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Storm Damage

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

storm damage tree in house This house was hit by a tree, which caused water damage to the inside of the structure

While water damage is typically associated with events like flooding or plumbing malfunctions, heavy rain can also cause its own set of issues regarding water damage around the house.

While any level of moisture can cause damage, heavy rain is considered rainfall at rates over 0.3 inches per hour and can work its way into much smaller vulnerabilities in your home. To help you better prepare and avoid water damage, we have put together a list of how these rapid rainfall rates can cause issues.

How Heavy Rains Cause Household Water Damage

Backup of clogged gutters

Clogged gutters can cause significant damage to your home after heavy rains. If there is debris in the gutters, it will be difficult for water to drain away, which can then result in leaks from puddles as the water is left standing against the roofline.

Leaks around windows and doors

Windows and doors are supposed to be sealed against the elements, but as their weatherproofing ages, it can deteriorate as well. When heavy rains roll through, water can find its way into minuscule cracks and cause damages.

Poor drainage around the foundation

If your home is at the bottom of a hill or does not have adequate drainage around the foundation, heavy rains can build up against the base of your home and lead to leaks in your basement or crawl spaces.

Leaks in and around the roof

Roof leaks are one of the leading consequences of heavy rains, and they can sneak up suddenly. All it takes is for a shingle to be scraped away or a weak spot to form and rainwater can begin seeping in as it falls.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system

For homes with sump pumps, doing regular maintenance and checking for issues is key—otherwise, the pump system can get overwhelmed and will not be able to effectively move water away from the home.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights

Houses with chimneys and skylights tend to be more vulnerable to heavy rains than homes without them. While they are nice features to have, the seals where they meet with the roof can grow vulnerable over time and become overwhelmed when rainfall is heavy.

Remember to stay safe and get excess water cleaned up professionally to minimize the chance of mold growth. Our Team at SERVPRO of Oconee/south Anderson Counties is ready to assist at a moment's notice with any of your water mitigation emergencies. Give our team a call at 864-916-4160.

Three types of water damage

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

flood water This flood was caused by a recent storm in Oconee County

The phrase “water damage” is an umbrella term that describes a variety of different situations and conditions. Every incident involving water is unique and its resulting water damage varies. It may come as a surprise that even the water itself can be categorized into a variety of classifications. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification details three different “Categories of Water” that are involved in water damage in homes and businesses alike. In this blog, we’ll break down these three categories of water, which can help you assess the severity of any water damage that should occur in your home or business.

The IICRC’s 3 Categories of Water

The three water categories presented by the IICRC in its S500 Standard for Professional Water Damage Restoration” article aim to classify water by its contamination level, “considering both its originating source and quality after it contacts materials present on the job site.” The document also asserts that the amplification of the water’s contamination level can be increased or decreased by both time and temperature.

Category 1- Clean Water

Water that is classified as Category 1 is commonly referred to as “clean water,” as the water’s source is sanitary and does not pose any risks from exposure. Category 1 water examples may include melting ice or snow, rainwater, and broken water supply lines. While it does not appear as though Category 1 water poses a significant risk, this water can deteriorate depending on how long microorganisms remain wet after exposure and the environment’s temperature. If the water develops an odor, its sanitation has likely worsened, dropping its classification to category 2.

Category 2- Gray Water

When water falls under Category 2, it is significantly contaminated. Upon exposure or consumption, humans can experience symptoms ranging from discomfort to sickness. A wide variety of circumstances fall under Category 2, including common household water damage situations like dishwasher discharge, washing machine overflow, and toilet bowl overflows. Category 2 water also includes a few surprises, such as punctured water beds and broken aquariums. Like Category 1 water, this water can also deteriorate to Category 3, also known as “black water.”

Category 3- Black Water

The most severely contaminated category of water according to the IICRC, Category 3 water, is commonly known as “black water.” Water of this category is “grossly contaminated,” according to the IICRC, and sometimes contains pathogens, toxins, or other “harmful agents.” Category 2 water is known to occasionally cause health effects, but upon contacting or consuming Category 3 water, humans can experience very serious health effects. Types of water that fall under this category include sewage, flooding that originates from seawater and rivers, as well as wind-driven rain from tropical storms or hurricanes. It is important to understand that Category 3 water is capable of carrying harmful substances like toxins and pesticides, so it is best to allow a professional to handle the situation.

We Have the Expertise That You Need

Our team of water damage professionals at SERVPRO Of Oconee/South Anderson Countiesabides by the IICRC’s S500 Standards, as every team member undergoes training with SERVPRO Industries Inc., an -IICRC-approved school. When you call us at (864) 916-4160, our team will arrive onsite immediately, identify the category of water damage onsite, and tailor the water damage restoration services to your home or business’ specific needs in accordance with industry guidelines. 

Unpleasant Odors

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

Hydroxyl Generator This Hydroxyl is treating a kitchen that had a small fire.

Odors from smoke, pets, decomposition or mold can cause lingering odors in your home or business. A simple surface clean doesn’t necessarily get rid of these smells. SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson Counties provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by smoke, mold or other sources. Our professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Once the source is found, we use SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more. Along with our proprietary line of cleaning products SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson Counties uses various techniques and equipment to treat odors. These techniques are capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly. Some of the tools we use include:

  •  Ozone Generator: The Ozone Generator is one of the quickest ways to eliminate odors from a home or office. We use the Ozone Generator to oxidize odor and eliminate odors from mold, mildew, pets, nicotine, smoke and more without the use of chemicals. Though the room being treated cannot be occupied while in use, the generator works quickly to clean, sanitize and remove offensive odors. 
  • Hydroxyl Generator: The Hydroxyl Generator has several benefits that the Ozone Generator does not. The main benefit is that the room being treated can be occupied during the deodorization process; though it does work slower. The Hydroxyl Generator can be used to treat fire and smoke, as well as biohazard jobs, water damage, crime scene situations, and animal odors. 
  • Air Filtration Device: This piece of equipment, also known as an air scrubber, is used to remove airborne contaminants during water, fire, smoke, mold, and sewage restoration work. These work by pulling air through HEPA filtration to remove airborne particles from the air. This helps clean the air and remove odors. 

