Recent Posts

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. 

Wind Driven Storm

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

“Wind-driven rain” is one of those terms you’ve probably never thought of until buying home insurance.

In fact, most people have never even heard of the term “wind driven rain” until they realize their home insurance policy doesn’t cover it.

By then, it is usually too late.

WHAT IS WIND DRIVEN RAIN?

Wind driven rain is a self-explanatory thing: it’s rain that is driven into your home by the wind.

In the insurance world, wind driven rain refers to rain that comes through an opening into your property because it is being propelled by the wind. So if wind was out of the equation, the water would never have made it inside the home in the first place.

When a storm damages your home, it’s typically wind and rain that cause the majority of the damage. If the wind and rain cause damage on their own, then this is typically covered on your home insurance policy.

However, the “wind driven rain” stipulation may be used if your insurance agency finds out that your home essentially led to the damage caused by the storm. In this case, even if you have flood insurance, your insurance agency may not cover the damages.

HOW DOES YOUR HOME DAMAGE ITSELF WITH WIND DRIVEN RAIN?

As an example, one couple in Oldham County found out that water damage in their home after a storm was not covered by their insurance policy – even though they were paying for a premium home insurance plan.

The adjuster explained that damage inside the home was caused by rain from the storm. Normally, damages like that are covered by an insurance policy.

However, it was determined that the rain was driven into the home because the tiles on the roof needed repair. In other words, it wasn’t the storm that damaged the home. It was the poorly-maintained roof.

This is where things get a little tricky: your home insurance policy would cover damage if the high winds from the storm knocked a tree onto your roof, and then water leaked through your roof into your home.

However, if rain was driven into your home through the roof because the tiles needed to be repaired before the storm, then your insurance may not cover it.

It’s small distinctions like this that can cause insurance agencies to deny a claim.

FLOOD INSURANCE DOESN’T COVER WIND DRIVEN RAIN

When many people spot water damage in their home after a storm, they assume their flood insurance will cover the damage. That’s not true with wind driven rain, unfortunately.

Flood insurance covers overflow of inland or tidal waters and unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source. However, the flood must be a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area.

So if your home’s flood insurance doesn’t cover the damage, then what’s the next step?

WIND DRIVEN RAIN IS NOT ALWAYS OUTLINED CLEARLY IN INSURANCE POLICIES

Wind driven rain disputes can get frustrating for homeowners. Some homeowners feel they did everything right. They read through their home’s insurance policy. They maintained their home adequately. And still their claim is denied because of the wind driven rain stipulation.

In many cases, wind driven rain is clearly defined and outlined in your insurance policy.

Storm Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

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

Sewage Backup in your Home

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Sewage Backup Cleanup

Along with our water damage services, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County offers additional services to help out our clients. This additional water service is sewage backup cleanups. During harsh thunderstorms and periods of time where there is a lot of rain, flooding can occur. Not only can flooding cause damages to a home by causing water to come in, it can also cause backups in the sewage lines. Recently we have helped clients in Oldham/Shelby County with sewage clean up as harsh rain has caused their sewage lines to backup and cause damage to the home's drain pipes. If not treated quickly and efficiently, these sewage backups can cause propose serious risks.

With our 24 hour service, we are always on call to assist anyone with any sewage issue or other remediation needs.

 Sewage Backup In Your Home Or Business? 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. 

We are the Cleaning Experts!

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Four Degrees of Water Damage

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

You may have had a small roof or plumbing leak.  A bath tub overflow.  A ruptured water heater.  Or major storm flooding.

The amount of water is only part of the water-damage equation.  The potential for deterioration and the extent of drying measures also depend on the rate of soak-in, the duration of exposure, and the rate of evaporation.  And those in turn depend on the area and type of materials affected.

When moisture lingers for more than a day carpet, furniture, and building surfaces typically develop mold.  Soon drywall swells and crumbles, wood swells, warps, and splits.  Metals corrode.  And given time even concrete weakens.  So damage can range from minor discoloration all the way to structural problems.  With SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer the emphasis is on prevention and mitigation.  Problems can become significant within 24-72 hours, so our focus is on getting things significantly dryer if not completely dry within that time frame.

IICRC Classes of Water Damage

The ANSI/IICRC S500 Standard and Reference is the gold-standard for the cleaning and restoration industry.  It presents practical guidelines and procedures based on science and extensive experience.  We talked about their categories of health hazards and the needs for surface cleaning and disinfecting before.  Let’s now cover the degrees of leaks, spills, and water intrusions and their potential for damage.  The IICRC divides them into four “classes.”  It doesn’t giving any specific amounts of water as many other variables go into determining the proper water restoration measures.

