Recent Water Damage Posts

Important information to prevent water damage to your home

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Important information to prevent water damage to your home Old pipe caused water damage to the basement

Exterior Measures

Disconnect hoses - Standing water in a hose may freeze back into the pipe. This may create an ice block that stops your water flow. The block may burst your pipes and create damage to walls, floor and foundation.

Clean gutters and downspouts - Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid blockage and ice dams. Standing water can cause damage to your gutters and roof, and unmanaged overflow may create puddles that could damage your foundation. Don't forget to clean downspouts to ensure water can flow through, and secure downspouts so that they point away from the home.

Maintain trees and vegetation - Thriving shrubs can be a beautiful thing — except when their roots wrap around your pipes and break them. That's why it's important to minimize landscaping near utility pipes or, if necessary, remove trees and shrubs that have become too big.

Interior Measures

Know your water main - Know the location of your water main, and shut it off if you leave for an extended amount of time. If no water goes in to the house, chances are no faucet drips can wreak havoc on your home while you're away.

Check appliances regularly - Check and maintain your home appliances regularly for leaks, according to manufacturer's directions.

Investigate leaks right away and fix promptly - If you opt to ignore moisture damage or postpone making the necessary repairs, be prepared to experience mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage to your home. Keep in mind that homeowner's insurance provides coverage for damage that is sudden and accidental. Damage that results from lack of maintenance is not covered on a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. If it's too late and you're already dealing with a wet disaster, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to assist you (617) 864-7378

Upgrade washing machine hoses - Old, brittle or leaky washing machine hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss for homeowners. Replace yours regularly to avoid a mighty mess and expensive damage.

Install water detection devices - A water detector is a small electronic device that sounds an alarm when its sensor comes in contact with moisture. Its main benefit is that it detects low moisture levels or slow leaks that often go unnoticed. Install it near water heaters, sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers and toilets to prevent extensive damage and mold growth.

Check your water pressure - If the water pressure to your home is set too high, pipes and hoses may fail under the pressure. Buy a water pressure gauge at a local hardware store, attach it to an outside faucet, and turn the faucet to full force. The gauge will give you a reading of the home’s water pressure. Typical residential water systems are designed for water pressure of 40 to 70 psi. If your home’s water pressure exceeds 100 psi, install a pressure regulator (which is available at hardware stores as well.)

Hot Water Heaters, when they should be replaced

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hot Water Heaters, when they should be replaced Picture of an old water heater

Water heaters are essential elements of our home. We use them in daily activities such as taking a bath, using the dishwasher and using the washing machine. But because we use them frequently, it’s sometimes easy to take them for granted and forget that they need to be maintained. Failing to do so will result in malfunctions and problems and eventually, replacing your water heater. Taking notice of the first signs of a problem can help you repair your water heater before it becomes worse.

You don’t have to be an expert to spot the first signs of trouble. All you need to have is a keen sense of observation so that your water heater can be repaired. 

Here are three signs that indicate your water heater needs to be repaired.

Hot water has off smell or off color. The first instance that you notice your hot water has an off smell or has a rusty color, that’s something that you need to check out. The smell could be the result of a rusty anode rod in the water heater. There is no need to worry since the anode rod can be replaced that will then eliminate the bad odor. Bacteria growth also causes bad smells. This happens when the hot water has not been used or has been turned off for quite some time or when the thermostat is set at a very low level.

Corroded pipes can also cause an off color in your water. This can be solved by installing a water softener or by replacing the plumbing. If you also see a lot of sediments in the water, it’s time to have the water heater repaired.

Water is not hot enough, too hot, not strong enough or there is none at all. When there is no water, check first that your water heater has power and is working fine. If it is, have it inspected by a plumber. If water is not enough, this could be due to an undersized water heater and is a common situation when a lot more people are using the water heater. This could also be caused by the presence of mineral deposits inside the water heater tank. When water is too hot or not hot enough, you may have to adjust the temperature dial of the water heater. If there is no change in temperature, have the water heater checked and repaired.

Strange noises and leaks. Leaks coming from your water heater could lead to flooding. In the same way, strange noises like pops, bangs, gurgles, and the like are clear indicators that something is wrong with your water heater. This is usually caused by a buildup of sediments inside the tank. A boiling sound, however, could mean the water heater is overheating or that pressure is building up inside the tank. All these have to be addressed immediately to prevent further problems.

