Recent Water Damage Posts
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads quickly throughout, being absorbed into walls your property, floors, upholstery, and belongings, saturating everything in its path.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets and floors.
- Documents, photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
- Electronics in contact with the water are damaged.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants
ONE – Within one hour from the notice of loss, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will contact you to arrange for service.
FOUR – Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services.
EIGHT – Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person.
*Exceptions may apply under certain conditions, such as a local catastrophic event or storm situation.
What to do until SERVPRO® arrives!
After you have experienced water damage the first thing you should do is to shut off the water source if possible. Once the water source is stopped contact SERVPRO® of Ajax at (289) 460-5124. The faster mitigation begins, the less damage is sustained to your home or office. While awaiting our services there are certain steps that can be taken.
- Locate and stop the source as soon as possible, if the water is from an internal source shut off the main water valve
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Alert a restoration company to begin work as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
- Begin documenting damaged items and removing valuables from the affected area. Do as thorough an assessment as possible of all property that has sustained damages from the event. Look behind appliances, lift carpeting, check the crawl spaces and make sure you are using a light source that allows you to see exactly what is going on.
- Take pictures of all your findings, no matter how small. Once things dry out, you will have no evidence of what has happened, and that might be a problem.
- Contact your insurance company representative to file a claim.
- Document the claim number and adjuster contact information, this information will be critical for the restoration company to work with your insurance agency.
For Clean Water:
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Remove excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture o a safe placed.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water
- Depending on the weather outside you can open windows to allow the humid air to leave the space.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
For Contaminated Water:
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you encounter contaminated items.
- Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
- Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
- Discard any food and/ or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated items.
- It is highly recommended to contact professional help as soon as possible if there is flooding with contaminated water as it can be very hazardous to you and your family’s health.
We are always here to help, where the water loss is big or small, clean or contaminated water and are a phone call away at (289) 460-5124.
Use a Professional Water Restoration Company!
Imagine, you come home from work, running errands or even from vacation, only to find your basement is flooded! Your initial response may be to try and fix the issue yourself, but before you do, check our “Three types of contaminated water” article. If you have grey or black water, it is highly recommended you contact a professional ASAP, and remember, clean water can turn into greywater in less then 24 hours.
So, do you call your general contractor or a disaster restoration company? There are a few important differences between contractors and professional Water Restoration Companies. As a professional Restoration Company, we try to restore, rather than replace, whenever possible.
Most contractors are not certified in drying and cleaning water damage to industry standards, so they tend to replace everything that is affected. This will often will include all flooring, walls, cabinets and even furniture. SERVPRO® of Ajax technicians are certified in drying and cleaning water damage to industry standards. We will not remove materials unless it is necessary. The average time to dry is 3 days, this prevents further interruption to your daily life and saves you money. We try to mitigate the water damage and restore when possible. Restoring your home is more cost efficient than replacing materials in your home.
Call SERVPRO® of Ajax! We are available 24/7 for emergency water losses!
The Three Types of Contaminated Water
Category 1: "Clean Water"
Category 1 water is from a clean source and does not post and immediate health threat. Clean water home floods are generally safe for you to clean up yourself but remember--time is an important factor. Standing clean water can become greywater in as little as 48 hours depending on the temperature and surrounding contaminants. Another thing to keep in mind is mol growth, although clean water can be mopped/wiped up, it’s best to contact a professional to dry out the area the prevent mold growth and attempt to restore any damaged items.
Clean water flood sources:
- Broken water line
- Malfunctioning appliances
- Toilet holding tanks
- Melting snow and rainwater
- Broken or leaking pipe
- Sink overflow
- Ice maker supply line
Category 2: "Grey Water"
Category 2 water refers to wastewater that is not contaminated with fecal matter yet is still contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. If you experience a home flood with greywater, be cautious when beginning the cleaning process and begin immediately as greywater can become blackwater in as little as 48 hours. Wear protective gear such as rubber boots and gloves, and keep children, pets and individuals with a compromised immune system away from the flooded are. It is advisable to hire a professional to safely clean and decontaminate when there is greywater, as it may contain harmful bacteria and viruses.
Grey water flood sources:
- Sink back up
- Sump pump
- Roof leak
- Leaking air conditioner
- Washing machines, dishwasher, water heaters
- Toilet with urine but no feces
Category 3: "Black Water"
Category 3 water refers to wastewater contaminated with human waste or other fecal matter, and could cause severe illness or death if ingested; any contact should be avoided. Blackwater is a haven for dangerous bacteria and pathogens. It can also be contaminated with dissolved chemicals and particulates, making contact even more dangerous. Blackwater floods are the most dangerous and the most destructive. Because of the grossly unsanitary conditions of the water, porous and absorbent items such as carpets, upholstery and drywall are often unsalvageable. Contact with blackwater via ingestion or skin contact can cause illness in both humans and pets.
It is highly advisable to contact a water restoration expert if you suspect blackwater before you begin attempting to remedy it yourself.
