Recent Water Damage Posts

5 Simple Steps to Flush a Hot Water Heater

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Hand attaches hose to a home water heater to perform maintenance Flushing a water heater in Woodinville, WA

5 Simple Steps to Get It Done Quickly and Easily

To keep your home in tip-top condition and help it last many decades, it requires periodic maintenance. One of the easiest parts is maintaining a hot water heater by flushing it annually. There are 5 simple steps to get it done quickly and easily.

Disconnect the Tank From Utilities

If the unit is electric, shut off the breaker; if gas, use the shutoff valve or, if necessary, shut off the gas at the meter. If you turn it off at the meter, you may have to relight the pilot light on all your gas appliances. Also, turn off the cold water inlet valve to the tank.

Run a Hose From the Drain Valve to a Good Area

The drain valve is located at the bottom of the tank. Connect a garden hose to it and run the hose to an area that can handle many gallons of water. Make sure the drainage is away from the house and that it won’t wash out any features, such as a gravel path.

Drain the Water Heater

It’s best to wait a few hours to let the hot water cool down before draining. Next, open the drain valve on the tank, then the pressure relief valve on top of the unit. Then open one or two hot water faucets. This will allow the tank to empty quickly.

Close All the Valves and Double-Check the Ones on the Tank

Once the water heater flush is finished, close the pressure relief valve and the drain valve. Turn on the water and then immediately check the tank for leaky valves. Wait for the air to pass through the open faucets, then shut them off as well.

Turn on the Power or Gas

If you have gas, make sure any pilot lights are lit. Once again, look for drips around the unit; if you don’t find any, you’re done!
If your water heater has leaked and caused damage in Woodinville, WA, call an experienced water damage restoration company for advice. They can help you with insurance information and get things back to normal quickly.

Why You Want the Pros to Help With Your Water Cleanup

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Photocopier in an office, wet carpet Commercial water cleanup in Woodinville, WA.

Water damage doesn't always come from Mother Nature. In fact, many commercial flooding issues in Woodinville, WA, come because of plumbing problems such as leaky pipes or pipe bursts. Sometimes, water can infiltrate your workspace for weeks or months before you notice, leading to massive water clean-up needs. Even in the most difficult circumstances, you can rely on professionals to get your building back in order.

What Cleanup Technicians Offer

If there is minor water damage at work, you may be able to take care of the matter if you notice it right away. However, in most cases, you want a professional flood remediation team to respond. Experienced technicians bring the following to the job:

  • Prompt arrival and quick work
  • Industrial-grade equipment and proven techniques
  • Industry-leading skill and expertise

The Right Credentials
With something as critical as flood cleanup in your office, you can't afford to hire unqualified help. The best companies not only have the abilities you're looking for but the right certifications, too. Make sure the restoration company is a water damage expert certified by the IIRC. Having an Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification means the organization has adhered to high standards and exceeded all requirements of safety. You can have peace of mind that these technicians will be thorough in their inspection and all cleanup processes.

A Comprehensive Approach
Technicians will extract all water from your office and remove damaged materials. A broken pipe can expel a considerable amount of water on the ground and can damage walls, furniture, documents, and electronics. To minimize the risk of mold, a certified drying specialist will ensure that technicians use the proper techniques to dry all areas. The team will also sanitize the affected spaces.
Water clean-up doesn't have to derail your business. If you get certified professionals on the task, you can safely have your office back with as little disruption as possible.

How To Avoid Accidental Activation of Your Fire Sprinklers

4/13/2021 (Permalink)

Water sprinkler system and removed materials in an apartment in Shoreline, WA. From a minor leak to a natural disaster, SERVPRO of Shoreline/Woodinville is here to help.

Thorough and consistent sprinkler maintenance is essential in Woodinville, WA. Not only is maintenance important to ensure your fire sprinkler system operates properly if a fire starts, it is also a key factor in the prevention of sprinkler system malfunctions, including accidental activation. For as much damage as a fire can cause, accidental activation of fire sprinklers can be costly as well. To help prevent unintentional activation of your sprinkler system, keep these five factors in mind.