It’s important to have your water heater repaired as soon as you see these signs. This will help you save on costs, prevent further damage, and avoid an untimely replacement of your unit.

If your hot water heater malfunctions and creates a water damage, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you with the water damage.

Hidden water, is it covered by insurance?

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hidden water, is it covered by insurance? Slow leak under the kitchen sink

Whether it's behind the washer, above the ceiling or under the sink, a little drip can lead to big trouble. Water damage happens quickly and can be expensive to fix. Ignore a leak, and you not only could you have a mighty mess on your hands, but your home insurance probably won't bail you out. "What's really important to know for leaks is when did the insured notice it and take action," Says Michael Pridham from SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont

"People now build houses to be airtight," says Michael Pridham, owner of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont, a property-damage restoration service. "Houses are wrapped in plastic like Saran Wrap. That's good for energy conservation, but if water gets on the wrong side of that plastic, then mold will follow, as certainly as night follows day." Pridham observes that damage often occurs after people get security systems installed. Holes are drilled into airtight window frames for wires to run through them, but they aren't properly caulked and sealed, allowing water to slowly seep in over time. "You notice that maybe the wall below the window is looking funny, and by that time the framing behind it is rotted out," he says. If the homeowner reports the problem right away, it would likely be covered by home insurance.

But what about a slow leak you can't see? Say, for instance, a pipe behind a wall leaks, and you don't notice it until water starts seeping through the wall. Are you covered? Most likely the answer is yes, as long as you take action as soon as there is evidence of the leak, Pridham says. "Nobody expects you to tear out your drywall now and again to check the pipes. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378. They will send out a crew to test the walls using moisture detectors and an infrared camera.

Insurance companies understand it's impossible to know you have a hidden leak until the damage becomes apparent. The same goes for leaks behind and under appliances, or above a ceiling. If you can't see the leak, you can still make an insurance claim as long as you report it when it becomes apparent. Don't expect much sympathy if you ignore the wet spot in your ceiling, only to report it when the problem gets worse. The insurance adjuster probably will be able to tell if the damage is fresh.

"If the insured had a leak in the roof and had a pot under it for six months, then that damage is not covered," Pridham of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont says. "Insurance Professionals are pretty good at seeing whether a wet spot has been there for a while. Sometimes they have engineers go out to look." When it comes to insurance coverage, everything depends on the language in your policy. Although most policies cover damage from leaks as long as you responded quickly, language among policies differs. Keep in mind, though, that while home insurance may cover the water damage to the ceiling, floor, walls or furniture, it won't pay for replacing the worn-out pipe or the leaky roof (unless the roof was damaged by a covered peril, such as hail or a fallen tree).

Sergio Rodriguez, Production Manager for SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont suggests making sure all holes are properly caulked and sealed and keeping eaves and downspouts clean. He recommends periodically checking behind appliances and under sinks to make sure everything is dry. That means actually moving out the stuff that's been sitting under the kitchen sink for the last several years. Be careful when pulling out the refrigerator to check for a leak in the ice maker water line. Avoid running over the water line or crimping a copper line. Rodriguez also suggests replacing rubber supply hoses to appliances with braided hoses, which are made of rubber surrounded by wire mesh. Braided hoses can still spring a leak, but they won't burst.

If you think you have a leak, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Drying with no demolition

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Drying with no demolition Inject-I-Dry System drying hardwood fllor

Peter & Sue Miller’s contractor had finally finished the renovations. They had been living with relatives until their new condominium was finished. The furniture and belongings were delivered and they were finally living in their dream home. They came home Sunday night after a weekend away and they noticed water dripping down from the ceiling. Their hardwood floors had standing water and were beginning to buckle. They discovered that their upstairs neighbor pipe broke causing the water to run down into their unit. They called SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to assist them. The Millers explained that they had just moved in and didn’t want the life to be disrupted. The SERVPRO technician assessed the damages and came up with a plan that would not require any demolition. He discovered there were existing cavities he could install an Inject-I-Dry System that would dry out the floors & ceilings without any demolition or sanding. The technician monitored the drying progress and after one week, he determined that the floor and ceiling were dry and removed the equipment. The Miller’s were ecstatic!

If you sustain water damage, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you.