Class 1

This class involves the least amount of water.  It’s defined as affecting only part of a single room, with minimal wet carpet and affecting only low-permeable materials such as plywood and concrete sub-flooring.  Resulting from things such a roof leak and rowdy kids in the bath tub, there’s minimal absorption and little moisture remaining after bulk water removal.  So after mopping and blotting a natural slow rate of evaporation may be acceptable.  Lifting carpet speeds drying and lets you determine if the sub-floor is excessively damp.

Class 2

Here there’s more water, and more gets absorbed by building materials.  It’s defined as affecting an entire room or resulting in large areas of wet carpet, with water wicking upwards in walls at least 1 foot (but less than 2 feet) and moisture reaching structural materials.  Class 2 water intrusions require bulk water removal, surface water extraction, and dehumidification for faster evaporation.

Class 3

With the most water and greatest absorption involved, Class 3 water restoration requires the fastest evaporation to head off deterioration.  It’s defined as having flooring, sub-flooring, walls, and insulation saturated.  With a source above the ceiling, that may be saturated as well.  Advanced drying and dehumification methods via specialized equipment are critical.

Class 4

This last class is a special situation, typically the result of heavy natural flooding.  There’s been enough water and time to saturate materials such as stone, concrete, brick, and hardwood.  Highly aggressive methods to maintain very low specific humidity for longer periods than usual are required.  Or the affected rooms may be considered a total loss if the structure has been severely compromised.

Professional Water Damage Restoration

Homeowners, business owners, and commercial carpet cleaning services can often take care of cleaning and restoration for Class 1 situations.  But if there’s any doubt, call in a professional water damage restoration company for an evaluation.  You just might avoid the need for mold remediation, or worse.

Otherwise the risks range from odors to major structural damage.  For Class 2 and beyond it’s common to discard carpet and padding, mattresses and box springs, pillows, and particle board.  But wood baseboards and hardwood floors can usually be rescued.

The IICRC’s water damage restoration training emphasizes the importance of locating and removing trapped moisture hidden inside building cavities using leak and moisture detection meters to make sure nothing gets overlooked.

Technicians with various cleaning and restoration certifications carefully evaluate damp and wet materials then plan out the appropriate measures. They’re also well aware of electrical hazards, health risks, and safety hazards. Beyond visible water removal, they’ll quickly lower indoor humidity and rescue floors, walls, and ceilings with surface water extraction before moving on to further dehumidification for a complete structural dry out.  That involves an arsenal of advanced equipment, including specialized air movers, HEPA air scrubbers, refrigerant dehumidifiers, and odor-neutralizing equipment.  There’s also specialty drying systems for hardwood floors, sub-floors, and wall interiors.

Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact SERVPRO of Oldahm/Shelby today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Tips During a Lightening Storm

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know that lightning is the third largest storm-related killer in the U.S., causing nearly one billion dollars in damage per year? Those are some sobering statistics you may want to keep in mind the next time you are trying to decide whether to play one more hole of golf or hike an extra mile when a potential storm may be brewing.

While summer is commonly known as the peak season for thunderstorms and lightning, spring is vast approaching and bringing storms with it as well. The following tips can help you and your loved ones stay safe should you be caught in a lightning storm.

How Can I Protect Myself?

It is important to understand that there is no safe place outside during a lightning storm. If thunderstorms are expected, you should stop any outdoor activities quickly — even if you are still mowing the lawn or enjoying a picnic. Many lightning casualties occur because people fail to seek shelter early enough. Keep an eye on local weather conditions and have a plan if thunderstorms are expected. Your home’s best protection against a lightning strike is a lightning protection system. In order to find out more you can contact a certified lightning protection specialist for information.

What if I'm Outside During a Storm?

As soon as you hear thunder, stop all outdoor activities and get into a building or a hard-topped vehicle for safety. It may be tempting to get into a golf cart or a lean-to, but those will not provide adequate protection. If you absolutely cannot get to safety, try to stay away from open fields, hilltops, tall trees or other tall objects. Go to the lowest place possible, such as a ravine or valley, and squat in a baseball catcher’s position — with your heels touching, ears covered, and head between your knees. Minimize contact with the ground and do NOT lie flat. You should avoid water and anything metal, such as golf clubs or bicycles.

What if I'm Driving?

Exit the road or highway you are on and park in a safe location. Stay in the vehicle and turn on emergency flashers until the storm subsides. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that can conduct electricity.

What if I'm Indoors?

