold infestation

Here are some things to look for in a commercial emergency restoration management program:

1. 24-Hour Emergency Response Team

Time is a factor when prompt emergency response is needed. The sooner your commercial property’s restoration begins, the better. Look for a company accessible to you seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Rapid response and mobilization of restoration services help you get back to business even after disaster strikes. Faster restoration services lead to decreased impact on your property.

2. Comprehensive Services

Disaster remediation has several types of services necessary to restore commercial properties. Here are some vital ingredients to look for when it comes to disaster remediation:

  • Remediation of the disaster incident
  • Debris and residue clean up
  • Decontamination and deodorization
  • If necessary, relocation of property contents to a facility where they can be professionally restored

3. Coordinate with Your Insurance

Look for an emergency restoration company that communicates efficiently and effectively with your insurance adjuster and/or agent. Insurance claims can be a hassle, yet they are vital to disaster insurance coverage. Find a company that will coordinate with your efforts so you can file your claim accurately and promptly. This includes providing you with detailed documentation of the problems and solutions required to get your property back to normal.

4. Digital File Storage and Project Updates

Look for a company that can save photos digitally and record the progress of you job online. This keeps you informed through the cleanup and reconstruction process so you stay in control of the restoration of your business’ property.

5. Equipment

Look for a reputable company with the up-to-date equipment needed to provide you with disaster remediation and reconstruction with excellence.

6. Safe and reliable

Hire a company who follows safety regulations during emergency restoration, and swiftly performs the services you need to get back to work.

7. Experience & Expertise

Find a company with multiple years of experience in restoring businesses after disaster strikes. They should have certifications such as from the IICRC to assure you they can scale up and know how to handle even the worst disaster scenarios.

8. Priority service

Look for a company that will give your commercial property priority service.

9. Costs

Look for a company who can keep costs of restoration fair, with a quick response and an established plan for restoration.

Water Damage in your Commercial Space? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

House Fires: Cause and Prevention

8/3/2021 (Permalink)

Where House Fires Originate

House fires have a pattern—they start in some places more than others. Here are the most common places fires begin:

#1: Kitchen

Half of all house fires start in the kitchen. This comes at no surprise since it’s where you do the most cooking and house many appliances. This is an easy place to prevent fires since they are typically man-made. Just keep an eye on the oven, combustible items away from the stove, and you’ll already be safer.

#2: Bedroom

A small portion of all house fires start in the bedroom. The amount of plush objects in bedrooms has something to do with it. Mattresses for one, can be very flammable unless they’re new. If you have a mattress that was made before 2007, it probably doesn’t abide by the Federal Mattress Flammability Standard. All mattresses made after 2007 are flame retardant and held to a higher safety standard. Do yourself a favor and purchase one.

#3: Chimney

Like everything else, chimneys need to be cleaned. We suspect 6 percent of all house fires happen in chimneys because people neglect to have them serviced. Each time you have a fire, sap and ash from whatever you’re burning coats the inside of your chimney. Determine if your chimney needs to be cleaned by doing a srcape test. Open the flue, put on protective glasses, and get a flashlight. Then, shine a light up the chimney and scrape the inside with something sharp. If the residue is 1/8 inches thick, schedule a cleaning. If residue is closer to 1/4 inch, don’t build another fire until your chimney is professionally cleaned.

#4: Living Room

Living rooms or family rooms often contain candles, fireplaces, electronics, and heating equipment. They also contain couches and other flammable items. Since 4 percent of house fires start in living rooms, we can assume these factors have a little something to do with it.

#5: Laundry Room

Laundry rooms are where 3 percent of all house fires begin. Dryer lint is a main cause of laundry room fire. If you do not clean vents and filters regularly, the heat could cause lint to catch fire. Try not to run the washer or dryer when you’re not home in case something gets overheated and you need to act immediately.

#6: Outside

House fires start outside 3% of the time. This is where people keep grills, smoke, have bonfires, and light off fireworks. Just know that if you have a fire outside, it could catch spread to your home if you’re not careful.