Hidden water leaks

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hidden water leaks Hidden water leak

Whether it's behind the washer, above the ceiling or under the sink, a little drip can lead to big trouble. Water damage happens quickly and can be expensive to fix. Ignore a leak, and you not only could you have a mighty mess on your hands, but your home insurance probably won't bail you out. "What's really important to know for leaks is when did the insured notice it and take action," Says Michael Pridham from SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont

"People now build houses to be airtight," says Michael Pridham, owner of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont, a property-damage restoration service. "Houses are wrapped in plastic like Saran Wrap. That's good for energy conservation, but if water gets on the wrong side of that plastic, then mold will follow, as certainly as night follows day." Pridham observes that damage often occurs after people get security systems installed. Holes are drilled into airtight window frames for wires to run through them, but they aren't properly caulked and sealed, allowing water to slowly seep in over time. "You notice that maybe the wall below the window is looking funny, and by that time the framing behind it is rotted out," he says. If the homeowner reports the problem right away, it would likely be covered by home insurance.

Today's houses also have more bathrooms, and the washing machine is often located next to the master bedroom on an upper floor for convenience, Pridham notes. "That means you've got more pipes, and if the washing machine leaks, it can affect the third floor, the second floor, the first floor and even down to the basement," he says. For water damage from leaky appliances or pipes, the damage must be "sudden and accidental" in order to be covered by insurance - such as a pipe that bursts while you're washing clothes.

But what about a slow leak you can't see? Say, for instance, a pipe behind a wall leaks, and you don't notice it until water starts seeping through the wall. Are you covered? Most likely the answer is yes, as long as you take action as soon as there is evidence of the leak, Pridham says. "Nobody expects you to tear out your drywall now and again to check the pipes. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378. They will send out a crew to test the walls using moisture detectors and an infrared camera.

Insurance companies understand it's impossible to know you have a hidden leak until the damage becomes apparent. The same goes for leaks behind and under appliances, or above a ceiling. If you can't see the leak, you can still make an insurance claim as long as you report it when it becomes apparent. Don't expect much sympathy if you ignore the wet spot in your ceiling, only to report it when the problem gets worse. The insurance adjuster probably will be able to tell if the damage is fresh.

"If the insured had a leak in the roof and had a pot under it for six months, then that damage is not covered," Pridham of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont says. "Insurance Professionals are pretty good at seeing whether a wet spot has been there for a while. Sometimes they have engineers go out to look." When it comes to insurance coverage, everything depends on the language in your policy. Although most policies cover damage from leaks as long as you responded quickly, language among policies differs. Keep in mind, though, that while home insurance may cover the water damage to the ceiling, floor, walls or furniture, it won't pay for replacing the worn-out pipe or the leaky roof (unless the roof was damaged by a covered peril, such as hail or a fallen tree).

Sergio Rodriguez, Production Manager for SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont suggests making sure all holes are properly caulked and sealed and keeping eaves and downspouts clean. He recommends periodically checking behind appliances and under sinks to make sure everything is dry. That means actually moving out the stuff that's been sitting under the kitchen sink for the last several years. Be careful when pulling out the refrigerator to check for a leak in the ice maker water line. Avoid running over the water line or crimping a copper line. Rodriguez also suggests replacing rubber supply hoses to appliances with braided hoses, which are made of rubber surrounded by wire mesh. Braided hoses can still spring a leak, but they won't burst.

If you think you have a leak, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

The most common plumbing issues

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The most common plumbing issues Water damage to ceiling

You depend on your plumbing each and every day, from the hot water in your shower to the water boiling on your stove. As such, it’s important to maintain your plumbing regularly to make sure there aren’t any major issues such as leaks or sewage backups. But plumbing problems can still occur with regular maintenance, so it’s good to be aware of common plumbing issues and what you can do to solve them or minimize damage to your home.

Low Water Pressure

Proper water pressure is necessary for washing your hands, cleaning dishes, and taking a shower. If you’ve noticed a significant drop in your home’s water pressure, you probably have a clogged pipe. It’s also possible that you need to fully open your shutoff valve. If you’re only having water pressure issues with one faucet, the solution may be as simple as cleaning the aerator or removing a nearby clog.

Dripping Faucet

Depending on the severity of the drip, a dripping faucet can raise your water bill and waste a significant amount of water—not to mention how annoying it can be. Luckily, fixing a dripping faucet is usually as simple as replacing seats and springs or a washer in the faucet.