You may think that watching television or shopping on-line are good ways to pass the time during a storm, but your best bet is to unplug televisions, computers and any other high-value electronics well before the storm hits. Once the storm begins, do not touch any electrical equipment or cords, including corded phones. It is OK to use cellular or cordless phones during the storm. Be sure to stay away from windows and doors and do not go on porches. Also avoid taking baths or showers during storms. Water is a conductor of electricity so if a lightning strike hits your house during a storm, it may travel through water and shock you in the bath or shower.

What if My House is Hit by Lightning?

If you think your home has been struck by lightning call 911 immediately and evacuate if you see fire or smoke. You may want to ask your local fire department to check for hot spots in your walls. If you use gas for heating and cooking, contact your  gas company or a licensed contractor to conduct a leak test before re-entering your home. Gas system components have been known to sustain punctures as a result of direct or nearby lightning strikes.

Water or Fire Damage as a result of lightning strike? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to speak to a Mitigation Specialist today. 502.241.6861

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

Purchasing a Water Damaged Home

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

Have you ever been out house hunting, looking for a perfect flip home? The majority of the time these homes are the ones that are a little distressed and rough around the edges. The home may have been foreclosed or have some pretty extreme looking damage, however these are the homes that give you the best profit in the end. If no one else wants to touch them, it might be a wonderful opportunity, but it could also mean that the price of the home is wrong. Here are some ways to determine if a home in need of water damage restoration is worth the buy. 

Mold

The first thing you will want to look for are signs of mold in a home as you are doing a walk through. Mold can be easy to smell right off the bat if it is extensive enough or has sat for a long period of time. You can also see signs of black streaking on the carpet or walls. You can see soft spots or even see large patches of growth. Mold can cause health effects if you breathe it in and it is important that you hire professionals from a company like SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County and don’t attempt to take care of it yourself.  

A small amount of mold is not something that should make you leave the possibility of that flip in the dust, but it could be an indicator of a big problem. The only way to know how much of a mold problem you have is to contact a professional to give you an estimate of the damage and cost. 

Structural Damage

Water damage can many times cause structural damage, especially if the water was left to sit on a wood or other porous surface for an extended amount of time. If this is localized to a small place, it may not be a huge water damage restoration project, but if it was an entire floor that was flooded, you will want to consult water damage professionals to give you an estimate before buying. In foreclosures, you cannot ask the bank to make any repairs like you can with a private owner. However, you can discuss the budget with your water damage professionals and try to adjust the offer accordingly. 

Most water damage restoration projects are difficult to predict if you aren’t a professional. Water damage has a way of hiding in walls and threatening to be more difficult than it seems, at first sight, this is why it is important to consult a professional before you buy a home to determine how much the damages will end up costing. Before you make an offer on a home, discuss your budget with a water damage restoration professional, so you can have a better idea of what you can afford to offer. 

Water Damage In Your Home or Business? 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. 

Preparing After Spring Storms

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms are the main culprit in bringing in severe spring weather, such as lightning, tornadoes, and flooding. When warm, moist air runs into cool, dry air it results in thunderstorms.  Spring is the main season that these treacherous storms usually begin. Spring brings uncertainty and unpredictability in the weather forecast. It can change on a dime, what may seem like beautiful sunny weather could dramatically change to a harsh and eerie storm. It is easy to go unprepared when these dramatic storms don’t normally hit the region you live in but because spring weather is so unpredictable it is important to be aware and ready for anything that could come your way.  

General preparations

Take safety precautions and have an emergency kit easily accessible. Here are a few things to include:

  • Flashlight
  • Battery operated weather radio
  • Have an evacuation and/or shelter plan
  • List of personal information such as contact info for family and friends
  • Insurance and property info
  • Medical information
  • Include a first aid kit with medical supplies
  • Plenty of bottled water and nonperishable food items ready for multiple days
  • Toiletries
  • Blankets

It is not only important to have an emergency kit in your home but also in your car if you were  stranded somewhere when a storm hit. Be sure to practice emergency plans and have all family members be aware of where the emergency kit is held.

Flood preparations

Thunderstorms can bring heavy rainfall, and as the weather gets warmer and snow begins to melt the extra water can begin to overtake streams and ditches ultimately leading to flooding. Here are some ways to be prepared for a flood:

  • Make sure your house has flood insurance, it can help protect against difficult expenses that you’d be responsible for otherwise.
  • Keep a record of valuable items within your home because it will help when filing an insurance claim.
  • Keep important files and documents in a protected and safe place either in or out of the home.
  • Have an emergency kit
  • Create an evacuation plan

If a flood is in the process and it’s slow-moving then you may have time, before evacuating, to reduce any damage that may occur by placing sandbags around your home. Also if you are able, be sure to turn off gas, water, and electricity. Lastly, you can help alleviate damage to your valuables by getting them to the higher levels of your house.

