Month: October 2019
Tips for Cleaning up Water Damage After the Storm
You walk down to your basement after the latest storm and you notice that your family hang out space, now more closely resembles a swimming pool. You’re going to have to act fast. Here are some tips to help you quickly repair the water damage in your home.
DISCONNECT THE POWER AND MOVE AS MANY ITEMS AS YOU CAN
The first thing you’ll want to do is disconnect the power to the area. Any electronics or other items that are plugged in present a significant safety hazard in the area where the water is standing. Remove any personal belongings as quickly as possible increasing the chances that they can be saved. If there are any electronics that were damaged, those are unlikely to be salvageable.
GET RID OF THE WATER
Before starting the process of removing the water, it is important to understand the type of water you are dealing with. There are three types of water:
- Clean water
- Gray water
- Black water
Clean water is usually caused by a leaky faucet or broken pipe, rainwater, or condensation. This is for the most part considered to be relatively harmless and something that you can clean up on your own.
Gray water is considered to be slightly dirty. This type of water typically stems from clean toilet water, dishwashers, washing machines, and other similar sources. This water may contain some chemicals and other precautions. You can also, with the right safety gear, clean this water on your own.
Black water is created from flooding as a result of sewage or flooding from nearby water sources (lakes, rivers, etc.). This type of water can cause serious health problems resulting from bacteria, waste, and other contaminants. You should never try to clear this type of water on your own. You should contact a service professional as soon as possible.
Depending on the amount of water, you may be able to get rid of it through the use of old towels or a map and a bucket. If there is more water than these manual methods can handle, a wet/dry vacuum may be just what you need.
If there is a substantial amount of water, consider renting a sump pump to help get rid of the excess water. The important thing is to act as quickly as possible to avoid giving mold a chance to grow.
DRY OUT THE AFFECTED AREA
If possible, open windows to help dry out the area. If you have them, fans and a dehumidifier are also handy tools to help the area dry more quickly. If the area where the damage occurred was finished, you will likely need to cut away the drywall and remove any baseboards. These areas provide great targets where mold can take hold.
If you are in an area of your home that has water damage to the ceiling, it is a good idea to start here first. These areas pose a higher risk as a result of the possibility that portions of the ceiling panels can sag or collapse.
After the area has dried out, you want to disinfect the places touched by the water damage, including any furniture, walls, and wood that got wet.
TAKE ACTION TO PREVENT MOLD GROWTH
Consider applying a mold control solution to the affected area to avoid it becoming contaminated with mold. This may be a situation where you will want to call in the experts to help guide you through the process.
PROPERLY DISPOSE OF WATER DAMAGED ITEMS
Even if the items that are damaged are of no use to you, consider organizing them rather than throwing it all in the dumpster. Some of the items may be eligible to go to local recycling centers.
For items such as damaged electronics, pain, or other toxic liquids and materials, contact your local waste management company or the town’s waste management office to determine what steps you should take to get rid of the items.
Flooding in your home can be a stressful and trying event. Follow these tips to help you to get rid of the water and your house back to the place that you love to come home to.
If you would like to learn more about ways to clean up water damage or would like to schedule an appointment to learn more about services, please feel free to contact us for more information.
How to Handle a Toilet Overflow
There are few things worse than dealing with an overflowing toilet. Not only can toilet overflows be inconvenient, smelly, and unsanitary, but they can also cause water damage to your bathroom’s floor and fixtures.
If you are dealing with a toilet overflow, what can you do to mitigate the damage? While there are several possible causes of a toilet overflow, one of the most common causes is a clog in the toilet bowl or P-trap/S-trap. This article will discuss steps you can take to remove such a clog, what you should do if other issues are causing your toilet to overflow, and how you can get help to restore water damaged areas.
How to Handle a Toilet Clog
There are a few important actions you should take in order to deal with a toilet overflow caused by a clog. These include the following steps:
- Turn off the water supply. This is the first and most important step. The majority of toilets feature a water supply line coming down from the tank. Usually this line will have a valve that you can shut on or off. If for any reason you’re unable to shut off the water supply in this way, continue to the next step.
- Lift up the float ball/cup in your toilet’s tank so that the water stops running. If that too proves ineffective, shut off the water supply to your house. The water supply valve for most houses is located in the basement, in a crawl space, or near the foundation.
- Use a plunger to unclog the toilet. The up-down motion of a plunger creates pressure that will unstop most toilet clogs. If you are unable to unclog the toilet with a plunger, move on to the next step.
