Recent Posts

Why is there water in my basement!?!?!?

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

If you discover standing water, slimy surfaces, or developing mold patches on a basement wall, it is crucial that you do not leave them untreated. The longer water damage is neglected, the harder it will be to repair and restore, and the costs can escalate.

FIRST:  Find the source of the water damage. Moisture can make its way inside a house from several different routes. Once you locate the source, you can start to think about a solution, but your first response should be one of investigation and examination. You can't fix what you don't see.

Most reported reasons why basements develop signs of water damage are;

Water Damage from Outside
- A leak in a home's roof can lead to a water problem in the crawlspace, as strange as that sounds. If a broken tile or other components let water in, it runs down the internal walls and through to the basement.
- For those of us living with Idaho snowstorms, basement windows need internal an internal drainage system.  Otherwise, the snow will just accumulate, melt, and seep into the basement.
- When landscaping, make sure that grades are designed to run away from the property. That way, the water cannot pool and seep through the foundation walls.
- If damp is only ever an issue following a rainstorm, the problem could be a poor quality sealant. This is an easy problem to fix. All that is needed is to replace the interior barriers around doors and windows. Sealants dry out, so you may have to keep replacing it every few years.
- Obstructed, ice dams, or cracked guttering could also be the culprit as overflowing water ends up right above the foundation of the house and the basement.
- You might simply have a high water table. If this is the case, the obstacle will unfortunately persist. There is not much that can be done to change it, but installing a sump pump will significantly decrease the chance of flooding leading to water damage.

Water Damage Inside:
- Interior plumbing, appliance malfunction, leaky faucets, frozen pipes, and condensation buildup may result in structural or water damaged personal items.
- If you can spot water making its way up through drains, the municipal sewer system may be under too much strain. You can alleviate this in your home by investing in a backflow valve. These are inexpensive and easily available. If a septic tank backs up, be sure to call SERVPRO to safely and quickly remove waste products from your water damaged Idaho home. "Like it never even happened."

Don't Know Why, There's No Clouds Up In The Sky.....

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

As a native Idahoan, I have been trained to GET READY FOR WINTER!!!!  From insulating my water lines and pipes to making sure the roof wire was plugged in so Ice Damns don't build up on my roofs edge. 

The winter of 2016-2017 brought so much snow to my sidewalks I swore that a snowblower was going to be purchased this year, and it was. 

But this winter has been unusual for us Idahoans.  There has been very little snowfall, and the temperatures have dipped in the below zero numbers very rarely, and even then, not for very long.  

So we wait with our skis in hand, and our snowmobiles in the garage but at the ready for the significant snowfall that allow us to enjoy the outdoors and yet for me, hate it at the same time.

My snowblower has graced my sidewalks only twice this year, the second time because I felt I needed to justify spending so much.  For what I paid I could have had a local kid shovel the whole year AND give him a good tip and Christmas bonus.

But this is also where Idahoans get a bit cocky. We think that winter will not come this year (maybe it will maybe it wont) and then we begin to think that we are immune to the powers of Mother Nature because we don't get hurricanes or tornadoes or it would appear, even winter.  

So we let our guards down and we let the motto BE PREPARED slide a little bit here and a little bit there, but sooner or later Mother Nature remembers our little corner of the world and the forces gale upon us.

Thunderstorms bring major mudslides burying homes in both water AND mud; Heavy snows fall on trees full of leaves that have not fallen yet causing power outages and home damages; Hail storms come out of nowhere to pock the roof and hood of your car; and the Wind storms blow everything hither and yon until your chaise lounge becomes a permanent fixture in a ditch.  

SERVPRO has responded to most of the above in the past year and will most likely respond again when we let our guards down.  So stay vigilante and always be prepared.  But when Mother Nature sneaks up on you, remember SERVPRO is here to make it "Like it never even happened."

Idaho Falls Apartment Building Pipe Burst

1/30/2018 (Permalink)

Sometimes it is just not always possible to forsee impending disaster especially when it comes to water.

An Idaho Falls apartment building recently found this out when a supply line burst underneath the bathroom sink.  Since the renters were not at home, the water was allowed to run without being stopped for a few hours, flooding not only the initial apartment but 3 others as well.

SERVPRO responded quickly when called and was able to mitigate the problem areas

Water damage is one of the most common reasons people make claims to their insurance agencies.  Everything from failed washing machine hoses, dishwasher hoses, appliances developing a leak to sump pump failure from heavy rains causing your basement to flood

If these are a real concern for you as a homeowner or especially as an apartment property manager, call your local plumbing supply house and inquire about the products on the market that help to prevent flooding

Heavy Rains Seep Through Foundation Crack in Idaho Falls

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

This homeowner found water seeping in from a recent storm right away because the damage occurred in a basement right at the bottom of a highly used stairwell. 

