Recent Water Damage Posts

Ice Dams and You

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Public domain graphic via NOAA/National Weather Service.

When the winter months are at their coldest, we tend to worry about the most immediate needs.  Shoveling the driveway, making sure our heat works properly and watching our steps to avoid any icy patches.  However, we may not be aware of the flood damage that may be brewing right over our heads.  When the ice on the roof melts and freezes again, it creates what is called “ice dams,” which left unattended can cause water to flood your attic and leak along your walls, all of which could lead to expensive repairs. 

What is an ice dam?  Ice dams form as a result of warm air inside your home leaking into the attic and warming the underside of the roof, causing snow and ice to melt. The melted water will drain along the roof, under the snow, until it reaches the cold overhang.  The overhang tends to be at the same temperature (below 32 degrees) as the outdoors, and the melted water will refreeze and form icicles and possibly an ice dam.  The draining water hits the ice dam, backs up under the roof shingles, finds cracks and openings in the roofing, and eventually manifests itself as an interior water leak.

Water damage to your home in Dearborn Heights, caused by ice dams, can be partially prevented by keeping your gutters clean and avoiding any type of exhausts exiting into the attic.  The proper amount of Insulation also plays a key role in maintaining the right temperatures so ice dams are not created.  Regardless, even the best, most diligent homeowners are not able to avoid the water damage that can happen as a result of ice dams and they may be in need of professional help. This assistance is where SERVPRO becomes your greatest ally in restoring your home back to its original condition.   

Being a homeowner, you may be tempted to try your hand at the drying process, but it is best to call in a team of professionals.  In addition to drying your attic, ceiling and walls, our SERVPRO team can inspect the structure of your house and determine whether additional repairs are needed. Our specially trained technicians are also able to determine the equipment best suited to navigate the limited space in your attic while achieving the desired results. Our team can work on salvaging insulation if possible, and assuring that those materials that may pose a health hazard for you and your family are properly disposed.

One of the benefits of reaching out to a team of experts is the number of techniques at our disposal. Do not be surprised if our SERVPRO technicians decide to drill small holes into your walls as part of the drying process. Containment barriers may be erected to cordon off the affected areas.  Our aim is to achieve moisture reduction, which is essential in safeguarding the structural integrity and health of your home. 

 Have you experienced water damage due to an ice dam?  If so, call SERVPRO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City at (313) 228-5134.  At SERVPRO, we work to make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Dealing with Frozen Pipes

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipe Damage to Residential Property

With the recent cold temperatures due to the Polar Vortex, frozen pipes have become a real issue here in the upper Midwest.  Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

  • Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
  • Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
  • Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

How to Protect Pipes From Freezing

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes:  If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.

  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Should you find yourself with a broken pipe that has spread water throughout your home, don’t be the person with the box fans and beach towels.  Get some professional help from and call SERVPRO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City at (313) 228-5134.  Working to make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Dealing With Extreme Cold

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

Frozen & Burst Pipes Can be a Serious Problem

As temperatures drop this winter, following are some tips that people can take to stay safe during the cold weather.

  • Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep warm inside.
  • Have a working carbon monoxide detector.  Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning device inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any enclosed area.  Locate these items a minimum of 20 feet from doors, windows and vents.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure that everyone knows how to use them.  House fires pose an additional risk during the winter as more people turn to alternate heating sources (such as space heaters) without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • If you have a wood burning fireplace, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected.  Use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.  Make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.
  • Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
  • If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.
  • Turn off space heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
  • Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

Unfortunately, even the best prepared can still become a victim of water damage due to the cold weather.  If this is you, or someone you know, have them call SERVPRO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City.  Working to make it "Like it never even happened."

Water Damage Prevention

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Roof damage allowing for water damage.

One of the worst problems that homeowners encounter is water damage.  The causes range from weather related issues to aged or faulty plumbing systems.  Severe storms causing backups or flooding, cold temperatures resulting in pipes freezing and bursting, washer or dishwasher problems, sump pump failures and clogged drains are all types of water damage that can occur.  Water damage can cause a lot of damage to homes and property which will cost a significant amount of money to repair.  The best thing to avoid spending a lot of money on repairs is to prevent water damage from happening.

There are three key ways of preventing water damage that every home owner should know and apply.

  • Watch for water leaks and address them promptly; inspect your roof occasionally and repair any damaged, loose and missing shingles. You should also check for stains on ceilings, toilets that shake and dark spots below pipes.
  • Ensure all drains are clear and working properly. Make sure that your gutters and downspouts are clear and make sure that your yard is sloped some distance away from the foundation.
  • Check appliances (washer, dishwasher, ice maker) frequently and inspect the supply and drain lines to be sure that they’re in good condition. Check to ensure that your water heaters and sump pump are in good condition.

Other steps you can take to prevent water damage include: 

  • Keeping track of your water bill.
  • Disconnecting hoses when not in use.
  • Installing water detection devices.
  • Closing your water main whenever you are going away for an extended period.
  • Taking care of your vegetation and trees.
  • Avoid landscaping too close to the utility pipes.

If you have done all the above but are still facing water damage problems, it is time to seek professional help.  SERVPRO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City is prepared to assist you with any water damage issues.  Contact us at (313) 228-5134.  SERVPRO…working to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Don't Delay When Water Damage Happens

4/28/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City provides water damage restoration service and we’re the kind of professional that no one wants to call.  But what’s important to remember is that when we are needed, it is important not to delay.  Moisture is often the enemy, capable of penetrating into just about any space, and taking advantage of every little crack and structural problem.  Regardless of how the moisture has entered the structure, the response should be the same:  get the home cleaned and dried quickly to ensure that there are no lingering health threats once the moisture is gone.

If water has entered the home through a contaminated source, don’t try to handle it on your own.  Floods and sewage backflows contain a cocktail of deadly bacteria, viruses and fungi, and even momentary skin contact can leave a person seriously ill.  A water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City not only has the training and tools to eliminate the moisture; they have the necessary equipment and technology their disposal.

This includes powerful vacuums and pumping systems, high volume air movers, dehumidifiers, heat injectors, moisture meters, and a number of detergents formulated for destroying fungi and other microbial threats. While the technicians work on the building, disposing of compromised materials, and drying the rest, they will also destroy all mold and microbial colonies. This is the only way to ensure a home is safe to live in, and a business safe to work in; any other cleaning method is a dangerous gamble.

So if you find yourself with water damage, don’t be the person with the beach towels and the box fans.  Get professional help.  Call SERVPRO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City at (313) 228-5134.  Working to make it…”Like it never even happened.”

Cold Weather Survival Tips

12/15/2016 (Permalink)

Pipes Freeze and Break - If this is you...Call SERVPRO!

As temperatures dropping fast this winter, following are some tips that people can take to stay safe during the cold weather.

  • Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.
  • Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
  • If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.
  • Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
  • Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
  • Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
  • Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

Unfortunately, even the best prepared can still become a victim of water damage due to the cold weather.  If this is you, or someone you know, have them call SERVPRO of Dearborn Heights North/East Garden City.  Working to make it "Like it never even happened."