1. Perform Regular Maintenance

Routine inspections and maintenance must be performed appropriately. Otherwise, regular wear and tear may not be addressed in a timely manner, which can increase the likelihood of accidental activation. Regular maintenance in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards can help alleviate this risk.

2. Prevent Freezing

If your sprinkler pipes freeze, the ice within them can damage the components of the sprinkler system and trigger accidental discharge of water once the ice melts. Sprinkler pipe routes should be assessed for freeze potential prior to installation. Antifreeze loops can be installed to help prevent freezing.

3. Address High Heat Areas

Identify sprinkler heads located near areas of high heat. Even without a fire, it may be possible for those sprinklers to reach a temperature high enough to unintentionally activate your system. In such locations, you should use sprinklers rated for higher temperatures.

4. Plan Ahead for Aging Parts

As your system ages, corrosion of pipes, fittings, and valves can become a concern. While routine inspections and sprinkler maintenance should identify issues in time to address them, it is important to be aware of these risks and plan for them in advance.

5. Exercise Caution and Care

Treat your sprinkler system with care. Do not hang items from pipes or sprinkler heads, paint over them, or otherwise modify your system without professional support.

Properly installed and maintained sprinkler systems are a key component in mitigating the risk of damage from both water and fire. Every business owner wants to be confident that his or her fire sprinklers will activate only in the event of an actual fire. Regular sprinkler maintenance with careful attention to detail can help prevent accidental activations. 

3 Signs That You Need a Hot Water Heater Repair!

3/16/2021 (Permalink)

Water heaters are essential elements of our Shoreline homes. We use them in daily activities such as taking a bath, using the dishwasher and using the washing machine. But because we use them frequently, it’s sometimes easy to take them for granted and forget that they need to be maintained. Failing to do so will result in malfunctions and problems and eventually, replacing your water heater. Taking notice of the first signs of a problem can help you repair your water heater before it becomes worse.

You don’t have to be an expert to spot the first signs of trouble. All you need to have is a keen sense of observation so that your water heater can be repaired.

  1. Hot water has off smell or off color. The first instance that you notice your hot water has an off smell or has a rusty color, that’s something that you need to check out. The smell could be the result of a rusty anode rod in the water heater. There is no need to worry since the anode rod can be replaced that will then eliminate the bad odor. Bacteria growth also causes bad smells. This happens when the hot water has not been used or has been turned off for quite some time or when the thermostat is set at a very low level.
  2. Corroded pipes can also cause an off color in your water. This can be solved by installing a water softener or by replacing the plumbing. If you also see a lot of sediments in the water, it’s time to have the water heater repaired.
    Water is not hot enough, too hot, not strong enough or there is none at all. When there is no water, check first that your water heater has power and is working fine. If it is, have it inspected by a plumber. If water is not enough, this could be due to an undersized water heater and is a common situation when a lot more people are using the water heater. This could also be caused by the presence of mineral deposits inside the water heater tank. When water is too hot or not hot enough, you may have to adjust the temperature dial of the water heater. If there is no change in temperature, have the water heater checked and repaired.
  3. Strange noises and leaks. Leaks coming from your water heater could lead to flooding. In the same way, strange noises like pops, bangs, gurgles, and the like are clear indicators that something is wrong with your water heater. This is usually caused by a buildup of sediments inside the tank. A boiling sound, however, could mean the water heater is overheating or that pressure is building up inside the tank. All these have to be addressed immediately to prevent further problems.

It’s important to have your water heater repaired as soon as you see these signs. This will help you save on costs, prevent further damage, and avoid an untimely replacement of your unit. If you do have issues with your hot water heater leaking, call SERVPRO of Seattle Northwest! We are always here to help clean up the aftermath of a disaster! 