- Use a toilet auger/drain snake. Toilet augers and drain snakes are designed to remove clogs that are more compacted or further down the drain line, such as clogs in the toilet’s P-trap or S-trap.
- Once the clog is removed, extract any spilled water from your floor. Use a wet vacuum if you have one. Alternately, use towels, rags, or other materials to soak up the water. For sanitary reasons, you want to remove spilled water as soon as possible.
- Thoroughly clean, disinfect, and sanitize the affected area. Toilet overflow water can contain many harmful bacteria and contaminants. Once you’ve removed the water from the bathroom floor, be sure to thoroughly clean the spill area, using appropriate PPE (such as heavy-duty gloves and eye-protecting goggles) as you do so.
Of course, sometimes a clog is not the root cause of a toilet overflow. For instance, a sewer backup could be the true culprit. In some cases, you may not be able to easily stop the overflow of water. In such a scenario, what should you do?
Seek Professional Help
If you suspect that a sewer backup or another major issue is causing your toilet overflow, call a professional immediately. An experienced plumber will be able to identify and eliminate the root cause of the overflow, and prevent further damage to your home.
At Satin Touch, we offer full-service repair and restoration services to homeowners in distress. Not only will we effectively find and put an end to the main cause of the overflow, but we will clean, disinfect, sanitize, and restore all floors and fixtures damaged from the water. As we work, we will truly put your needs and the needs of your family first and foremost, ahead of all other concerns. We will work hard to restore your bathroom to a sanitary and comfortable condition as soon as humanly possible.
If you’d like to learn more about our services, reach out to us today at Satin Touch for further information.
Handling a Basement Floor Drain Backup
If the floor drain in your basement backs up, your whole basement can be flooded. What is the source of the problem though? There could be a blockage in your main line, and the flood is local waste that can’t exit your home. Or, there could be a problem in the public system, which is sending waste, or backflow, from the sewer system into your house. Water or sewage in your basement can damage walls, floors, and carpets, and destroy furniture and belongings. It can also quickly cause mold.
If there are lower elevation drains, like in a shower or bathtub, that back up too, then the problem is likely in your main line. You may also hear gurgling when the washing machine empties, tub drains, or toilet is flushed. The basement floor drain backup is the first evidence that you have a blockage. Blockages happen if there is a break in the pipe, tree roots have grown into the pipe, or something has gone down the drain or toilet in the house.
The second cause of a basement drain backup is when flooding comes in from the public sewer, which would include rain water or possibly waste from multiple homes. This can happen when the entire drainage system gets overwhelmed by high levels of rain. If your basement is lower than the current water level, then some of that water will try to come up through your basement drain.
If your basement is flooded, but the water didn’t come from the floor drain, then it may have come in through cracks in the house’s foundation. This is sometimes due to clogged gutters, incorrect sloping of the yard, or extra groundwater.
What to Do
Here’s what to do if your basement drain backs up:
- Turn off the water supply in the house. Running more water could worsen the flooding.
- Turn off the electricity or call your power company if you need them to turn it off. Don’t step in the water if it’s covering electrical outlets.
- Open the windows to let out any toxic sewage fumes (and smells).
- Move people and pets away from the flood water. Wear protective gear if you need to be in the area.
- A small backup can be cleaned up with bleach or disinfectant and a shop vac.
- Carpets should be cleaned with hot water and carpet cleaner. Or, they should be replaced.
- Use fans and dehumidifiers to make sure the area dries quickly before mold grows.
- If the backup is larger, call in the professionals to deal with the hazardous situation.
If you’re not connected to a public sewer and instead have a septic system and sump pump, a backup of the basement drain could be caused by a sump pump problem. To check on this, first stop using water in your house. Then check the ground fault switch for the sump pump and reset it if it has tripped. If it doesn’t begin working again, it may need to be replaced.
If backflow causes your basement drain to flood periodically, you could install a backwater valve or floating backflow drain plug. These features can close off your main line to prevent water from flowing the wrong direction and into your house. You could instead choose to create an overhead sewer system. You may also want to have your sewer inspected and cleaned annually to reduce the likelihood of a blockage in your main line, especially if you have tree roots that grow into your pipes.
Contact us at Satin Touch Homes Reinvented if you need water cleaned up at any hour. We’ll come to eliminate smells, prevent mold from growing, and sanitize sewage contamination.