Black water flood sources:
- May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
- Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
- Foundation problem
- Gutter problems
- Toilet Bowl overflow
- Sewer back-up
- Water damage that sat over 3 days
- Standing Water that has begun to support microbial growth
Sewage cleanup must not be taken lightly. Serious long-term health issues to adults, children and even pets may occur due to bacteria, viruses and even parasites. Don't delay. Take immediate action. Call SERVPRO® of Ajax at (289) 460-5124 today for a free estimate.
How to prepare for a flood
Luckily, the GTA doesn’t see floods so detrimental we need to evacuate the area very often. But with the recent floods in Toronto and surrounding areas, it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. It is always a good idea to read up on how to prepare for a disaster in any case. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared. You never know, it could end up saving your life. Here are 10 ways to prepare for a large-scale flood.
- Get a weather radio and learn to understand emergency notifications
- One of the first things you can do is buy a weather radio that can broadcast weather bulletins from the closest National Weather Service Office. These stations broadcast a variety of emergency notificationsincluding flood watches and warnings, flash flood watches and warnings, and evacuation notices.
- Research your flood risk
- Learn in advance whether your area is susceptible to flooding.
- Prepare emergency supply kits for your home, work and car
- gov is an excellent governmental resource for information on how to prepare for inclement weather and other disasters. Here’s a great checklist of what to pack in your emergency kits, which should be standardized for your home, workplace and car they can be easily accesses in the event of an emergency.
- Establish your evacuation route
- Knowing your way in and out of your immediate geographic vicinity and how to navigate your community when it’s flooded could save your life. You will need to stick to higher ground when evacuating. Make sure all family members know where they are supposed to meet.
- Have a plan for communicating with family members
- As mentioned, having a place to meet if flooding does occur should be established prior. During an emergency, texts are easier and faster than phone calls. All family members also need to have a family contact that is out of the immediate geographic area, in the event information needs to be passed through a third party.
- Raise up appliances, other items to protect them from damage
- Flooding can cause substantial damage not only to your home, but also to your property including costly and essential appliances. Raising up major appliances and electrical outlets can help protect them from flooding.
- Save your important documents
- Copy, save or upload to the cloud important papers and documents such as insurance policies, photographs, and other important documents such as birth certificate and leases.
- Protect your drains from increasing the damage
- A house’s water and sewage systems are particularly prone to flood damage, creating an even bigger mess that’s extremely hard to clean up. Installing a sump pump can help with this risk. You can also use backflow valves in toilets, drains, and sinks to prevent floodwaters from backing up.
- Stockpile emergency supplies
- In addition to having your emergency kit handy so you can get to it quickly if you must evacuate, you can take other steps to help prepare for flooding. Storing valuables, medication, and chemicals (separately) in a higher place is a good first step.
- Manage your financial risk
- The best way to manage your financial risk and protect your home is to buy flood insurance. Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t typically cover flood damage, so this insurance must be purchased separately, and any claims filed separately from homeowner’s insurance.
Water Damage Prevention Checklist
Some things are out of your control, but there are a lot of small things you can do to minimize your risk. We have put together this water damage prevention checklist to help you protect and preserve your property.
- Create a list of emergency contacts, including names and phone numbers for when disasters are discovered. SERVPRO® of Ajax is available 7 days a week 24 hours a day, we can advise you on what to do in the moment, and then come to access the situation asap. Remember mold growth can start within 24-48 hours of water damage. The faster you have help with the clean-up, the less damage there will be to your things and the faster you will be able to get back to a normal life.
- Make sure everyone in the household knows where the main water shutoff valve is. Make sure you know where the other shut off valves in your home are as well, such as your sinks, toilets, hot water tank and washing machine. As soon as a leak is noticed shut off the valve and leave it off until repairs are done. It is also a good idea to shut this off while out of the house for an extended period, such as while you are on vacation. This will help minimize the risk of coming home to unexpected flooding, and mold.
- Make sure all valuables are always stored up off the floor. This is especially important for things like important documents and electronics. Basements are notorious for flooding, so if you are storing items on the floor, use plastic bins; otherwise invest in some simple shelving to keep everything off the ground.
- Clean your gutters (eavestroughs) annually, and ensure downspouts are directed away from the home. Gutters are prone to clogging with leaves and debris, which can lead to water leaking into your home. Consider adding and extension to your downspouts, especially if your yard doesn’t have strong slope away from your home.
- Check your windows and shingles. It’s a good idea to annually check all your windows, ensure the caulking is still in good condition, and re-caulk if necessary. This is a bonus as it may save you money on your utility bills. The same goes for shingles, roofs tend to serve as a significant point of entry for water intrusion into your home, especially since damage on the roof may go unnoticed if it isn’t checked.
- Check basement drainage systems and verify sump pump operation. Make sure to keep your basement flood drains clear. Get a professional to install sump pumps and backwater valves and get them inspected annually.
- Check for signs of leakage and rust. Pay close attention to your hot water tank, toilets, sinks, dish washer, washing machine and refrigerator. Repair at the first signs, don’t wait until it’s to late!
SERVPRO of Ajax 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service
SERVPRO of Ajax 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 - 1(289)460-5124
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 Ajax 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 Ajax
SERVPRO of Ajax 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.