3 Tips for Snaking a Drain

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

a new plumbers snake on a white background With the right tools, tactics, and practice, you can get your drains cleared on your own in no time.

3 Tips for Snaking a Drain

Whether you find a clogged kitchen sink or a backed-up shower drain, you are probably not going to be pleased. The last thing you want to do is spending hours trying to get the plumbing flowing again. Fortunately, with the right tools, tactics, and practice, you can get your drains cleared on your own in no time.

1. Get the Tools for the Job
To snake your drain, you are going to need a snake. These are available in any hardware store in Woodinville, WA, and should help you avoid a pipe break or other disaster. That being said, most clogs can be remedied with a metal coat hanger found in most closets. To use this, disassemble the coat hanger, so it becomes a fairly straight strip. Be sure to leave the original hook shape on one end so you can catch the debris that is causing your frustration. If you have slender pipes, you will want to squeeze the hook and make it narrower so it will fit.

2. Add Hot Water
If your drain is clogged after trying to use the snake dry, run boiling water through the pipe. Fill a tea kettle and bring it to a boil on the stove. Then, slowly pour the hot water down the drain. This process may take a minute, but it should help loosen the debris.

3. Add Chemicals
If snaking and hot water fail, try chemicals. Caustic soda is one chemical that will do a number of the remaining debris in your plumbing. Follow the mixing instructions on the bottle that you buy. Stir the mixture until it starts to fizz. Then, pour it down your clogged drain and wait for it to work its magic.

If you've got a stopped drain, you need to follow these tips. Otherwise, you could wind up with a disastrous situation that requires water remediation professionals to clean up. Be sure to start with a snake or coat hanger. If the clog is a tough one, you may need to add hot water or chemicals.

What To Do If There Is Water Leaking From a Light Fixture

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water in a light fixture If you see water in a light fixture, you need to turn off the power immediately

If There is Water In a Light Fixture, Take the Following Steps

If your home in Sheridan Beach, WA, has been damaged by water, there are quite a few issues that you might be dealing with. If there are multiple levels, water on an upper floor can sometimes end up leaking through into the ceiling beneath it. When this happens, it can create a dangerous situation. If there is water in a light fixture, take the following steps.

1. Turn Off the Electricity

Electricity and water do not mix well, so if you see water in a light fixture, you need to turn off the power immediately. Do not attempt to turn off the light with the switch, as this can potentially create a spark that is both unsafe and can cause further damage. Instead, use the breaker to turn power off to the whole building.

2. Turn Off the Water

Depending on where the water is coming from, you may need to turn the water off as well. If the source is an overflowing toilet, sink or bathtub, then you should avoid using anything that will cause the water to continue running. If it is the result of a broken pipe or water line, you will likely need to turn off the supply of water to the house.

3. Call a Professional

Because of the potential safety hazards involved with water in light fixtures, this is not a problem that you should attempt to fix on your own. You should call a professional electrician to examine the area and make any necessary repairs. Do not turn the electricity back on or attempt to use the light until it has been deemed safe.

If water in your home has resulted in ceiling damage, you should hire a water damage remediation company to do restoration. They can repair the source of the water as well as any damaged areas of the building. Be sure to take the necessary safety precautions if electrical objects have been affected.

Homeowners 101: Understanding Different Water Types

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

water on the floor of a room Knowing the source of the water in your home is key to knowing how to handle cleanup.

Water is invaluable - but only when it’s clean. Contaminated water can instead pose a major health threat. Surprisingly, there are many ways water can be contaminated, and each can pose different threats to your Shoreline, WA home. Keep reading to get answers.

Different Types of Water

While the composition of all water is the same, the source and what materials it has encountered, are not. The main three categories of water are:

Clean water
Gray water
Black water

The first is a safe life giver. But the other two can be laden with toxins that can have serious health repercussions. The key is being able to recognize and address each one.