#7: Attic

Attics aren’t always accessible, so you may not know what’s going on up there. Whether it’s a crawl space or a walk-up, make sure to hire someone or check it out yourself. Not everything in homes are done to code (if people choose the DIY route), so you may find dangerous wiring that needs fixing.

Top Causes of Fire

Now that you know where fires most commonly start,  we will move on to finding out what causes them.

#1: Cooking

House fires happen most often during dinner hours—between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. That’s because people are cooking. If you’re preparing dinner, here’s what you should remember:

  • For grease fires, only use a fire extinguisher (class B) or baking soda. Do not use water! It will spread the oil/grease and make your fire worse.
  • Never leave your food unattended. Fires only need 30 seconds to go from a small flame to an out-of-control blaze, so even going to the bathroom could endanger your home.
  • Turn off the stove and all appliances once you’re done cooking.
  • Keep everything off hot surfaces. For instance, don’t throw a dish towel on top of the stove, because it could still be hot!
  • Don’t wear baggy clothing. It could catch fire accidentally.
  • Keep the grill at least 10 feet from vegetation and the house.

#2: Heating Equipment

Almost 13% of all residential fires are caused by heating equipment. You can prevent heating equipment from catching fire by inspecting and cleaning wood stoves and chimneys, using a fireplace screen, and having your hot water heater and furnace serviced regularly. Space heaters can also cause fires if left too close to walls, drapes, and bedding and clothing. If you have a space heater, give it some room.

# 3: Electrical Equipment

Electrical equipment causes over 6 percent of house fires. Look for frayed wires, surge marks in wire, and damaged cords. If you see any exposed wires, unplug the electronic and replace it immediately. Also, keep all cords away from furniture and rugs. Running cords under rugs is definitely dangerous.

#4: Carelessness

Mistakes happen. For house fires, negligence causes 5.8 percent of blazes. Carelessness includes not putting our cigarettes, leaving candles burning, putting heating equipment near combustible items, and more. Fire is dangerous. Never treat anything hot or on fire with anything but the utmost care.

#5: Open flame

Candles, fires in the fireplace, and outdoor bonfires are enjoyable when controlled, but disastrous when they’re not. About 4 percent of all house fires start from an open flame. You can prevent fires by always putting out flames completely, never having a bonfire on a windy day, and keeping flames away from flammable objects.

#6: Appliances

Appliances cause about 4 percent of house fires. You can decrease the chances of something malfunctioning and catching on fire by making sure it’s approved by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). The UL has high safety standards, so you’ll know the appliance is well made.

Another way to keep appliances functioning properly is to never plug them into an extension cord or two-slot outlet. You should unplug everything when you’re away on vacation as well, just in case.

#7: Intentional

Arson is a felony and can result in up to 20 years (unless deemed a misdemeanor). Alas, people still do it. Out of all house fires, 4.2 percent are intentionally set.

#8: Smoking

About 2 percent of fires are caused by cigarettes. One way you can prevent fires from cigarettes is to stop smoking them! Another is to do so outdoors and put your spent cigarette butts into water.

#9: Natural

Wildfires and those caused by lightning are unavoidable. Don’t worry though. Natural causes only account for 1.6 percent of all house fires.

Other Potential Fire Hazards

Aside from top fire starters, here are some others to consider:

  • Christmas Trees
    Most Christmas tree fires start because of faulty lights or proximity to a heat source. Christmas tree fires are normally pretty serious too. On average, one out of 31 Christmas tree fires kills someone. Prevent this from happening by putting new lights on your Christmas tree, inspecting older lights, and keeping them away from heat sources.
  • Kids  Keep matches away from kids, teach them about fire safety, and never leave them unattended with flammable objects.
  • Hoverboards
    You probably have read about it in the news, but hover boards are no longer welcome on flights or in most homes. The batteries overheat and have caused severe burns and devastating house and car fires. 
  • Beauty Tools
    Hair straighteners and curling irons get hot. If you forget to unplug them, they could start a fire. Always unplug your beauty products and leave them on a hard surface (like a marble counter top) and away from flammable objects.
  • Grills
    Don’t ever leave a grill unattended. Fat dripping from oil or meat could cause a flare-up that can quickly grow out of control. Also, remember to keep grills away from brush, your home, and overhanging branches—10 feet or more is typically a safe distance.
  • Vents
    Don’t’ forget to clean your vents and filters! They can get gunked up with lint, hair, dust, and other flammable residue that can catch fire.