Weather preparations

Don’t only focus on preparations within your home but also on the outside to help prevent damage. Here are different ways to be ready when bad weather hits:

  • Check your roof and identify any problem areas such as missing shingles, leaks, and loose siding. Make sure your house has a good chance to withstand a heavy
    windstorm and pieces won’t easily be ripped off.
  • Choose mulch rather than rock or gravel when landscaping your yard so when a storm occurs it won’t do any damage.
  • Keep trees and shrubbery maintained in your yard by either trimming or cutting trees down. Be sure to look out for any dead or weak limbs that could potentially fall or break in a storm.
  • Clean and check gutters. Make sure gutters are tightened down so they won’t be torn off in a storm and cause damage. Protect your basement from flooding by re-positioning downspouts away from your house.
  • Protect the inside of your home by making sure top-heavy furniture pieces are securely fastened to the wall.

Take action and prevent extra damage to your home by simply maintaining the condition of its exterior.

Rain boots and a rain jacket are good to have if you are a child splashing in puddles. However, it’ll take more than even an umbrella to withstand all that nature brings during the spring season. A child may look to their parent for protection when a thunderstorm strikes but it’ll take a smart parent to know their child is truly protected when precautions had been made prior to the storm. Spring is a beautiful time of year and can truly be captivating and breathtaking as colors come to life, but when storms lurk on the horizon, being prepared will help you rest easy and truly enjoy the sense of rejuvenation that spring can bring.

Don’t be caught off guard or surprised by an unpredictable storm, in fact, take the surprise factor out by simply being prepared for what may come. But, if the spring showers do lead to water damage, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist.

How to Clean a Flooded Basement

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

How to Clean Up a Flooded Basement

Step 1: Be Sure Your Basement Is Safe to Enter

The first thing you need to do when your basement floods is assess how dangerous the situation is. When there is standing water in your basement, there is a risk of electric shock if the water has rose enough to come in contact with an electrical outlet or wiring. If the water in your basement is more than a puddle and it continues to flow in, the first thing you need to do is think about your own safety. If you believe electrical appliances or outlets are already underwater and you cannot walk through the basement without coming in contact with water, do not enter the basement. The most important thing to know is that as bad as the problem seems, it can get worse for you if you’re not careful.

To see if your flooded basement is safe to enter, check:

  • Water Depth: If the water is more than 2 inches deep throughout your entire basement, do not step into the water; you could be electrocuted. Call in a professional plumber or water restoration company to pump the water out as soon as possible. Whenever flooding occurs, regardless of the water level, if you can access your main electrical service panel without entering the basement, turn off power to the basement. If your panel is not accessible, contact an electrician to shut off the power.
  • Submerged Appliances: If the water level in your flooded basement is approaching any gas-fired appliances, like your furnace or water heater, call the gas company and have them shut off the gas. Your pilot light could be out, and gas could be entering your basement. If you smell gas, exit the building.

If your flooded basement does not pose an electrical or gas-related hazard, you can move on to the following steps.

Step 2: Find the Source of Your Basement Flood

Your next step is to determine why your basement is flooding and is to see if you can stop it quickly. Even if you cannot stop the flooding, if you’re able to figure out where the water is coming from, you can inform your plumber or contractor as soon as they arrive and save time.

How to Find the Source of a Water Leak in Your Basement

How do you find the source of your basement flood? Scan your basement and try to pinpoint how the water is getting in. If water is coming into your basement through:

  • Walls, Floor, Foundation or Windows: This is likely the result of heavy rains and/or a too-high water table. You may have to wait for the weather to change before the water stops rising. If water depth allows for safety, shut off power to the basement in case the water continues to rise, and then start moving your belongings to higher ground.
  • Floor Drain: This usually indicates that there’s an issue with your sump pump or home drainage system, or that there’s a backup in the city sewer lines. Your next step should be to find a plumber and get them on-site. If the plumber determines that the issue was caused by the municipal sewer system, call your city’s water and sewage department and notify them.
  • Plumbing or Appliances: Are your pipes or the hoses connected to your washer or water heater spewing water? You’ve found your culprit. Immediately shut off water to the broken fixture. If you think broken plumbing is the source of the problem, but can’t determine which fixture is broken, shut off water to the entire house.

Once you’ve determined the source of the flooding, and have possibly stopped the leak, you can move on to saving items from the flooded basement.  

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