Running Toilet

It happens so frequently: minutes after flushing your toilet, you can still hear the toilet running as if the bowl is filling with water. This is an incredibly annoying problem to have, but usually, an easy one to fix. Remove the lid from your toilet tank and make sure that your tank ball, flapper valve, and flush valve are working properly—if any of them are sticking or not functioning right, they’re easy to replace.

Clogged Drain

Clogged or slow drains are probably the most common plumbing problem. Plumbing pipes are designed to allow water and waste to flow through freely, but over time, built up hair, soap scum and other debris can form a clog in your drain that prevents water from passing. This is almost sure to happen in any home given enough time. You can use vinegar and baking soda to break up clogs in your sink, or you can buy a drain auger and remove the clog manually.

Sometimes the clog may be deeper in your pipes or too severe to easily remove, look into professional plumbing services; they have the equipment and expertise to clear clogged drains without causing damage to your plumbing. If you have sewage damage as a result of a clogged drain or other plumbing issues, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Leaking Pipes

Leaks aren’t just an annoyance; they can significantly increase your water bill and quickly cause damage to your home. If you have a leaking pipe that’s beyond a slow drip, shut your water off as soon as possible. If there is any chance of mold or structural damage to your home, call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to avoid spending a fortune on repairs. Leaking pipes generally need to be replaced, but you can use marine tape or epoxy to cover small leaks temporarily—just remember to shut the water off first.

No Hot Water

Have you ever rolled out of bed and into the shower only to find there’s no hot water? It’s not a good experience. Chances are you’ve got something wrong with your water heater, most probably an electrical problem such as a thermostat or element. If you’re not comfortable troubleshooting your water heater, it’s a good idea to get help from a trained, knowledgeable professional.

Plumbing truly is an essential part of our everyday lives. We can’t all be professional plumbers, but with a little bit of research and hard work, you can stay cool, calm and collected in the face of a plumbing emergency

 If you have water damage as a result of any of these or other plumbing issues, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Preventing water damage

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Preventing water damage This flooded basement could have been prevented

Preventing a water disaster in the basement

Sergio Rodriguez, Production Manager for SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont suggests making sure all holes are properly caulked and sealed and keeping eaves and downspouts clean. He recommends periodically checking behind appliances and under sinks to make sure everything is dry. That means actually moving out the stuff that's been sitting under the kitchen sink for the last several years. Be careful when pulling out the refrigerator to check for a leak in the ice maker water line. Avoid running over the water line or crimping a copper line. Rodriguez also suggests replacing rubber supply hoses to appliances with braided hoses, which are made of rubber surrounded by wire mesh. Braided hoses can still spring a leak, but they won't burst.

If you think you have a leak, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Ten tips to help prevent water damage to your home

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Ten tips to help prevent water damage to your home A SERVPRO truck extracting water after a burst pipe.
  1. Disconnect hoses

Standing water in a hose may freeze back into the pipe. This may create an ice block that stops your water flow. The block may may burst your pipes and create damage to walls, floor and foundation.

  1. Clean gutters and downspouts

Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid blockage and ice dams. Standing water can cause damage to your gutters and roof, and unmanaged overflow may create puddles that could damage your foundation.

Don't forget to clean downspouts to ensure water can flow through, and secure downspouts so that they point away from the home.

  1. Maintain trees and vegetation

Thriving shrubs can be a beautiful thing — except when their roots wrap around your pipes and break them. That's why it's important to minimize landscaping near utility pipes or, if necessary, remove trees and shrubs that have become too big.

Interior Measures to Prevent Water Damage

  1. Know your water main

Know the location of your water main, and shut it off if you leave for an extended amount of time. If no water goes in to the house, chances are no faucet drips can wreak havoc on your home while you're away.

  1. Check appliances regularly

Check and maintain your home appliances regularly for leaks, according to manufacturer's directions. 

  1. Investigate leaks right away and fix promptly

If you opt to ignore moisture damage or postpone making the necessary repairs, be prepared to experience mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage to your home.

Keep in mind that homeowner's insurance provides coverage for damage that is sudden and accidental. Damage that results from lack of maintenance is not covered on a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.

If it's too late and you're already dealing with a wet disaster, check out advice on how to minimize water damage in your home.