House fires claim a life every seven seconds. To protect yourself, home, and family, be aware of where fires are most common. After cooking, turn off all appliances. Blow out candles and completely extinguish bonfires before going to bed. Have your chimney cleaned often. Equipping yourself with smoke detectors and fire extinguishers  can help control blazes. Having a fire escape plan can also save lives. If you follow these rules and keep fire safety top-of-mind, you’ll have better chances of preventing fire.

7 Causes of Sump Pump Failures

8/3/2021 (Permalink)

7 Causes of Sump Pump Failures

While there are many ways a sump pump can fail, here are the most common situations in which severe water damage occurs as a result.

1. Overworked Pump

Whether the sump pump is old or the water is just coming in too fast, the mechanism alone cannot handle the amount of water filling into the foundation. This will usually occur during flash floods and other heavy rains. Whether the sump pump is good quality or not can also make a big difference, so a weak plastic model would never stand a chance against a severe thunderstorm.

What to do. Either buy a bigger sump pump or buy another model of the same quality to have twice the amount of water flowing away from the foundation. This way you won’t have to worry about a water damage problem every time it rains.

2. Sump Pump Working But No Water

If there isn’t any water in the sump pump, this means that the model wasn’t installed correctly or it’s not hooked up to drainage system.

Importance of a drainage system. This is just as important as the model itself. It’s best to have a drain tile installed within or outside the sump pump or along the lining of the basement. As long as it collects water and drains it to the pit, using gravity to push it, there shouldn’t be any problem. But if the drain-tile is damaged, not even the sump pump would be helpful.

What to do. Allow a licensed plumber to inspect, fix, or replace the drainage system. You might deal with a hefty bill, but your future self will be thanking you during the next rainstorm.

3. Clogged Sump Pump

There are a number of ways the sump pump can become clogged and back up, leading to a water damage disaster. All of the following are common occurrences:

<p">5. The Sump Pump Loses Power

If you were on vacation and the power is cut off from the sump pump, the entire basement faces the risk of flooding. Common causes of power failures include knocked down power lines, the pump is unplugged, or if the circuit breaker trips.

What to do. While some factors you will be able to control, like the circuit breaker, others involving power outages that can keep you worrying in the dark about whether or not there’s water in the basement. But what you can do is install a battery-powered backup that will add some peace of mind while lighting the candles upstairs.

6. Sump Pump is Running Non-Stop

If you notice the sump pump running when there’s obviously no water, you know you have a problem. But it also needs to be addressed right away before the model burns out. Here are some common causes:

  • Wrong sump pump or liner size. In many cases, the sump pump is too small to handle the amount of water coming in from outside. The pit can also be too small, causing the water to fill up too quickly that puts the pump into overdrive.
  • Missing or broken check valve. The check valve allows the water to flow in only one direction, one that flows away from the pit. But it it’s missing or broken, water will easily flow right back into the pit, overwhelming the pump and eventually overflowing into the basement.
  • Float switches in cheap sump pumps can easily become tangled and clogged.

What to do. Allow a licensed plumber to inspect the pump before each heavy rainstorm to ensure that everything is working properly.

7. Defective Product

While nobody likes to get excited or relieved about buying something and only find out that it doesn’t work, it happens all the time. And sump pumps are no exception.

What to do. Always make sure that the model works properly by testing it and filling the pit up with water.

