Recent Water Damage Posts

Sewer Water and Drain Back Up Coverage

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Sewer and drain back up in a finished basement with standing water and floating content Sewer and drain back up coverage is an essential endorsement for every home insurance policy. Most insurance agents do not add this in unless you want

SERVPRO of West Erie County receives calls every day from residents who incur water in their basements caused by sewer and drain back-ups. 

The first question we ask when we receive the call is, “Do you have sewer and drain back up coverage on your home insurance policy?”

Sewer and drain back up coverage is an essential endorsement for every home insurance policy. Most insurance agents do not add this in unless you want specifically ask them for the coverage.

Many customers think of the additional increase in their premium instead of the cost to clean, sanitize, and dry a home that has a water back up issue.

Most insurance carriers provide the coverage for a very minimal increase added to the premium, with some as low as $100.00 per year. That’s only about .27 a day. Prices will vary depending on square footage of home and if basement is finished and furnished or not. 

Insurance agents will work with you on what coverage is best for your home. If paying out of pocket, a homeowner can expect the average cost to clean, sanitize and dry a basement to start at approximately $2,500.00. 

SERVPRO of West Erie County will not only perform the extraction, cleaning, sanitizing and proper drying techniques, but will work with your insurance adjuster to insure your coverage, premium and deductibles are in line and working for you.

Call SERVPRO of West Erie County at (814) 806-1987 for your water mitigation needs. Also, visit us on our Facebook page.

Recovery from Strong Winds and Heavy Rains

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded neighborhood streets with pooled and streaming water Flooded streets that overwhelm sewer systems can lead to flooded basements and damage to the contents of our homes

It seems that each summer brings a season of strong winds and heavy rains. With this weather comes roof damage allowing water to make its way into homes.

SERVPRO of West Erie County can tarp your roof and keep any further damage from happening to the inside of your home. Prohibiting secondary damage allows us to get your home dried and cleaned from the water that has already made its way into your home.

The SERVPRO procedure is to send our sales estimator to inspect the damage, inform the customer of the extent of the work that is needed. He/she then gets all the appropriate paperwork signed and completes a written scope of work for the technicians to perform.

Once the crew arrives at the job site, they can get right to the restoration process to minimize any further damage. This process is streamlined to keep cost down, efficiency and effectiveness high, ultimately producing the desired results.

Usually saturated carpet or tile will need extracted. Holes will be drilled into the base of the drywall to allow airflow to go into the chambers of the walls and/or ceiling.

Once drywall has become saturated, the affected area is designated and categorized as to what level of contamination the water contains. has the water passed through numerous building materials? Has it come in contact with sewage? These factors determine the category of water loss.

Technicians will then apply the appropriate antimicrobial spray and set-up drying equipment that includes air movers and dehumidifiers. Air scrubbers may be placed as needed to change the quality of the inside air.

All services will be completed according to IICRC guidelines. We hope that you never experience this type of water damage, but if you do, know you can count on SERVPRO of West Erie County to handle the job from start to finish.       

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Hardwood Flooring Water Restoration in Erie County

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Erie County uses specialized drying equipment and industrial grade dehumidifiers to remove the water as quickly as possible.

Hardwood floors are a great addition to any home and can boost overall value of the home, as well as increasing aesthetic appeal.

Maybe you bought your home with hardwood floors already installed, or maybe you just spent the money to have your carpeting ripped out and new floors put in.

In either case, water damage to hardwood floors can be an overwhelming and daunting task to clean up.

Water damage can occur from innocent children trying to be independent, pet accidents, broken appliances, and severe weather such as storms and heavy rainfall.  So, what can you do when water hits the floors?

Unfortunately, in many cases of water loss incidents or flooding, hardwood flooring can end up being a costly material to remove, and ultimately replace.

When the flooring gets wet, the wood absorbs the water and begins to swell and warp. Even if the water is only on the surface, water can seep in through the cracks and loosen the glue holding the flooring to the ground.

Depending on the type of water, you may want to clean it up yourself or call the technicians at SERVPRO of West Erie County. We use specialized drying equipment and industrial grade dehumidifiers to remove the water and moisture as quickly and efficiently as possible.

It important to remove the water quickly and dry the flooring. The timing could potentially save the hardwood flooring in the long run and prevent mold growth.

The secret to preventing mold and mildew is not just the elimination of water, but dirt as well. Hardwood flooring and carpeting are the same when it comes to mold and mildew; dirt and water mix together and can lead to mold and mildew when left unattended.

Our general contractors can also address other facets of recovery such as, demolition and re-installation of hardwood flooring should the water damage be too extensive to repair, as well as temporary construction solutions like boarding and tarping to prevent further damage

Caring for a hardwood floor after water damage can be a difficult task. Luckily, SERVPRO of West Erie County is here to help with specialized equipment and training. We believe in repairing as opposed to replacing, and we have the experience and expertise to get the job done correctly!

We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Give us a call! (814) 806 1987

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Sump Pump Failure and How SERVPRO Can Help in Erie County

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

The key to preventing sump pump failure is preventative maintenance and upkeep.