  1. Upgrade washing machine hoses

Old, brittle or leaky washing machine hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss for homeowners. Replace yours regularly to avoid a mighty mess and expensive damage.

  1. Install water detection devices

A water detector is a small electronic device that sounds an alarm when its sensor comes in contact with moisture. Its main benefit is that it detects low moisture levels or slow leaks that often go unnoticed. Install it near water heaters, sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers and toilets to prevent extensive damage and mold growth.

  1. Check your water pressure

If the water pressure to your home is set too high, pipes and hoses may fail under the pressure. Buy a water pressure gauge at a local hardware store, attach it to an outside faucet, and turn the faucet to full force. The gauge will give you a reading of the home’s water pressure.

Typical residential water systems are designed for water pressure of 40 to 70 psi. If your home’s water pressure exceeds 100 psi, install a pressure regulator (which is available at hardware stores as well.) 

  1. Monitor your water bill 

Sometimes, the only way you know that water is leaking is taking a closer look at your water bill. If your usage jumps significantly from one month to the next without explanation, put your "water detective hat" on. Is there a leak in your crawlspace? Or, is it a pipe in your front yard? Don't leave mystery leaks unattended!

If you have had water damage to your home please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Common plumbing problems & how to fix them

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Common plumbing problems & how to fix them Wanted, experienced plumber

You depend on your plumbing each and every day, from the hot water in your shower to the water boiling on your stove. As such, it’s important to maintain your plumbing regularly to make sure there aren’t any major issues such as leaks or sewage backups. But plumbing problems can still occur with regular maintenance, so it’s good to be aware of common plumbing issues and what you can do to solve them or minimize damage to your home.

Low Water Pressure

Proper water pressure is necessary for washing your hands, cleaning dishes, and taking a shower. If you’ve noticed a significant drop in your home’s water pressure, you probably have a clogged pipe. It’s also possible that you need to fully open your shutoff valve. If you’re only having water pressure issues with one faucet, the solution may be as simple as cleaning the aerator or removing a nearby clog.

Dripping Faucet

Depending on the severity of the drip, a dripping faucet can raise your water bill and waste a significant amount of water—not to mention how annoying it can be. Luckily, fixing a dripping faucet is usually as simple as replacing seats and springs or a washer in the faucet.

Running Toilet

It happens so frequently: minutes after flushing your toilet, you can still hear the toilet running as if the bowl is filling with water. This is an incredibly annoying problem to have, but usually, an easy one to fix. Remove the lid from your toilet tank and make sure that your tank ball, flapper valve, and flush valve are working properly—if any of them are sticking or not functioning right, they’re easy to replace.

Clogged Drain

Clogged or slow drains are probably the most common plumbing problem. Plumbing pipes are designed to allow water and waste to flow through freely, but over time, built up hair, soap scum and other debris can form a clog in your drain that prevents water from passing. This is almost sure to happen in any home given enough time. You can use vinegar and baking soda to break up clogs in your sink, or you can buy a drain auger and remove the clog manually.

Sometimes the clog may be deeper in your pipes or too severe to easily remove, look into professional plumbing services; they have the equipment and expertise to clear clogged drains without causing damage to your plumbing. If you have sewage damage as a result of a clogged drain or other plumbing issues, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Leaking Pipes

Leaks aren’t just an annoyance; they can significantly increase your water bill and quickly cause damage to your home. If you have a leaking pipe that’s beyond a slow drip, shut your water off as soon as possible. If there is any chance of mold or structural damage to your home, call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to avoid spending a fortune on repairs. Leaking pipes generally need to be replaced, but you can use marine tape or epoxy to cover small leaks temporarily—just remember to shut the water off first.

No Hot Water

Have you ever rolled out of bed and into the shower only to find there’s no hot water? It’s not a good experience. Chances are you’ve got something wrong with your water heater, most probably an electrical problem such as a thermostat or element. If you’re not comfortable troubleshooting your water heater, it’s a good idea to get help from a trained, knowledgeable professional.

Plumbing truly is an essential part of our everyday lives. We can’t all be professional plumbers, but with a little bit of research and hard work, you can stay cool, calm and collected in the face of a plumbing emergency

 If you have water damage as a result of any of these or other plumbing issues, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Water damage from hidden pipe leaks

6/8/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water damage from hidden pipe leaks Hidden Pipe leak under kitchen sink.