Water issues in a location that is a high traffic area allows owners to be more aware of a water loss sooner than in areas of the house where they don’t often go.

Right away the owner pulled up the carpet and pad to dry both of them with all the fans she had in her home.  By doing so she was actually able to dry out the carpet, but the pad still needed to be replaced.

By contacting SERVPRO we were able to give her a FREE evaluation of the damage which helped her from having any secondary damages and prevented mold growth as well.

Upon inspection it was discovered that due to recent heavy rainfall a crack that was in the foundation of the wall allowed water and mud to seep into the house.  The crack looked as if there had been an attempt to repair it previously but it obviously wasn’t enough to stop the water and mud from coming through.

The First 24 Hours After A Fire

1/12/2018 (Permalink)

A fire can be a devastating event to a home now matter how small.  SERVPRO understands that your home is more than four walls.  It includes your memories and personal belongings.

By responding quickly with our full line of fire cleaning and restoration services, SERVPRO can help to restore your home and personal belongings.

The first 24 hours can make a difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings.

Things To Do:

  1. Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring
  2. Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery
  3. Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
  4. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.

Things To NOT Do:

  1. Wash any walls or painted surfaces
  2. Shampoo carpet or upholstery
  3. Clean any electrical equipment
  4. Send clothing to dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor

Amazing What Can Start A Fire

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

A Driggs Idaho restaurant owner was quite surprised when he arrived at his place of business one morning.  

When he arrived at his restaurant he knew there was a problem due to the black soot on the outside wall of his restaurant.  Immediately he thought there was a fire inside and call the fire department.

When they arrived and opened the doors there was no fire burning, however, there was considerable heat damage.

It appeared that cleaning rags with powerful chemicals placed in a laundry hamper had ignited at some point in the evening.  As the fire tried to take hold it consumed all of the oxygen in the room and eventually is had burned itself out.  

This did not stop it from smoldering however and the intense heat in the room caused everything plastic to eventually melt to a point of unrecognizability.

SERVPRO was called to estimate losses and repairs.

Theres Mold Under Here

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

This SERVPRO loss was reported in a home that is under construction and did not have any house wrap on it. This lack of preparation naturally exposed all of the framing and plywood to the outside elements.

The area had received a large amount of rain during the building process and as such, the main floor had soaked up a significant amount of water.

As winter approached and temperatures became cooler the floor was unable to dry out. The combination of the wet flooring along with the crawlspace not having the proper ventilation needed encouraged mold to start to grow on the bottom of the sheeting.

The SERVPRO inspection showed that the whole main level had mold on the bottom side of the plywood.  Mold Remediation was necessary but the contractor was instructed to wrap the house correctly before any work began.

Monitor your Work Especially with Water

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

This SERVPRO loss occurred in an unoccupied home and was caused by lack of attention from a property manager

Due to forecasted freezing temperatures, the property manager was trying to do preventative maintenance by running water through the lines to prevent frozen pipes.

Unfortunately he did not monitor the sink in which the water was flowing, and the basin overflowed causing water to run under the flooring.

The water ran long enough that eventually it caused the wood flooring to begin to bow and then mold started to grow on the subfloor.

It was also discovered that enough water had spilled out of the sink that the ceiling of the bedroom directly below had standing water above the drywall.

SERVPRO tip, always keep your eyes on running water, especially in the home.

Grease Fire Tips

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

This SERVPRO reported loss was caused by a careless cook. 

A basement apartment was recently rented to a first time young resident with little cooking skills.

The resident was cooking bacon for the first time on her new stove.  The bacon grease caught on fire and the ensuing flames rose towards the ceiling. 

The heat from the fire melted the face of the microwave above the stove and the cabinets began to smolder. 

The ceiling had acoustic cork tiles that absorbed a lot of the smoke and needed to be removed.

While the fire was contained to the stove area the smoke traveled through each of the basement bedrooms and also in the stairwell leading up to the main level.

SERVPRO tips for grease fires

  • Cover the fire with a large metal lid
  • If there's no lid nearby, douse the fire with salt or baking soda
  • Turn off the heat source if possible
  • As a last resort, use a fire extinguisher

Tips To Heating Your Garage With Space Heaters

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

A recent SERVPRO loss occurred after a homeowner reported a space heater had caused a fired in their garage.

During these cold Idaho months we are tempted to keep our garages as warm as our homes with space heaters but the reality is that unless you have super duper insulation, which most garages dont due to the cost during construction, it is just not realistic.

If you must put a space heater in your garage for any purpose, here are a few SERVPRO tips

* Do not leave space heaters unattended.  If you cannot monitor it, turn it off and for extra safety, unplug it.

*Place it on a hard stable surface so that is does not fall over

*Leave plenty of space around the heater so avoid items catching on fire

*Do not block intake or exhaust vents

*Do not try to dry articles of clothing on them