The sump pump is an appliance in your home that you may not give much thought to until you need it. When a heavy storm hits unexpectedly, the last thing you need is for your sump pump to fail.

The key to preventing sump pump failure is preventative maintenance and upkeep. This ensures you won’t be stuck with a wet, musty basement.

Since your sump pump relies on the electricity from your house, power outages are the most common cause of sump pump failures. This is likely to occur during the spring and summer storm season. There are two solutions to this problem.

  1. Purchase a back-up generator. The Top 10 selling back-up generators are a great place to start. The back-up generator will keep power running to your sump pump when the power to your house is lost.                   
  2. The less costly alternative is to purchase a back-up battery that will keep your sump pump operating when there is a power outage. A battery can cost anywhere between $275 and $500 to purchase and install. While this may seem like an unappealing amount of money to spend for a back-up plan, it is the best way to prevent basement flooding.

Maintenance is key to preventing sump pump failure. If you have not heard your sump pump running recently, you can easily test it by pouring five gallons of water into it. Once the sump pump reaches its maximum level, the pump should turn on by itself and begin draining the water.

More sump pump maintenance tips are available here.

If you find yourself needing help or assistance with basement flooding or sump pump failure, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of West Erie County. We can provide immediate help and minimize any further damage to your home and basement.  Call today! (814) 806 -1987

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What Affects the Cost of Water Damage Restoration

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

It’s a very stressful situation when water damage occurs at your house.  You immediately want professional help that will clean and restore your surroundings.  But, there are also concerns of whether you have insurance coverage? Will your policy cover the cost? If the policy doesn’t cover the damage, what will it cost you? 

How do we determine the cost of water mitigation?

According to IICRC (The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification)

The extent of the destruction will be the most determining factor when calculating price. Most companies bill by the square foot, so professionals should be hired right away to keep the problem from spreading and becoming more expensive.

Another major part of the cost is the type of water that caused the damage. The dirtiness of the water is classified by Categories.

Category 1 – is the cleanest type.  Examples are rain water and clean tap water.

Category 2 - sources contain some chemical or biological agents that can pose a health risk if they come in contact with a person. This usually includes discharge from appliances like washing machines.

Category 3 - sources pose an extreme health risk and normally include active biological agents that can cause serious illness. Sewage and ground flooding produce Category 3 threats.

Companies will charge more when dealing with Category 2 and 3 than Category 1 sources because additional cleaning with specialized chemicals will be required as well as protective equipment and gear.

The location of the destruction will also dictate price to an extent, as some materials are easier to replace than others. Replacing baseboards is relatively easy and inexpensive. Replacing drywall is more expensive and time consuming. Changing out carpet is even more expensive and requires additional time.

Not performing the cleanup properly can affect the cost too.

While some people may choose a water damage restoration company by cost alone, a homeowner must make sure they are dealing with certified professionals. If the house is not cleaned out thoroughly, lingering moisture will cause major problems down the road that will be even more expensive to fix. For these reasons, a homeowner should only select a reputable company with a strong training background and one certified in this area of restoration.

We recommend that you choose us, SERVPRO of West Erie County.

Pricing a Water Damage Restoration Job

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

You probably wonder how we determine the cost of a water damage job.  We discussed in a previous blog that there are various factors affecting the cost of cleaning up after water damage such as the category or dirtiness of the water, the size of the area affected, and the different components affected such as walls, floors, ceilings and contents.

Knowing all this, how do we determine a price?

We, SERVPRO of West Erie County, use various tools to make pricing standard and acceptable to insurance industry standards. We use customary rates.

We want our customers to know how these prices are derived so that they can feel that they are getting treated fairly.

There are three factors to pricing fairly. 

  1. We use a tool called “Xactimate”. Xactimate is an estimating software of national influence that features a price list with standard and customary prices. According to the Xactimate web page, Xactimate is the industry's most powerful and comprehensive solution for property claims estimation. It is the number one choice for restoration professionals, thanks to its accuracy and flexibility throughout all stages of the repair process.

We draw your rooms in the software according to square footage. We then, attach line items that are task-oriented pertaining to your damage. 

  1. We adhere to industry standards that are established by a standards-setting authority. The most prominent of these organizations is called the IICRC, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC has set standards that say how many air movers and dehumidifiers should be placed on a water damage job. This is based on cubic footage, square footage, and linear footage.
  1. The third tool is a SERVPRO developed tool called DryBook™. DryBook™ has the IICRC rules coded into the software. The application tells us how many air movers to place in your room and how many dehumidifiers are allowed based on the size of the room according to acceptable standards.

So, with information from the above three areas, we have tools and guidelines that tell us how to accurately handle and price the water damage job specifically for your home.

In closing, we want to let you know that our pricing isn’t based on who you are, where you live or if we are in need of business. It’s based on rules and guidelines. We want to be fair and consistent with our customers.  We want to focus on doing the best job for you, at the fairest price.

Water Damage Tips

1/18/2017 (Permalink)

"Like it Never Even Happened"

What To Do After Flooding

-Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
-Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
-Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
-Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
-Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
-Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
-Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
-Gather loose items from floors.

What Not To Do After Flooding

-Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
-Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
-Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
-Don't use television or other household appliances.
-Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.