You don’t think it can happen until it happens to you
When walking into your home you expect to hear the creak of the door, a pet stirring or a TV that has been left on; but you never expect to hear the splish splash of water beneath your feet. This past October at our family lake house, a PVC pipe connected to a toilet cracked, causing a major leak which led to significant water damage in two bedrooms, the main hallway and two bathrooms. Standing water saturated our carpet, baseboards, doors, furniture, sheetrock and everything in between. Our doors became warped, mold was rampant and a mildew smell lingered in the air.
For an emergency, especially one with water, time is of the essence. Although we were unsure of when the leak started, given that no one had been to the house in several weeks, we estimated that it began 2-3 days prior. We discovered the leak and damage late Wednesday night, but by late morning the next day, the Restor-It team was in the mitigation process.
After moving our personal affects, the Restor-it team moved our mold-ridden beds, dressers, nightstands and bookcases. They removed our carpet promptly, and used squeegees, a tool used to remove or control the flow of liquid, to capture the excess water. After, they brought in industrial dryers. Within four days, the damaged area was ready for future restoration construction.
According to Water Damage Defense, 14,000 people in the US experience a water related emergency at home or work each day, and 98% of basements in the US will suffer from some type of water damage during their lifetime. It can truly happen to anyone, anywhere and anytime.
To prevent a water damage emergency to your own home, start with the outside to help prevent water making its way inside, which could add to preexisting issues inside, if present. First, disconnect hoses. Leftover water in a hose can freeze back into the pipe and create an ice block that could lead to busted pipes. Next, be sure to clean your gutters at least twice a year as standing water and unmanaged overflow caused by blockage can damage your gutters, roof and foundation. Additionally, clean downspouts to allow water to flow through, but make sure they do not face your home. Thirdly, maintain trees and vegetation. Roots can wrap around pipes and break them, so limit vegetation near pipes, or remove overgrown trees and shrubs.
As far as the inside of your home goes, the most important thing you can do is know where your water main shutoff is located. Knowing where your water main is can help you turn off the water quickly in an emergency. Maintain appliances as they are the most common cause of in-home water damage, so check for leaks regularly, especially in washing machines and refrigerator hoses. Failure to check for leaks and fix them can create problems such as mold, mildew, dry rot or structural damage to your home. Installing water detection devices is also extremely beneficial since it sounds an alarm when it is contact with moisture, so it can detect slow leaks that may have gone unnoticed. Ensure your water pressure is not too high so there is less pressure on pipes and hoses. Lastly, monitor your water bill. If your bill increases significantly and randomly, there might be a leak in your home. As a general rule of thumb, if you are leaving your home for an extended period of time, or you have a vacation home like ours, it is probably best to turn off the water main.
If you ever find yourself in a similar scenario, be sure to stop the leak if possible, and immediately call a professional, like Restor-It. Our family is so thankful for the quick response time from Restor-It, and their dedication and hard work to get our lake house back to normal!