Whether it's behind the washer, above the ceiling or under the sink, a little drip can lead to big trouble. Water damage happens quickly and can be expensive to fix. Ignore a leak, and you not only could you have a mighty mess on your hands, but your home insurance probably won't bail you out. "What's really important to know for leaks is when did the insured notice it and take action," Says Michael Pridham from SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont

"People now build houses to be airtight," says Michael Pridham, owner of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont, a property-damage restoration service. "Houses are wrapped in plastic like Saran Wrap. That's good for energy conservation, but if water gets on the wrong side of that plastic, then mold will follow, as certainly as night follows day." Pridham observes that damage often occurs after people get security systems installed. Holes are drilled into airtight window frames for wires to run through them, but they aren't properly caulked and sealed, allowing water to slowly seep in over time. "You notice that maybe the wall below the window is looking funny, and by that time the framing behind it is rotted out," he says. If the homeowner reports the problem right away, it would likely be covered by home insurance.

Today's houses also have more bathrooms, and the washing machine is often located next to the master bedroom on an upper floor for convenience, Pridham notes. "That means you've got more pipes, and if the washing machine leaks, it can affect the third floor, the second floor, the first floor and even down to the basement," he says. For water damage from leaky appliances or pipes, the damage must be "sudden and accidental" in order to be covered by insurance - such as a pipe that bursts while you're washing clothes.

But what about a slow leak you can't see? Say, for instance, a pipe behind a wall leaks, and you don't notice it until water starts seeping through the wall. Are you covered? Most likely the answer is yes, as long as you take action as soon as there is evidence of the leak, Pridham says. "Nobody expects you to tear out your drywall now and again to check the pipes. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378. They will send out a crew to test the walls using moisture detectors and an infrared camera.

Insurance companies understand it's impossible to know you have a hidden leak until the damage becomes apparent. The same goes for leaks behind and under appliances, or above a ceiling. If you can't see the leak, you can still make an insurance claim as long as you report it when it becomes apparent. Don't expect much sympathy if you ignore the wet spot in your ceiling, only to report it when the problem gets worse. The insurance adjuster probably will be able to tell if the damage is fresh.

"If the insured had a leak in the roof and had a pot under it for six months, then that damage is not covered," Pridham of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont says. "Insurance Professionals are pretty good at seeing whether a wet spot has been there for a while. Sometimes they have engineers go out to look." When it comes to insurance coverage, everything depends on the language in your policy. Although most policies cover damage from leaks as long as you responded quickly, language among policies differs. Keep in mind, though, that while home insurance may cover the water damage to the ceiling, floor, walls or furniture, it won't pay for replacing the worn-out pipe or the leaky roof (unless the roof was damaged by a covered peril, such as hail or a fallen tree).

Sergio Rodriguez, Production Manager for SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont suggests making sure all holes are properly caulked and sealed and keeping eaves and downspouts clean. He recommends periodically checking behind appliances and under sinks to make sure everything is dry. That means actually moving out the stuff that's been sitting under the kitchen sink for the last several years. Be careful when pulling out the refrigerator to check for a leak in the ice maker water line. Avoid running over the water line or crimping a copper line. Rodriguez also suggests replacing rubber supply hoses to appliances with braided hoses, which are made of rubber surrounded by wire mesh. Braided hoses can still spring a leak, but they won't burst.

If you think you have a leak, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Leaky Dishwasher

6/2/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Leaky Dishwasher Water damage from a malfunctioning Dishwasher

Has your dishwasher stopped draining? Did you accidentally break the sliding rack? Have the buttons just stopped working? You need a repair pro. We asked Michael Pridham of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont and Craig Kimble of We Can Fix That to share their best tips for when to repair an ailing dishwasher, when to replace it and what to do if it begins to leak water.

When to Fix: Common Dishwasher Issues

Typical dishwasher problems involve broken mechanical parts, says Craig of We Can Fix That. Think a broken soap dispenser, dislodged sliding rack wheel, or broken sprayer arm.

When a dishwasher won’t drain, there’s usually something in the drain process that shouldn’t be there like lemon seeds, glass, plastic wrap or even bobby pins. “With a high-end dishwasher, you’ll get an OE overflow code. Often I can disconnect the machine, lean it forward, and drain it for a fix without having to replace any of the control boards,” says Craig.