Whether you are a building manager who needs an apartment cleaned for the next tenant or homeowner who wants to get your home ready for sale, getting rid of offensive odors is a high priority. Fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson Counties is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Board up

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson Counties is proud to offer emergency board-up services. If your home has experienced a fire, or other major damage causing it to be unsafe or unsecure; we’re happy to help. Secondary damage, caused by Fire Departments attempts to extinguish the flames can leave you with broken windows, missing doors or portions of walls that can allow unwanted guests to enter your home. After you’ve experienced a loss in your home or business, it’s important to protect what remains salvageable. We provide the materials and manpower to close off any access to the structure.

  • Protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition.
  • Keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out to prevent additional damage. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.
  • Limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Causes of Indoor Flooding

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

broken pipe This is a picture of a pipe that broke on the water heater.

Water damage usually has one major leading cause: indoor flooding. Some of the most common causes of indoor flooding are: 

  • Leaky or Broken Pipes: The most obvious cause of indoor flooding is leaky or broken water pipes. Pipes can burst from changes in water pressure or even a faulty setup, but regardless of the cause, pipe problems often cause a ton of damage. Leaky pipes are usually a warning sign of more problems to come. Hidden floods caused by broken pipes in your walls can even create the perfect environment for microbial growth.
  • Faulty Washing Machine Hose: The most common problem with watching machines are faulty hoses. A leak in your intake hose can worsen over time and can cause flooding in your home. 
  • Water Heaters: Even a small leak in your water heater can cause major flooding due to its endless flow of water. Make sure to inspect your water heater on a regular basis, keeping up with maintenance to ensure it doesn’t spring a leak.
  • Clogged Sewer or Drain Lines: The flow of water to and from your house can be disrupted when you have clogged sewer or drain lines. Some clogs might be benign, allowing for a slow drain that is merely an inconvenience. But those clogs can get worse over time. The clog can cause your sinks, toilets, and showers to overflow with water, resulting in major damage. This can even include backed-up sewage, causing a hazardous environment for anyone or anything that comes in contact with the affected water. 

If you find flooding inside your home, call us and we will be there to help.

Air Duct Cleaning

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

Hvac This vent is full of dirt

Did you know that air ducts are typically the number one reason for poor indoor air quality? You can’t see them, so they’re often forgotten about. Regular inspection and maintenance could help prolong their lifespan and improve your air.

Air ducts move most of the air throughout your home, bringing warm and cold air from the HVAC unit to various areas. While they’re moving this air they’re collecting dust, pollen, dirt and debris, odors and other contaminants. 

By having your air ducts professionally cleaned you can:

  • Increase the energy efficiency of your HVAC unit
  • Reduce the potential for mold growth
  • Eliminate offensive odors

Why is PPE so Important?

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

PPE Two workers getting ready to start a bio job.

Why is Personal Protection Equipment so important?

Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as "PPE", is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.

At SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson Counties we always wear full PPE, to ensure safety from and to limit the exposure of any hazards.

So no, we aren't wearing suits to look like marshmallows or a big huge banana, we are doing it for protection!!

Toilet Back Up

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

sewage back up This bathroom encountered a sewage back up

What Causes a Toilet Overflow?

Several different events can trigger a toilet to overflow, including a clogged drain, a blocked vent, and sewage complications.

A clogged or blocked drain prevents proper flushing, causing the toilet to overflow. In this situation, plunging the toilet may relieve the problem.

Every time you flush, air is pumped and needs replacing from the vent pipe. If the vent pipe is blocked, proper flushing isn’t possible and can eventually result in a toilet overflow. This issue usually requires the help of an experienced plumber.

Finally, two issues related to sewage, a clogged sewer line and a full septic tank, can be the catalyst of a toilet overflow. A clogged sewer line occurs when the sewer line becomes blocked by items ranging from tree roots to sanitary wipes. A full septic tank can be problematic, as excess water will have nowhere to go but back up into your home, potentially resulting in a toilet overflow.

Dealing with Mold

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Crawlspace with Mold Crawlspace with Mold

When there is water in your home, mold can quickly become an issue. It can cause health effects and damage to your property. SERVPRO of Oconee and South Anderson Counties has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment to handle your mold problem.

Call SERVPRO of Oconee and South Anderson Counties
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. One of our employees will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

Assessment
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.

Containment
Different containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold, like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of Oconee and South Anderson Counties technicians use powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing
The process of mold remediation depends on the amount of mold growth and the type of surface it's on. Anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new ones from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary.

Cleaning
SERVPRO of Oconee and South Anderson Counties cleans your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings.

Restoration
Depending on the level of mold damage, some building materials may have to be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs or major repairs such as reconstruction.

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

1/1/2021 (Permalink)

water on kitchen floor due to sewage back up water on kitchen floor due to sewage back up

SERVPRO of Oconee and South Anderson Counties 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 Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today 864-916-4160

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 of Oconee and South Anderson Counties 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)?

About SERVPRO of Oconee and South Anderson Counties

SERVPRO of Oconee and South Anderson Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.