Clean Water

Clean water is straight forward. Not to be confused with drinking water, clean water is what you may encounter from roof leaks, appliance malfunctions or tub overflows. This water doesn’t contain human or animal waste and is only a threat for its potential to cause mold or mildew. This type of water is typically safe to remove on your own.

Gray Water

This type of water is a little bit murkier. Like its name suggests, it falls between good and bad, typically mildly contaminated. The source is typically sump pump failures, or supply line malfunctions with toilets or dishwashers. At this point, the contaminated water may contain just a few bacteria or germs, but it should still be professionally removed.

Black Water

This water typically contains urine or feces, due to coming from toilets or natural sources like a flood from a river or lake. 

Use these tips to figure out what if contaminated water is in your home, then talk to a water damage specialist to schedule proper removal.

Why Does My Toilet Leak Every Time I Flush?

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

A woman checking the tank of a toilet Water from leaking toilet commonly comes from the tank

How To Find The Source Of The Leak On a Toilet

No one wants to deal with a leaking toilet. Most homeowners never give their toilets a second thought and just expect them to work as designed every time they flush. The problem is, the parts inside a toilet can be faulty or wear out over time. When this happens, the source of the leak needs to be identified and stopped before some serious water damage occurs. If you have a bathroom leak in Woodinville, WA, there are a few things you can do to try to fix it. Here are a some tips on how to find the source of the leak.

Where Does It Come From?

Water from a leaking toilet commonly comes from several places:

  • Hose attachments
  • Underneath the toilet
  • From the tank
  • Dry wax ring
  • Improper installation
  • Loose bolts
  • Broken tank flange

Identifying where the water is coming from can narrow down the source of the leak. If water is leaking into the subfloor or causing more than a surface water nuisance, you will need the help of a professional remediation service.

Repair or Replace?

Many sources of leaking toilets can be repaired by draining the toilet and replacing the faulty piece or tightening a loose bolt or hose connection. In some cases, it is best to replace the entire toilet before serious water damage occurs. If your toilet has a chrome-plated copper supply tube, it is recommended to replace it with a flexible stainless steel hose. These hoses last much longer and are less likely to spring a leak. While a broken tank flange can be replaced, it is not an easy task and many homeowners prefer the help of a professional.
Identifying the source of the leaking toilet is only the first step. If the leak cannot be fixed or the toilet replaced before water damage occurs, you will need the help of a professional water remediation expert to restore your bathroom to its previous condition.

Does Carpet Need Replacing After a Flood?

8/30/2019 (Permalink)

Standing water on a carpet Water damage to carpet

Experiencing flooding in your home in Sheridan Beach, WA, such as from a pipe break or severe weather, can be devastating and exhausting when having to cleanup the mess and deal with damages to your belongings and the structure of the house itself. Especially if the flooding happened over a large area of your home, the longer it takes for the area to dry out, the more time mold can set in, which can cause further damage. It’s important to act quickly in these cases (mold can begin growing within 48 hours), while ensuring the damage is thoroughly taken care of.

Clean or Dirty Flood

If you’re trying to determine whether you can save your carpeting, it’s important to know where the water came from and how dirty it was. If the water was from a pipe break or rain, and you can dry out the material within 24-48 hours, it is likely that you can go without replacing it. A flood restoration company has the equipment to ensure carpeting is fully dried out in a timely manner. Carpet pads usually do need to be replaced however, as they are like a sponge and may be too difficult to dry.
If the flood was caused by a backed-up sewage drain or contaminated river water, you may want to think about replacing the carpet. If there is sentimental value or it’s an expensive rug, a restoration company can take the extra steps to safely decontaminate it, but it’s not recommended that you do this yourself. An improper cleaning job can easily result in mold, disease, and further structural damage if left long enough.

Protect Your Home

Replacing carpeting can be a pain, especially if it’s not necessary, such as in the case of a pipe break. Working with a restoration company can ensure your home is fully dried out before mold has a chance to set in or more damage is done.