In general, if you have to fix an issue but the unit is relatively new, it makes sense to fix if repair costs are under half the cost to replace the appliance. A good unit can last you 15-20 years if it’s well-maintained.

When to Replace: Do the Math

Once you start to replace the electronic boards, it gets expensive. On high-end dishwashers (KitchenAid, Samsung, Bosch) if the user control panel and the power control unit go out at the same time, it’s not worth it to repair it. “The parts alone will exceed $600 wholesale,” says Craig.

If a dishwasher is more than 7-10 years old and you’re paying more than half of the original cost in repairs, you should consider buying a new one.

Replacing a door latch can get pricey, says Deondre of Lee Appliance Repair and Installation. “This can run $200-250 for parts and labor,” he says, “And you can easily avoid this repair. If you want to add in dishes, don’t just pull it open. Hit pause and let the automatic lock release. It will save you money!”

Leaking is a big problem around the door or underneath where the motor or pumps assembly are, says Deondre. Costs vary depending on how old the unit is or if the control board is gone. For standard dishwashers repairs range from $100-200. For bigger projects or work on higher-end dishwashers (with more expensive parts) average costs might be $380-450.

How to Avoid Issues

Don’t overload it, says Deondre of Lee Appliance Repair and Installation, and when you first have a problem, look at your model number and do some online research to learn about your machine. There might be an easy DIY fix for your symptoms.

Don’t run a garbage disposal at the same time the dishwasher is running, urges Michael of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont. The two share the same plumbing, so if they’re going at the same time, you are more apt to kick debris into the dishwasher discharge line and clog it.

A little preventative maintenance goes a long way. Have a pro come every two years, clean out your lines and any calcium deposits, and get you running clean again. If the dishwasher does leak, call the preferred professional, SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378.

Hot Water Heater Replacement

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hot Water Heater Replacement Old Hot Water Heater

Water heaters are essential elements of our home. We use them in daily activities such as taking a bath, using the dishwasher and using the washing machine. But because we use them frequently, it’s sometimes easy to take them for granted and forget that they need to be maintained. Failing to do so will result in malfunctions and problems and eventually, replacing your water heater. Taking notice of the first signs of a problem can help you repair your water heater before it becomes worse.

You don’t have to be an expert to spot the first signs of trouble. All you need to have is a keen sense of observation so that your water heater can be repaired. 

Here are three signs that indicate your water heater needs to be repaired.

Hot water has off smell or off color. The first instance that you notice your hot water has an off smell or has a rusty color, that’s something that you need to check out. The smell could be the result of a rusty anode rod in the water heater. There is no need to worry since the anode rod can be replaced that will then eliminate the bad odor. Bacteria growth also causes bad smells. This happens when the hot water has not been used or has been turned off for quite some time or when the thermostat is set at a very low level.

Corroded pipes can also cause an off color in your water. This can be solved by installing a water softener or by replacing the plumbing. If you also see a lot of sediments in the water, it’s time to have the water heater repaired.

Water is not hot enough, too hot, not strong enough or there is none at all. When there is no water, check first that your water heater has power and is working fine. If it is, have it inspected by a plumber. If water is not enough, this could be due to an undersized water heater and is a common situation when a lot more people are using the water heater. This could also be caused by the presence of mineral deposits inside the water heater tank. When water is too hot or not hot enough, you may have to adjust the temperature dial of the water heater. If there is no change in temperature, have the water heater checked and repaired.

Strange noises and leaks. Leaks coming from your water heater could lead to flooding. In the same way, strange noises like pops, bangs, gurgles, and the like are clear indicators that something is wrong with your water heater. This is usually caused by a buildup of sediments inside the tank. A boiling sound, however, could mean the water heater is overheating or that pressure is building up inside the tank. All these have to be addressed immediately to prevent further problems.

It’s important to have your water heater repaired as soon as you see these signs. This will help you save on costs, prevent further damage, and avoid an untimely replacement of your unit.

If your hot water heater malfunctions and creates a water damage, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you with the water damage.

Flooded Basements

4/11/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flooded Basements SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Cambridge

City of Cambridge 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service


 


SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont 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 - 
(617) 864-7378


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 Cambridge/Belmont 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 Cambridge/Belmont


SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont 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.