Water Damage Emergencies


While learning about these common causes and what to do in each situation can certainly help to prevent failures in the future, they are never a guarantee. In any case that you have a basement flood, or any other type of water damage in your home or building call the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

Flooded Crawl Space

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

A flooded crawl space after heavy rain may be all too common in many homes, but it is not however normal. Theoretically, the crawl space under your house is designed to stay dry in all weather. When it doesn’t, water damage ensues. Wood rot deteriorates structural components,  mold growth gains a foothold and infects the entire house and insects and vermin thrive in the wet, dark environment. You can’t do anything about episodes of prolonged or heavy rain that typically precede a flooded crawl space. What you can do is take a number of steps to keep water out and keep the crawl space dry, the way it was designed to be.

  • Divert water away from the foundation. Rainwater pooling around the foundation seeps into the crawl space through cracks and other openings. The landscape around the perimeter of the house should be graded so water naturally flows away instead of forming puddles that soak into the soil.
  • Keep rain gutters clear and unobstructed to prevent cascading overflow that also permeates soil around the foundation. Make sure gutter downspouts are long enough to discharge water sufficiently far from the perimeter of the house and prevent pooling.
  • Consider a foundation drain system. Embedded in a narrow, gravel-filled trench around the perimeter of the foundation, a perforated pipe catches water as it seeps into the soil and conveys it away from the house, out into the yard or all the way to the street.
  • Install a crawl space sump pump. Heavy rains also cause ground water to rise up into the crawl space instead of leaking in. Installed in a basin embedded in the ground inside the space, a sump pump activates automatically as ground water enters the basin. The pump conveys water through a discharge line that usually terminates out in the backyard. Because severe weather that floods a crawl space may also cause power outages, it’s a good idea to install a sump pump with a battery backup feature.

Water Damage in your crawl space or home? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

When your Dishwasher causes Water Damage

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Are you one of the unlucky homeowners dealing with dishwasher water damage? It’s a scene that has played out in countless movies, usually in a comedic fashion. Kid puts regular soap in dishwasher, dishwasher explodes with bubbles, and we all have a good laugh at their expense. However, when you’re actually dealing with water leaks from your dishwasher, you need to know how quickly water damages can occur, why they happen, and what to do about them.

How long before dishwasher water damage occurs?

Dishwasher water damage can occur within just a couple of hours. You get home, turn on the dishwasher, walk away and watch TV for awhile, or run a few errands, only to come home and find a flooded kitchen floor. The first reaction should be to soak up as much of the water as you can, because the longer it sits there, the more likely it will cause permanent damage.

Some flooring materials are more susceptible to dishwasher water damage than others, such as wood or bamboo. Wood will absorb water quickly, causing your flooring to warp and crack. Make sure to effectively dry out the area ASAP so you can avoid as much damage as possible.

Dishwasher water damage and what to expect

If you’ve never experienced dishwasher leaks or water damage before, you might not even know what you’re in for. Here’s what to expect when you’re dealing with water damage from dishwashers, including the common causes of leaks as well as what elements of your kitchen are most vulnerable after a leak.

What would cause a dishwasher to leak?

Common causes of dishwasher leaks include:

  • Worn gaskets
  • Dishwasher not level
  • Wrong dishwashing soap used
  • Broken door
  • Defective dishwasher tub

Your dishwasher leak can cause water damage in a variety of ways to a variety of different elements of your kitchen. The below are all susceptible to damage after a dishwasher leak:

  • Tile
  • Wood
  • Laminate
  • Electrical wiring
  • Drywall
  • Wallpaper
  • Paint

How to repair water damage caused by dishwashers

The moment you notice your dishwasher is or has leaked, make sure to first turn off the dishwasher. Grab a towel or mop and soak up any visible water on your floor. This might mean pulling the unit out from under the counter so you can get any water that has pooled beneath the dishwasher itself. We also strongly recommend calling a local water damage repair company to ensure that you don’t have any moisture in your floor boards, which can quickly develop mold. 

Next, you need to identify the cause of the leak. Was the door slightly ajar? Does the latch not always work? Are the gaskets wearing out? Some problems you can fix yourself, but if you want to be extra confident in the repairs, call a specialist to come out and inspect and repair the unit.

Water Damage as a result of your Dishwasher Leaking? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry, and Trimble Counties.